The United Nations Department of Public Information Convenes International Media Encounter on Question of Palestine in Paris: The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) convened an international media encounter with the theme The Search for Peace in the Middle East at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris from 18-19 June 2001. Prominent journalists and Middle East experts, including senior officials and lawmakers from the Palestinian Authority and Israel attended the conference. Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Interim Head of the Department of Public Information, opened the conference and delivered a message on behalf of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Secretary-General of the French Foreign Ministry and the Director-General of UNESCO also welcomed the participants attending the conference.

At the encounter, Mr. Tarje Larsen, the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories presented a keynote address focusing on the peace process in the Middle East. Among other speakers, Ambassador Ibra Deguene Ka, Chairman of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Dr. Nabil Shaath, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former Israeli Minister of Tourism and Transportation, and Ambassador Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed the participants at the encounter.

The encounter gave international media representatives and experts an opportunity to discuss the role of the United Nations regarding the question of Palestine, as well as in the overall search for peace in the Middle East.

The Paris media encounter was the ninth in a series launched 10 years ago by the DPI in support of the search for peace in the Middle East and to raise international awareness about the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.