International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

A solemn meeting was held at United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, 1 December 1997, to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Since 1978, the day is traditionally observed on the 29th of November of each year, the date marking the adoption by the General Assembly of Resolution 181 (II) on 29 November 1947, which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem as corpus separatum. This year marks 50 years since the adoption of that resolution, which critically changed the course of history for the Palestinian people.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Ambassador of Senegal, presided over the meeting. President Yasser Arafat sent a message on the occasion, which was read at the meeting by the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council also attended and delivered statements at the meeting. Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine and Head of the Political Department of the PLO, made concluding remarks, thanking all who participated in the solemn meeting and who expressed their continuing and firm solidarity with the Palestinian people. Many of the statements made during the commemoration emphasized the somber fact that 1997 also marked thirty years since the occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and ten years since the outbreak of the intifada of the Palestinian people.

Also on 1 December, a Palestinian exhibit in connection with the International Day of Solidarity was inaugurated at the United Nations in the Visitors Lobby. The exhibit, which was on display for one week, was entitled "At Home in Palestine" and consisted of a collection of various traditional handicrafts from Palestine.