U.N. International Meeting in Support of Peaceful Settlement of Question of Palestine

The U.N. International Meeting in Support of a Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine and the Establishment of Peace in the Middle East was convened from 23-24 May 2000 under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP).  The Host City for the Meeting was Athens, Greece.  

Similar to other recent U.N. meetings and symposia regarding the question of Palestine, the International Meeting brought together high-level officials, expert panelists, and prominent personalities from governments, academia, U.N. agencies, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other civil society organizations, and the media.  Parallel to this International Meeting, meetings were held by numerous NGOs devoted to the question of Palestine, particularly European NGOs.  

The Meeting began with a statement by H.E. Mr. George Papandreou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, who inaugurated the meeting on behalf of the Host Country.  He was followed by Mr. Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), H.E. Ambassador Ibra Ka, Chairman of the CEIRPP, and H.E. Mr. Emil Jarjoui, a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, who represented Palestine at the Meeting.  The Opening Session was followed by 3 plenary sessions, which included expert presentations and discussions, and a closing session, during which the Meeting participants adopted a Final Statement.

Plenary I was entitled Final status negotiations and Palestinian statehood.  Presentations by the expert panelists focused on such topics as a review of the interim period; prospects for the solution of final status issues; and Palestinian statehood.  Plenary II of the International Meeting was entitled International support for a just and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the establishment of a lasting peace in the Middle East.  Among the topics at that plenary were: the roles of the U.S. and the Russian Federation; the U.N. and the peace process; European involvement in the promotion of Middle East peace; the role of the international donor community, and involvement by IGOs.
 
Similar to the other two plenary sessions, Plenary III, entitled Civil society in support of the peace process, brought together various expert panelists that made impressive statements and engaged in an interesting and constructive dialogue.  The topics focused on in the third plenary included the following: people-to-people diplomacy for building bridges of understanding; the role of academic institutions; initiatives by the international NGO network in solidarity with the Palestinian people; and the role of the media.

The Final Statement issued by the International Meeting reaffirmed the views of the participants with regard to measures for supporting the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and towards the establishment of peace in the region as a whole.