Geneva Initiative Annexes
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GI participates in UN conference on Mideast peace

Date: 13.12.2008

On Saturday, December 13th, Geneva Initiative Director General Gadi Baltiansky spoke at a United Nations conference in Chile on the prospects of reaching a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The conference, entitled the "United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace," took place in the capital of Santiago over three consecutive days.

Government representatives, United Nations officials, academics and civil society organizations gathered to discuss broad international action, including Latin American and Caribbean States, in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace and for achieving a solution to the conflict based on a shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. They discussed how Latin American and Caribbean States could effectively contribute to the current peace efforts through their action in national and intergovernmental mechanisms.

The Meeting was organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly, and is hosted by the Government of Chile.

The first part of the conference was a two-day meeting that included three plenary sessions: “The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” “International efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine,” and “Support by Latin American and Caribbean countries for a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
For the next part, on Saturday, representatives of civil society organizations and government officials gathered in the United Nations Public Forum in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. As part of this portion of the conference, Baltiansky spoke about the Geneva Initiative before a large international audience, answering questions from European and American delegates as well as delegates of Arab and Muslim countries.

Also on Saturday, Israeli delegate Prof. Yossi Yonah spoke about civilian action to promote peace, and presented the Geneva Initiative as his primary example of a successful civilian action.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki also spoke at the conference, representing the Palestinian Authority.

In opening statements, Alejandro Foxley Riosco, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, said Chile supported the right of Israelis and Palestinians to their own free and sovereign State as called for by the General Assembly resolution adopted in 1947, and regretted that the resolution had only been complied with partially, with the establishment of only one State -- Israel. In spite of the years that had passed, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital continued to be an unattainable goal, he said. It was also time for the Israeli people to be able to live peacefully, without fearing their own destruction.

Paul Badju (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, stated at the conference: “We all know the solution: an end to the occupation that began in 1967, and the establishment of a Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel, based on the 1949 armistice line and the related United Nations resolutions. What we need is a collective political will to demand that this goal be implemented to bring long overdue justice to the Palestinian people.”