I.P.O. Information Service
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
I.P.O. participates in solemn meeting at United Nations headquarters
New York, 2 December 2003/P/RE/18435c-is
At the invitation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a delegation of the International Progress Organization headed by I.P.O. President Dr. Hans Koechler attended the solemn meeting on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at United Nations headquarters in New York (1 December 2003). The delegation of the I.P.O. als observed the Palestine debate in the General Assembly of the United Nations on 1 and 2 December 2003.
The meeting was addressed, among others, by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the President of the General Assembly, Julian Robert Hunte (Saint Lucia), the President of the Security Council, Stefan Tavrov (Bulgaria), the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Papa Louis Fall (Senegal), and the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, Chithambaranathan Mahendran (Sri Lanka). A special message from the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, was read by the Head of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations, Nasser Al-Kidwa. Concluding remarks were made by Farouk Kaddoumi, Head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Ms. Phyllis Bennis, co-chairperson of the International Coordinating Network on Palestine, spoke on behalf of international non-governmental organizations. While welcoming the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Ms. Bennis also drew attention to the larger failure of the international community to end the occupation. While the cruel illusions of the so-called Road Map had collapsed, the United Nations continued to be denied the central diplomatic role, mandated to it by the Charter, in favour of the false multilateralism of the United States-dominated Quartet, she said. Yet, as civil society around the world recognized, the United Nations had the responsibility to protect those languishing under military occupation, to restore the human rights of those illegally denied them, and to defend those unable to protect themselves.
In a statement issued in connection with the special session at United Nations headquarters, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, reiterated his organization's commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of international law, in particular the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination. In this regard, Dr. Koechler recalled the I.P.O.'s consistent position on the need for the evacuation of all Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine and for the dispatch of United Nations monitors and peacekeeping troops to the occupied territories.
The International Progress Organization is a member of the International Coordinating Network on Palestine and has represented the international non-governmental organizations on Palestine in previous meetings at United Nations headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Office in Vienna.
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