On 14 October, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People invited Professor Noam Chomsky, leading American philosopher and political activist, to deliver a lecture at the United Nations as part of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. H.E. Ambassador Fode Seck of Senegal, Chair of the Committee for the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, opened the meeting and then gave the floor to Amy Goodman of the independent news program Democracy Now. Ms. Goodman moderated the audience question and answer session that followed and introduced the Professor. Dr. Chomsky focused his remarks on the Palestinian struggle for statehood and the related responses of the international community.
Speaking specifically on the role of the United Nations, Dr. Chomsky suggested that the organisation could recognize the State of Palestine, noting that 138 Member States did so in the General Assembly in November 2012 and that members of the Swedish and British parliaments recently voted in favour of doing the same.
Taking the floor in the discussion that followed, H.E. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, noted that the Palestinian People’s determination to continue the struggle. “Our people are dead determined that we do not want to stay in Bantustans in apartheid-style,” he said.
Before the meeting, Dr. Chomsky participated in a special briefing before the press. H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, delivered the opening statement at the briefing. “Professor Chomsky is undoubtedly one of the most prominent critical thinkers of our time,” Ambassador Tanin said in his introductory remarks. “His extensive study and work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past 40 years could not be more relevant and pertinent than at this particular juncture.” A question and answer session followed the briefing, during which a number of journalists raised questions answered by Professor Chomsky.