Saturday, April 21, 2018

United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process to Be Held in Istanbul, Turkey, 25–26 May

Source: United Nations General Assembly


Background Release

United Nations Public Forum in Support of Palestinian People, in Istanbul, 27 May

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Sheraton Hotel Istanbul Ataköy, from 25 to 26 May.

The theme of the Meeting is “Ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian State”.

The purpose of the Meeting is to provide a forum for exchanging views on the current state of the peace process and promote a constructive dialogue among stakeholders on how to advance the Palestinian State-building agenda. The Meeting, among other things, will discuss prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, as well as ways of resetting the political dialogue, including through third-party mediation and other peace initiatives. The Meeting will also look at the Palestinian Authority’s programme for ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian State, and explore modalities of moving forward the Palestinian State-building agenda and creating the socio-economic underpinnings for statehood. In addition, the Meeting will consider ways of creating a political climate conducive to advancing the peace process and building an international consensus for establishing a Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders. The various topics under the programme will be addressed by expert speakers, including from the region.

The opening session, on 25 May, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, representing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Zahir Tanin, Head of Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; Ekmeleddin Ä°hsanoÄŸlu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; and Ibrahim Khraishi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Serry will also deliver the keynote address, entitled: “The path to a Palestinian State”.

Plenary I, on the state of the political process and prospects for peace, will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 25 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “Negotiating Israeli-Palestinian peace: Lessons learned from previous negotiations and other conflict situations”; “Resetting the political dialogue: Third-party mediation and other initiatives”; and “The question of Jerusalem — A key to Israeli-Palestinian peace”. Expected speakers include: Michele Dunne, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C.; Jad Isaac, Director General, Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem, Jerusalem; Ghassan Khatib, Director, Government Media Centre, Palestinian Authority, Ramallah; Eti Livni, Former Member of the Knesset, Tel Aviv; and Danny Seidemann, Legal Counsel, Ir Amim, Jerusalem.

Plenary II, on the Palestinian Authority programme of ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian State, will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 26 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “The current situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”; “Advancing the Palestinian State-building agenda — From the status quo to statehood”; and “Creating socio-economic underpinnings for advancing Palestinian State-building”. Expected speakers include: Bassam Al-Salhi, General Secretary, Palestinian People’s Party, Jerusalem; Thomas Neu, Field Director, Carter Center Field Office, Ramallah; Güven Sak, Director, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, Ankara; Ahmad Tibi, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Taibeh; and Jennifer Tonge, Member of the House of Lords, London.

Plenary III, on breaking the deadlock and creating a political climate conducive to the advancement of the peace process, will run from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on 26 May. The sub-themes of the session will be: “Building an international consensus for establishing a Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders”; “The role of the United Nations”; and “The role of non-State actors”. Expected speakers include: Mensur Akgün, Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul; Nils Butenschøn, Director, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Oslo; Nabil Fahmy, Ambassador and Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo, Cairo; and Chinmaya Gharekhan, Former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India for West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process, New Delhi.

The closing session, starting at 5 p.m. on 26 May, will feature: Engin Soysal, Deputy Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, New York; and Mr. Tanin, Head of the Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

All sessions of the Meeting will be open to the media. The official languages will be English and Arabic. There will also be simultaneous interpretation from and into Turkish.

Following the International Meeting, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Public Forum in Support of the Palestinian People, in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Istanbul Kültür University, on 27 May from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme will be: ” Jerusalem — The key to Israeli-Palestinian peace”.

The Public Forum will address home demolitions, forced evictions and settlements; the revocation of residency rights and identification; and security concerns, including rising crime rates, in the Holy City. It will also look at approaches to promoting a just and lasting solution to the question of Jerusalem, including through international law and institution-building. It will discuss the role of non-State actors in promoting peace in Jerusalem, including through interfaith dialogue and people-to-people diplomacy.

Opening remarks will be made by: Mensur Akgün, Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul; Mr. Tanin, Head of Delegation, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; and Bülent Aras, Director, Strategic Research Centre, Ankara.

The moderators of the discussion will be: Phyllis Bennis, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C.; and Sylvia Tiryaki, Deputy Director, Global Political Trends Center, Istanbul Kültür University, Istanbul. Expert speakers will include: Daphna Golan-Agnon, Researcher, Minerva Center for Human Rights, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Mousa Qous, Researcher, Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Jerusalem; Nazmi Jubeh, Co-Director, Riwaq: Centre for Architectural Conservation, Ramallah; Fadwa Khader, Director-General, Sunflower Association for Human and Environment Protection, Jerusalem; and Ramzi Zananiri, Executive Director, Near East Council of Churches, Jerusalem.

Closing remarks will be made by representatives of Palestine and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The Public Forum will be conducted in English and open to the media.

Updated versions of the programme, as well as information on previous Meetings, will be available on the website of the Division for Palestinian Rights, United Nations Secretariat, at

The report on the Meeting will be issued, in due course, as a publication of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conference Photos

Report of the Secretary-General on “Human Security”


Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

at the General Assembly on the Report of the Secretary-General on “Human Security”

Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before I begin, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting on a topic of such broad relevance. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his report, which provides an excellent overview of the growing attention paid to this important issue by Member States, as well as by international and regional organizations. And finally, I would like to thank my colleagues at the Japanese Mission, for the draft resolution they have tabled today which Afghanistan is proud to co-sponsor. This meeting is a clear sign that the concept of human security is both increasingly relevant and increasingly recognized, and Afghanistan welcomes this trend and supports further discussion on this concept in the future.

Mr. President,

The need for security in Afghanistan overshadows and underlies every effort undertaken by the Afghan Government and the international community to build a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan.

The most immediate threat to security comes from ongoing terrorism and violence, in particular the murderous acts of the Taliban and al-Qaeda who, through suicide bombs, assassinations and threats, create an atmosphere of fear and danger for the Afghan people, and threaten the security of the region and the world.

However, while we must address this threat immediately, we have learned from experience that killing the enemy will not, alone, provide security to the Afghan people. We must also break the cycle of violence and conflict born of thirty years of war, which decimated the social, political and economic fabric of the country and resulted in environmental degradation, wrenching poverty, poor infrastructure and weak social structures. We must address lack of governance, rule of law and a stable justice system, and promote outreach and engagement of citizens with their government. We must combat human rights abuses and promote the health and wellbeing of women, children, and other disadvantaged groups. We must ensure that every Afghan has access to education, food, healthcare and gainful employment, and encourage investment in infrastructure and business. In addition, we must address transnational issues such as crime, narcotics trafficking, and border control. We have learned to look beyond military measures to sustainable, long-term civilian efforts. We have learned to look beyond simple physical wellbeing to address the long-term economic, social and political security of the Afghan people.

Mr. President,

The idea of “human security” admirably encompasses this broad range of needs, and can guide us in our approach in Afghanistan.

First and foremost, the concept stresses that people must be at the center of our considerations. Our goals, as governments, militaries and humanitarians, must be to locate and address the threats to the people of Afghanistan, and we should measure our successes by the changes we can bring to their lives. The military forces have already embraced this ideal in an effort to prevent civilian casualties and create sustainable progress. We need to ensure this principle is also central to the development and humanitarian realms, making sure that every dollar spent in Afghanistan directly benefits the Afghan people.

Second, this idea recognizes the essential importance of development in the prevention of conflict and the promotion of security and stability. Desperation caused by poverty, unemployment, and competition for resources and water, is an obvious and enduring factor that exacerbates conflict and has spread a culture of violence in Afghanistan. The proposed civilian surge will offer Afghans a chance to live in peace and help them find a way to take care of their families without resorting to violent or illegal activities.

Third, this concept addresses the need to look for both local, contextualized ways to repair the damage of conflict, including through peace processes, and also the need to encourage regional cooperation to address the international aspects of the conflict. In Afghanistan, the awareness that military means cannot solve the conflict has led the Government to introduce reintegration and reconciliation programs in the hope of repairing the broken social structures and encouraging national unity, while engaging in intense regional dialogue to build trust and foster cooperation on these and other issues. Without the full engagement of all of the Afghan people, the government and society can never hope to build a strong, independent nation, and without a constructive partnership with the region, Afghanistan’s efforts will not be sustainable.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, human security looks to strong societies and strong institutions as the core protection mechanisms against possible destabilizing factors. The recent strategy endorsed in London focuses on strengthening Afghan capacity, through training, mentoring and resourcing, so that Afghans can be invested in our common project and feel a sense of responsibility for its success. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of building a strong Government with stable institutions that is capable of representing its citizens and responding to their needs and concerns.

Mr. President,

I urge Member States to, in their consideration of this issue, also consider the ways that the international community could embrace these principles in practice as well as on paper. It is clear that only a comprehensive approach can truly hope to end or prevent a conflict. However, coordination within and among local and international actors, and coherence of priorities and aims, continues to marginalize domestic leadership and circumvent the Government of Afghanistan in favor of parallel structures. The concept of “human security” will only be useful in practice if the international community is willing to commit to truly understanding the local context of a conflict, and to empowering local people to take ownership of their own affairs.

Mr. President,

Human security is not a new concept. As governments, our primary responsibility is, and always has been, to the well-being of our people above all else. However, with conflicts increasingly involving non-state actors, and transnational conflicts and recurring conflicts becoming more and more common, the international community must truly embrace the reality that conflicts have broad and varied causes, and require comprehensive and contextualized responses. The concept of human security is an essential one in guiding domestic and international reactions to these emerging trends.

I thank you, Mr. President.


United Nations Secretary General Calls President Karzai to Discuss Kabul Conference

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon telephoned President Karzai Saturday evening to discuss a number of issues including the President’s recent visit to Washington.

Preparations for the Kabul Conference, expected for late July was the other subject of discussions and the Secretary General said he would attend the International Conference in Kabul.

The UN Secretary General congratulated the President on the positive outcomes of his meetings with US officials and said he was personally following his talks in the US.

President Karzai thanked Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his personal efforts and the UN’s continued support to help Afghanistan.

For further information, please contact:

Office of the Spokesperson to the President of Afghanistan,

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan