UN voices solidarity with Palestinians via speeches, exhibition and concert

14:47, December 01, 2009      

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The United Nations Monday observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at its New York Headquarters with a special commemorative meeting, a new photographic exhibition and a concert by Maqamat, an orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

Addressing Monday's meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved, noting that the Palestinian people continue to struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination, a fundamental, universal human right enjoyed by so many others across the world.

"Vigorous international efforts are essential for advancing the political process, ending the occupation and achieving a solution to all permanent status issues," he said.

"Now more than ever, politics must be made credible," he added." Those who try to undermine moves toward peace through violence or by changing facts on the ground must not be allowed to set the agenda."

Ban noted that the international community continues to assist and protect the Palestinian people, including through the work of UN agencies, foremost among them the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

General Assembly President Ali Treki said the Day, annually marked on Nov. 29, served as a reminder "that the Question of Palestine remains the oldest unresolved issue at the United Nations."

The Day is "a solemn occasion for renewing our commitment to a just and lasting solution to the Question of Palestine and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East," he said.

He noted that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, "jolts us to the human cost of this unresolved conflict borne by Palestinian civilians. Their ordeal will continue until the Question of Palestine is resolved and the occupation is brought to an end."

As part of the commemoration, UNRWA is presenting a new photo exhibit entitled The United Nations and the Palestine Refugees, 60Years Later, which opens tonight at UN Headquarters.

It features historical photos of the life of the first Palestinian refugees and UNRWA's working during the early years of its establishment, as well as more recent photos of the agency's work in the five areas of its operations, including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of Nov.29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in 1977. On that day, in 1947, the General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

In a resolution on Dec. 1, 2005, the General Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, as part of the observance, to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN.

It also encouraged member states to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day.

Source: Xinhua
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