Saturday, April 30, 2011

OPT: Palestinian Rights Committee Chair urges Quartet to ‘help sun set on occupation’

United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People Concludes, Expert Plenary Considers ‘Laying Groundwork for Sovereignty of State of Palestine’

(Received from a UN Information Officer)

HELSINKI, 29 April — With plans nearly complete for welcoming a sovereign, independent Palestinian State into the community of nations this September, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People today urged the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators to “help make the sun set on the occupation permanently”, by rapidly finalizing the permanent status parameters so that direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could proceed without delay.

“The ascension of an independent State of Palestine to its rightful seat at the General Assembly, which we all are looking forward to, will not signal the end of the Palestinian quest for nationhood, but a new beginning,” said Committee Chairman Abdou Salam Diallo in closing remarks to the two-day United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, taking place in Helsinki, Finland. He emphasized that while the challenges ahead were many, “they can and will be overcome”.

He noted that over the course of the Seminar on “Mobilizing international efforts in support of the Palestinian Government’s State-building programme”, participants had heard presentations by experts, who had welcomed the progress achieved in the implementation of the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan. At the same time, those interventions had evoked renewed appreciation of the enormity of the tasks that lay ahead.

“We are looking forward to a State, which is unified and cohesive. One in which the rule of law and social justice prevails, in which representative, accountable and transparent public institutions are engaged in a dialogue with civil society,” he said, stressing that such a State should also be open and inclusive, in which all citizens, including vulnerable groups, such as women and young people, were free to develop their full potential and count on economic opportunity and the protection of their rights.