Beirut, 2 December 2022--The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) today held an official ceremony at its headquarters in Beirut in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The event was attended physically by Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister Saade Al Chami on behalf of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and virtually by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, in addition to ambassadors and representatives of Arab and foreign embassies in Lebanon, other United Nations entities and civil society organizations.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Ms. Francesca Albanese, delivered the keynote address online.
The ceremony opened with a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who reaffirmed support to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for all, stressing the need to end occupation.
For her part, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti affirmed: “We meet today while the Palestinian people still struggle to achieve justice and restore what should be self-evident rights. We meet not out of mere good will but to stand for the truth, , for enforcing international law, and committing to human norms and values."
“We meet to condemn the occupation, settlement expansion, discrimination, land confiscation, expulsion of residents from their homes and those of their ancestors, and exclusion, all ongoing despite international resolutions that call for ending these systematic Israeli practices,” she added.
For his part, Al Chami, delivering Lebanon’s statement, affirmed that human rights were universal and should not differ according to countries and peoples. “The rights of the Palestinian people are violated daily and no one cares, at a time when the same thing happening to another people would mobilize superpowers,” he continued, stressing that politicizing human rights harms them.
Shtayyeh concluded the official statements segment with that of the State of Palestine, in which he requested that cities and camps inside Palestine, suffering from daily bombing, be secured. He called UN Member States to support the full membership of the State of Palestine in the Organization, while underlining the role of the international community role in holding Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
“The Occupied Palestinian Territories are a microcosm of human rights abuses,” Albanese pointed out. She underscored the numerous violations of international law, most of which unacceptable under any circumstances and, constituting an aggression. “This is not a conflict, it is an illegal occupation,” she added.
The ceremony featured a presentation on the “Campji” media platform, which tells extraordinary stories of people who have been forced to live as refugees, by Hisham Kayed, the project coordinator.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, date of the adoption of resolution 181 (II) in 1947, which came to be known as the Partition Resolution.
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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