International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Harare – On Monday 29 November 2010, UNIC Harare joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This Day provides an opportunity for the international community to focus attention on the question of Palestine.

The ambassador of the State of Palestine Mr Hashem Dajani hosted a reception which was followed by a theatrical performance entitled “The Gaza Monologues by Zambuko/Izibuko to a more than 300-people crowd that included diplomats, government officials, the media and NGO representatives.

UNIC Director and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Alain Noudehou read that statement of the UN Secretary General on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=4956). In his statement, the Secretary General said that two timelines reach a critical point in 2011.

“First, Palestinian President Abbes and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have pledged to seek a framework agreement on permanent status by September [2011]. Second, the Palestinian Authority is on track to complete its two-year agenda of readiness for statehood by August [2011].

He pointed out that at its meeting in September 2010, “the Quartet stated that an agreement can be reached in the timeframe set out by the leaders themselves, and that the Palestinian Authority, if it maintains its current performance in institution-building and the delivery of public services, is well-positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future.”

However, few Palestinians are optimistic that anything decisive will be achieved next year, or even at all. “Looking at the situation on the ground, I understand this despair, said the Secretary General, adding “soon after direct talks on final status began in September, they were undermined by the expiry of Israel's commendable settlement moratorium. Construction of hundreds of new units throughout the West Bank commenced, and new approvals for settlements in East Jerusalem were given. This development is a serious blow to the credibility of the political process. The obligation remains on Israel to meet its responsibilities under international law and the Roadmap to freeze settlement activity,” he said.

The Secretary General said he would ‘do everything in his power’ to support efforts to realize a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and 1850, previous agreements, the Madrid Framework, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Chairman for the Zanu PF party and Guest of Honour at this event, Simon Kaya-Moyo said “the question of Palestine had remained unresolved for too long and alongside it was the suffering of women and children.” He described this as “immorality.”

The theatrical performance entitled “The Gaza Monologues” by Zambuko/Izibuko re-lived the experiences of children in Palestine.