At a United Nations meeting on Palestine, PAM reiterates its commitment to the Two-State Solution and highlights the role of parliamentary diplomacy towards a lasting peace

On 12 November 2020, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) participated in the “International Parliamentarians and the Question of Palestine” event, held in a virtual format and organized by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and Chaired by H.E. Cheikh Niang (Senegal).

The event was held to highlight the role of Parliamentarians in promotion of peace in the Middle East and a lasting political solution between Israel and Palestine, in accordance with international law. The high-level panel was comprised of Parliamentarians, including Hon. Maria Arena (European Parliament), Hon. Mandla Mandela (Parliament of South Africa), and Hon. Betty McCollum (United States Congress). PAM was represented by Senator Alia Bouran, Jordan, PAM President Emeritus and President of the Assembly’s Political Committee, and Hon. Belal Qasem, Palestine, PAM Vice President.

The panelists informed the Committee on specific legislative actions and parliamentary initiatives conducted to promote peace in the region. Key issues discussed at the event included parliamentary influence on governmental policies in the Middle East, Palestinian statehood, the status of Jerusalem, humanitarian and human rights issues, support for UNRWA, and the recent political developments in the region. Multilateral cooperation among parliamentary institutions and key State actors was highlighted as strategic, in the context of a political momentum to achieve a lasting and sustainable peace. 

Senator Bouran emphasized that PAM has always prioritized the issue of Palestine and made significant political progress towards a lasting solution. The Assembly’s unique composition has allowed PAM to maintain a constructive and continued dialogue not only between the two sides, but also with all of the neighbors in the Euro-Mediterranean region, all around the same table. 

Through this dialogue, PAM achieved clear consensus: a Two-State Solution, implemented in line with UN resolutions, is the only way for Israel and Palestine to achieve a lasting and stable peace, and realize the aspirations of each nation.

Senator Bouran further stressed that development of new diplomatic and economic ties in the region must not come at the expense of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for self-determination. Instead, any expanded international cooperation must be aimed at adding momentum to resuming dialogue and finding a lasting solution. 

Senator Bouran put forward a proposal to join efforts between PAM and the UN Palestinian Rights Committee, as has been done in the past in Malta in 2010 and, at the appropriate time, to convene a meeting that would bring together parliamentary representatives from the Euro-Mediterranean region and the wider Arab world. Such an initiative, at the Parliamentary Level, would signal a strong show of unity aimed at peace, and would support efforts for meaningful negotiations at the governmental level. The proposal was well received by the Chair of the Committee and echoed by the other parliamentarians. On his side, Hon Qasem called for support for the proposal made by President Abbas for an international conference to support and relaunch the peace process. 

The meeting concluded with the consensus that Parliamentarians are well placed to continue advocating for a lasting resolution to the Middle East issue, and must assist in the momentum to bring the relevant parties to a fruitful and constructive political negotiation process.//


Issued on: 18/11/2020

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