Plans set for UN meeting on Israel’s Separation Barrier

The Ramallah-Jerusalem road in ar-Ram (Photo: Melanie Bartels)

A United Nations committee in New York today approved preliminary arrangements for a UN-backed meeting on the consequences of Israel’s construction of a barrier in and around the West Bank, set to open next week in Geneva.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People adopted a provisional programme and accredited 12 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the two-day forum, which is scheduled to run from 15 to 16 April.

The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qurei, might address the meeting’s opening session, Committee Chairman Paul Badji of Senegal told participants today as plans for the “International Meeting on the Impact of the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Territory, Including in and around East Jerusalem” moved forward.

According to the current plan, a representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to be among those speaking at the opening meeting. A plenary discussion will then address the scope of the wall’s construction and its affect on the humanitarian situation. The views of both Palestinians and Israelis as well as those of the wider international community will be heard at that event.

On the second day, discussions will focus on the international legal implications of the wall as well as the fate of the political process towards a two-State solution to the conflict, with emphasis on the Road Map plan for achieving this sponsored by the diplomatic Quartet - the Russian Federation, the United States, the European Union and the UN.

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