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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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The Elders support Palestinian move to sign international treaties
an article by The Elders

The Elders support Palestinian move to sign international treaties. "This move should not be seen as a blow to the peace talks”– Jimmy Carter.


photo from The Elders

click on photo to enlarge

The Elders are deeply worried by the impasse in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. They express their continued support to US Secretary of State John Kerry and commend him for his tireless effortsto bring the parties together.

The Elders take note of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to sign letters of accession to 15 international treaties. They recognise that this move is consistent with the UN non-member observer state status obtained by Palestine in November 2012.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy Chair of The Elders, said: “As a UN non-member observer state, Palestine is entitled to join international bodies. We welcome President Abbas’ decision to sign the Geneva Conventions and other important international human rights treaties.

“This move opens the way to more inclusive and accountable government in the West Bank and Gaza . It has the potential to strengthen respect for human rights and provide ordinary Palestinians with essential legal protections against discrimination or abuses by their own government. In global terms, it will also increase their ability to enjoy, in practice, the protection of their basic rights granted to them by international law.”

Former US President Jimmy Carter said: “The decision by the Palestinians to exercise their right to join international organisations should not be seen as a blow to the peace talks. I hope that, on the contrary, it will help to redress the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians, as we approach the 29 April deadline set by Secretary Kerry. More than ever, both parties urgently need to make the necessary compromises to reach a lasting peace with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”

The Elders have long supported the recognition of Palestinian statehood by the United Nations. In July 2013, they welcomed US efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after a meeting with John Kerry in Washington DC.

The Elders are independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan (Chair), Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland (Deputy Chair), Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Hina Jilani, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo.

Desmond Tutu is an honorary Elder.

Read more about The Elders' work on Israel- Palestine: http://www. theelders.org/israel-palestine

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

Here is another view of the Hamas/Fatah agreement, sent to CPNN by the Palestinian peace activist, Mazin Qumsiyeh:

People asked me about the latest "reconciliation" agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Most Palestinians here are skeptical of the sincerity of leadership in Fatah and Hamas and most still think these leaders are driven by narrow factional and personal interests than by interest of Palestine; noticeably absent was the popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the largest secular faction after Fatah. Women leaders also complained about the exclusion of women voices and youth were also absent as most of those politicians are my age or older. In my talks (and I give several every week to visiting delegations and local people), I emphasize that people must wake up and push politicians to do the right thing. That is how history changes: via people especially youth and women. Of course, many wish that politicians show some leadership for positive change but we the people have to act. Meanwhile, we have an ongoing slow genocide of the Palestinian people. 7.4 million are refugees/displaced people and that number keeps growing. . ...more.


This report was posted on April 7, 2014.