PAL/1962/Rev. 1*

17 October 2003


Focus to be on “Two-State Solution”

NEW YORK, 16 October (UN Department of Public Information) -- The question of peace in the Middle East will be the subject of an international media seminar organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI) on 21 and 22 October in Seville, Spain.  Co-hosted by the Regional Autonomous Government of Andalusia (La Junta Andalusia), the two-day meeting will bring together present and former policy-makers from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as senior United Nations officials, international experts and representatives of the world media.

The seminar, titled “Toward a Two-State Solution”, will provide a forum for media representatives and international experts to discuss the present situation of the “Road Map” to peace in the Middle East.  Participants will reflect, as civil society leaders, on the role of culture, literature and education in facilitating a dialogue for peace, and on the media’s coverage of the conflict.

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will convey a message to the participants, which will be delivered by Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information.  Mr. Tharoor will also moderate the seminar.  The keynote address will be given by Terje Roed-Larsen, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.  Manuel Chavez González, President of the Regional Autonomous Government of Andalusia, is also expected to attend.

The international media seminar, the eleventh in a series launched in 1991 by the DPI, is taking place in response to General Assembly resolution 57/109, which mandates the DPI to organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine, as part of a special information programme charged with contributing to “an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process”.  In the past, such encounters have taken place in Helsinki (1991), Lisbon (1992), London (1993), Elsinore, Denmark (1994), Athens (1997), Prague and New Delhi (1998), Paris (2001) and Copenhagen (2002).



High-level participants will include Ambassador Papa Louis Fall (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, who will make the opening remarks; Ambassador Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations; Nabil Sha’ath, Foreign Minister, Palestinian National Authority; Avraham Burg, Member of the Israeli Parliament, Ghassan Khatib, former Minister of Labour of the Palestinian Authority and Director, Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre; Shlomo Ben Ami, former Foreign Minister, Israel; and Abdel Elah Al-Khatib, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.


Among the international experts on the Middle East attending the seminar will be Edward Mortimer, Director of Communications, Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Geoffrey Aronson, Director for Research and Publications, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Washington; Mustapha Barghouti, Head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Organization; Miguel Ángel Moratinos, former European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process; Stephen P. Cohen, Founder, Institute for Middle East Peace and Development and National Scholar of the Israel Policy Forum; Joseph Ginat, Professor, Haifa University and Co-Director, Center for Peace Studies, University of Oklahoma; and Dimitri Diliani, Spokesperson and Co-Chair of the International Affairs Committee, People’s Campaign for Peace and Democracy.

Some 25 senior representatives of the media from the Middle East, Europe and other regions of the world will also participate.

Arrangements have been made for simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish throughout the seminar, and Arabic and Hebrew, as needed.

For further information, please contact:  Saleem Fahmawi, Chief, Palestine, Decolonization and Human Rights Section, DPI; tel.:  (212) 963-4353; fax: (212) 963-2218; e-mail:  In Madrid, please contact:  Carlos Jimenez, Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Information Centre, tel.:  (91) 555-8087 or (91) 555-8142.

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