Press Releases

         10 June 2005

    UN Information Department to Host Media Seminar in Cairo on Question of Middle East Peace, 13 - 14 June

    Focus to Be on Role of International, Regional Actors in Facilitating Peace in Region

    NEW YORK, 9 June (UN Headquarters) -- At a time of heightened opportunity for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict, the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, is organizing an International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East in Cairo, Egypt, on 13-14 June.

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will convey a message to the participants, which will be delivered by Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.  Mr. Tharoor will also moderate the seminar.

    The seminar will be inaugurated by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.  Alvaro de Soto, the newly appointed 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 National Authority, will deliver a keynote address.

    Among the international experts on the Middle East attending the seminar will be Ghassan Al-Khatib, Minister of Planning, Palestinian National Authority; Amin Al-Hindi, Adviser to the President of the Palestinian National Authority; Shulamit Aloni and Yossi Katz, both former Members of the Knesset in Israel; Ilan Pappe, Senior Lecturer at Haifa University in Israel; Aaron David Miller, President of Seeds of Peace and adviser to the past six United States Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations; Chinmaya Gharekhan, Special Envoy of India for West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process; Bernardino Leon Gross, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Spain; and Clayton Swisher, Director of Programmes at the Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.

    Also expected to take part in the discussions are some 25 senior representatives of the media from the Middle East, Europe and other regions of the world.

    Under the overall theme "Reinvigorating the Peace Process:  The Role of International and Regional Actors in Facilitating a Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East”, the seminar will provide a forum for media representatives and international experts to present their perspectives on international and regional involvement in pursuing a peaceful solution to the conflict and the prospects for peace in the region, and to discuss the role of the media in preventing or exacerbating the conflict.

    The international media seminar, the thirteenth in a series launched in 1991 by DPI, is taking place in response to General Assembly resolution 59/30, which mandates the Department of Public Information to organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming, in particular, at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine.  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), Madrid (1999), Paris (2001), Copenhagen (2002), Seville (2003) and Beijing (2004).

    For further information on the seminar, please contact the Palestine, Decolonization and Human Rights Section, Department of Public Information, United Nations, tel.: 212-963-4353, and the United Nations Information Centre in Cairo, Egypt, tel. (20-2) 790-0022.

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