State of Palestine and the Holy See – Participated this Weekend in ‘The People’s United Nations p(UN)’ Event at the Newly Re-Opened Queens Museum
#AceWorldNews says in Queens, New York where the United Nations General Assembly met during the late 1940’s, a Mexican artist is testing his hypothesis that ordinary people, through creative approaches, can find solutions to world problems facing the current world body.
One-hundred-ninety-five New Yorkers who are immigrants from or have family connections to the 193 UN Member States and two observers – State of Palestine and the Holy See – participated this weekend in ‘The People’s United Nations p(UN)’ event at the newly reopened Queens Museum.
“This is a privilege to be asked to be a part of this bold artistic endeavour by Pedro Reyes,” said Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, referring to the artist who created the event and exhibition which will run through March 2014.
Opening the installation event on Saturday, Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal paid tribute to the borough hosting the Museum, calling Queens “a microcosm of the United Nations” with residents from more than 100 different countries speaking at least 138 different languages.
“It is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse places on the planet, a place where people from all backgrounds are able to live side by side,” said the UN’s top communications official.
In 1946, the spot from which he spoke was the meeting place of the UN General Assembly, which gathered at the then-New York City’s Pavilion, until 1950. The diplomats would move across the East River to the now iconic 39-floor UN Headquarters building in Manhattan in 1952.
“It’s a reminder that the UN is connected to its host city in so many ways, and has been for years,” Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal said.
The artist, Mr. Reyes, is hoping to evoke the Organization’s history for the installation, which according to its Facebook, included instruction to delegates such as: ‘Imagine in a perfect world, you open the newspaper and see an ideal headline from your country. Write that headline.’
The “representatives” from Bahamas, Benin, Denmark, and Zimbabwe wrote, “Education on the Go, College on Wheels.” The team which included Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Philippines, Rwanda and Somalia chose: ‘The Philippine Government Partners with the Vatican to Open Free Abortion and Birth Control Clinics.’
“The Sun Welcomes Japanese Nuclear Reactors” and “From year 2130: Remembering Our Nation’s Separation into North and South Korea and Celebrating 50 years of Unity”, were among some other answers.
Over the course of two days, the experimental group used theatre games, group therapy, and techniques from social science to grapple with a set of surprising and provocative proposals as well as real-life problems, according to the Museum website.
“It is precisely the light-hearted spirit of play that allows the participants to engage in subjects whose magnitude would otherwise overwhelm us,” Mr. Reyes is quoted as saying.
Highlighting the parallel activity around him, Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal said he hoped the world leaders took note of the willingness and eagerness with which the delegates engaged with each other “to learn, to play, to argue and to dream together as part of the People’s United Nations.”
Mr. Reyes’ exhibit also includes a series of art work on display for the next four months.
Among them the “Drone Dove”, which merges the form of an unmanned military drone and a dove of peace, as well as the “Colloquium”, a sculpture of delicately interlocking marble panels which, on close inspection, turn out to be blank cartoon speech bubbles communicating without words.
International Day: Marks the Date in 1947 Resolution Partitioning Then-Mandated Palestine into Two States -One Jewish and One Arab
#AcePeaceNews says United Nations officials today voiced their solidarity with the people of Palestine in their aspirations for independence and sovereignty, and stressed the importance of ongoing peace talks aimed at a two-State solution which must be given a chance to bear fruit.
“We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7308“>said in a message read on his behalf to the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“I ask all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity expressed on this occasion into positive action for peace and justice,” he added.
The special meeting held at UN Headquarters comes ahead of the International Day, observed annually on 29 November. The Day marks the date in 1947 when the General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning then-mandated Palestine into two States, one Jewish and one Arab.
“The goal remains clear – an end to the occupation that started in 1967 and the creation of a sovereign, independent, and viable State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace with a secure State of Israel,” Mr. Ban stated.
“Jerusalem is to emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. An agreed solution must be found for millions of Palestinian refugees around the region.”
Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct negotiations in August, thanks to the efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry, following a three-year hiatus owing to Israel’s refusal to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
After decades of talks and “far too many” adverse developments on the ground, Mr. Ban urged Palestinian and Israeli leaders to take the decisions that will usher in a political solution to this serious and long-standing conflict.
The Chair of the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Abdou Salam Diallo, called on the international community to seize “what seems to be one of the last opportunities” to promote a negotiated solution.
“Time is running out. The negotiating process is endangered by certain policies and particularly by the ongoing establishment of Jewish settlements,” he told the meeting.
Later today, Mr. Diallo will introduce several draft resolutions related to the question of Palestine to the General Assembly, which will be asked to, among other things, declare 2014 as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
General Assembly President John Ashe welcomed the Committee’s initiative to have 2014 proclaimed as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and called for using it to redouble efforts to create the necessary environment for successful peace talks.
“Ongoing peace negotiations must be given a chance for peace to take root and flourish, but peace cannot be meaningful and durable without taking fully into account the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which are key to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.”
“I call on the Governments and people of both Israel and Palestine to avoid actions that would undermine the fragile hope created by this renewed round of negotiations, and to cease and desist from any actions that are in contravention to international law and would pose a major impediment to peace in the Middle East and, more importantly, render the two-State solution impossible,” <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/pdf/statements/11252013International_Day_of_Solidarity_with_the_Palestinian_People.pdf“>said Mr. Ashe.
Speaking on behalf of the UN agency responsible for assisting five million Palestinian refugees, Filippo Grandi said that solidarity – which transcends political and financial support – is crucial because it makes Palestinians feel that they are not alone.
Mr. Grandi, the outgoing Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said his organization is “sadly familiar” with this loneliness, given how closely it works with refugees whose plight has remained unresolved for over six decades.
As part of the observance of the International Day, the Palestinian Rights Committee will hold a concert later today featuring two Palestinian singers – Mohammed Assaf, UNRWA Regional Youth Ambassador and Winner of Arab Idol 2013, and Nai Barghouti.
The Committee is also screening the documentary film “State 194,” which focuses on former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s 2009 plan to demonstrate that his people were deserving of statehood, inspiring them to change their destiny and seek UN membership.
New York, Nov 25 2013 2:00PM
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