Petition by Maltese Civil Society Urges Immediate Intervention by the UN in Palestine

A number of Maltese NGOs and other organisations have written to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to call for decisive, immediate and impartial international intervention in Palestine by the UN. The petition also urges the two sides to resume negotiations on a political settlement to the conflict in the region with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognised borders.  

 

The petition was drafted by four local NGOs: Inizjamed, Third World Group, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, and Kopin, and was first presented in public during the activities organised by the Parliamentary Secretariat in the Ministry of Education to commemorate World Youth Day held in Valletta.

H.E. Prof. Guido De Marco, President of the Republic, was presented with fair-traded Palestinian couscous as a symbolic gesture auguring that the future in the Middle East is characterized by prosperity and cultural exchange rather than conflict. This “couscous” is imported by the local fair trade cooperative Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust which runs the world shop L-Arka in St Paul’s Str, Valletta, which is run by volunteers.

The organisations that have signed also include Alternattiva Demokratika, Ceratonia Foundation; Moviment Graffiti, Poezijaplus, Għaqda Letterarja Maltija, General Workers Union, GLUE (Global Liberation and Unity on Earth), Bridging the Gap (Malta), Ċentru Fidi u Ġustizzja, Azzjoni Pożittiva, ŻAK Żabbar, Dar it-Tama, Peace Laboratory, Akkademja tal-Malti, Group for Human Encounter, L-Għaqda tal-Malti (L-Università.); and Pulse.  

Some of the individuals who signed the petition were, Dr. Arnold Cassola, Secretary General of the European Federation of Green Parties; The Hon. Dr. Alfred Sant, Leader of the Opposition (MLP); The Hon. Dr. Laurence Gonzi, Deputy Prime Minister (PN);  Dr. Harry Vassallo (AD-The Green Party); The Hon. Jesmond Mugliett, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education (PN) The Hon. Carmelo Abela (MLP); Mr. John Demanuele (Director Youth and Sport); Mr. Mario Cutajar (Deputy Secretary General, General Workers Union); Mr. Karmenu Vella and Ms. Josephine Attard Sultana (GWU); writers Rena Balzan, Ġorġ Peresso and Victor Fenech; environmentalist Prof. E.A. Mallia; journalists Gillian Bartolo and Joe Mifsud; anthropologist Dr. Paul Clough; and psychologist Prof. Fr. Alfred Darmanin SJ.  

In a statement he made during the presentation, Prof. Guido Demarco highlighted the "enormous suffering" of the Palestinian people and the importance of this initiative by local NGOs. The President also spoke about the suffering that this conflict has brought on many Israelis and he expressed the hope that the conflict will be resolved as soon as possible for the good of all those involved.

The petition addressed to Mr. Kofi Annan is as follows: 

“We, the undersigned, representing Maltese NGOs and other organisations, call upon the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to deploy emergency intervention forces to impose an immediate cease-fire, and to separate Israeli and Palestinian forces. The international community is duty-bound to take immediate action to stop the bloodshed and the widening circle of violence and revenge.

We are aware that no intervention can have a lasting effect without a clear political plan of action, and therefore we urge the UN to convene an international conference to discuss the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions, including the withdrawal of the Israeli forces to the 4th of June 1967 borders, the management of the Holy places, the just solution of the refugees question and the establishment of a fully independent Palestinian State with it's capital in East Jerusalem.

Like many people in both Israel and Palestine, we believe that true and just peace can only be achieved between equals, a Palestinian state in the territories occupied in 1967 alongside the state of Israel. Only then will people live in security and dignity.

 

We urge you to intervene immediately.”

 


 

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