UNA-UK Chairman calls on US and EU to re-calibrate position on Israel-Palestine
In an open letter published on 10 June, 24 former heads of goverment, ministers and peace negotiators, including UNA-UK Chairman Sir Jeremy Greenstock, called on the European Union and United States to re-calibrate their policies on Israel-Palestine, including by making recognition of Israel a goal rather than a pre-condition of engagement.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague responded on 20 June, expressing hope that the announcement of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will advance the peace process, and saying that negotiations should be guided by clear parameters, such as those set out by US President Obama, which included an agreement on borders based on 1967 lines.
The UN General Assembly has appointed Ban Ki-moon to a second term as Secretary-General, to run from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016. Mr Ban’s re-appointment had previously been recommended by members of the UN Security Council.
After taking his oath of office, Mr Ban pledged to be a ‘harmoniser and bridge-builder’, saying ‘we live in an era of integration and inter-connection, a new era when no country can solve all challenges on its own and where every country should be part of the solution. That is the reality of the modern world. We can struggle with it, or we can lead’.
At present, some 44 million children, women and men have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Many of them are fleeing conflict and instability in countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Sudan. But increasingly, people are also forced to leave as a result of climate change, environmental degradation and extreme poverty.
UNA-UK’s 2011 policy-making conference took place on 18 June at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff. Some 130 members from around the country participated, debating pressing issues on the UN’s agenda and discussing what action UNA-UK could take to further the UN’s goals in the UK.
Members also heard from UNA-UK Chairman Sir Jeremy Greenstock and Executive Director Phil Mulligan, who presented a draft of UNA-UK’s new four-year strategic plan. The outcomes of the policy debates will be posted on the UNA-UK website shortly.
Call for articles! The next issue of UNA-UK’s magazine will focus on peace and security. What do you think is the most pressing threat we face? Send 500 words by 22 July to the Editor on firstname.lastname@example.org
UNA-UK is calling on its members and supporters to take action for refugees by participating in Refugee Week’s Simple Acts campaign. We believe that if all our supporters commit to just one of these simple acts, it will go a long way towards challenging the stereotypes of refugees that persist in the UK.
UN Women update
In May we asked our supporters to urge the UK government to prioritise funding for UN Women and support this new UN agency’s vital work.
Thank you to all those who took action for UN Women via our website. We are pleased to inform you that we have received an encouraging response from the Department for International Development (DFID), which is due to announce its funding commitment shortly.
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