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Homepage > Publication Type > Statements > Global Leaders Support New Israeli-Palestinian Peace Initiatives

Global Leaders Support New Israeli-Palestinian Peace Initiatives

Brussels  |   3 Dec 2003

A Statement of Support To Israelis and Palestinians 

On the occasion of the signing today of the “Geneva Initiative” – a blueprint for peace negotiated by teams of Israelis and Palestinians led by former ministers Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo – we express our strong support both for this and the “People’s Voice” petition initiated by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken far too great a toll already. Both peoples have paid dearly in lives and livelihood in a war which both are losing. Every passing day undermines the prospects for a peaceful, two-state solution. As long as the conflict endures, it will be a source of instability and violence for the region and the international community as a whole.

We believe that the best way to move forward is to address at the outset, not at the end of an incremental process, all the basic principles of a fair and lasting solution. Postponing the final outcome makes any progress hostage to extremists on both sides. A process must be devised to give practical and political expression to the heartfelt desire of clear majorities on both sides to end this conflict once and for all.

The Geneva and People’s Voice initiatives both reflect that public opinion, and can help give it new momentum. On the Israeli side, they can help undo the myths taking hold since the collapse of the peace process and onset of violence: that the Palestinian people are not prepared to accept a two state solution and Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. On the Palestinian side, they can offer an alternative to the current mindset that sees in violence the only possible means of ending the occupation. They send a powerful signal that an alternative to the current situation exists. They have the potential to transform the domestic political dynamics on both sides.

International support will be crucial to translate these endeavors into a concrete mechanism to bring about a lasting peace. The international players most relevant for this purpose – the U.S., E.U., Russia, UN ‘Quartet’, and the members of the Arab League – should wholeheartedly back these initiatives. They should urge both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to be guided by the outcomes most of their peoples want. And they should make clear their own willingness to lend all the political, economic and military support needed to help implement a comprehensive peace agreement.

The Israeli and Palestinian peoples, by making clear their belief in the Geneva and People’s Voice initiatives, can help turn the principles embodied in them into reality. You can count on our support in this endeavor.

Martti Ahtisaari
Former President, Finland
José María Figueres
Former President, Costa Rica
Fidel V Ramos
Former President, Philippines
Ali Alatas
Former Foreign Minister, Indonesia
Malcolm Fraser
Former Prime Minister, Australia
Jerry John Rawlings
Former President, Ghana
George Alleyne
Former Director, Pan American Health Organization
Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Former Foreign Minister, Germany
Mary Robinson
Former President, Ireland
Oscar Arias Sánchez
Former President, Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Prize 1987
Bronisław Geremek
Former Foreign Minister, Poland
Michel Rocard
Former Prime Minister, France
Lloyd Axworthy
Former Foreign Minister, Canada
Mikhail S Gorbachev
Former President, Soviet Union, Nobel Peace Prize 1990
Nafis Sadik
Former Executive Director, UN Population Fund
Alexander Bessmertnykh
Former Foreign Minister, Soviet Union
I K Gujral
Former Prime Minister, India
Salim Ahmed Salim
Former Prime Minister, Tanzania, and Secretary-General OAU
Carl Bildt
Former Prime Minister, Sweden
Bob Hawke
Former Prime Minister, Australia
Cornelio Sommaruga
Former President, International Committee of the Red Cross
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Former UN Secretary-General
Bill Hayden
Former Governor-General and Foreign Minister, Australia
Kalevi Sorsa
Former Prime Minister, Finland
Lakhdar Brahimi
Former Foreign Minister, Algeria
Raffi K Hovannisian
Former Foreign Minister, Armenia
Eduardo Stein
Former Foreign Minister, Guatemala
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Former President, Brazil
F W de Klerk
Former President, South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize 1993
Pär Stenbäck
Former Foreign Minister, Finland
Ingvar Carlsson
Former Prime Minister, Sweden
Wim Kok
Former Prime Minister, Netherlands
Max van der Stoel
Former Foreign Minister, Netherlands
Lord Carrington
Former Foreign and Defence Secretary, UK and NATO Secretary-General
Masahiko Komura
Former Foreign Minister, Japan
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Former Foreign Minister, Norway
Jorge Castañeda
Former Foreign Minister, Mexico
Budimir Lončar
Former Foreign Minister, Yugoslavia
Hanna Suchocka
Former Prime Minister, Poland
Claude Cheysson
Former Foreign Minister, France
Barbara McDougall
Former External Affairs Secretary, Canada
Alex Sceberras Trigona
Former Foreign Minister, Malta
Jacques Delors
Former President, European Commission
Gianni de Michelis
Former Foreign Minister, Italy
George Vassiliou
Former President, Cyprus
Jiří Dienstbier
Former Foreign Minister, Czechoslovakia
Boyko Noev
Former Defence Minister, Bulgaria
Hubert Védrine
Former Foreign Minister, France
Ruth Dreifuss
Former President, Switzerland
Sadako Ogata
Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Franz Vranitzky
Former Federal Chancellor, Austria
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Former Foreign Minister
Lord Owen
Former Foreign Secretary, UK
Ernesto Zedillo
Former President, Mexico
Gareth Evans
Former Foreign Minister, Australia
Surin Pitsuwan
Former Foreign Minister, Thailand
Mark Eyskens
Former Foreign and Prime Minister, Belgium
Augusto Ramírez-Ocampo
Former Foreign Minister, Colombia

1 December 2003

Signatures subsequently received:

Abdou Diouf
Former President of Senegal

Vahit M Halefoğlu
Former Foreign Minister of Turkey

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