Press Release: Visit of high profile former European politicians and representatives of civil society organisations
From 22 to 28 August a delegation of former European politicians and representatives of civil society organisations will travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The delegation members have planned a 6-day tour through Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The delegation will observe the developments on the ground and the impact of the disengagement on the human rights situation and the prospects for conflict resolution. Special attention will be paid to infringements on the freedom of movement of the Palestinians.
The delegation will talk to representatives of local NGOs, local academics, and Israeli and Palestinian politicians. At the end of their trip they will present their observations and findings. On August 28th (Sunday), the trip will be concluded with an international press conference in East-Jerusalem.
The delegation members include: Prof. Andreas van Agt, Netherlands: former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, former ambassador for the EU in Tokyo and Washington; Dr. Norbert Blüm, Germany: former Labor and Social Affairs Minister of Germany, working for humanitarian agencies such as Kindernothilfe and Greenhelmets (Gruenhelme); Dr. Rupert Neudeck, Germany: Journalist from 1970 - 1998 in Deutschlandfunk (German Broadcasting), founder of NGO Greenhelmets, former chairman Cap Anamur/German Emergency Doctors; Mr. Michael D. Higgins, Ireland, President of the Labour Party, Former Labour Party Spokesperson on European and International Affairs, member of Committee on Foreign Affairs, spokesperson on Foreign Affairs for the Labour Party; Mr. Lucien Champenois, France: former French diplomat, specialist on Arab world, development and religious affairs, advisor to Foreign Ministry for religious affairs between 1992 and 1998; Dr. Hajo G. Meyer - and his wife, Mrs. Christiane Tilanus -, Netherlands, Shoah survivor (Auschwitz), publicist, essay-writer and former manager Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Mr. Jan van der Kolk, Netherlands: board member of Dutch development organisation ICCO, formerly with WHO, OECD and UNEP. Mr. Berend Smoes, Netherlands: businessman, founder of International Forum for Justice and Peace. Biographies of all the members of the mission can be found in the previous post (see below)
The experiences of the delegation members can be followed on the English language WebLog: http://euromission.blogspot.com
The delegation is headed by Prof. Andreas van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and currently the chairman of the International Advisory Council of the International Forum for Justice and Peace.
The mission is organised and led by the Dutch NGO United Civilians for Peace (UCP). United Civilians for Peace is a cooperative effort of Dutch peace- and development organisations (Novib, ICCO, Cordaid, Kerkinactie, Pax Christi and IKV) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. UCP is working for a peaceful solution of the conflict with peace and security for both peoples on the basis of international law and the relevant UN resolutions.
The mission is organised in cooperation with the International Forum for Justice and Peace, a Dutch Foundation promoting peace in the Middle East.