Geneva initiative given a second wind

Switzerland has reaffirmed its commitment to proposing solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, eight years after the launch of the Geneva initiative.

This content was published on November 22, 2011 - 18:31 and agencies

“Eight years have not been enough to convince leaders that peace is not only desirable but also achievable. We are counting today on a new generation to drive the peace effort forward,” Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey told delegates at a conference in Geneva.

The conference was arranged to review the achievements of the Geneva Initiative and analyse its potential in the light of current developments in the Near and Middle East, the foreign ministry said.

The Geneva Initiative was drafted jointly by Israelis and Palestinians from civil society with the aim of resolving the conflict between the two peoples peacefully and on the basis of fair negotiations.

It is a detailed document setting out the terms of a workable peace agreement. An annex covering security issues was published in 2009, followed by an annex on the refugee question last summer.

In her welcoming address to the 30 Israeli and Palestinian delegates, Calmy-Rey spoke of “Geneva Initiative 2.0”.

“We remain committed to ensuring that solutions are proposed, debated, and ultimately implemented,” she said, citing the powerful signal of the political change sweeping through the region this year.

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