Pretoria – This year’s commemoration took place at a significant period. A mere four hours after the conclusion of the ceremony in Pretoria, Palestine became a Non-Member Observer State at the UN through a General Assembly vote.
For the past 15 years, UNIC has partnered with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Embassy of Palestine to host the commemoration which this year took place at the Groenkloof Auditorium of the University of Pretoria.
A documentary, titled “Jerusalem: The East Side Story”, was screened to an audience of nearly 200 from civil society, the diplomatic corps, academia and government. The film depicted personal accounts of those who live in the divided city of Jerusalem and included interviews with ordinary people and policy makers.
In her welcome address on behalf of the University, programme director, Professor Sandy Africa of the Department of Political Studies, paid tribute to the Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Ali Halimeh, who had passed away recently.
UNIC Officer-in-Charge, Helene Hoedl, delivered the message of the Secretary-General which was a clarion call to action on all parties in the Palestinian conflict to make peace a reality.
A message on behalf of the Government of South Africa was delivered by Mr. Obed Bapela, Deputy Minister in the Presidency and Mr. Basam El-Husseiny, Charge d Áffaires at the Embassy of Palestine, delivered a message on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
UNIC printed and disseminated posters and post-cards on the Palestinian issue.