Ceremonies to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People gained added importance this year thanks to UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on November 29 reported that at one such ceremony at the UN headquarters in the Austrian capital government representatives as well as key political and cultural figures delivered speeches on the need to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinians.
The ceremony opened with a message by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon which was read out by Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV), Yury Fedotov.
Reza Najafi, the ambassador and permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna, was one of the speakers there. The following is a partial translation of his address:
Over the past 65 years, the question of Palestine has not been a mere Islamic-Arabic issue; rather it has – over time – turned into one of the most complicated political and legal concerns around the world.
For years, the Palestinian people bore the brunt of injustice, displacement, massacre and occupation. They have been constantly deprived of their rights mainly due to the destructive, colonial policies of the Zionist regime, and their homeland has consequently shrunk by the day.
Iran’s democratic proposal for settling the Palestinian crisis helps achieve the broader goal of sustainable peace [in the occupied territories]. To make that goal attainable, these conditions should be met: administration of justice, an end to discrimination as well as to occupation of all Palestinian lands, resort to democracy to help the entire Palestine decide the fate of their homeland and see their dreams come true, and formation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Quds as its capital.