A bevy of high-level speakers will take the stage at the United Nations in New York City on Thursday morning, including the U.N. secretary general, the president of the Security Council and a founding member of the British rock band Pink Floyd.

Though they’ll be addressing the issue of Palestinian sovereignty, these speeches are separate from the pivotal U.N. vote on non-member statehood for the territories – that comes later in the afternoon.  Instead, the dignitaries are participating in an annual ceremony to commemorate the official partition of Israel and the Palestinian territories that occurred on this day, decades ago.

On Nov. 29, 1947, just after the Holocaust, the United Nations voted to establish the independent state of Israel in the Middle East. Conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as Palestinian supporters in the Arab world, has not abated since, erupting again this month into a clash that cost the lives of more than 150 people.

Following a series of U.N. resolutions during the 1970s, it was decided that Nov. 29 would be recognized annually in the form of an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Below is a schedule of the morning addresses, as posted on the United Nations website.

The main event comes later this afternoon, when the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a resolution to upgrade the status of the Palestinian territories from an observer to a non-member state, a largely symbolic move that is expected to pass.

The resolution is spearheaded by Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian National Authority, which controls the Palestinian West Bank. Israel and the United States stand staunchly opposed to the measure, but supporters are likely to include such heavyweights as Russia, China, France and India.


29 November 2012       Conference Room 4 – NLB    10.00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1. H.E. Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo

Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the  Palestinian People (Permanent Representative of the Republic of Senegal to the  United Nations)

2. H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić

President of the General Assembly 

3. H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations

4. H.E. Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri

President of the Security Council (Permanent Representative of India to the  United Nations)

5. Representative of Palestine 


6. H.E. Mr. Palitha T.B. Kohona

Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Permanent Representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations)

7. H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee

Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, reading out a message from His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries

8. H.E. Mr. Roble Olhaye

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations, reading out  a message from H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti and Chairman of the Thirty-ninth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation