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UN General Assembly Resolutions:
Resolution 54/22

(November 10, 1999)


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The General Assembly,

Recalling the fact that the Palestinian city of Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus Christ and one of the most historic and significant sites on earth,

Noting that the world will celebrate in Bethlehem, a city of peace, the onset of the new millennium in a global vision of hope for all peoples,

Stressing the monumental importance of the event for the Palestinian people, for the peoples of the region and for the international community as a whole, as it comprises significant religious, historical and cultural dimensions,

Aware of the Bethlehem 2000 project as a multifaceted undertaking for commemoration of the event, which will begin at Christmas, 1999, and conclude at Easter, 2001,

Aware also of the needed assistance with regard to the above-mentioned project, and expressing appreciation for the steps taken towards increasing the engagement and participation of the international community, including donor countries, and organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, as well as the European Commission, religious institutions and others,

Welcoming the convening of the Bethlehem 2000 International Conference in Rome, on 18 and 19 February 1999, and the participation of many high-level individuals and institutions from governmental, religious, intergovernmental, academic, cultural, non-governmental and private sectors in that important Conference,

Expressing the need for immediate change in the situation on the ground in the vicinity of Bethlehem, especially with regard to ensuring freedom of movement,

Stressing the need for ensuring free and unhindered access to the holy places in Bethlehem to the faithful of all religions and the citizens of all nationalities,

Expressing the hope for rapid progress in the Middle East peace process and the achievement of the final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides by September 2000, as agreed by the parties, so that the millennium may be celebrated most appropriately in an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation,

1. Welcomes the impending arrival of this global, historic celebration in Bethlehem of the birth of Jesus Christ and the onset of the third millennium as a symbol of the shared hope for peace among all peoples of the world;

2. Expresses support for the Bethlehem 2000 project and commends the efforts undertaken by the Palestinian Authority in this regard;

3. Notes with appreciation the assistance given by the international community in support of the Bethlehem 2000 project, and calls for the acceleration of assistance and engagement by the international community as a whole, including private sector participation, to ensure the success of the Bethlehem 2000 project and the fruition of this monumental commemoration;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to mobilize the pertinent organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to increase their efforts to ensure the success of the Bethlehem 2000 project;

5. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session the item entitled "Bethlehem 2000" so that the General Assembly may have a renewed opportunity to reaffirm its further support for the project until the commemoration comes to a close at Easter, 2001.

51st plenary meeting
10 November 1999


Sources: The United Nations

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