Peace in the Middle East has eluded the world for well over half a century. The Committee began life in 1987, when its work was focused on tracking and supporting the peace process between Israel and Palestine, and has now expanded its scope to cover peace, security and dialogue throughout the region.
Discussion across the political divide remains key to all our work, and was one of our founding principles back in 1889. Bringing these principles to bear on the Middle East situation can, we believe, yield real results in the midst of bitter conflict.
The Committee undertakes missions to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, as well as to neighboring countries, to promote dialogue and strengthen ties between parliamentarians there. It takes stock of the current situation, including the economic and humanitarian impacts of the conflict. The Committee works to identify and establish common ground on shared issues in order to build trust between the parties and to move forward.
The Committee submits written reports to our Governing Council. It may also express a political position on the situation for the Council’s endorsement.
It meets in camera at each of our twice-yearly Assemblies, and can also convene additional dialogue sessions. The Committee has 12 members with a special interest in or expertise in the Middle East, elected by the Governing Council for four years. Israel and Palestine are ex-officio members of the Committee.