The International Federation of Social Workers calls upon its member organisations to take up the call for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and a return to negotiations for peace.
The IFSW recognises that the situation in the Middle East has a very long and complex history. However we cannot condone acts of violence by suicide bombers or by an overwhelming military response. Once again we are witnessing a denial of human rights on both sides and actions which will have an immediate and long lasting effect on both the Palestinian and Israeli communities.
We note that the IFSW rejects acts of terrorism. However the IFSW urges governments to look at the circumstances which have led to the birth of extremist views and their violent consequences.
We ask our member organisations to petition their governments to encourage;
A return to the table by both the Palestinians and Israelis
An immediate cessation of hostilities
To facilitate appropriate humanitarian aid
A commitment to the implementation of the agreed Peace Plan
Our compassion and support are extended to our Israeli and Palestinian colleagues as they grapple with the personal and professional difficulties of the current situation.
Sydney/Berne, 8 April 2002
Imelda Dodds, IFSW President
Tom Johannesen, IFSW Secretary General