16-18 November 1989, Sala Alessi, Palazzo Marino, Milan
Closing conference: Aula Magna, University of Milan
This conference was the first of a series of three conferences marking the foundation of CIPMO and the start of its activities. More than sixty speakers from the Middle East, the USA, the Soviet Union and Europe took part in it. Some of the most important members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) met on that occasion for the first time, even though such meetings were prohibited under Israeli law at that time. This had a tremendous impact on public opinion and the media. The opening speech of the conference was delivered by the Noble Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini, whereas the conclusive speech was delivered by Giorgio Napolitano, former President of the Italian Republic.
The vast majority of the members of the Palestinian delegation that took part in the Washington Agreements had participated into this meeting in Milan. Among the numerous personalities that attended the event there were, for the Israeli side, Shulamit Aloni, Aryeh Lova Eliav, and Abba Eban (via video message); for the Palestinian side there were Yasser Abed Rabbo, member of the PLO executive board, and the late Faisal el-Husseini, well-known leader of the intifada who recently died and who led a group of delegates from the occupied territories, among which there were Hana Ashrawi and Saeb Erekat. Egypt’s representative was Tachim Bachir, while the US delegates were Richard Murphy (via video message) and Henry Siegman, then director of the Jewish American Congress. The Italian personalities who attended the meeting were, among others, Giorgio Napolitano, Margherita Boniver, Luigi Granelli and Virginio Rognoni.
During the meeting, the discussion focussed on sensitive issues such as terrorism, the liability for the occupation, and the issue of Jerusalem.
The conference was organized thanks to the support of the Region of Lombardy, the Municipality of Milan and the Province of Milan, with the patronage and the contribution of the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.