May 18, 2024

Pope Francis joins more than 250 peacebuilding organizations and supporters in calling on G7 Heads of State to center civil society peacebuilding at the G7 Summit

Pope Francis joins more than 250 peacebuilding organizations and supporters in calling on G7 Heads of State to center civil society peacebuilding at the G7 Summit

On Saturday, May 18, Pope Francis met with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists Maoz Inon and Aziz Abu Sarah. Aziz and Maoz– each of whom have lost family to the ongoing conflict– were invited by the Bishop of the Diocese of Verona to Arena di Pace or “The Arena of Peace”, an event that draws on a long history of promoting peace, dialogue and the role of civil society.

Aziz and Maoz presented His Holiness, Pope Francis, with a letter from the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) to G7 World Leaders, which had been signed by more than 250 civil society organizations. The signatories represented a wide spectrum of peacebuilders and humanitarian causes, from a diverse array of Palestinian organizations, Israeli, international, all working to address different aspects of violent conflict but all adding their names to a unified call. His Holiness signed his name alongside this unprecedented coalition of Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilders, and their global allies. 

The letter calls on the heads of government of each G7 member to commit to the following language in the official communique at June’s G7 Apulia Summit, which it was recently announced that Pope Francis will also now attend:

“We affirm our commitment to working together multilaterally – and with other international partners –  to closely coordinate and institutionalize our support for civil society peacebuilding efforts. Ensuring that such efforts are part of a larger strategy to build the foundations necessary for a negotiated and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

ALLMEP and its membership of over 160 peacebuilding organizations, working to foster a more just, equal, and peaceful reality for all those living  in Palestine and Israel, are now leading a global campaign to highlight the critical role that grassroots movements and organizations play in creating lasting and sustainable peace. As Pope Francis told the 12,000 attendees in Verona, with Maoz and Aziz by his side, “Ask world leaders to listen to your voice, so that agreements are born from reality and not from ideologies.” These 250 NGOs, and now Pope Francis, are calling on world leaders to for the first time, integrate the vital work of Israeli and Palestinian civil society peacebuilders within any diplomatic strategy to address and resolve the conflict.

ALLMEP’s Nivine Sandouka, alongside members Women Wage Peace and Women of the Sun, also addressed the Pope, drawing attention to their Mother’s Call, which Pope Francis also signed from the stage in tandem with the letter to G7 leaders.

As ALLMEP’s Executive Director, John Lyndon, recently wrote, “If a renewed diplomatic process is to succeed where all its predecessors have failed, then it must be very different to what has come before. Civil society must be put at the core of any strategy, rather than at the margins – as an afterthought or absent altogether – as has been the case in every single previous attempt at final status diplomacy.”

The full text of the letter and list of signatories can be found here.



For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact ALLMEP’s Director of Communications, Nick Acosta, at

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