Poly Professor Promotes Grass-roots Initiatives at United Nations Seminar on Middle East Peace

The commitment of Poly professors extends way beyond the classroom, as Professor Ilan Juran's recent trip to Moscow demonstrates. On June 8 and 9, 2006, Professor Juran of the Department of Civil Engineering participated in the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information in cooperation with the Russian Foreign Ministry. The theme of the event was “New Challenges in the Middle East Peace Process and Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue.”

In addition to teaching courses on geotechnical and urban systems engineering, Dr. Juran serves as the Executive Director of the Urban Infrastructure Institute at Polytechnic. The UN invited Professor Juran to share his expertise with policymakers, senior UN officials, international media experts, eminent personalities, and representatives of the academic community who attend this annual seminar. Professor Juran served on a panel in which participants presented their perspectives on how intercommunity cooperation in educational, scientific and professional training initiatives could support local capacity-building for economic and social development. Stressing three priorities — education, employment and water, Dr. Juran called on the international community to support future grass-roots projects developed by Palestinians and Israelis to serve local needs. To make that a reality he hoped that an international steering committee would be established to organize and coordinate such joint initiatives.

For more information on the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, visit the United Nations Information Service website.