Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/INF/358
    18 March 2010

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People
    to be held in Vienna 24-25 March,
    to be followed by Civil Society Meeting on 26 March

    The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will convene the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People on 24 and 25 March 2010, as well as the United Nations Meeting of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People on 26 March 2010, both at the United Nations Office at Vienna

    VIENNA, 18 March (UN Information Service) - Under the theme "Building institutions and moving forward with establishing the State of Palestine", the goal of the Seminar is to raise the profile of and garner support for the Programme of the Palestinian Authority "Palestine: Ending the occupation, establishing the State". The Seminar will also assess the current socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; discuss the urgency of bringing relief and reconstruction to the Gaza Strip; consider approaches to advancing the Palestinian State-building agenda; and look into ways of mobilizing broad international assistance in support of the Palestinian economy and alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people.

    A press conference is scheduled for 13:00 on Thursday, 25 March in the M-building press briefing room (MOE71A). Additional information will be sent out later. Interested journalists will also have the opportunity to arrange individual interviews with members of the Committee's delegation and participating speakers.

    All media wishing to attend the Seminar, Civil Society event or the Press Conference need to register by filling in the form attached and returning it by email to dpr-meeting@un.org by Monday, 22 March.

    Programme for the Seminar, Board Room B, M-building, Vienna International Centre

    Wednesday, 24 March

    10:00-13:00: Opening Session

    Statements by a representative of the Host Government, Austria, a representative of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and a representative of Palestine.

    Keynote address: "The Programme of the Palestinian Authority 'Palestine: Ending the occupation, establishing the State'" by a Minister of the Palestinian Authority

    15:00-18:00: Plenary I: "The current socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory"

    Speakers include:

    Maxwell Gaylard, Deputy United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jerusalem

    Abdelfattah Abu-Shokor, Chairman, Economics Department, An-Najah University, Nablus

    Tarik Alami, Chief, Emerging and Conflict Related Issues Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Beirut

    Mahmoud Elkhafif, Coordinator, Assistance to the Palestinian People, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva

    The sub-themes of the session are: "The socio-economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem"; "The urgency of bringing relief and reconstruction to the Gaza Strip: Palestinian National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza"; and "The United Nations Secretary-General's initiative for Gaza".

    Thursday, 25 March

    10:00-13:00: Plenary II: "Looking to the future: Advancing the Palestinian State-building agenda"

    Speakers include:

    Mahmoud Eljafari, Dean and Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics, and Business, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem

    Suhair Azzouni, Member of the Advisory Board, Gender Consultative Council of the Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank, Paris

    Ali Al-Jarbawi, Minister of Planning and Administrative Development, Palestinian Authority, Ramallah

    Geoff Prewitt, Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People Team Leader and Institution Development Focal Point, United Nations Development Programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jerusalem

    Husam Zomlot, Research Fellow, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge

    Mohammed Samhouri, Economist, Former Senior Economic Adviser, Palestinian Authority, Cairo

    Yousef Daoud, Member of the Faculty of Economics, Birzeit University, Birzeit.

    It will focus on: "Ensuring economic independence and sustainable growth through responsible governance and the development of domestic capacities and resources"; "The priority of developing Palestinian Authority institutions"; and "Laying the foundation for a competent, efficient and effective public sector".

    15:00-17:30: Plenary III: "International assistance in support of the Palestinian economy"

    Speakers include:

    Matthias Burchard, Head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Representative Office, Geneva

    Takeshi Naruse, Senior Advisor on the Middle East and Peacebuilding, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo

    Ghania Malhis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS), Ramallah.

    The sub-themes of the session will be: "The role of the United Nations system in mobilizing and coordinating international assistance to the Palestinian people"; "Support by the international donor community"; and "The role of regional economic partners".

    17:30-18:00: Closing session addressed by representatives of Palestine and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

    All sessions of the Seminar will be held in Room M-BR-M and will be open to the media. Arabic, English, French and Spanish will be the official languages.

    Friday, 26 March

    United Nations Meeting of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People, Room M3, M-building, VIC

    10:00: Opening statements by representatives of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and of Palestine

    10:30-13:00: Morning session: "Civil society actions against the separation wall in the Occupied West Bank."

    Speakers include:

    Ray Dolphin, Humanitarian Affairs Officer and Barrier Expert, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Jerusalem

    Mohammed Khatib, Coordinator, Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall, West Bank

    Jonathan Pollak, Media Coordinator, Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, Tel Aviv

    Said Yaqin Dawoud, Coordinator, Palestinian National Committee against the Wall, Lecturer, Al-Quds Open University, Jerusalem

    Lubna Masarwa, Community Organizer, Coordinator, Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem

    It will feature the following sub-themes: "The situation with regard to the construction of the wall - an update"; "The role of civil society in raising public awareness about the effects of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory"; and "Current civil society activities".

    15:00-17:30: Afternoon session: "The importance of upholding international law, including with respect to the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion regarding the wall"

    Speakers include:

    Wesam Ahmad, Advocacy Officer, Al-Haq -- Law in the Service of Man, Ramallah

    Jamal Zakout, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Media and Civil Society Affairs, Palestinian Authority, Ramallah

    Phil Shiner, Supervisor, Public Interest Lawyers, Birmingham, United Kingdom

    Rabab Khairy, Programme Coordinator, National Centre for Cooperation and Development (CNCD-11.11.11), Brussels

    The sub-themes will be: "Political and legislative advocacy -- reaching decision-makers and politicians" and "Participation in international campaigns against the wall".

    17:30-18:00: Closing session with remarks by representatives of Palestine and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

    All sessions of the Meeting of Civil Society will be open to the media. Arabic and English will be the official languages.

    * *** *

    For further information contact:

    Anne Thomas
    Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
    Mobile: (+43) 699 1459-5588
    Email: anne.thomas@unvienna.org

    The Secretariat (from Monday 22 March)
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4663/4
    Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5833
    Email: dpr-meeting@un.org