tisdag 4 oktober 2011

Partner for Democracy status with Palestinian

My Statement on Request for partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly submitted by the Palestinian National Council

Dear colleagues,

I congratulate Mr Cox on his excellent report and I fully support the proposal that the Palestinian National Authority be granted the status of Partner for Democracy.

Women’s rights are one of the pillars of our organisations and therefore one of the core aspects of the procedure to grant the Status. In the Palestinian territories, much is still to be done in this area. Palestinian women face a number of challenges, stemming both from their culture and tradition, and from the Israeli occupation.

Shortcomings regarding the situation of women are rife in the law in force in the Territories: family law, succession law, political representation. Violence against women, which represents a severe violation of women’s rights, is also widespread.
However, the Palestinian National Authority appears to be seriously committed to reforms. We had an opportunity to meet and hear Ms Rahiba Hamdan, Minister for Women’s Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority. She presented the work that her government has undertaken to tackle gender inequalities still existing in the territories. The Gender Cross Sectoral Country Strategy, as well as the National Strategic Plan to combat violence against women, which is meant to cover the period 2011 – 2019, are also considerable achievements.

The Palestinian National Authority has signed unilaterally the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) which is also a political gesture of remarkable importance.

Women are affected by the conflict disproportionately, but they are also playing a prominent role in peace building. They are active in civil society on both sides, and in some cases they have been capable of taking joint initiatives regardless of the borders that separate them. I wish to mention for example two women, Naomi Chazan and Sumaya Farhat-Naser, who launched a partnership between Palestinian and Israeli women’s organisations during the first Intifada. This special partnership is called Jerusalem Link. The two partner organisations carry out initiatives separately, to address the needs of women on either side, but they also run various joint peace-building projects.
The Palestinians need to continue their reforms and consolidate democratic institutions, as Mr Cox rightly states. Within those institutions, as well as in society, women must be given the place they are entitled to, on the basis of the principle of equality that we are here to promote.

The status of Partnership for Democracy will be one more instrument in the hands of the leaders of the Palestinian authorities to progress in this direction.

Thank you / CH

"Request for Partner for Democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly
submitted by the Palestinian National Council (Doc. 12711)

Rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee: Mr Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL)

Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (for opinion) (Doc. ):
Ms Özlem Türköne (Turkey, EPP/CD)

Rapporteur of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (for opinion)
(Doc. ): Ms Carina Hägg (Sweden, SOC)

Debate and vote on a draft resolution

Statement by Mr Salim Al-Za'noon, Speaker of the Palestinian National Council"

(Du finner hela dok på COEs hemsida)