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Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 March 2014
CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIVISION FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has a mandate from the United Nations General Assembly “to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations”. Implementing this mandate, a network of more than 1,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) from all regions of the world, active on the question of Palestine, has been established over the years. National, regional and international CSOs, organizations involved in political and humanitarian work, promoting human rights or economic and social development, solidarity-, charity- or action-oriented groups, women’s and youth organizations, faith-based groups, academic institutions, trade unions and professional associations, and organizations that focus on children, refugees and detainees, are all part of the network. On 30 July 2013, to respond to growing needs and give a new impetus to its cooperation with civil society, the Committee reactivated its Working Group so as to strengthen this key area of work.
How to join the Committee’s network of civil society partners
To join the Committee’s network of CSOs on the question of Palestine, groups need to become accredited to the Committee. The accreditation criteria are as follows:
“The civil society organization should:
“(a) be a recognized local, national or international non-profit organization;
“(b) support the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law and the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily its right to self-determination;
“(c) have demonstrated that it has concrete programmes or the serious intent to establish such programmes in support of the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
“Organizations whose mandates preclude advocacy but whose work encompasses humanitarian ends and programmes, including development, benefiting the Palestinian people, are welcome to participate.”
Interested CSOs are requested to submit an application form (available at:
) to the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat, which will submit it for approval to the Committee after review by the Working Group.
Organizations that, for one reason or another, feel they cannot subscribe to the accreditation criteria, but have expressed interest in the activities of the Committee, can request to be recognized as observers.
The benefits and responsibilities associated with membership
Accredited CSOs will be invited to attend all relevant international meetings and conferences held under the auspices of the Committee and participate in the discussions and to make statements, either orally or in written form. They may submit reports, written statements and other relevant documents for circulation among Committee Members and Observers. They will have the opportunity to display, after prior screening by the Secretariat, their own publications at such meetings. Accredited CSOs are also invited to make suggestions regarding the preparation and conduct of civil society events held under the auspices of the Committee or organized by its Working Group.
The international meetings can be used by CSOs as a platform to discuss their own initiatives, campaigns, views and ideas. They can network with each other, in order to coordinate initiatives, and meet representatives of Governments and intergovernmental organizations. They can attend panel discussions, where experts from around the world, including the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, provide information and analyses on their own work, as well as on current political, and other humanitarian developments.
The reports of the international meetings and conferences are issued as publications of the Division. They are widely disseminated, not only to the network of accredited civil society organizations, but also to Governments, intergovernmental and United Nations system entities, experts who have participated in these events and others interested in the issue. They are also posted on the “Question of Palestine” website administered by the Division.
To complement the international meetings, the Division developed a new on-line tool entitled
UN Platform for Palestine
), which aims at assisting CSOs’ coordination efforts and at maximising their impact on the ground. The platform’s ultimate goal is to provide CSOs with an interactive interface that will allow them to build their own e-network and create/share their information.
Whenever appropriate, Members of the Committee, its Working Group and/or staff of the Division will consult with accredited civil society organizations on issues related to the question of Palestine. Civil society organizations will also receive all publications issued by the Division and other relevant information material.
Accredited CSOs have the responsibility to support the work and objectives of the Committee and to respect the Committee’s mandate as defined by United Nations General Assembly resolutions. All organizations, including observer CSOs, shall respect the United Nations rules of procedure, as well as the guidelines, procedures and practice established by the Committee. Finally, all accredited CSOs shall provide regular feedback to the Working Group (through the Division) on their planned and accomplished activities; and submit to the Working Group once every four years a formal report detailing their activities on the question of Palestine.
The Committee’s online identity
Our civil society websites
(UN Platform for Palestine)
The Question of Palestine on Social media
The Question of Palestine on-line (UNISPAL)
NGO Action News (our biweekly publication highlighting civil society actions on the question of Palestine)
The International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
Complete document in PDF format