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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union
15 November 2002

Statement of the Task Force on Palestinian Reform

November 14-15, 2002, Jordan -
The Task Force on Palestinian Reform, composed of representatives of the Quartet (U.S., EU, Russia and the UN Secretary General), Norway, Japan, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, met in Jordan November 14-15. This meeting, hosted by the Danish EU Presidency, was the Task Force's third, having met previously in London on July 10, and in Paris on August 22-23.

The role of the Task Force is to monitor and support implementation of Palestinian civil reforms, and guide the international donor community in its support for the Palestinians' reform agenda. Since its formation, the Task Force has worked with Palestinians to develop in greater detail the Reform Action Plan, which highlights Palestinian commitments, establishes benchmarks, identifies obstacles to reform and areas for donor assistance. The Task Force has done this by consulting directly with Palestinian executive and legislative officials, with Palestinian civil society, with the Israeli government, and with the donor community.

Day-to-day activities of the Task Force are delegated to seven Reform Support Groups, composed of donor representatives working in the West Bank and Gaza, in the areas of Civil Society, Elections, Financial Accountability, Judicial and Rule of Law Reform, Market Economics, Local Government, and Ministerial and Civil Service Reform. The Reform Support Groups work to operationalize the reform plans and monitor implementation, inter alia through identifying appropriate benchmarks to measure successful implementation of - and barriers that impede - reforms.

At the meeting in Jordan, the Task Force reviewed status reports from the seven Reform Support Groups, which showed that progress in some areas has been considerable, while the reform process in others has been slow. Based on the reports from the seven Reform Support Groups, and consultations with Palestinian officials, the Task Force identified the highest priority actions in order to keep momentum in the reform process, including the immediate resumption of monthly transfers of Palestinian tax revenues and transfer of arrearages in accordance with an agreed monitoring mechanism to ensure transparency and financial accountability. The Task Force also met with Palestinian Authority ministers and Israeli government representatives to discuss the steps, which need to be taken to facilitate the reform progress.

Given its serious impact on the Palestinian reform efforts, the Task Force also discussed the ongoing Palestinian humanitarian crises with particular focus on the follow-up to the report of the UNSG's special envoy Bertini. The Task Force recognizes that the continued violence and terror, continued restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, and deterioration of the humanitarian situation constitute a significant hindrance to reforms. Following the discussions in Jordan, the Task Force will provide a detailed progress report to the Quartet, which will meet in December 2002. The Task Force will also fully inform the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) which coordinates international donor support to the Palestinians. The Task Force considers these efforts critical to building the foundations of a viable, independent Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel.


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