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European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank & Gaza Strip
European Union (EU)
2 December 2008
European Neighbourhood Policy in action: EU and PA hold first joint meeting on human rights, good governance and the rule of law
The Palestinian Authority and the European Commission today held the first ever meeting of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Good Governance and the Rule of Law, within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The subcommittee is the forum within which the PA and the EU come together to review progress on the objectives and actions that both sides have agreed are priorities for these three key areas. Those objectives and actions are spelled out in the EU-PA Joint Action Plan, which was first agreed in 2005 and last reviewed in April 2008.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Ambassador Ahmad Soboh, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, 40 participants from PA ministries, the European Commission and EU Member States convened to review progress and agree steps for further action. The agenda covered a wide range of topics, including inter alia, human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem, freedom of association and freedom of the press, detention conditions, the death penalty, women and children's rights; the PA's legislative plans, electoral laws and public sector reform; the rule of law and the PA's Justice Sector strategy. Presentations were made by a number of PA ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees.
The subcommittee on human rights, good governance and the rule of law is the first of four subcommittees to be set up between the EU and the PA. The other subcommittees, which will convene in early 2009, will cover the following areas:
1. The "Economic and Financial Matters, Trade, Customs Issues" subcommittee.
2. The "Social Affairs" subcommittee.
3. The "Energy, Environment, Transport, Science and Technology" subcommittee.
EU-PA cooperation within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was formally re-launched earlier this year. Developed in 2003/2004 with the aim of drawing the enlarged EU and its neighbours closer together, the ENP is about taking concrete action to support reforms, enhance prosperity and to improve the daily lives of people within Europe's immediate neighbourhood.
For further details contact:
Mr. Mohammad Al Hanini, Office of the Government Spokesperson, Tel: 0599 04 0108
Ms. Alix de Mauny, European Commission Technical Assistance Office (ECTAO), Tel: 054 802 4915