UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities and EU Head of Cooperation Jerusalem engage in dialogue with Palestinian women and human rights organizations

Date:: 10 November 2016

Young Palestinian presents his drawing made for the Open Day

Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, Alessandra Viezzer, EU Head of Cooperation, and Sabine Machl, UN Women Special Representative in Palestine, met today with women activists and representatives of human rights organizations, as well as women, girls and families whose lives have been dramatically shattered as a result of the occupation.

Within the framework of the UN Open Day initiative, the testimonies and reports of women’s rights activists, provided EU and UN representatives with a telling account of the continuous and un-addressed human rights violations that are experienced daily by the Palestinian people, as well as the more specific challenges faced by women.

In his opening remarks, the UN Coordinator highlighted the importance of the Open Days as a mechanism to share concerns relevant to the needs of women and girls. He stressed that the burden of the protracted conflict has fallen on women over multiple generations, as reflected in the annual UN Secretary General Report on the Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women. He noted that "In line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN development plan for Palestine will focus on vulnerable groups to ensure that no one is left behind," adding that “We will particularly work with adolescent girls, women exposed to gender-based violence and food insecure women-headed households."

The EU Head of Cooperation highlighted the importance of the UN Security Resolution 1325 to advance the women, peace and security agenda, especially in the Palestinian context, where many women and girls are suffering on daily basis from the lack of security and peace. She stated that “We at the EU see that ending occupation is key to ensure women, peace and security. We must continue to support women not only as victims but also as agents of peace.”

UN Women Special Representative in Palestine highlighted the importance of following up the commitments made by stakeholders at the Open Day and transforming recommendations made by women and human rights activists into sustainable and lasting peace for Palestinian women and men.

Palestinian student explains the meaning of her drawing made for the Open Day to the participants
A student presents her drawing to participants at the Open Day.
Accentuating the hope and calls for a peaceful resolution of the conflict that transpired the student’s drawings exhibited for the event, participants called on the international community to live up to their commitments to Palestinian women and girls and support the implementation of UNSCR 1325. They emphasized the need for the international community, and the UN Security Council in particular, to ensure the enforcement of UN Security Council and other decisions on the resolution of the conflict and to protect and guarantee the rights of Palestinian women and girls. Participants demanded in this regard the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the 2014 Israel - Gaza conflict.

Note:

1. Adopted 16 years ago, UN Security Council resolution 1325 calls for increasing the role of women in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and to ensure their equal participation and involvement in all efforts for the achievement, maintenance and promotion of peace and security. 

2. The Open Days enable direct dialogue between women civil society leaders and activists and senior UN representatives to highlight concerns, priorities and recommendations on key context-specific issues relating to conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and relief and recovery.