Cooperation with civil society
The Committee values highly the work of civil society organizations in support of the Palestinian people and fully intends to mobilize civil society in support of the International Year. The Committee encourages civil society and coalitions of civil society organizations to form steering committees to coordinate activities during the International Year, while making full use of already existing networks. It will call on civil society to launch a broad range of advocacy activities, such as conferences, lectures, briefings, workshops, forums, youth camps, exhibitions, competitions, concerts, cultural festivals, food festivals, film screenings, solidarity campaigns, petitions and social media events. The Committee also supports all humanitarian and assistance initiatives aimed at improving the daily lives of the Palestinian people. The Committee will continue to assess its programme of cooperation with civil society and consult them on ways to enhance their contribution during the International Year.
The Committee intends to continue to invite civil society organizations to all international meetings and conferences organized under its auspices. The participation in such meetings of civil society organizations, eminent personalities and parliamentarians, women's organizations, youth groups and their leadership, along with Governments and intergovernmental organizations, should offer a unique opportunity to promote the exchange of views and ideas, encourage people-to-people dialogue and develop and strengthen initiatives by all strata of the international community in support of the goals and themes of the International Year. The Committee believes that the meetings and conferences organized under its auspices promote dialogue among Israeli and Palestinian civil society groups and offer a unique platform for interaction between the two sides.
The Committee will maintain and further develop its liaison activities with national, regional and international coordinating mechanisms on the question of Palestine, in addition to the established liaison activities it already carries out with a large number of civil society organizations. Through its revitalized Working Group, it will engage in regular consultations with accredited civil society organizations and observers. It will continue to accredit new organizations. Periodic meetings of consultations with civil society representatives held on the sidelines of the Committee's international meetings and conferences will further contribute to the enhancement of the Committee's programme of cooperation with civil society. The Committee considers its recently launched "Platform for Palestine" website to be an important outreach tool to catalyse and coordinate global action by civil society and intends to develop the platform further, in line with available resources.
The Committee is of the view that it is important to continue to exchange information with civil society on current and planned activities. The Committee intends to request accredited civil society organizations to submit periodic reports on their activities in support of Palestinian rights to its Working Group. The Committee requests the Division to obtain information and report periodically on civil society initiatives in order to enhance interaction between civil society and the Committee. It also requests the Division to continue to issue the bimonthly NGO Action News and regularly update the civil society web page of the "Question of Palestine" website and the Division's Facebook page in order to promote the exchange of information and communication between the United Nations and civil society.
In 2014, the resources available for cooperation with civil society will be used for the following activities:
- Organization, whenever appropriate and feasible, of meetings of civil society organizations in conjunction with international meetings and conferences held under the auspices of the Committee, or separately, and in support of the International Year;
- Participation of representatives of the Committee and the Division in important forums and other events on the question of Palestine organized by civil society organizations in the region and worldwide, in particular in the context of the International Year;
- Periodic consultation meetings of the Working Group with civil society organizations with a view to keeping them apprised of the various activities of the Committee, encouraging better coordination and cooperation among them and with the Committee and other relevant United Nations entities, and receiving their views on the work of the United Nations and the Committee in particular, and information about their current activities;
- Periodic side events of the Working Group with civil society speakers to raise the awareness of Member States and observers to the United Nations about specific issues pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
- Periodic briefings by representatives of Palestinian, Israeli and international civil society on the situation on the ground and their work in support of a peaceful realization of the two-State solution, to which all Member States and observers to the United Nations, as well as civil society organizations, are invited, to be held at United Nations Headquarters, including on the sidelines of major United Nations events, such as the sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women;
- Assistance to Palestinian civil society organizations in facilitating the participation of their representatives in meetings held under the auspices or with the support of the Committee;
- Continuous development of the "Platform for Palestine" website;
- Preparation of a civil society toolkit to facilitate solidarity campaigns.