What Happened at the AHLC
Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 in Office of the Quartet Representative
Dr Firas Raad, Head of Mission, led the OQR delegation to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in Brussels on Tuesday 19th March. The AHLC meets twice a year to to promote dialogue between donors, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Government of Israel (GOI) and was this month hosted by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and chaired by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
The Chair's summary emphasised the urgency of resuming the political process for a two-state solution and increasing concern over the Palestinian economy and fiscal position of the PA. The Chair ended the meeting by:
- Calling on donors to continue to provide predictable assistance to the PA
- Welcoming PA on-going commitment to structural reforms and containing fiscal spending
- Calling for collaborative efforts to broaden and increase tax collection for the PA
- Calling on the GOI to take steps to support Palestinian economic growth, underpinned by the private sector, by removing obstacles including the movement of people and goods and development in Area C and East Jerusalem
- Calling for the re-opening of all borders for movement of goods and people, and for an increase in fishing limits according to previous agreements
The OQR presented two reports to the AHLC, both emphasising the need for measures to be undertaken that develop the Palestinian economy in parallel and closely aligned with progress on the political track. The policy paper, entitled 'Back to the Future: Integrating the Political and Economic Tracks' focused on concrete measures that should be taken immediately in order to shore up the precarious Palestinian economy, as well as recommending ways to support key growth sectors for more sustainable economic growth and for promoting job creation.
When presenting the OQR’s two reports at the meeting, Dr Raad also highlighted: the importance of de-politicising the transfer of clearance revenues to the PA and that this be done on a regular and transparent basis; the need to expand the trade potential and markets for Palestinian goods, including opening up traditional Palestinian markets in East Jerusalem and Israel and allowing trade between the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem; and the need for development in Area C, streamlining the planning process for masterplans being a priority.
The AHLC will next meet in New York in September 2013.
Document Sources: Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR), Quartet
Subject: Access and movement, Assistance, Economic issues, Gaza Strip, Governance, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Jerusalem, Quartet, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 20/03/2013