‘This meeting of the AHLC in New York is taking place at a time when a negotiated two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians is under great pressure. At the same time, the Palestinian economy is facing serious challenges. A number of questions concerning the transfer of taxes must be resolved, and the Palestinians must be gain better access to regional and international markets. The Palestinian institutions the donor countries have helped to build over the past decades are vulnerable and must be strengthened. A continued focus on good governance, democratic development, respect for human rights, reform efforts and the need for Palestinian unity is essential,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The meeting, which is hosted by the UN, will be attended by foreign ministers and representatives of the major donors and countries in the region.
The Norwegian chairmanship of the AHLC, together with the parties and the UN, gives priority to measures to improve living conditions for the two million Palestinians living in Gaza.
‘Fortunately, there has not been a new major conflict in Gaza in the past year. However, the humanitarian situation remains critical. This ministerial meeting will place emphasis on improving access to medicines, water and electricity, and reaching agreement on humanitarian measures that can improve living conditions for the people of Gaza. Norway and the other donor countries are working closely with Israel to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the economy of the West Bank,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord, with a view to creating an institutional and economic basis for a negotiated two-state solution. It is the only international forum where both parties to the conflict take part in a regular dialogue with donors and the international community with a view to pursuing Palestinian state-building and a negotiated two-state solution.
The ministerial meeting will be held on Thursday 26 September in conference room 8 at UN headquarters from 15:00-17:00. Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide will be available to take questions from the media after the meeting, at approximately 17:15, in the Qatar lounge in the UN building.
Press contacts: Kjetil Elsebutangen, +47 957 32 701, Ragnhild Simenstad, +1 (646) 642-9910