A six-day event reuniting key Palestinian and European human rights and civil society actors active in and on Palestine to develop new messages on how to pro-actively advocate form human rights of Palestinians. It will take place in Ramallah from 4 to 9 November 2022 and is primarily organised by the Jerusalem Human Rights Consortium (JHRC) in collaboration with Palestinian and European organisations – PNGO, PNIN, Euromed Rights, ELSC and ECCP.
While there are some encouraging coordination efforts between local and international civil society actors, the rapidly shifting and deteriorating reality for civil society as well as the lack of progress towards the two-state solution calls for stronger cooperation and coordination between the Palestinian and international civil society.
The forum will span over the course of three days filled with plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops and an NGO Fair (7-9 Nov.) Outside of the official programme, a separate three days tour of the West Bank (including Jerusalem) will be organised and give the participants the chance to gain first-hand experience of reality on the ground (4-6 Nov.).
The Forum will tackle Jerusalem's present and future challenges; the notions of apartheid, self-determination, and ethnic cleansing; the shrinking space facing civil society organisations and individuals working in and/or for Palestine; settlements and annexation; environment, planning and the urban space; the prospects for resolution; social media and modern activism; as well as knowledge sharing and prospects of cooperation.
The Forum aims to (1) create a space for Palestinian and international civil society organizations that work in Palestine and for Palestine to meet, network, deliberate, exchange views and agree on new strategies, mechanisms, and tools to address the current-day challenges they are facing and (2) set up a permanent follow-up mechanism that would facilitate the civil society cooperation and amplify the advocacy efforts in regard to Palestine, influence the international community, follow-up on the implementation of the Forum recommendations, and finally lead the organization of the future Forum rounds, as mandated by the Forum participants.
The expected outcomes are developing recommendations on key positions and messages for civil society advocacy and engagement with and for Palestine, including specific recommendations on key issues. A joint call for international actors and the set-up of a permanent follow-up mechanism to coordinate and lead the development of those recommendations.
Palestinian and European civil society organizations active in relevant fields. In addition, select guest speakers, academics, public figures, journalists and activists will be invited to participate.
International diplomats, Palestinian government officials and development cooperation officials will be invited to contribute to relevant sessions, and will also be invited to attend certain sessions as observers and/or key note speakers.
The European Union, the Irish Representative Office and other selected European countries.
The Forum will be in person in Palestine with filed trips to Lydd, Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem and the Jordan Valley (4-6 November), and workshops and plenaries at the Red Crescent Guesthouse in Al-Bireh (7-9 Nov.). Some sessions will be broadcasted on the Forum’s social media (@csforumps).
Most of the Forum activities will be in English and Arabic, with instant Arabic and English interpretation.
The Forum will cover all local costs, including local transportation, accommodation and meals. You only have to take care of travel expenses. However, organisations and individuals wishing to contribute to costs may do so within their means. In the registration form, you will be asked if you are able to pay a participation fee for the field visits and the Forum and how much, based on your voluntary contribution.