ICHR Signs Joint Financial Agreement with Donors’ Consortium for future Cooperation towards the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Palestine

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) has signed the Joint Financial Agreement (JFA) with the Donors' Consortium of five-like minded donors, namely the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark, in a ceremony held at ICHR Headquarters in Ramallah/West Bank. The JFA has been signed by ICHR's Commissioner General, Dr. Mamdouh Aker and representatives of the diplomatic missions of Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, recognized by the National Authority, in addition to the head of the Swiss Development Agency.

The JFA, in cooperation with the Donors' Consortium, aims at financially supporting the work of the Commission for the next three years (2011-2013), and in accordance with ICHR's strategic plan which aims at the promotion and protection of human rights in Palestine. From his side, Dr. Aker expressed gratitude to the Donors' Consortium for the vested confidence in the role and mandate of the Commission, particularly, at this period of a global financial crisis which negatively impacts on various countries of the world. He stressed that the Commission will continue to perform its duties and implement its mission to serve and enhance the rights of the Palestinians according to its statutory mandate as a state institution and according to the Palestinian Basic Law as well as the Presidential Decree which defined its functions and responsibilities in monitoring and ensuring the inclusion of human rights principles in various Palestinian laws, legislation and regulations, as well as in the work and performance of various departments, agencies and institutions which are part of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Dr. Aker noted that the Commission receives limited financial support from the Palestinian National Authority's budget, and is hoping to increase this support through the National Authority gradually increasing its financial contribution to ICHR and taking on its full responsibilities towards the ICHR in accordance with the 1993 Paris Principles for National Institutions. On this occasion, the Executive Director, Ms. Randa Siniora also expressed her appreciation for the commitment of the Donors' Consortium to support the Commission, stressing that the Commission will continue in its commitment to the goal of safeguarding and protecting the human rights of the Palestinian people.

On behalf of the Donors' Consortium, Ms. Brigitta Tazelr Head of Netherlands Representative Office to the PNA, expressed her pleasure at this signing of the JFA, and highlighted the importance which all members of the Donors' Consortium attach to the work of ICHR as the national institution for human rights. She also highlighted appreciation for the important role of ICHR in promoting and protecting human rights and the rule of law in Palestine, especially in monitoring and reporting, complaints handling, mediation and intervention and the promotion of principles of human rights. She also added that the Donors' Consortium is "looking forward to seeing ICHR make an impact in the daily lives of Palestinians, to working together in promoting and defending human rights, to work towards a Palestinian society where freedom, equality and human rights are interwoven into its social fabric".