ICHR Board of Commissioners holds annual meeting and makes several decisions

Ramallah - The Board of Commissioners of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) concluded its annual general meeting in the city of Ramallah. Chaired by Dr. Varsen Shaheen, ICHR Commissioner General, the Board of Commissioners discussed various issues relating to the status of Palestinian human rights and confirmed that the ongoing internal Palestinian political divide has continued to negatively impact Palestinian citizens’ rights. The Board also addressed ICHR operations.

In its annual meeting, the ICHR Board of Commissioners discussed the ongoing Israeli encroachments on the Palestinian people, attempts to legitimise settlements, and intentions to grab large areas of land in the West Bank for settlement expansion. In this context, the Board stressed the need for invigorating the ICHR role to use international mechanisms and offer advice to the Palestinian government. Israeli violations need to be documented and exposed on the international stage with a view to providing protection to Palestinian citizens and holding to account perpetrators of war crimes in line with the International Law.

The ICHR Board of Commissioners approved membership of five new commissioners, who had been selected in a transparent process that included an advertisement for membership in local newspapers. The Board also endorsed establishment of an independent committee, including the Chairman of the Palestinian Bar Association, former Chairman of the High Judicial Council, representatives of the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council and former ICHR commissioners.

The Board approved the ICHR Code of Professional Conduct, Administrative and Financial Regulation, Bylaw of the ICHR Board of Commissioners and Strategic Plan 2017-19. Dr. Shaheen made a presentation on the impact of the general political context on the ICHR operations over the next years. Dr. Shaheen reviewed the ICHR internal environment and developments introduced to internal policies and processes, which have resulted in stable working conditions within the ICHR. Dr. Shaheen also explained the overall objectives, which the ICHR would focus on in tandem with the ICHR Strategic Plan 2017-19. 

Dr. Ammar Dwaik, ICHR Director General, presented a comprehensive report on the progress of ICHR functions in 2016. Key success stories included resolution of citizens’ complaints and positive influence on public policies relating to issues of human rights. The ICHR has also consolidated working relationships and built real partnerships with many Palestinian, regional and international institutions. Finally, Dr. Dwaik presented on the strategy and methodology of the ICHR 2016 Annual Report.