JERUSALEM, September 19, 2013 (WAFA) – Resumed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have renewed hope that the gap between state-building advances and the lack of progress on the political track can be closed, the United Nations report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) has concluded.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, whose office prepared the report, said Wednesday: “We have long argued, including in prior reports to the AHLC, that it is urgent to address the gap between state-building progress and the absence of a political horizon. The resumption of negotiations on 29 July 2013 in Washington began the process of closing this gap.”
In order to allow the peace process to move forward, Serry said it was essential to create a conducive environment, calling on the parties to reverse negative trends and foster positive developments on the ground.
The UN report made many recommendations geared towards expanding economic activity, including in the Gaza Strip and Area C, in order to both improve the lives of Palestinians and as an additional source of revenue through taxation for the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“Though this will ultimately reduce the amount of external donor assistance required in the short-medium term, donors must continue to provide timely, predictable direct budget support while also scaling up development financing and supporting the upcoming Palestinian National Development Plan, covering the period 2014-2016,” said the report.
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) is a 15-member committee chaired by Norway that serves as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory.