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Sommaire: August 23, 2002: Statement of the Task Force on Palestinian Reform (Paris 22-23 August 2002)
The Task Force on Palestinian Reform, composed of representatives of the Quartet (U.S., EU, Russia and the UN Secretary General), Norway, Japan, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, met in Paris August 22-23. This was the second meeting of the Task Force, which met for the first time in London on July 10.
The role of the Task Force is to monitor and support implementation of Palestinian civil reforms, and guide the international donor community in its support for the Palestinians' reform agenda. Following the July 10 London meeting, the Task Force worked with the Palestinians to develop in greater detail the Reform Action Plan. The Action Plan highlights Palestinian commitments, establishes benchmarks, and identifies areas for donor assistance. The Task Force consults directly and frequently with Palestinians officials leading the reform effort, with Palestinian civil society, with the Israeli government, and with the international donor community.
Day-to-day activities of the Task Force are delegated to seven working groups (called Reform Support Groups), composed of donor representatives working in the West Bank and Gaza. The Reform Support Groups - in the areas of Civil Society, Elections, Financial Accountability, Judicial Reform, Local Government, Market Economics, and Ministerial and Civil Service Reform - work to operationalize the reform plans and monitor implementation.
At the meeting in Paris, the Task Force reviewed status reports provided by the Seven Reform Support Groups, discussed progress toward benchmarks in the continuing reform efforts, identified priority areas for donor assistance and discussed the need for continued Palestinian commitment to the reform process, Israeli facilitation, and support from the international community. The Task Force met with Palestinian Authority ministers and Israeli government representatives to examine the steps which need to be taken to facilitate the reform process.
Given its impact on Palestinian reform efforts, the Task Force also discussed serious concerns about the deteriorating Palestinian humanitarian situation. It reiterated the Quartet's call for full, safe, and unfettered access for international and humanitarian personnel. Following the discussions in Paris, the Task Force will provide a detailed progress report to the Quartet, which will meet at the ministerial level in New York in September on the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Task Force will also fully inform the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) which coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians. The Task Force considers these efforts critical to building the foundations of a viable, independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel.