Annapolis : International donors’ conference for the Palestinian state

A donors’ conference for the Palestinian state was held in Paris on December 17, 2007. The meeting was aimed at releasing funds to assist in the establishment of the future Palestinian state, and that in the cycle of  Annapolis.

Participants

The conference was attended by 87 delegations from many countries and regional organizations, as well as international organizations. It was co-chaired by Mr. Tony Blair, the representative of the Quartet, Mr. Jonas Gahr Stoere, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway – Norway is the chairman of the Ad Hoc Linking Committee (AHLC) of the International Donors – and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner in charge of External Relations and the European Neighborhood Policy.

France is the host country for this conference, the role of Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has been stressed. The overall coordination of the conference was entrusted to Mr. Pierre Duquesne, french former director of the IMF and the World Bank.

Results

Participants offered more than what was requested by the Palestinians. They had indeed requested $ 5 billion and received $ 7.4 billion. These gifts will be divided into two parts: the first $ 3.4 billion will be issued during the year 2008 in order to provide for the urgent needs of the Palestinian people (this figure includes humanitarian aid), the second part will be earmarked for the construction of institutions and mechanisms for the development in the future Palestinian state from 2009 to 2011.

Since the Oslo agreement of 1993, international assistance to the Palestinian people was from 8 to $ 9 billion. This reminder can help to judge the importance of the funds now allocated to the construction of the Palestinian state.

These subsidies will be paid on the single Account of the Palestinian Treasury newly established and which Palestinian Prime Minister Mr. Salam Fayyad stressed conformity with the highest international standards. Among the efforts made by the Palestinian leadership with the aim of this conference, their program entitled « Building a Palestinian State has helped to win the confidence of donors by its quality.

Notifications

This is the first time that donors will send their money to the « Palestinian state », which demonstrates the purpose of this conference. Some points were also raised by the various speeches:

– Indivisibility of the people and the Palestinian territory: the aid will reach the West Bank as well as Gaza;

– The need for a gesture of Israel concerning restrictions on the movement on Palestinian territories – reduced check-points, partial removam of the blockade of the Gaza Strip – and this at a time in order to recreate a Palestinian unity, but also to ensure an economic recovery;

– The importance of the private sector to rehabilitate the Palestinian economy.

Follow-up

The Paris conference will be followed up to ensure its implementation. In this context, the Presidency and the co-Presidency will meet again on January 22 to supervise the peace process at the highest level.

It should also be noted that this conference is completely integrated in the Annapolis peace process whose commitments made by Israelis and Palestinians on November 27 are also monitored.