A new report published by a coalition of 80+ international non-governmental organisations, including We Effect, claims that the Oslo Accords have failed to create a pathway to peace for Israelis and Palestinians. The NGOs call for the world to commit to a new principled path towards peace, focused on human rights and accountability of all parties.
– We believe that sustainable peace can be achieved by upholding international laws and accountability, including having good faith, transparency and representation from civil society including women and youth and to begin a new narrative, says Anna Erlandsson, country director for We Effect in Palestine.
The report’s publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Accords, a set of agreements signed by The Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Israel in September 1993.
– We must recognize the limited success that the Oslo accords has achieved in trying to contribute to Palestinian statehood, measures that were put up to be temporary are now permanent, which for statehood is not sustainable, says Anna Erlandsson.
The report, entitled 25 Years after the Oslo Accords – Time for a New Narrative, emphasizes the need for a political solution to ensure prosperity and lasting peace in the region. It urges Israel, the Palestinians, and the international community to find a renewed way forward based on six principles, including upholding international law and recognizing Palestinians’ right of selfdetermination.
The report warns that, in the absence of peace, international aid programmes are one of the only things sustaining life in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). It also claims that aid cannot achieve political solutions, that the international community must not keep using aid to paper over its acceptance of the failure of the Oslo Process, and that costly and vital aid programmes must be matched by political and legal effort to address the root causes of human suffering in Israel and the oPt.
– The international community have for the most part supported and put efforts towards ensuring the application of Oslo accord, however few of the demands have been enforced. Due to this, humanitarian and developmental crisis has become a constant, and the sustainability of life, dignity and security have become the main priority for the Palestinian people, says Anna Erlandsson.
The report traces the Oslo Accords’ unraveling over the past 25 years. Without accountability and sustained pressure from the international community, the Accords’ early promise of peace was never realized. Life in the oPt has devolved into cycles of poverty, violence, and human rights violations under Israeli military occupation.
Especially in Gaza, a blockade since 2007 has made life abysmal. Daily power outages plague the territory, 96% of tap water is unsafe to drink, and nearly three-quarters of the shoreline is polluted by raw sewage.
But peace between the two peoples could dramatically change this situation, according to the report. For example, in Area C of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel, only 1% of land is planned for Palestinian development. The World Bank estimates that, if the Palestinian National Authority were given control of Area C, Palestinian GDP and employment levels would increase 35%.
While We Effect and the other members of AIDA are proud to support critically needed humanitarian and development assistance to communities in the West Bank and Gaza, it is not sustainable.
– We must work together to change conditions on the ground to reduce dependency on this assistance, and provide for full self-determination, economic development, security and peace. We cannot afford to wait another twenty-five years, the time for action is now. Land for peace, security for peace, have failed. It is time for a new narrative, rights for peace,says Christoffer Burnett-Cargill, Director of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) which authored the report.
Download the report here: PDF.
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