Oct. 2, 2005
Dear Funding for Peace Coalition member,
We normally would not send two mailings so close together, but there have been important developments in the past couple of weeks, which are worthy of immediate discussion.
It is encouraging to note that the UK seems determined to mark its Presidency of the EU, which extends from June to December 2005, by decisive action.
Under British patronage, the European Commission asked for public input to a Draft Recommendations to Member States regarding a Code of Conduct for Non-profit Organisations to Promote Transparency and Accountability Best Practices. The aim is to set standards to prevent European sponsorship of NPOs which may be involved in corruption and/or terror.
The FPC made a submission on your behalf, which has been posted on our website. Welcoming the European initiative, we made specific recommendations, which we felt are sorely lacking from the EU draft paper. In particular, we recommend the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the OLAF inquiry, which would go a long way toward eliminating abuse of NPOs.
Another area of UK activism has been to pursue the opportunities for peace presented by Israel's withdrawal from Gaza . A recent of EU finance ministers' meeting in Manchester discussed the possibility of loan guarantees for Palestinian Arabs. This followed the G8 summit in Scotland, which proposed a $3 billion support package.
And the EU has just announced that it wishes to contribute €280 million in both direct and indirect aid during 2005. Taking the contributions of the Commission and the EU member states together, Europe provides around €500 million annually.
Sadly lacking in any of these announcements is recognition of the work of OLAF, EU's anti-fraud squad, as noted in our submission to the NPO code of conduct. The unit made 5 specific recommendations in March 2005 to ensure that future aid will not be diverted towards violence and corruption as has happened in the past. It has to be questioned if the Palestinians are going to miss out again despite all the proposals of help.
The UK Treasury is to invest its own resources in this process. It has commissioned a report into opportunities "to support economic development to accompany and enhance the peace process." The report is being co-authored by a senior Treasury official, Mr. Jon Cunliffe, and MP Mr. Ed Balls.
Contact details for the report authors are:
At Jon Cunliffe's office, Ms. Catherine Hovaguimiane is responsible for coordinating the responses.
Telephone in the UK: 0207 270 5203,
And the contact info for Ed Balls is:
Tel in the UK: 01924 291221
The Funding for Peace Coalition intends presenting a submission to the Treasury, and encourages it members to act in a similar manner.
Our website contains an initial analysis, which may assist in preparing a short submission. We encourage you to emphasize concisely the concern that your tax money be spent effectively to the benefit of the Palestinian people. As OLAF effectively signaled (but was ignored), this is an opening to create a genuine peace in the Middle East rather than design a new triumph for the greedy and the violent.
Left: Yasser Arafat
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