BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, in partnership with Professor Michael Dumper of the University of Exeter, organized a panel event followed by a discussion on Wednesday, 31 August 2016. More than 40 community activists and representatives, local and international partner organizations, academics, and popular committee representatives attended to discuss the future of UNRWA.
The panel included a brief BADIL presentation on the protection gap experienced by Palestinian refugees and the obligations of the United Nations, third party states and the international community. The guest speaker, Professor Michael Dumper, is an international expert in reparations who recently published his research on the role of UNRWA and its future given the current crisis. His talk focused on the regional shifts affecting UNRWA and how it will have to deliver its services in the future, the current political situation in Palestine and how this will force UNRWA to adapt its role, and finally UNRWA’s priorities in confronting future challenges. Prof. Dumper agreed on the importance of bridging the protection gap and made his own suggestions on ways to overcome current difficulties.
The panel was followed by a rich discussion and feedback from the attendants, which highlighted the necessity of engaging the Palestinian community and unifying the Palestinian voice to face these challenges, as well as concerns about policies that aim to disable the Palestinian right of return.
This activity is part of an awareness raising campaign on enhancing the role of UNRWA.