Strasbourg, 13.07.2012 – Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the "Evaluation of the Partnership for Democracy in respect of the Palestinian National Council", is to make a fact-finding visit to the Palestinian Territories on 16 and 17 July 2012.
In Ramallah, Mr Kox is due to meet several representatives of the Palestinian Authority, including the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Minister for Women's Affairs. Discussions are also scheduled with the different parliamentary blocs, including the head of the Fatah bloc, and with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Mr Kox will also be meeting the Chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Independent Commission for Human Rights and the Central Election Commission.
The Palestinian National Council (PNC) was granted "Partner for Democracy" status by PACE on 4 October 2011. This status enables parliamentary delegations from countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and central Asia to take part in Assembly activities, provided that they pledge to apply the values upheld by the Council of Europe, to hold free and fair elections and to work for the abolition of the death penalty, among other things. The six members comprising the delegation of elected Palestinian representatives are able to take the floor in the Assembly and most of its committees, and to put forward subjects for debate, but they do not have the right to vote.
The Assembly decided to review, no later than two years from the adoption of its Resolution 1830 (2011), the state of progress achieved in implementing the political commitments undertaken by the PNC, as well as in carrying forward the specific issues mentioned in its resolution.