Bethlehem - Ma'an - After long delays reportedly caused by Israeli representatives on the nominations committee, the Gaza-based Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights was granted UN Special Consultative Status in New York on Tuesday.
The UN Economic and Social Council approved a recommendation from the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which nominated Al-Mezan to the committee.
“We are delighted as this development is very important to our advocacy work.
It will now enable Al Mezan to directly engage with the UN on a range of human rights issues in the occupied Palestinian territory),” said the rights group Director Issam Younis in a statement.
Despite opposition from Israeli groups who sit on ECOSOC, one Al-Mezan officials said, the group will henceforth - under Article 71 of the UN Charter - be called on by the UN to consult on issues requiring expertise, attend meetings at, for example, the Human Rights Council in Geneva, submit written statements where relevant, make oral presentations during meetings and consult with the relevant UN bodies such as ECOSOC.
Al-Mezan will also be permitted to designate representatives to the UN headquarters in New York and Geneva.
“The whole of the UN obviously plays a major role in the oPt.
Al Mezan intends to use the opportunities afforded by this special status to work with the UN for the greater promotion and protection of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories,” Younis added.