Last week, SHATIL participated in the UN Department of Public Information's (DPI) human rights conference for NGOs in Paris. Our representative, Dr. Nurit Hashimshoni Yaffe, Director of Community Organizing at SHATIL, was one of thousands of NGO representatives from more than 100 countries who gathered to give a renewed push to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Like SHATIL, all the NGOs represented have Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council, associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.
"The opportunity for SHATIL to represent Israel in such a gathering is very meaningful," Yaffe said. "It allows us to present another face of Israel to the world – the face that works for human, women's and minority rights, education, equality, the side of Israel that is not often expressed. Our UN status gives us a chance to do so."
Yaffe said that listening to presenters from all over the world confirmed that SHATIL is "doing things right -- and perhaps even better" than NGOs in many other countries.
"It's a good place for us to be," she concluded.
And next week, SHATIL lobby consultant Shmulik David will represent SHATIL at the second annual international conference of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum in Pisa, Italy entitled, “Europe's Role in the Resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict”. He will present SHATIL's joint work with the British-based Responding to Conflict (RTC) with Arab and Jewish civil society leadership in Israel. The conference will be addressed by Israel Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Dr. Riad al-Malki, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, NIF Board and SHATIL Committee member Dr. Sarah Ozacky-Lazar and Al-Quds University President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh among other dignitaries. The conference will address the role of civil society in peace building, cooperation between Israeli, Palestinian and European NGOs, the EU as a model for a Middle East Community, insights from other conflicts, and more.
Says David: "SHATIL sees the importance of continuing work for peace even when circumstances don't look favorable. Participating in this conference will help me in my work to develop the capacity of Israeli peace groups to work in a more coordinated fashion and to strategically contend with our complex and challenging reality."