nakba2The Palestinian Return Center in London will launch its international conference entitled "UNRWA and the future of Palestinian refugees." Tomorrow, Wednesday 16th December 2009.

A British Minster from the Gordon Brown government is attending the event where he is going to speak about the role of Britain in aiding the UNRWA. Final touches and preparations are being put and finalized surrounded by considerable and expected participation.

Researchers, Academics, MPs, activists and from various countries, especially the refugee camps in the Middle East will take part in the event.

Within conference Agenda, PRC is preparing to announce a survey it has conducted in partnership with both WAJIB and THABIT organizations in Syria and Lebanon about the performance of UNRWA. The survey also holds the ideas and views of Palestinian refugee regarding UNRWA performance.

Besides, a report on PRC parliamentarian delegation to the refugee camps in Syria will be released.

The conference is separated into 4 key sessions each of which will highlight vital issues pertaining to Palestinian refugees and the overall conflict.

Majed al Zeer, General Director of PRC expresses his optimism towards the upcoming conference. According to al zeer, the size of participation on the conference is growing due to the level of the key speakers as well as the topics which will be discussed.

“We are adamant to have a very successful conference that touches upon every problem facing the Palestinian Refugees. All efforts done for this conference aims at easing the living conditions and dilemmas faced by those refugees as we will examine all the downs and will come up with many recommendations.” Said al zeer

The opening session will include, Mr. Majed al Zeer – General Director of PRC, Claire Short – MP, Professor Salman Abu Sitta, Palestinian Ambassador Manuel Hassasian

the first session will begin with Norman Finkelstein, Conference Keynote speaker who will give a lengthy presentation titled “What’s Preventing Peace? Then the renowned Palestinian Researcher, Professor Salaman Abu Sitta will highlight the role of UNRWA through his topic “UNRWA! The unsung Hero”

Daud Abdullah, director of MEMO, and a prominent spokesperson on the topic will give an account of the ideology that has created the longest refugee crises in modern times.

The second session will address the plight of Palestinian refugees from Iraq and parliamentary delegation from UK to Syrian for their resettlement. This will include Syria ambassador, H. E. Dr. Sami Khiyami, Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North and Baroness Jenny Tonge, who will provide details of the humanitarian mission. Muhammad al Hamed, chair of PRC board of trustees will speak about the centre activities.

Third session includes Mr. Sami Meshasha – UNRWA Spokesperson- who is going to speak on the role of UNRWA, their history and current services and Mr. Kalil Makkawi – former ambassador of Lebanon to the UN. Views of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon will be represented by Mr. Ali Huwaidi - Director of Palestinian Organization for the Right of Return “Thabit” in Beirut

The fourth session will include American Professor Rachel Rudolph, who will discuss the Role of Major stakeholders in aiding and hindering UNRWA activities and UNRWA challenges in the broader geopolitical context.

Within the same session, Dr. Van Engeland - Expert International refugee law would discuss a topic titled, “Gap between the Rights of Palestinian Refugees in International Law and Their Reality,”

Ghassan Four, vice president of PRC Board of Directors is expected to deliver closing remarks at the end of the conference.

The key aim of the event is to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA. It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the terrible situation facing the Palestinian Refugees and UNRWA within a regional and international context.

Admission is free, refreshment and lunch will be served and it’s open to the public. The venue is at Congress Center, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B3LS near Tottenham Court Road station.

The event will commence from 9-30AM to 5-30 PM