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Palestinian state-building: A decisive period

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The April 2011 Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting is the fourth since the release in August 2009 of the Programme of the Thirteenth Government of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The plan was welcomed by the AHLC in September 2009 as an important platform for donor coordination, with the focus on developing a sustainable economy and building robust state institutions. The Quartet has supported this plan for building the institutions of a Palestinian state in two years. The April 2011 AHLC meeting is the last expected AHLC meeting before the September 2011 target date for completion of institutional readiness for statehood set by the PA and supported by the Quartet. This is therefore a decisive period for the state-building agenda, and the April meeting is an important moment for taking stock of the economic and institutional issues before the AHLC.

The report concludes that, in the limited territory under its control and within the constraints on the ground imposed by unresolved political issues, the PA has accelerated progress in improving its governmental functions. In six areas1 where the UN is most engaged, governmental functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of a state. This reaffirms the World Bank’s assessment in September 2010, noted by the Quartet, that ‘if the PA maintains its current performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well positioned for the establishment of a state at any point in the near future’. This is a significant achievement arising from the commitment of the PA and strong donor backing. In parallel, Israeli measures to facilitate movement and access have also supported economic activity.