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Date posted: September 02, 2020
By MIFTAH

Ramallah 31/8/2020 MIFTAH recently held a session entitled, What if we had an active General Union of Palestine Students today? in coordination with the office of Dr. Wasel Abu Yousef, head of the popular organizations department in the PLO. The session was attended by representatives from youth groups from PLO political factions and student union councils. The participants confirmed the need to revitalize GUPS by holding its general convention, represented by youth in PLO bodies. However, they said this could only take place on condition that there is political will for this and that new, young blood is pumped into Palestinian political institutions. This, they maintained, stems from the pressing need to restore ample consideration to the PLO, especially in light of the current political circumstances.

Several interventions and discussions from the participants ensued, which included proposals for the revival of GUPS and ways to galvanize and promote its role, such as conducting media campaigns, integrating the unions branches in all locations around the world, increasing pressure towards implementing GUPS decisions and targeting the student movement through the parties and factions to which they belong.

This session comes after a series of consultation meetings aimed at reviving GUPS and which, at the time, resulted in representatives of PLO factions and forces reaching several understandings based on MIFTAH recommendations including: the need to hold elections and revive GUPS in its capacity as a national youth platform for all youth groups in factions and parties within the PLO; the demand to form a national preparatory committee aimed at preparing for the general convention within a specific timeframe and which is comprised of representatives from PLO parties and factions.

At the time, faction representatives agreed that elections would be conducted on the basis of full proportional representation, which is the same electoral mechanism employed in the PLO. They also agreed on promoting national efforts to guarantee the inclusion of amendments such as fair representation of Palestinian universities at the GUPS convention.

This session was held as part of the Youth Empowerment program MIFTAH implements in cooperation with APIC (Arab Palestinian Investment Company) within its efforts to promote the active participation of all components in Palestinian society, especially youth and women. The organizations strategy focuses on the empowerment of youth and women leaders capable of making an impact and change at the local and national level, based on an approach of democracy and good governance, by integrating them into various decision-making levels.

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