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Anderson welcomes name change vote on Palestinian delegation

4 September, 2015 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for the 6 counties, Martina Anderson, has welcomed news that the European Parliament will be voting to change the name of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC) in Strasbourg next week. 

Speaking ahead of the vote, Ms Anderson says,

"The proposed name change, to the 'Delegation for Relations with Palestine' is much more representative of the excellent work being done by the committee, whereas the name as is stands undermines the ongoing efforts.

"This committee is so much more than a body for relations between two institutions. We meet on an ongoing basis with state and non-state Palestinian bodies, NGOs, Human Rights groups and indeed Palestinian political representatives.

"It is the only international delegation in Europe that isn't named after a country or region. The scope of our work goes far beyond the state of bilateral inter-parliamentary relations.

"The committee has responsibility to promote democratic values, the protection of minorities and human rights as well as having a role to play in political, economic, financial and social relations.

Chair of the Delegation, Ms Anderson continues,

"The UN General Assembly upgraded the status of Palestine to a non-member observer state in 2013, the European External Action Service recognise the denomination of Palestine and so now is the time for the European Parliament to take similar steps in the right direction.

"We are delighted that this issue is being brought to the European Parliament after months of campaigning. The logical decision is to have its name aligned with the general mandate of inter-parliamentary delegations.

"Sinn Féin MEPs will be seeking the support of all our Irish colleagues in this vote and therefore we are calling on all people to lobby their local MEPs requesting their support and the support of their political groups before the vote takes place next Wednesday.

"Changing the name of this committee would give us the opportunity to fulfil our potential as a fully-fledged Delegation for relations with Palestine." ENDS

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