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Next week Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and President of Jerusalem–based research organization NGO Monitor and Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s legal advisor and author of the research institute’s latest report on the impact of women’s rights initiatives in the Middle East, will participate in the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council which runs from 3-28 March.

NGO Monitor submitted two written statements to the HRC, which will be considered in Monday’s (March 24) session on the Palestinian Territories.  In a statement on Women’s Rights in the Middle East, NGO Monitor calls on the Human Rights Council and international NGOS (non-governmental organizations) to make the advancement of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa a key priority for 2014.

Herzberg said: “It was hoped that the ousting of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya and mass demonstrations elsewhere would bring about fundamental reforms, particularly, for women. Unfortunately, these changes did not materialize, and the NGO network shares responsibility.”

NGO Monitor’s second statement, on European human rights funding for Arab-Israeli Peace, shows that European government funding for humanitarian NGOs in Israel, West Bank, and Gaza involves no systematic evaluation of impacts, and therefore provides no evidence that such NGOs have contributed to improved human rights.

Professor Steinberg added: “European government initiatives that claim to promote peace, human rights, democracy, and other moral values have become instruments for the promotion of partisan agendas that are counter-productive to efforts to promote peace in the region. Taxpayer money is being channeled to organizations and activities that fuel the conflict, in violation of democratic principles.”