Programme Paper

Heike Niebergall and Norbert Wühler
  • Most large-scale reparation claims processes have received considerable assistance from third parties, both during the period leading to establishment of the programme and during the programme's implementation. The support has ranged from facilitating negotiations leading to the establishment of a programme to its full implementation by an international body.
  • A final resolution of the Palestinian refugee crisis will require extensive international support. Political support by sponsor governments should be complemented by technical assistance from international organizations with experience in large-scale claims programmes and the implementation of residency options for refugees and displaced persons.
  • While the preparatory technical work on the Palestinian refugee file has been primarily aimed at assisting the parties in the negotiations for a two-state solution, the comparative overview shows that in other contexts the start of a reparation process has not hinged on the existence of a negotiated peace agreement by the parties and that international support has been helpful in bringing about such a process in other ways as well.
  • Both the volume and shelf life of the preparatory work performed to date on the Palestinian refugee file raise issues about its validity, accessibility and usability in future and require monitoring and stocktaking to avoid repetition and inefficiency. International sponsors might also wish to take on a more active role to ensure that expectations and messages regarding available support to the Palestinian refugee issue are realistically and constructively managed.
Project: The Regional Dimension of the Palestinian Refugee Issue