Dialogue session at MIFTAH recommends revival of General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) role as a youth platform within the PLO
January 31, 2018

On January 29, MIFTAH held a dialogue session with representatives of political factions, student council unions and student bodies in Palestinian universities. The participants discussed the proposed amendments to the constitution of the General Union of Palestine Students [GUPS] and on ways to convene its general conference within a specific timeframe. They also stressed on the need to hold a meeting for all university student council members and representatives of student blocs to discuss the role of GUPS and to agree on a specific vision and practical steps for reviving it, adding that they would prepare a program document to complement the Unionís program. Furthermore, the participants focused on the need for students to create political pressure on the GUPS leadership and various political faction leaders by expanding factionsí representation, supporting the student council unionsí initiatives and following up on the implementation of the proposed amendments.

At the start of the session, Dr. Bakr Abu Bakr, member of Fatahís organization and mobilization commission, presented a number of proposed amendments to the GUPS constitution, including those pertaining to the percentage of student representation inside and abroad, the nature of this representation and the safeguarding of GUPS goals, reaffirmed that the Union is one of the PLOís pillars . Other amendments included the following: any district where the number of students from an accredited educational institution is less than 500 will be included in the closest geographic district; and keeping to the constitutionís provisions on convening the conference upon agreement from two-thirds of its members.

At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to hold another dialogue session on February 12 to agree on the practical steps that need to be taken regarding activating the role of GUPS.

MIFTAH project coordinator Hassan Mahareeq said the meeting was in line with the strategic approaches through which MIFTAH seeks to create a climate of dialogue consistent with supporting youth in reaching decision-making positions and to cooperate with active and relevant political parties to rejuvenate the youth platform inside the PLO, represented by GUPS.

This dialogue session is one of a series of dialogue sessions, which MIFTAH is leading on prompting Palestinian women and youth representation in the Palestinian political system supported by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (EuroMED).