Brussels/Berlin - 29/01/2018
The Palestinians in Europe Conference announces the convening of its 16th conference on Sunday 29th of April 2018, in the Italian city Milan, under the banner “70 Years On .. And We Shall Return,” with participation of dozens of European institutions advocating for Palestine.
This year’s Conference is to be held in conjunction with the 70th year anniversary, since the Nakba of the Palestinian people, who were displaced by the Israeli occupation from their cities and villages in Palestine, within the largest displacement in modern history. More than seven million Palestinian refugees are now distributed worldwide, because they are denied their right to return to their land.
The Conference will be held in unprecedented circumstances and challenges, especially with the irresponsible steps taken by the American Administration, regarding the recognition of the occupied city of Jerusalem, as the capital of the Israeli occupation, in a violation of the historical Palestinian rights and a clear alignment with the occupying country, at the expense of the Palestinian people.
The Conference’s agenda includes the discussion of many important and pressing issues, most importantly the latest developments regarding Jerusalem and the economic threats hindering the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and the consequent risks to the Palestinian refugees and their right to return. The Conference will also deal with the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, which is entering its 13th year, in the shadow of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, in addition to the issue of the detainees held by the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian refugees living in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. On the sidelines of the Conference, many seminars and trade union and specialized workshops, will be held in an attempt to activate the efforts of specialized Palestinian experts in Europe.
The Conference aims to activate the presence of Palestinians in Europe, through the combination of dual citizenship in European societies and the roots of identity in the reality of the Palestinians, in addition to nourishing the cooperation between the European institutions advocating for Palestine in various aspects, in the framework of the Conference's keenness on the unity of the Palestinian ranks in Europe, and reject the differences that hinder the performance of institutions in the defense of Palestinian rights and constants.
The choice of Milan came for the second time in ten years, due to the importance of the Italian role in the Palestinian cause, and the legacy of the Palestinian and Arab presence and its constant preoccupation with supporting the cause, and to strengthen communication with the various Palestinian generations in this country. The seventh session was held in Milan, in 2009.
The first edition of the "Palestinians in Europe Conference" was held in 2003 in London, and then moved to various capitals and European cities on an annual basis without interruption in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and France. The most recent Conference was held in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, in 2017.
The Board of Directors of the Conference decided to use the hashtag #Awda70 on social networking platforms, to accompany the conference and until the end of 2018.