On the 14th of October, 2005, the Lebanese Council of Ministers issued ministerial decision no. 41/2005 commissioning Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to form a “Lebanese Working Group on Palestinian Refugees” – the original designation of “LPDC”, which expresses the nature of the mission and mandate entrusted to this committee in a more accurate manner. However, this designation was soon substituted by the “Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee”, which is the most common designation still adopted to the present day.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Because there is a need. There is an abundance of resources invested in the youth, but the situation of the youth is not improving much; projects are not having the impact intended; and there is redundancy in work and a lack of coordination.
Secondly, because of LPDC’s position as an inter-ministerial governmental institution attached to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. This unique position enables LPDC to bring donors, politicians, implementers, and youth together. LPDC’s role in this strategy is thus to increase joint coordination between stakeholders and including youth participation in this process by functioning as mediator, facilitator, and coordinator from a neutral stand. It is important to emphasize that LPDC is an advisory body in the government and not politically affiliated. Thus, LPDC cannot make political decisions and execute them, but can recommend and push for policies for the benefit of the Lebanese and Palestinians alike.
Since this strategy is launched by an official government body, it provides the youth with a legitimate, official source of leverage, which they can refer to in their future actions towards change.
It is important to note that this strategy is not bypassing existing strategies for the Palestinian youth in Lebanon; rather, this strategy builds on these strategies and brings them together under one umbrella, where the vision, efforts, and resources can be aligned, coordinated, and optimized. We have thus met with many stakeholders during the development of the strategy to include their perspectives and their work in the best possible way and to ensure collaboration and joint coordination.
This strategy is different from the existing youth strategies on the following main points:
● LPDC’s unique position as an advisory body in the Lebanese government.
● Inclusion of the Palestinian Higher Council for Youth and Sports and UNRWA in the strategy’s Steering Committee, and hence backing the strategy with the support of the three bodies that officially represent the interests of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
● Ensuring youth participation and representation in the preliminary research, the development of the strategy, the framework of action, and in the continuous feedback mechanisms.
● Ensuring the participation of youth from all political factions, as well as independent youth clubs and networks in the youth Reference Groups.
● The strategy is based on thorough research conducted over more than two years with the Palestinian youth and stakeholders; the focus areas are thus developed on this basis rather than on donor trends.
● This strategy is not an end-product; it is a continuous work in progress based on the needs and input of the youth.
● A main component of this strategy is that it is suggesting a framework of action for its implementation, which avoids the strategy to end up merely on papers.
● The suggested framework of action ensures that all areas of action are being advanced at the same time.
This strategy functions as an overarching umbrella under which different initiatives and investments with and for the Palestinian youth in Lebanon can align and cooperate in ways that can mitigate redundancy in work and thus optimize available resources and increase impact.
The strategy is for all young Palestinians living in Lebanon (regardless of their “legal” situation) to have the opportunities, skills, resources, and support networks that tangibly support them to improve their life conditions, engage in their communities’ development, and influence decisions that affect them and their future.