- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 08:53
On Tuesday 22nd May, the University of Palestine (UP) in Gaza by its affiliated new centre "European Research & Information Centre (ERIC)" hosted a special event celebrating Europe Day and remarking 20 years anniversary of ECHO. The EU Representative, Mr. John Gatt-Rutter and the University Administration marked the opening of the event in the presence of hundreds of visitors and participant organizations.
Moner Murtaja Vice President for Programs and External Relations of the University and Director of the ERIC welcomed the EU Representative to Gaza and said that "we took the initiative to give a chance to the community to learn more about Europe, we are more than Middle East and Europe.. Even more than neighbours... while the distance between Brussels and Strasbourg is 217 miles, the distance between Gaza and the nearest EU sea port is less than 300 miles. "
"We grow up with knowledge, and we share same values.. Universities are more than the next level in the learning process for the humankind, they are the backbone of the society, with universities we get safe and better global world for all, and provide peaceful environment for us and the coming generations.".. "Mr. Gatt-Rutter was very positive to the initiative of the ERIC which was inspired from President Barroso's vision in March when he declared his interest and determination to foster intercultural dialogue and the readiness of the Commission to support any concrete proposal in this direction" said Murtaja, we are very happy for the cooperation and support of the EU Delegation and we will have technical meetings shortly to strengthen our relations further.
Murtaja closed his speech thanking the EU Representative for supporting this very special event and also , he thanked ECHO for their participation in the event and congratulated them for celebrating 20 years of work "their support to the organizations who are working with the most vulnerable communities gave hope to people and proved Europe stance towards humanity".
"I am personally very moved of what I see, this reminds me very much of Brussels", said the EU Representative in the opening of his speech. "Gaza is a very important integral part of Palestine which is why we are here, which is why we will continue to come here, which is why we are engaged and why we are involved. I also would like to thank our partners joining us today in celebrating Europe day together with the Palestinian people and making this such a special event." "Gaza is on top of the EU Agenda", he added, and we will continue supporting Gaza and the people in Gaza and Palestine. Education is essential to the development of any country and the European Union is investing a lot in education here. Our support also reaches other sectors such as agriculture, private-sector and institution-building with the PA", the EU Representative added.
"Let me thank you for hosting this event and commend you for the work you are doing which is a fantastic example of our cooperation. "
Mr. Gatt Rutter then gave a lecture on the EU-Palestinian Relations with the attendance of more than hundred student, academic staff, and heads of international humanitarian organizations working in Palestine. Mr. Gatt-Rutter talked about the EU stance towards Palestine and explained the mechanism and areas of support to the students and answered questions in different topics.
Participating organizations included: EU Delegation, ECHO, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale , Action Against Hunger, Help Age and Cooperazione Intern