New agreement with Palestinian International Cooperation Agency to strengthen human resource development

On November 29, 2018, Birzeit University, represented by its president Abdullatif Abuhijleh, and the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA), represented by its Director General Imad Zuheiri, agreed on designing programs and initiatives that encompass investment in human capital and the building of connections with Palestinians in the diaspora to achieve development, cooperation, and solidarity in the states of the Global South.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dean of Student Affairs Mohammad Al Ahmad, Assistant to the Dean Fadel Khaldi, Director of the External Academic Relations Office Amir Khalil, and a delegation from PICA.

President Abuhijleh stressed the deep-seated connection of the Palestinian diaspora to their homeland and discussed the role of national institutions in investing in Palestinian human capital, as diaspora Palestinians constitute an essential part of the nation’s development. Abuhijleh highlighted the role of academia in supporting Palestine’s foreign policy goals and objectives by informing and influencing internationals and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people of Palestine and their brothers and sisters around the world.

Abuhijleh expressed his enthusiasm about the implementation of the agreement, which will create long-term engagement with the agency, the Palestinian diaspora, qualified youth, and Palestine’s supporters across the world. “Such agreements are highly needed to enhance Palestine’s status as an active member in the international system, and preserve our national identity and history.”

Zuheiri explained the general framework within which PICA, established upon the instructions of President Mahmoud Abbas, operates. According to Zuheiri, the agency seeks to strengthen its presence in the international arena, and acts alongside other international teams in tackling the various challenges affecting countries in the Global South, such as Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Venezuela, Ecuador, and other southern nations.

He pointed to the importance of showing solidarity with members of the international community by taking advantage of Palestine’s highly-qualified human resources. PICA, said Zuheiri, aspires to promote positive international interaction with and from Palestine, and be an active contributor to the world’s efforts to achieve sustainability, equity, equality, and justice.

 PICA was established in 2016 and serves as a public diplomacy mechanism of the State of Palestine and as a development cooperation arm of Palestinian foreign policy.