The Quartet, set up in 2002, consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development and institution-building in preparation for eventual statehood. It meets regularly at the level of the Quartet Principals (United Nations Secretary General, United States Secretary of State, Foreign Minister of Russia, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Quartet Special Envoys.
The Quartet Representative, Tony Blair, is charged with implementing a development agenda in line with the Quartet’s mandate: promoting economic growth and job creation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and supporting the institution-building agenda of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The goal is to promote transformative economic change on the ground, underpinning the top-down political process aiming to promote a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.
The Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) consists of a team of policy advisors based in Jerusalem entrusted with shaping and implementing the development agenda of the Quartet Representative. The policy advisors are either seconded or supported by partner countries and organizations or employed directly by the OQR. The major donors providing budget support to the OQR are the United States Government, the Government of Canada, the European Commission and the Norwegian Government.
This advisory team works closely with all levels of the Palestinian National Authority, the Government of Israel, the international donor community, Palestinian civil society, and the Palestinian and Israeli private sectors to implement the development agenda of the Quartet Representative.
A few examples of key OQR achievements include:
- Facilitating Large Economic Projects - Secured Israeli release of electromagnetic frequencies in November 2009 for the commercial launch of a second Palestinian mobile telephone operator Wataniya [investment worth USD 350 million]
- Improving Movement and Access - Facilitated the opening of the Jalameh Crossing between the northern part of the West Bank and Israel enabling vast numbers of Arab Israelis to visit the PA [supported the economic revitalization of the northern West Bank]
- Reconstructing and Opening Up the Gaza Strip - Supported the accelerated implementation of the large Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project (NGEST) and Sheikh Ajleen Project from 2008-2011 [multi-million dollar infrastructure projects]; negotiated a change in the Israeli closure regime on imports into Gaza in June 2010 significantly expanding the volume and range of imported products into Gaza; and secured approval for the export of Gazan products from the furniture, textile and agricultural sectors to all third markets in February 2011.
- Supporting Area C Development - Facilitated Israeli approval to fast-track the issuance of permits for the construction and rehabilitation of 21 new schools and health clinics in Area C in the West Bank in February 2011 [coordinated with the Office of the US Special Envoy].
Who We Are
The OQR Advisors are led by:
- Dr. Tim Williams - Acting Head of Mission (supported by the New Zealand Government)
- Ms. Sandra Wijnberg - Deputy Head of Mission
OQR Advisers based in Jerusalem and Gaza are:
- Ms. Natacha Alexander - Special Advisor (seconded by the British Government)
- Mr. Johan Berggren - East Jerusalem Advisor (seconded by the Swedish Government)
- Mr. Rami Dajani - Legal Governance Advisor
- Mr. Awad Duaibes - Political and Media Advisor
- Mr. Ariel Ezrahi - Infrastructure (Energy) Advisor
- Mr. Steven Farber - Financing and Investment Advisor (supported by the Canadian Government)
- Mr. Nick Gardner - Construction Engineer (supported by UNOPS)
- Mrs. Karen Kaufman - Political and Press Advisor
- Mr. Neil Kritz - Rule of Law Advisor (supported by the US Institute of Peace and by the Government of the Netherlands)
- Mrs. Enas Abu Laban - Private Sector Development Adviser (ICT and Tourism)
- Mr. Martijn Lucassen - Special Advisor to the Head of Mission and Deputy Head of Mission (seconded by the Government of the Netherlands)
- Mr. Feras Milhem - Rule of Law Advisor (supported by the Government of the Netherlands)
- Mrs. Ranan Al-Muthaffar – Business Development Adviser (Light Manufacturing)
- Mr. Michael Neuwirth – Area C Advisor (seconded by the United Nations)
- Mr. Nassim Nour - Private Sector Advisor (seconded by the British Government)
- Mr. Bader Rock - Private Sector Advisor (supported by the Australian Government)
- Mr. Hadi Abu Shahla - Development Advisor (based in Gaza)
- Mrs. Ruti Winterstein - Political and Media Advisor
The Quartet Representative and OQR Advisors are supported by a team of professionals in administration, operations and security.