Following is a summary of the constitution for the APCUK.
After the failed election of the executive committee under the old APCUK Constitution in 2014, it was clear to members of the Palestinian community that for the community to succeed, we needed a more organised, clearer and comprehensive set of rules to manage it and elect its officers.
At the request of Ambassador Professor Manuel Hassassian, an independent committee was set up to prepare a new constitution, which had to be for the benefit of all Palestinian community members resident in the UK, whatever their beliefs, politics, religion, sex or age.
The members of this committee, called the “Preparatory Committee”, are from across political, religious and gender lines. But all strongly believed in the need to create a strong and transparent constitution to represent Palestinians in the UK. Over 15 months, they created a new Constitution, which is summarised here, but which we strongly recommend everyone to read.
The aims of the community are to support our identity, to raise awareness of Palestine and Palestinians, to connect with and support Palestinians around the world, including in Palestine, and to present a united approach to lobby governments in our quest for self-determination and an end to occupation.
The new constitution is intended to speak for each and every member of our community, to help strengthen the ties among our community members, and to create a democratic, liberal and civilised forum for electing officers. It has a clear set of rules for how officers should carry out their work, serve the local community, and bring the Palestinian family together, united and proud.
You can join the APCUK if you’re of Palestinian origin or are married to someone who is. To join, you also have to agree to follow the constitution’s code of conduct. This code is both liberal and firm.
The new constitution gives each area such as London, Scotland and other big cities in the UK, the opportunity to create and run its own local branch. All you need to set up a branch is 50 eligible members who live in the area, and individuals who are ready to stand for election to organise activities. Once elected, they become a “Local Executive Committee”, which needs to include a chairperson. To stand for election as a chairperson, you should create and present a program of what you’d want to do in your area at least 90 days before the election. The committee and chairperson serve in office for 2 years.
There is no executive committee for the whole of the UK as there was under the old constitution. This way, no area needs to be left out by everything happening in London as before. And if you don’t have a branch in your area, you can simply join the closest one. All of these committees together make up the APCUK.
If you meet those requirements and want to create a new community in your area in the UK, please read the full constitution to familiarise yourself with how it works, then let the Preparatory Committee know. Arrangements can then be made to have elections for your Local Executive Committee. We would love to have communities represented in all the major cities in the UK.
Once we’ve had the first set of elections, the Preparatory Committee will then become the “Supervisory Committee”, and its role will simply be to make sure that all the different local executive committees follow the constitution, don’t abuse their power, or bring the community’s reputation into disrepute.
Because the constitution is designed to be fully democratic and transparent, once the elected chairs of Local Executive Committees finish their term in office, they will join the Supervisory Committee and replace existing members of the Supervisory Committee, who will resign to make way for the new members to join. There will be no “life members” who aren’t elected by the community.
If you want to join the APCUK, up until the first election, targeted for September 2017, send an application form from the Website www.apc-uk.org, to the Preparatory Committee. After our first elections, membership applications will be made to and decided by your local executive committee.
Together we unite in our love of Palestine.
The Preparatory Committee