Denmark–Palestine relations refers to the current and historical relations between Denmark and the State of Palestine. Denmark has a representative office in Ramallah. the State of Palestine has a General delegation in Copenhagen.
Recognition of the State of Palestine
On 19 November 1947, Denmark voted for the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, supporting the division of Palestine into two states. Denmark does not recognize the State of Palestine, but in December 2010, Palestinian National Authority asked Denmark to recognize the state with the 1967 borders. In January 2011, Denmark with Norway said that they will soon recognize the State of Palestine, and On 9 March, Mahmoud Abbas visited Denmark for the first time, to discuss bilateral relations between Denmark and Palestine. During the visit, Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen stated that Denmark was not considering recognizing the State of Palestine. On 29 May, the Social Democrats revealed that if they win the next parliamentary election, they will recognize the State of Palestine. In August, it was still unknown if Denmark would vote no or yes for an Independent Palestinian state in the United Nations.
On 15 September 2012, the Social Democrats won the 2011 Danish elections, and expressed support for the Palestinian membership in the UN, but waited for a joint decision in the European Union. On 22 September 2012, hundreds of Danes demonstrated in front of the Folketing. The Palestinian ambassador to Denmark said: "This recognition will enhance Danish-Arab relations and will reflect support of the Danish people for the Palestinian bid to UN". [sic] In October 2012, Denmark abstained from voting in the resolution for Palestine in the UNESCO.
Danish development assistance
Denmark provides assistance to the occupied Palestinian Territories in the following three ways.
- Denmark continues to participate in the peace process, promoting the Roadmap for Peace among other initiatives. The PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department is on such peace building initiative which Denmark supports.
- Denmark supports the creation of a sovereign, democratic, and peaceful Palestinian state. Denmark currently supports organizations which are bringing about the preconditions for these ideals, such as fighting corruption, increasing human rights, and ensuring free and fair elections.
- Denmark seeks to improve the living conditions in Palestine through supporting private sector development. Denmark is currently supporting smaller local councils in the Jenin area through amalgamation and capacity building. An increase in economic integration between the West Bank and Israel is also a goal of the Danish.
Palestinians in Denmark
Peter Hansen, a Danish national, was Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 1996-2005.
In 1978, Hansen joined the United Nations as Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning and Coordination. Between 1985 and 1992, he served as Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. In March 1994, he took over the post of Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He also served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee established to follow up the Washington Conference in support of the Middle East peace process.
Hansen was appointed Commissioner-General of UNRWA by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on January 20, 1996 and took office on March 1, 1996. His term ended on March 31, 2005 and he retired from United Nations service. Hansen had been critical of Israeli actions and UN sources said the US had opposed his reappointment.
On October 1, 2004, Israel again lodged accusations against UNRWA. The Israeli Defence Forces released unmanned aerial vehicles and video documenting what they initially claimed was a group of Palestinian militants load a rocket into UN-marked vehicle. Israel announced its intention to file a strong complaint against UNRWA and demand that Danish diplomat Peter Hansen, UNRWA's head, be removed from office.
- Government of Denmark. "Danish Representative Office in Ramallah, Palestine". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark). Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations (10 December 2010). "Palestine Embassies, Missions, Delegations Abroad". United Nations. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "After five happy years, the diplomat gymnast has got to split". Copenhagen Post. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- Staff writer (16 December 2010). "Palestinians turn to Europe for statehood recognition". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Tue Magnussen (19 January 2011). "Denmark bør snarest anerkende Palæstina". Ulandsnyt (in Danish). Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- T (9 March 2011). "Espersen mødes med Abbas". Ulandsnyt (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "Denmark to recognize Palestine if Social Democrats win polls". NOW Lebanon. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "New govt. would recognise Palestinian state". Politiken. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Mange spørgsmål før Palæstina-afstemning". 16 August 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Rød regering støtter Palæstinas FN-krav". Information. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Demonstration in Denmark in Support of UN Bid". WAFA; Palestine News & Info Agency. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "UNESCO vote to admit Palestine: how the countries voted". UN Watch. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- "Enhedslisten modtager pris fra palæstinensisk præsident" (in Danish). 6 June 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- Government of Denmark. "Danish Development Assistance to the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark). Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Palestinian Refugees". Danish Immigration Museum (in Danish). Danish Immigration Museum. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- Staff writer (20 January 2005). "Unrwa head to go against his will". BBC NEWS. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Staff writer (2 February 2005). "Allow Hansen to continue". Palestine Report. Retrieved 14 February 2011.