Revealed: Albanese's Global Network Targets Israel

UN Watch

Exposed: Francesca Albanese’s Global Influence Network Targeting Israel

 Francesca Albanese is well known as the Special Rapporteur appointed in 2022 by the UN Human Rights Council with the mandate to “investigate Israel’s violations of the bases and principles of international law.” Less well known is that Albanese has been running a global influence network of more than 100 individuals and NGOs to target Israel by orchestrating lawfare campaigns, whitewashing Hamas terrorism, and cynically manipulating governments into funding UNRWA.

Albanese’s GNQP Network Includes UN, UNRWA, PLO Officials, Institutions in 22 Countries

Albanese is proud of co-founding and running the “Global Network on the Question of Palestine” (GNQP). She runs it under the auspices of the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) in Amman, an organization she joined in November 2018 as a senior advisor.

No other co-founder is listed, however the other leading figures behind the network appears to be Lex Takkenberg, UNRWA’s former legal counsel and chief ethics inspector, who today lives in Vienna and Paris. Albanese was his colleague when she worked at UNRWA’s legal office in 2010-2012, and he likely was the one who hired her. Like Albanese, Takkenberg also works for ARDD, where he is the leader of its Question of Palestine Program, which “aims to to establish a platform in the Arab World for critical reflection with respect to the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian question and the Palestinian refugee issue.”

Global Network co-leader Lex Takkenberg has boasted that their group was a key player in spreading the “genocide” libel against Israel.

In 2020, Albanese and Takkenberg co-authored a book together, “Palestinian Refugees in International Law.” Albanese and Takkenberg are also close collaborators on numerous other projects, including their co-authoring in 2021 the working paper, “Rethinking solutions for Palestinian refugees: A much-needed paradigm shift and an opportunity towards its realization,” and a paper for ARDD, “The Actuality of the Palestinian Refugee Question: An International Law Perspective.”


Notably, the institute funding Albanese and Takkenberg, ARDD, is a listed partner of UNRWA, and its donors include not only UNHCR, UNOCHA, and UN Women, but also the European Union, United States, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. It is unclear whether the citizens and lawmakers of these governments are aware that they are funding an organization that runs a global influence network which uses orchestrated messaging campaigns to manipulate decision-makers and public opinion.


Albanese appears to have created the “Global Network on the Question of Palestine,” which is described as constantly expanding, a year later, in 2021. Today, her Global Netowrk counts 100 individuals and institutions in 22 different countries, including former cabinet ministers, former senior UN, UNRWA, PLO and government officials, and a former member of the European Parliament.


ARDD is based in Amman and the Global Network has a strong Jordanian connection. Prince Hassan bin Talal, former heir to the Jordanian crown, is listed as a patron. The network includes several former Jordanian government officials: former social development minister Reem Abu-Hassan, former economic affairs minister of state Yusuf Mansur, and Yasin Abu-Awwad, former director general of Jordan’s Palestinian affairs department.


The Global Network of experts, senior advisors and observers includes senior Palestinian politicians and diplomats, academics, and journalists, as well as many from Western countries such as the U.S., Canada, UK, Austria, Italy and France.

Albaneset’s global network includes:

  • Kjersti G. Berg, UNRWA expert and post-doctoral research fellow at Denmark’s Christian Michelson Institute (CMI), one of the three groups that led the recent “Independent Review” of UNRWA. Berg is one of the world’s leading champions of UNRWA and a staunch opponent of holding the agency to account for its links to terrorism. That she was part of a network orchestrating complex schemes to influence countries to fund UNRWA, while also taking part in Catherine Colonna’s “Independent Review” of UNRWA, is outrageous. Berg is involved in most if not all of CMI’s publications on UNRWA. In 2022, she authored a CMI report on UNRWA examining reasons for the agency’s funding troubles and advising steps forward. Berg’s report states that UNRWA’s funding problems are caused by “unfounded claims” that the agency “instigates violence, for example, through school curricula with an anti-Israeli edge.” In other words, although CMI was selected to conduct an “independent review” of UNRWA, Berg’s CMI report had already expressed the opinion that claims of UNRWA incitement-documented over 10 years in a series of reports by UN Watch that show screenshots of UNRWA teachers calling to slaughter Jews-are “unfounded.” Berg’s CMI report also celebrated UNRWA’s political significance “as a symbol of the refugees’ right of return and the international responsibility for their predicament.” Presumably Berg was a focal point for CMI’s work on the Colonna review group. In her CMI reports on UNRWA, and in her other writings
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