UNRWA Receives Strong Political Endorsement at Extraordinary Ministerial Conference

Powerful political support was expressed for UNRWA, its mandate and critical services to Palestine refugees at the ministerial conference held in Rome on Thursday entitled, Preserving Dignity and Sharing Responsibility: Mobilizing Collective Action for UNRWA.

The meeting was convened by Jordan, Sweden, and Egypt as co-chairs. Reflecting a global commitment to UNRWA and the Palestine refugees, the conference was attended by senior officials from over seventy countries, as well as international organizations partnering with UNRWA. Participants included United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

The meeting aimed to ensure the collective action of Member States providing sufficient, predictable and sustained funding to UNRWA, by generating a collective dynamic to build new funding alliances, reaffirm support for UNRWA’s mandate and overcome the Agency’s unprecedented shortfall of USD 446 million.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot WallstrAlm, urged traditional and non-traditional donors to come together, given what was at stake.

Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, told delegates that UNRWA’s emergency and human development services were vital to the dignity of over five million people. Shoukry stressed on the necessity of preserving the dignity and the status of the refugees and called upon all concerned parties to adhere to international resolutions that aim at solving the refugee problem.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tribute to UNRWA’s indispensable role.

By keeping half a million children in school and millions of people healthy and nourished, UNRWA is contributing to stability in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as in Jordan and Lebanon � and has undertaken extraordinary efforts to support Palestinians who have suffered as a result of the tragedy in Syria, he said.

UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre KrA�henbuhl, outlined the steps that would come after the Rome conference.

I will report back to the Secretary-General by mid-may on the progress. Palestine refugees deserve our collective mobilization.

Source: Palestine Chronicle