The Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly gathered for this morning’s meeting “For the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA).” Delegates discussed the organization’s growing funding gap and raised questions regarding its future prospects.
To begin, the President of the General Assembly, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, and the Secretary General, Mr. Antiónio Guterres, introduced the role of UNRWA in providing indispensable education, healthcare and food support for Palestinian refugees. Representing UNRWA, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl summarized the social, psychological, and material benefits of operations in Palestine, and further affirmed that additional monetary contributions would be put towards ensuring greater stability and relief in this troubled region. The Presidents of the Gaza and West Bank UNRWA Student Parliaments were invited to share the experiences of children gaining from education provision. Their recounts of the security, empowerment and purpose that the organization guarantees were admirably poignant.
Subsequently, delegates were invited to contribute their opinions regarding this issue. The efforts of UNRWA were overwhelmingly supported, as many nations pledged financial assistance to close the funding gap. The importance of stable and predictable funding were underscored, however, the settlement of a lasting peace was determined as a constant long-term goal towards which the United Nations should strive.
Meeting: Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
Date/Location: Tuesday, 25 June, 2019; 10:00-13:00; Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, President of General Assembly;
H.E. Mr. Antiónio Guterres, Secretary-General;
Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);
Ms. Hanan Abu Sabe, President of West Bank UNRWA Student Parliament;
Mr. Hatem Handuna, President of Gaza UNRWA Student Parliament;
Interventions from Delegates
Written by: WIT Representative, Izabela Zawartka