Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Sources
Date Range

PLO expresses "complete opposition" to transferring UNRWA’s services to other international institutions

Headline: “The PLO Executive Committee and the [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs oppose the transfer of some of UNRWA’s authorities to other international organizations”

 

 

“The PLO Executive Committee called on UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini to recant the positions that he expressed recently regarding the possibility of transferring UNRWA’s services to other international institutions. The committee said that these statements clearly contradict international [UN] Resolution 302, by virtue of which the agency [UNRWA] was established, and the mandate that most precisely defines the roles and areas of responsibility imposed on it, which integrate the humanitarian aspect with the political aspect. It added that [UNRWA] must continue its work until the problem of the Palestinian refugees is resolved according to [UN] Resolution 194 (see note below -Ed.), which determines that the refugees’ right to return to the lands and properties from which they were uprooted in 1948 must be ensured.

The PLO Executive Committee emphasized its opposition to any harming of the agency’s roles and its services of health, education, and welfare, and also its complete opposition to discussing any kind of dubious solutions on the pretext of financial difficulties and lack of funding, whose goal is to bring about a change in the political and legal status of the Palestinian refugee…

The executive committee warned against the new-old dubious plans and attempts whose goal is to eliminate UNRWA’s activity…

The executive committee emphasized that the current financial difficulties require Lazzarini – by virtue of his authorities and responsibility – to make extraordinary efforts to provide the needed funding for the continued provision of UNRWA’s services at the required level and quality…

[PLO Executive Committee member and] Head of [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli emphasized that the UNRWA commissioner-general does not have the authority to propose solutions for dealing with the deficit in the agency’s budget that will harm its mandate. He added that he has no authority to transfer UNRWA’s authorities to other international organizations under the slogan of ‘partnerships.’

He demanded that Lazzarini give clarifications regarding the meanings of his message, and immediately declare that he recants his words as if they were never said – especially because his statements will lead to furious responses by the Palestinian refugees, and they will create a different impression for the refugees about UNRWA than that which they have had throughout seven decades, [when they thought of it] as their friend.

Abu Houli demanded that the UNRWA commissioner-general publish the results of the latest tour he held to raise financial resources, which caused him to choose the option of transferring a number of UNRWA’s authorities to other international organizations…

He emphasized that what the commissioner proposed is not a solution, but rather submission to the will of a number of states that do not want UNRWA to continue its work, and an attempt to negate its political aspect…

Abu Houli added that preserving UNRWA means preserving the refugees’ right to return and receive compensation according to the resolutions of the international institutions.”

 

 

 

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."