UNGA Chief: Words Cannot Save Palestinian Refugees

UNGA Chief: Words Cannot Save Palestinian Refugees

President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid

Words cannot save Palestinian people suffering from decades of occupation, arbitrary arrests, displacement, and the use of excessive force against them”, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, has said.

“Much remains to be done. Currently over half of the region’s five million Palestinians are dependent on aid. Eighty percent of the population of Gaza is direly in need of assistance. They cry out for access to even basic amenities and services”, said Shahid.

“Similarly, Palestinian refugees dispersed across the Middle East desperately need our help. While I am happy to acknowledge the resumption of funding to UNWRA, which provides much needed humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees, I once again note that funding is insufficient to last for the rest of the year”, added UNGA President.

“UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in need. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall”, Shahid proceeded. “As I have said before, many services to the refugees, including girls’ education, vaccination rollouts and humanitarian assistance are in jeopardy. Let us come together and ensure that there are enough finances to meet the humanitarian needs of Palestinians”.

Speaking during the UNGA plenary meeting on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, Shahid said: "Words cannot restore their demolished homes or halt the proliferation of illegal settlements on their land."

"These issues can only be resolved when we take action to resolve them: by providing humanitarian assistance; ending this conflict; upholding the human dignity of the region's inhabitants", he added.

"Remedying this requires a multilateral political process aimed at achieving a just and peaceful solution. One based on international law and relevant UN resolutions", said UNGA chief.

He stressed that "the lack of progress on this issue, despite it having been on the United Nations' Agenda since 1948, is disheartening: "At stake is not only the region's peace and security, but our ability to come together as a global community and resolve international disputes, in line with the founding vision of the United Nations."

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