Saunders: Overwhelming Vote to Extend UNRWA Mandate Confirms Its Vital Role

Saunders: Overwhelming Vote to Extend UNRWA Mandate Confirms Its Vital Role

Christian Saunders - UNRWA’s Acting Commissioner-General

UNRWA’s Acting Commissioner- General, Christian Saunders, has lauded the overwhelming vote by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as a strong indication of UNRWA’s vital role.

“The fact that 170 UN Member-States reaffirmed their trust in UNRWA and expressed support for it to continue providing its essential assistance for the next three years is a confirmation of the vital role that the Agency plays in supporting the needs of Palestine refugees,” said Saunders.

“We are extremely grateful to UN Member States, donors and partners for this overwhelming vote of confidence in the Agency” said Mr. Saunders. “We will ensure that their trust and continued support are well placed.”

UNRWA said that the resolution approved on Friday affirms that Palestine refugees continue to have essential needs and that in the absence of a just and lasting solution to their plight UNRWA continues to meet through its programs and service delivery.

UNRWA added that the vote is a confirmation of the strong support Member States have for the robust measures being undertaken by the Agency to address the issues identified by the recent investigation, as well as for the broader reforms underway to enhance the Agency’s ability to respond to the needs of Palestine refugees.

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly voted on Friday to extend UNRWA mandate. The UN General Assembly will vote in plenary session next month on the resolution adopted by the Fourth Committee.

UNRWA was established 70 years ago and provides essential services to Palestine refugees based on a mandate given to it by the General Assembly which is renewed every three years. UNRWA is experiencing the worst financial deficit in its 70 year history and is seeking to overcome a financial gap of nearly US$ 89 million before the end of the year.


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