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UNITED
NATIONS
A

      General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/59/151
14 July 2004

Original: English

Fifty-ninth session
Item 77 of the preliminary list*
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East



Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

Report of the Secretary-General **


Summary
In its resolution 58/92 of 9 December 2003, the General Assembly reaffirmed the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes and endorsed the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to such persons. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to report to it, after consulting with the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, on the progress made in the implementation of that resolution.

The present report refers to correspondence between the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations regarding actions taken by the Government of Israel in implementing the relevant provisions of the resolution. It also presents the information made available by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to the Secretary-General on the return of refugees registered with the Agency to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from places outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

* A/59/50 and Corr.1.
** The present report could not be submitted by the slotted date, as it needed to include a response from a Member State which was received on 12 July 2004.




1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of paragraph 5 of its resolution 58/92 of 9 December 2003, entitled “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”, the operative part of which reads:
2. On 12 April 2004, the Secretary-General had addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, in which he drew attention to his reporting responsibility under the resolution and requested the Permanent Representative to inform him of any action his Government had taken or envisaged taking in respect of the implementation of the relevant provisions of the resolution.

3. In a note verbale dated 12 July 2004, the Permanent Representative of Israel replied as follows:


4. In connection with paragraph 2 of General Assembly resolution 58/92, the Secretary-General has obtained from the Commissioner-General of UNRWA the information available to him on the return of refugees registered with the Agency. As indicated in previous reports on the subject, the Agency is not involved in any arrangements for the return of refugees nor is it involved in any arrangements for the return of displaced persons who are not registered as refugees. Its information is based on requests by returning registered refugees for transfer of their entitlements for services to the areas to which they have returned and subsequent correction of records. The Agency would not necessarily be aware of the return of any registered refugees who had not requested the provision of services. So far as is known to the Agency, between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2004, 550 refugees registered with UNRWA returned to the West Bank and 148 to the Gaza Strip from places outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It should be noted that some of these may not themselves have been displaced in 1967, but may be members of the family of a displaced registered refugee. Thus, taking into account the estimate given in paragraph 4 of the 2003 report of the Secretary-General on the subject (A/58/119), the number of displaced registered refugees who are known by the Agency to have returned to the occupied territories since June 1967 is about 24,600. The Agency is unable to estimate the total number of displaced inhabitants who have re turned. It keeps records only of registered refugees and, as pointed out above, even those records, particularly with respect to the location of registered refugees, may be incomplete.

5. In connection with paragraph 3 of General Assembly resolution 58/92, the Secretary-General refers to the report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for the period 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 2 and to the previous reports of the Commissioner-General for accounts of the continuous and ongoing assistance provided by UNRWA to persons displaced and in need of continued assistance.

Notes

1 A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/59/13) (to be issued).


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