Secretary-General ‘Greatly Relieved’ over Announcement of School Year Funding for Palestine Refugees
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is greatly relieved that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will be able to open its school year, safeguarding the education of 500,000 students in United Nations schools across the Middle East.
He stresses that education is a right, and that rights delayed are rights denied. Thanks to the generosity of United Nations Member States and tireless fund-raising efforts, that right can now be realized. This achievement cannot be underestimated at a time of rising extremism in one of the world’s most unstable regions.
The Secretary-General has personally been involved in raising the issue of UNRWA funding at the highest political levels. He reaffirms his commitment to working with Member States to place UNRWA on a solid financial footing to avoid a situation where the Agency is forced to the brink of a decision that would have had tragic human consequences.
He calls on United Nations Member States to support his efforts on behalf of Palestine refugee children and their families. For them, education is a passport to dignity, offering an escape from the poverty trap to a life of prosperity and security. He emphasizes that we must stand by them and the Agency that serves them.
The Governments of host countries, in particular the State of Palestine, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Lebanon, have spared no effort during this challenging period. The Secretary-General expresses his sincere gratitude for their support.
The Secretary-General also underscores that we must do all we can to protect UNWRA’s mandated core services until such times as the Palestine refugees have their plight resolved in the context of a just and durable solution, based on international law and United Nations resolutions.
For information media. Not an official record.