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        General Assembly
13 November 2006

Official Records

General Assembly
Sixty-first session
52nd plenary meeting
Monday, 13 November 2006, 10 a.m.

New York

President:Ms. Al-Khalifa .................................................................................(Bahrain)

Agenda item 69

Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance: reports of the Secretary-General (A/61/79 and A/61/463)

(a) Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations

Letter by the Secretary-General (A/61/550)

Reports of the Secretary-General (A/61/85, A/61/87 and A/61/314)

(d) Assistance to the Palestinian people: report of the Secretary-General (A/61/80)


The President: ...


Finally, today’s debate also covers sub-item (d) on assistance to the Palestinian people. Significant long-term financial support from the international community is needed in order to avoid a further degradation of the humanitarian and economic situation in Palestine. Due to the ongoing political uncertainty and economic hardship, United Nations agencies have directed most of their activities towards immediate emergency assistance.


Mr. Al-Shamsi (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic): ...


... The United Arab Emirates also fulfils its financial commitments to the United Nations bodies concerned with humanitarian and relief assistance and development activities, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other development bodies of the Organization. The United Arab Emirates has pledged to give $1.038 million to those bodies in 2007.


The United Arab Emirates attaches great importance to supporting and assisting the Palestinian people and Government and to alleviating the suffering of the people during the humanitarian crisis caused by the brutal assault on them by the Israeli occupation forces. United Arab Emirates donations to the Palestinians in the period 2000-2005 amounted to $829 million. Those funds are in addition to other humanitarian assistance provided through the relevant United Nations agencies to meet their immediate livelihood needs and to rebuild the cities destroyed by the savage Israeli assault.

Furthermore, in July 2005 the United Arab Emirates allocated $100 million to construct the city of Khalifa bin Zayed on the ruins of the evacuated Israeli settlements in Gaza. Relief and services projects in Palestine carried out by the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Authority have exceeded $122 millions dollars, in addition to other assistance in kind.

The United Arab Emirates is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories resulting from the economic, political and military blockade imposed by the Israeli occupying forces — a blockade that has denied people access to humanitarian and economic assistance. The massacres, the collective punishment, the incursions into cities and villages, the confiscation of farmland and water resources, the destruction of property and the construction of the expansionist separation wall, have all led to the death and disabling of thousands of civilians and to the internal displacement of thousands more. Huge losses have been inflicted on the economy, as a result of which more than two thirds of the people now live below the poverty line, while half of the children suffer from diseases related to malnutrition. This situation is in danger of developing into a serious humanitarian disaster.

We call upon the United Nations, especially the Security Council, to fulfil its responsibility for the protection of the Palestinian people and to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to stop its acts of aggression and its other crimes immediately; to lift its blockade of the occupied Palestinian territories; and to halt the construction of the illegal expansionist wall and dismantle those parts that have already been constructed, in compliance with the international legality and the principles of international humanitarian law. Further, it should resume the peace negotiations on the basis of the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the Beirut Summit.

Mr. Wali (Nigeria), Vice-President, took the Chair.

We further emphasize the need for UNRWA to continue to discharge its responsibility to provide services to refugees in all of its areas of operation and the need to continue financial support for the regular and urgent activities and programmes of the Agency. We further urge donor countries to resume their assistance to the Palestinian people and Government in order to alleviate their suffering until an end is put to the Israeli occupation of their land and until the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.


The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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