UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
Text of a letter dated 14 April 1949 from M. de Rougé,
Secretary-General, League of Red Cross Societies, to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, transmitted for the
information of the Conciliation Commission
Conscious of the many difficulties which you and your representatives have faced since the start of this programme, we in turn take this opportunity to express our admiration of the determined and efficient manner in which you and they have pursued our mutual objective, and for the sympathetic understanding accorded League problems.
With regard to the extension of the UNRPR programme beyond August 31, 1949, I am enclosing a copy of a resolution adopted by the Executive Committee of the League in Geneva, on April 8, 1949.
From this resolution you will note that the League is not adverse to continuing as one of the operating agencies for the UNRPR programme for a few months “if certain technical conditions are fulfilled . . . but this operating cannot continue indefinitely”.
In the latter connection, the League Executive Committee seeks assurances that an early, determined effort will be made by the United Nations for a final solution of the refugee problem, so that the League may withdraw as soon as it is possible to do so.
Discussions have been started with Deputy Director Parminter of the UNRPR in Geneva, on technical conditions under which the League would be prepared to continue its collaboration with UNRPR after August 31, 1949.
B. de Rougé
Having taken note of the report presented to it by Mr. van Ketwich Verschuur, League Commissioner entrusted with the distribution of the United Nations Organisation relief to the Palestinian refugees in the Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan,
Congratulates Mr. van Ketwich Verschuur and his colleagues on the manner in which they have carried out their mission, which has met with the approval of the authorities of the United Nations Organisation,
Considers, nevertheless, that it should indicate to the latter certain matters which preoccupy it:
(a) The means so far assembled allow a minimum quantity of food to be guaranteed to the refugees, but the number of these is constantly increasing; and their needs are far from being covered as regards shelter, clothing, medical and pharmaceutical aid. These needs can only be met if the members of the United Nations Organisation and the other interested Governments complete the contribution of the funds required. In this respect it would be opportune to send them a reminder without delay.
(b) The Executive Committee furthermore is perturbed as regards the date on which the action undertaken is to be terminated. This date, which was originally planned for the end of August, can no doubt be prolonged for a few months, and if certain technical conditions are fulfilled, the League will readily continue to collaborate therein. But this operation cannot continue indefinitely. Before it is brought to an end, it is to be hoped that as large a number as possible of refugees will have been able to return to their homes and to resume normal existence.
Such a result is outside the role and the competence of the League of Red Cross Societies. It can only be obtained through the intervention and the persistent action of the U.N.O. and its General Secretariat with the Governments concerned.
The Executive Committee of the League expresses the hope that this action will be brought to bear in due course.
It declines in advance all responsibility should such action not meet with success and if the relief were withdrawn before the majority of the refugees had been repatriated.
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