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Department of Public Information (DPI)
15 August 2013
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN RAMALLAH, SAYS LAUNCH OF UN DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FRAMEWORK
MARKS NEW CHAPTER OF PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OF PALESTINE, UNITED NATIONS
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the launch of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, in Ramallah, 15 August:
Thank you for joining us for this important event.
The world is changing, and so are demands on the United Nations. We are engaged in a continuous process of reform to strengthen our ability to deliver to those in need. We are enhancing our strategic focus and better aligning our development programmes in support of national priorities.
This means greater transparency and flexibility. It means doing more with what we have and strengthening our accountability. We are working to better integrate efforts in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and other areas to make a real difference in the lives of people.
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework is central to these efforts. Today’s launch marks a new chapter of partnership between the people and Government of Palestine and the United Nations.
United Nations agencies have a long history of providing assistance for Palestine, starting with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, in 1950. UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] commenced activities on the ground in 1980. Today, 19 UN agencies operate here.
Through the UNDAF, the UN is combining our efforts to deliver better results for all Palestinians, including refugees. I am impressed by the achievements of the Palestinian state-building agenda, which the UNDAF will continue to support.
The Palestinian people are clearly determined to transform an ambitious vision into reality — even against considerable odds. Meaningful and sustained progress on development remains challenging given the continued occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
But along with our national and international partners, many of whom are represented here today, the United Nations is helping to strengthen the capacity of the Palestinian Government and other institutions to provide essential services to the Palestinian people. We are helping to enhance the resilience of individuals and communities. Yet, more needs to be done.
The long overdue goal of the Palestinian people is to live in a viable, independent and sovereign State. It is the right of all Palestinians and central to the stability of the region. And it is a goal of the United Nations.
I, therefore, welcome the resumption of credible negotiations to achieve the two-State solution and appreciate the courageous efforts of President [Mahmoud] Abbas and Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu of both parties. These important steps towards peace augur well for this first-ever UNDAF.
And I am that much grateful for all your strong support for a socioeconomically viable State of Palestine, and let us work together and help two parties so that they can make progress in negotiations. And I am very much glad to be able to visit at this time, a crucially important time, when they have just begun these meaningful negotiations and I am here to support the United Nations, as well as, as a member of the Quartet, to strongly support ongoing progress.
I am sure that, unfortunately, there will be many obstacles, but how to create a conducive atmosphere politically by both sides and with the support of all the international partners that will be the key of the success. And I am very much grateful for both leadership and particularly President Abbas and Prime Minister [Rami] Hamdallah whose people have been working hard under occupation and with the strict restrictions of passages and freedoms, and their independent and viable two State-solution aspiration is long overdue.
This is the right time and let us seize this moment for the benefit and interest of Palestinian people and Israeli people so that they can live side by side in peace and security. That’s our dream and aspiration of a two-State solution. Thank you very much. Thank you.
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