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Approved by the General Assembly Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on 15/11/2010.
Adopted by the General Assembly on 10/12/2010.
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
LIMITED
A/C.4/65/L.10
5 November 2010

Original: English

Sixty-fifth session
Special Political and Decolonization Committee
(Fourth Committee)
Agenda item 51
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East



Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and Palestine: draft resolution


Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including its resolution 64/89 of 10 December 2009,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2009,1

Taking note of the letter dated 22 June 2010 from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General,2

Deeply concerned about the critical financial situation of the Agency, caused in part by the structural underfunding of the Agency, as well as its rising expenditures resulting from the deterioration of the socio-economic and humanitarian conditions in the region and their significant negative impact on the provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related and development programmes,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,3

Recalling also the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel,4

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,5 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult socio-economic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continuing prolonged Israeli closures, the construction of the wall, the severe economic and movement restrictions that in effect amount to a blockade and the continuing negative repercussions of the military operations in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009, which caused extensive loss of life and injury, particularly among Palestinian civilians, including children and women; widespread damage and destruction to Palestinian homes, properties, vital infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals, schools and United Nations facilities; and internal displacement of civilians,

Commending the extraordinary efforts by the Agency to provide emergency relief, medical, food, shelter and other humanitarian assistance to needy and displaced families in the Gaza Strip,

Recalling, in this regard, its resolution ES-10/18 of 16 January 2009 and Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009,

Expressing regret over the continued restrictions that impede the Agency’s efforts to repair and rebuild thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters and Agency facilities, including schools and health centres, and calling upon Israel to ensure the unimpeded import of essential construction materials into the Gaza Strip, while taking note of recent developments regarding the situation of access there,

Expressing concern about the severe classroom shortage in the Gaza Strip and the consequent negative impact on the right to education of refugee children as a result of the inability of the Agency to construct new schools owing to Israel’s ongoing restrictions impeding the entry of necessary construction materials into the Gaza Strip,

Stressing the urgent need for reconstruction to begin in the Gaza Strip, including through the completion of numerous suspended projects managed by the Agency, and for the commencement of other urgent United Nations-led civilian reconstruction activities,

Urging the disbursement of pledges made at the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 2 March 2009, to accelerate the reconstruction process,

Commending the Agency’s continuing efforts to assist those refugees affected and displaced by the crisis in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, and welcoming the efforts of the Government of Lebanon and the international community to support the rebuilding by the Agency of the Nahr el-Bared camp,

Aware of the valuable work done by the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the endangerment of the safety of the Agency’s staff and about the damage and destruction caused to the facilities of the Agency during the reporting period,

Deploring in particular the extensive damage and destruction of Agency facilities in the Gaza Strip caused during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009, including to schools where civilians were sheltered and the Agency’s main compound and warehouse, as reported in the summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the Board of Inquiry6 and in the report of the United Nations Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,7

Deploring also in this regard the breaches of the inviolability of United Nations premises, the failure to accord the property and assets of the Organization immunity from any form of interference and the failure to protect United Nations personnel, premises and property,

Deploring further the killing and injury of Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since September 2000,

Deploring the killing and wounding of refugee children in the Agency schools by the Israeli occupying forces during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009,

Deeply concerned about the continuing imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement and access of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, and the injury, harassment and intimidation of the Agency’s staff, which undermine and obstruct the work of the Agency, including its ability to provide essential basic and emergency services,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,8

1. Reaffirms that the effective functioning of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East remains essential in all fields of operation;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the difficult conditions and unstable circumstances faced during the past year;

3. Expresses special commendation to the Agency for the essential role that it has played for over sixty years since its establishment in providing vital services for the well-being, human development and protection of the Palestine refugees and the amelioration of their plight;

4. Expresses its appreciation for the important support provided by the host Governments to the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities;

6. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East9 and the efforts of the Working Group to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

7. Commends the Agency’s six-year Medium-Term Strategy, which commenced in January 2010, and the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011;10

8. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to support the institutional strengthening of the Agency through the provision of sufficient financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations;

9. Commends the Agency for the successful completion of its three-year reform programme, and urges the Agency to apply maximum efficiency procedures to reduce operational and administrative cost and to maximize the use of resources;

10. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report on the strengthening of the management capacity of the Agency as requested by the Working Group and as endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 64/89;

11. Endorses the efforts of the Commissioner-General to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are internally displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of recent crises in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Lebanon;

12. Welcomes the progress made so far by the Agency in rebuilding the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, and calls for the expeditious completion of its reconstruction, for the continued provision of relief assistance to those displaced following its destruction in 2007 and for the alleviation of their ongoing suffering through the fulfilment of pledges made at the International Donor Conference held in Vienna on 23 June 2008;

13. Encourages the Agency, in close cooperation with other relevant United Nations entities, to continue making progress in addressing the needs and rights of children and women in its operations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child11 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,12 respectively;

14. Commends in this regard the Agency’s “Summer Games” initiative providing recreational, cultural and educational activities for children in the Gaza Strip and, recognizing its positive contribution, calls for full support of the initiative;

15. Expresses concern about the relocation of the international staff of the Agency from its headquarters in Gaza City and the disruption of operations at the headquarters due to the deterioration and instability of the situation on the ground;

16. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;5

17. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations3 in order to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

18. Urges the Government of Israel to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by Israel;

19. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement and access of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of taxes, extra fees and charges, which affect the Agency’s operations detrimentally;

20. Also calls upon Israel to fully lift the restrictions impeding the import of necessary construction materials and supplies for the reconstruction and repair of damaged or destroyed Agency facilities, in particular schools, health centres and thousands of refugee shelters, and for the implementation of suspended civilian infrastructure projects in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip;

21. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

22. Notes with appreciation the progress made by the Agency in the modernization of its archives through the Palestine Refugee Records Project, and encourages the Commissioner-General to finalize the remaining components of the project as rapidly as possible and to report on the progress made to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session;

23. Also notes with appreciation the success of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute to the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation;

24. Reiterates its appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute to the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

25. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency in order to address the serious financial constraints and underfunding, especially with respect to the Agency’s regular budget deficit, noting that financial shortfalls have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground that has resulted in rising expenditures, in particular with regard to emergency services, and to support the Agency’s valuable and necessary work in assisting the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation.

Notes

1See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/65/13).
2Ibid., pp. vi and vii.
3 Resolution 22 A (I).
4 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2051, No. 35457.
5Ibid., vol. 75, No. 973.
6 See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
7A/HRC/12/48.
8Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.
9A/65/551.
10See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13A (A/64/13/Add.1).
11 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
12Ibid., vol. 1249, No. 20378.



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