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Assistance humanitaire - débats de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) (11 novembre 2008) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
11 November 2008


General Assembly
GA/10781

              Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly
Plenary
44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM)


EMERGENCY RELIEF MUST BE TIMELY, IMPARTIAL, SPEAKERS SAY, AS ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES

DEBATE ON WAYS TO BOLSTER UNITED NATIONS HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE



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Background

The General Assembly met today to continue its joint debate on strengthening United Nations coordination of humanitarian assistance ...

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Statements

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RIYAD H. MANSOUR, Permanent Observer for Palestine, said that, for Palestinians, international assistance represented the global community’s “unwavering commitment” to the ultimate realization of their inalienable rights.  For the past six decades, such assistance had been vital to ensuring that they had not been forgotten, despite the many years of conflict.

The past eight years had seen mounting burdens on both the Palestinian society and international donors, resulting from Israel’s illegal actions, which had targeted donor-funded projects.  Israeli policies had forced a process of “de-development” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, he said, citing a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report showing that construction of Israeli settlements and ongoing construction of the Wall were directly linked to erosion of the Territory’s productive capacity.

Despite best efforts, recovery from the forced plunge into deep poverty had been slow, he said, adding that in the last eight years, the Palestinian economy had transformed from one driven by private-sector investment to one degraded by warlike conditions.  The “occupation matrix” of closures included some 630 checkpoints and restricted bypass roads, which struck at the heart of the Palestinian economy through multiple channels.  The World Bank concluded that the economy would likely have doubled in size between 2000 and 2007, were it not for such restrictions.

In the Gaza Strip, 80 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line, and more than 80 per cent were dependent on food aid, he said, a situation worsened by the tightened closure since June 2007.  International aid had had little effect on Palestinians’ grim reality, and as long as the situation deteriorated, no amount of aid could compensate for their astonishing losses.

The unprecedented growth of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in the five years following the creation of the Palestinian Authority, had been “counterproductive”, he said.  International aid should be helping to build the Palestinian State, rather than simply slowing the economy’s deterioration.  Despite such difficulties, the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to lifting people from deep poverty was unwavering.  He called for intensifying efforts to help end illegal Israeli practices, and preventing aid from being spent on repairing the “colossal” damage caused by them.  “Instead, the occupying Power must be compelled to recognize that such actions come at a price,” he said, adding that only then would such actions stop.  He also expected full support to uphold Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

AHMED AL-JARMAN (United Arab Emirates) ...

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The United Arab Emirates also attached special importance to the support and assistance for the Palestinian people and their Government during the humanitarian crisis caused by the cruel hostile policies imposed on them by the Israeli occupying forces.  He stressed the urgency of compelling Israel, to, among others, stop its aggression against Palestine immediately; lift its blockade of the Palestinians; comply with the legal international resolutions; and resume peace negotiations on the basis of the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

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MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) ...

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...  She also spoke of Brazil’s concern over, and contributions to, the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as the increased role needed for regional arrangements in assisting affected countries.

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ABDULLAH AL-SALEM ( Kuwait) ...

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... Kuwait provided assistance to Palestinian people, whether directly or through United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  The state of Kuwait demanded that Israel cease all inhuman practices and lift restrictions on travel to Gaza, and cease building the separation wall that had hurt the Palestinian economy.

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For information media • not an official record

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