Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Ms. Elizabeth Mayes, Adviser

Tena koutou katoa, good morning everyone.Tena koutou katoa, good morning everyone.

Mr President, thank you for convening this meeting. 

I would like to acknowledge the address of the Secretary-General and that of UNRWA’s Commissioner-General. 

UNRWA remains as important today as it was at the time of its establishment more than 70 years ago. 

- The Agency continues to play a unique and vital role in ensuring that the humanitarian, development and protection needs of Palestinian refugees are met in the absence of a lasting political solution to their situation.
- UNRWA provides essential services to more than five million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.  
- In this regard, UNRWA is an important stabilizing force for peace in the region.
UNRWA operates in a challenging context. 
- The collective failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to continued waves of violence, human suffering, and further distance from a viable two-state solution. 
- We also acknowledge the financial strain being felt by UNRWA as an outcome of global supply, food and fuel pressures. 

In this context, this event is crucial for raising both humanitarian funding and awareness. Aoteaora New Zealand is pleased to advise that we will be contributing a further $3 million dollars in core funding to support UNRWA programmes over the next three years.  

New Zealand has been a supporter of UNRWA since its establishment. With this new three-year, flexible funding commitment, New Zealand is proud to continue our long-standing support to UNRWA and to Palestinian refugees.

Despite recent challenges posed by COVID-19, UNRWA has shown that it has the ability to adapt and to continue making a positive, concrete difference in the lives of the people it serves. 

We are also encouraged to see UNRWA’s ongoing commitment to humanitarian principles and respect for UN values. 

In closing, we acknowledge that the support demonstrated by the international community here today has once again shown our collective determination that Palestinian refugees should be supported to live their lives fully and with dignity. 


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