Statement delivered by Phillip Taula, Deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations on June 2, 2015.

• UNRWA plays an essential role in highly challenging conditions, assisting a group which is particularly vulnerable to conflict.

• Its activities are also essential for a region which is doing so much to assist displaced people - particularly when resources are already strained by the scale of need being generated by conflict.

• UNRWA’s efforts to maintain delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis in Yarmouk, Syria, is just one demonstration of its commitment. As Security Council members we have been following UNRWA’s work even more closely than usual.

• The importance of UNRWA’s work is not only in times of crisis. It also provides investment to maintain and develop the human capital of these communities – for example by providing education and other social services, and grassroots economic support through micro-financing.

• This is critical if we are to ensure there is a firm foundation for rebuilding communities once the Israelis and Palestinians have reached an agreement on the issues that divide them.

• New Zealand is a long standing supporter of UNRWA. We have again contributed funding this year, and have made additional contributions to flash appeals previously.

• We welcome the support for UNRWA provided by key donors and others. We also welcome the many statements of support today for enhanced efforts to ensure continuation of sustainable development among refugee communities.