Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General – on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

22 April 2024

The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude and appreciation to Ms. Catherine Colonna, who on Saturday submitted to him her Final Report as Chair of the Independent Review Group on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), entitled “Independent review of mechanisms and procedures to ensure adherence by UNRWA to the humanitarian principle of neutrality." 

The Secretary-General is also grateful to the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, the Chr. Michelsen Institute, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, for the essential research that they conducted.  

The Secretary-General accepts the recommendations contained in Ms. Colonna's report.  He has agreed with Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini that UNRWA, with the Secretary-General’s support, will establish an action plan to implement the recommendations contained in the Final Report.

In this regard, the Secretary-General counts on the cooperation of the donor community, the host countries and the staff to fully cooperate in the implementation of the recommendations.  Moving forward, the Secretary-General appeals to all stakeholders to actively support UNRWA, as it is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in the region.  

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General 

New York, 22 April 2024

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Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Your support is crucial to help us provide emergency aid 
to displaced families in Gaza

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