Statement by UNRWA on Holocaust Education

04 September 2009

4 September 2009

The quotes attributed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to UNRWA‘s Commissioner General, Karen AbuZayd and UNRWA‘s Gaza Director, John Ging are false. We condemn Holocaust denial in all its forms and we reject the politicization of the Holocaust. UNRWA will remain focused on positive curriculum development in teaching children the human rights values enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

UNRWA is committed to human rights education. UNRWA rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event.

UNRWA implements a human rights, conflict resolution and tolerance programme in its schools in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, UNRWA is strengthening this programme by developing a dedicated human rights curriculum anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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