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UNRWA Reiterates its Zero Tolerance Policy Toward Hate-Speech
Yesterday, as the world gathered at UN Headquarters in support of the humanitarian and human development mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on behalf of Palestine refugees, a well-known politically motivated organization once again deliberately attempted to delegitimize the work of the Agency. UNRWA is an agency fully committed to upholding United Nations (UN) principles and values and has a zero tolerance to hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.
Even as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told member states that, “Investing in UNRWA means investing in stability for the region,” the Agency found itself reiterating – yet again – that it takes all allegations of employee misconduct seriously, and is already looking at these newly levelled charges, noting that they had not been shared with UNRWA prior to being made public.
The Agency’s legal framework provides a process to investigate and act on potential cases of hate speech, incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, in line with the UN values and principles. Should misconduct be found, UNRWA will take disciplinary action and, as always, the Agency’s Advisory Commission of hosts and donors will be kept informed as the process unfolds.
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 5.7 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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