Jordan, Sweden chair ministerial meeting to secure funding for UNRWA

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN— Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde chaired, in New York, a ministerial meeting to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), with the participation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

A ministry statement on Thursday, said the meeting, which was attended by a number of foreign ministers and representatives of about forty countries and international organization, and the agency's Commissioner-General Philip Lazarini focused on developing policies and strategies that would ensure the sustainability of financing the UNRWA’s programs to enable it to provide its vital services to Palestinian refugees in its five areas of operation.

The meeting also covered mobilizing support for the vote in the United Nations General Assembly to renew the agency's mandate next December.

Addressing the meeting, Guterrs stressed the centrality of the UNRWA in enhancing the stability in the Middle East region, calling for adequate and sustainable funding for the agency, noting that the organization still needs over $100 million.

He added that without the vital services provided by UNRWA, there would be no education for children and a shelter for families, pointing out that UNRWA's support is a moral responsibility, and that any disruption of its work would lead to frustration, and provides terrorist organizations a fertile environment for recruitment.

For his part, Safadi stressed the importance of the agency's role as an important factor for stability in the region and the need to continue to implement its entire international mandate, and the importance of the international community to provide the necessary political and financial support to UNRWA so that it can continue to provide its vital services to the refugees.

According to the statement, Safadi stressed the need to work on the principle of participatory burden-bearing, stressing the Kingdom’s continued work with Sweden and international and regional partners to provide the support the agency needs to ensure the continued flow of the necessary support it needs, stressing the need to work on developing policies, strategies and a predictable budget through a 3-year funding plan, enabling UNRWA to fund its program budget from the United Nations regular budget.

Also during the meeting, Safadi stressed that the agency must continue to provide its services until the refugee issue is resolved in accordance with international law, and in the context of a comprehensive solution based on the two-state solution that embodies the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with occupied Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 lines, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.

For her part, the Swedish foreign minister said that the meeting confirms the international community’s keenness to support UNRWA and its basic role that is indispensable, stressing the importance of providing sustainable and stable financial support to the agency, which is in desperate need of it to be able to provide its services in the sectors of education, health, relief and other services within its five areas of operation.

Lazarini spoke about the challenges facing the agency and its financial deficit, the agency's plan for the coming years, and the efforts to provide the necessary support for it.

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