Safadi, UNRWA's Lazzarini talk UN agency's support

Safadi, UNRWA's Lazzarini talk UN agency's support
Amman - Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, discussed Sunday support for UNRWA.اضافة اعلان

Safadi and Lazzarini discussed the ongoing Israeli attacks on UNRWA and its staff and Israeli obstacles that prevent the UN agency from carrying out its UN mandate.

In a press conference, Safadi said Jordan is committed to supporting UNRWA, adding that supporting the agency "is a priority for His Majesty King Abdullah II since before the seventh of last October, and this is a firm Jordanian position."

He said UNRWA has a "noble and necessary humanitarian role that meets real needs and gives the minimum assurance to the Palestinian refugees that their right has not been forgotten and that the world still cares about them and the catastrophe they are facing."

He said accusations levelled at 12 out of 13,000 UNRWA staff were refuted, "and the attempt to assassinate UNRWA politically failed."
He added, "The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is worsening, and the first step towards stopping this catastrophe is to end this barbaric aggression against Gaza.

"After that, open all crossings for all aid to enter, and allow United Nations organisations, especially the Agency, to work freely and without attacks."

He added, "Despite all the pressures, the agency continues to play its role, and is doing everything it can to provide aid to 2.3 million Palestinians who are now suffering from this brutal war and its inhumane consequences of killing, destruction and the absence of food, medicine, treatment and education. Jordan stood with the agency previously and continues to stand with it."

He added, "Its existence is a right, and its role is indispensable and cannot be replaced by any other party because no other party has the ability, knowledge or capabilities that UNRWA possesses to help the Palestinian people who are facing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe."

Safadi praised Lazzarini and UNRWA staff for "their heroic role and determination to overcome all challenges."

He said, "Before last October 7, UNRWA was facing a political assassination attempt, and because its role is righteous, and because the world knows that it cannot be dispensed with, it continued to support many friends and brothers."

He added, "At the first moment these accusations were issued, the agency acted responsibly, and the United Nations acted responsibly, as it began investigations within the United Nations and independent investigations.

"The report issued by the independent committee headed by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna confirmed that the agency has all the tools to ensure that what it does is in line with all principles of conduct, ethics and United Nations charters and regulations."

He added, "These accusations have proven false, and the attempt to assassinate UNRWA politically has failed, but the agency is still facing major financial challenges."

Sixteen countries stopped funding the agency after the accusations first surfaced. 14 of them reversed their decision and announced the resumption of support for the UN agency.

Safadi called for more support for UNRWA to continue supporting the Palestinians amid an ongoing Israeli war in Gaza.

"Our conversation today was in the context of the old, continuous and solid partnership between Jordan and UNRWA, Safadi said, adding, "We agreed on a road map to prepare for more than one effort so that we achieve multiple goals, including confronting all attempts to harm its reputation."

Safadi stressed that the agency works within the mandate of the United Nations General Assembly, adding that supporting UNRWA is the responsibility of all countries that have authorised the agency to carry out this role.

He added, "We agreed on a set of steps, including the annual conference that we hold on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in September, but it is not limited to that.

"There are other steps that we are working on developing to ensure that the agency will continue to receive the support it deserves."

He added, "The situation in Gaza is still catastrophic and is still worsening at all levels, even if enough food is brought into Gaza, which is not the case. The quantities that enter do not meet the minimum needs of the people.

"The humanitarian catastrophe is worsening because the overall environment is disastrous with the continuation of the aggression and its escalation in Rafah and northern Gaza."

On Jordan's airdrop operations in Gaza, Safadi said, "The airdrops were the result of necessity. There was no choice, and we started with them based on the principle that every morsel of bread contributes to saving a life at a time when the children did not find anything to eat on any given day.

"The basic solution is to open all the crossings, lift all restrictions on the entry of aid, lift all restrictions on United Nations organisations and their freedom to operate in Gaza and stop attacking United Nations employees and relief convoys."

On ceasefire efforts in Gaza, Safadi said, "We have been working since the first day to reach a ceasefire, and other partners, Qatar, Egypt and the United States of America, have tried and made efforts for a deal in exchange for a prisoner swap but the Israeli aggression continued.

"Israel must stop its aggression, and we support the prisoner exchange deal."

He discussed the Israeli violations in the occupied West Bank. "Israel is waging a war against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank through continuous incursions into Palestinian cities and refugee camps, allowing terrorist settler attacks that spread terror in the hearts of the Palestinians and attacking relief convoys."

For his part, Lazzarini lauded the Kingdom's continued support for the agency and its solidarity with the Palestinian refugees.

He said, "We talked about the humanitarian situation, the concerns expressed by the United Nations in Gaza and the report of the former French Foreign Minister."

He added, "Despite all the calls from the international community to prevent an invasion of Rafah, the invasion began on May 6, and today we have half of Gaza's population forced to flee.

"There is certainly nowhere to go. People have no other options but to return to the destroyed places and facilities, including United Nations buildings."

Lazzarini said 189 UNRWA staff were killed since the start of the war and over 160 sites of UNRWA were destroyed, adding that UNRWA staff were tortured and forced to confess to crimes they have not committed.

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