The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is concerned about recent public criticism of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the integrity of its operations. He wishes to express his support for UNRWA and his admiration for the role it plays in delivering essential services and protecting the rights of millions of Palestine refugees across the Middle East.
UNRWA is mandated by the General Assembly, whose members have repeatedly acknowledged the Agency’s unique contribution to peace and security in that region. UNRWA operates in the front lines of difficult conflict situations and provides education for half a million refugee girls and boys, teaching them human rights and tolerance. Its education and relief activities contribute critically to stability in the region.
The Secretary-General calls on all Member States to continue their support to the Agency in order for UNRWA to be in a position to fulfil impartially and efficiently its essential role and to implement its humanitarian mandate to serve Palestinian refugees until a just and durable solution to their situation is found.