RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[on the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
(Fourth Committee) (A/54/575)]
54/73. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions,
Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,
Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 1/
Taking note of the letter dated 30 September 1999 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, contained in the report of the Commissioner-General, 2/
Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions 48/40 E, 3/ 48/40 H 4/ and 48/40 J 5/ of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C 6/ of 9 December 1994,
Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 7/
Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,
Aware of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,
Also aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely, in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,
Further aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,
Deeply concerned about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuity of provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,
Aware of the work of the new Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency,
Recalling the signing in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 9/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 10/ as well as the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,
Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 11/
Aware of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,
1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work;
2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;
3. Welcomes the completion of the transfer of the headquarters of the Agency to Gaza and the signing of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;
4. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;
5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;
6. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 7/ with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;
7. Calls once again upon the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damages to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;
8. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;
9. Notes that the new context created by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization 9/ and subsequent implementation agreements has had major consequences for the activities of the Agency, which is henceforth called upon, in close cooperation with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the specialized agencies and the World Bank, to continue to contribute towards the development of economic and social stability in the occupied territory;
10. Notes also that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;
11. Notes further the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency;
12. Expresses concern about the remaining austerity measures due to the financial crisis, which have affected the quality and level of some of the services of the Agency;
13. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to consider the possibility of modernizing the archives of the Agency;
14. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease current financial constraints and to support the Agency in maintaining the provision of the most basic and effective assistance to the Palestine refugees.
71st plenary meeting
6 December 1999
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).
2/ Ibid., p. ix.
7/ Resolution 22 A (I).
8/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
9/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
10/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
11/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.