Secretary-General’s Press Conference on the Occasion of the 73rd Session of the GA: UNRWA (Excerpts)

20 September 2018


Question:  If I don’t ask about Palestine, nobody will. You have just submitted a report to the General Assembly about the protection. You had four options there, and they are confusing. You say, yes, we can put more officers, but we need money. Yes, we can… we might need security crews, but we need the Security Council approval. It ends up there is… like, there is no concrete step that you’re recommending to do, not just to write about.  So, in light of the US new policy to dismantle the Palestinian issue completely and dismantle UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), what do you really practically recommend that the Palestinian could enjoy at the… living day by day until there is… a solution is found? Thank you.

Secretary-General:  First of all, we are not dismantling UNRWA. I’ve been making a huge effort, and I think we have been able, until now, to have additional funding for UNRWA. And we took even the decision to open the schools, even if we have not a guarantee that we would be able to fully fund the school year, because we thought it was very important to have the schools opened. Now, in relation to the report, the report identifies the possibilities to do so, and some of those possibilities are real. One of them, for instance, is based on things that are already happening on the ground. So, the report offers the General Assembly the possibility [of] looking into it, discussing it, to take the decisions that only Member States can take.  It’s an honest report that identifies all the possible options and gives to the General Assembly the tools and the instruments for the General Assembly to be able to decide.




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