UN System at a Glance
The Secretary-General acts either personally or through his envoys in the interests of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-building in the region. He also represents the UN in the Middle East Quartet. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process represents the Secretary-General in all matters related to the peace process.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly, comprised of all the Member States of the United Nations, has been involved in the quest for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine since 1947. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was established by the Assembly in 1975.
Maintaining Peace and Security
The Security Council
The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council has addressed the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question on many occasions.
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was authorised by the Security Council in Palestine in 1948, the first peacekeeping operation established by the UN.
Safeguarding Human Rights
Providing Assistance, Promoting Development, Building Institutions
The UN Country Team (UNCT OPT) brings together over 20 UN agencies active on the ground, working in areas as diverse as refugees (UNRWA), education and culture (UNESCO), children (UNICEF), humanitarian issues (UNSCO, OCHA), gender (UN Women), development (UNDP), health (WHO), food and agriculture (FAO, WFP), housing (UN HABITAT), human rights (OHCHR), labour relations (ILO), population (UNFPA), unexploded remnants of war (UNMAS), drugs control (UNODC), and more. It includes:
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by far the biggest UN operation in the Middle East, provides education, health, relief and social services for over 5 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) has gained considerable experience through its decades of efforts to assist the Palestinian people.
The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process coordinates the UN humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People is focused on education, science, culture and communication.
The World Bank provides financing for development projects, insurance for private investment, and plays a key role in donor coordination.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs established a field office (OCHA-OPT) in 2000 to enhance coordination of humanitarian assistance and disseminate humanitarian information.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been providing food assistance to the Palestinians since 1991.
Upholding International Law
The United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNRoD) was established by the General Assembly following the ICJ Advisory Opinion.
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) inter alia, publishes reports on the economic and social impact of the Israeli occupation and settlements on the Palestinian people.
The work of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the Palestinian economy is centred on research, analysis, and technical cooperation.
Informing the Public
As part of its special information programme on the question of Palestine, the Department of Public Information organises the annual International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. A training programme for young Palestinian journalists provides hands-on skills training as well as access to UN officials and diplomats.
For more information: The question of Palestine and the United Nations