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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the Ad Hoc Committee of the UN General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA

2022-06-23 21:00

Madam Chair,

We commend you for convening this pledging conference, and thank Secretary-General Guterres for his message. We also thank Commissioner-General Lazzarini for his briefing.

The Palestinian refugees represent one of the largest and most protracted refugee situations in the world today. For more than 70 years, millions of Palestinian refugees have lived in displacement, their homeland occupied, their rights trampled, their safety and security threatened, and their future denied. For more than 70 years, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has provided critical relief and protection to Palestinian refugees. The critical services delivered by the Agency, in terms of education, health care, social assistance and camp construction, have played an important role in ameliorating the plight of the Palestinian refugees, demonstrating the international community’s solidarity with the them.

In recent years, while the number and the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugees continue to grow, the level of attention paid by the international community on this issue and investments they make have declined, triggering time and again the alarm of fiscal crisis for UNRWA. This situation is troubling. We call for full political support, as well as adequate, predictable and sustainable financial support for the Agency. We call for the provision of necessary assistance to countries that host Palestinian refugees, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and call on the UN and the international community to give assistance in the reconstruction of Gaza. We urge Israel to cooperate with the humanitarian aid operations in the occupied Palestinian territory, so as to ensure  UNRWA can carry out its work without hindrance. The blockade of Gaza strip should be lifted fully as soon as possible.

Madam Chair,

China highly commends the work of UNRWA. China has also actively provided assistance through UNRWA to the Palestinian refugees within its capacity. For several years in a row, we have made donations in support of UNRWA to provide emergency food aid to tens of thousands of refugee families in the Gaza Strip. We have also assisted 141 UNRWA health centers with pandemic response supplies and personal protection equipment to Palestinian refugees to help them fight the pandemic. Not long ago, 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China for Palestinian refugees were delivered to three UNRWA fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. To further support the work of the Agency, the Chinese Government has decided this year to make one million US dollar donation to UNRWA.

Madam Chair,

The Palestinian refugee problem has remained unresolved for more than seven decades. Ultimately, this is because the two-state solution has not been implemented. We urge Israel to immediately cease its illegal settlement activities, effectively fulfill its obligation under international humanitarian law, and return to the right track of the two-state solution expeditiously. We urge countries with significant influence on the Palestinian question to take an objective and impartial stand, and to make tangible efforts to advance the Middle East peace process. We hope that the Security Council will act positively with a greater sense of urgency to achieve a settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli issue. We support the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks to negotiate a settlement on the final status issues, including Palestinian refugees.

China is ready to work with the international community to practice true multilateralism, promote the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and push for a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the Palestinian question, so as to attain lasting peace in the Middle East at an early date.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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