25 June 2019 – Statement by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Mr. Secretary-General, President of the General Assembly, Commissioner-General of UNRWA,


On behalf of my delegation, I express our appreciation to the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly for convening this annual Pledging Conference, recognizing UNRWA’s crucial role in providing vital humanitarian assistance to the Palestine refugees and the urgent need to mobilize support to once again address the Agency’s funding shortfall to ensure uninterrupted implementation of its General Assembly mandate. We are grateful for their strong support.

We renew our appreciation as well to Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl for his most able and dedicated leadership of UNRWA in these extremely difficult times. We commend his active outreach and engagement with the host countries and donor countries around the world aimed at securing needed resources and support for UNRWA, as well as his principled advocacy aimed at alleviating the plight of the Palestine refugees and ensuring respect for their rights and dignity, so inspiringly represented by the testimonies of the UNRWA student parliamentarians we heard today – Hanan and Hatem – and we deeply thank them for their messages of hope. [Read more…]

5 August 2015 – UNRWA Financial Crisis and Impact on Palestine Refugees


I write to draw the urgent attention of the international community to the serious financial crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), echoing the appeals by UNRWA Commissioner-General, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, in his special report of 3 August 2015 and at the extraordinary session of the Advisory Commission of UNRWA on 26 July 2015, as well as the appeals by Your Excellency and the President of the General Assembly for the provision of immediate support and adequate resources to overcome this crisis and preserve the Agency’s core services and programs, on which the Palestine refugees are reliant, including the 500,000 children who attend UNRWA schools. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Special Representative of H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, before UNRWA 65th Anniversary High-Level Conference: Sustaining Human Development and Protecting Rights of Palestine Refugees, 2 June 2015, New York

I am honored to represent H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, at this High-Level Conference.  I thank H.E. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his keynote statement and firm support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East – UNRWA.  We also express our thanks to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl, for his statement and for chairing this important Conference.

I also express appreciation to H.E. Mr. Christos Stylianides, European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, and H.E. Mr. Hans Dahlgren, State Secretary for Foreign and EU Affairs to the Prime Minister of Sweden for their presences on this occasion, and to all delegations joining us here today. [Read more…]

12 August 2014 – Israeli Brutal Actions and Violations Against the Palestinian People


The situation in the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, remains extremely critical as Israel, the occupying Power, persists with its violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, causing the continued deterioration of the situation in all aspects, including the continued suffering of the Palestinian people under its occupation, and further deepening despair and inflaming heightened tensions.

As you are well aware, the situation is particularly grave in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian civilian population who have already suffered inordinately under Israel’s 8-year inhumane blockade is finding it nearly impossible to cope with the massive humanitarian disaster inflicted upon them by the 36-day Israeli military onslaught. In this regard, despite the fragile new 72-hour ceasefire that went into force midnight on Monday, 11 August  in Gaza, the massive devastation, destruction, trauma and havoc wreaked by the occupying Power will make the task of recovery in the next coming days and weeks a grueling and painful experience.  [Read more…]

24 July 2014 – Israeli Attack on UNRWA School in Beit Hanoun


In less than 24 hours since my letter to you yesterday, more than 120 Palestinians, including ten members of one family, have been killed by the Israeli occupying forces.  The death toll now stands at more than 790 Palestinians killed, the majority of them children and women, and more than 5,000 persons injured, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues its bloody aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Today, Israel, the occupying Power, proved yet again its absolute disregard for human life and the rules of international humanitarian law intended to prevent such military assaults against civilians.  Once again, the Israeli occupying forces have targeted an UNRWA school, causing more death and injury among already-traumatized civilians, displaced from their homes and sheltering in the school, including many who were demanded by the occupying Power in earlier days to leave their residential areas.  Here, it is imperative to recall that during Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza, Israeli tanks shelled an area outside an UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 42 people and injuring dozens, a crime in which the occupying Power deliberately targeted areas and buildings housing the largest number of civilians, but for which Israel has never been held accountable.  [Read more…]

Right of Reply – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Right of Reply by Ms. Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the 4th Committee debate on Item 51: UNRWA, 7 November 2013:

Mr. Chair,

I apologize for taking the floor once again.  However, I am compelled to reply to the assertion by the delegate of Israel that the right of return of the Palestine refugees is a “non-starter” – despite the fact that the Palestine refugee issue is an agreed final status issue to be negotiated between the parties – and the claim that it is “the obstacle to peace”.

I ask the Committee: How is respect for human rights and international law contrary to the requirements for peace? How does the obstruction of rights, the perpetuation of the exile, dispossession and misery of a people serve the cause of peace?  It does not.

The Israeli delegate called for “putting people before politics”.  We agree.  This would require, first and foremost, recognition by Israel of the humanity of the Palestine refugees, of the suffering and loss it has inflicted on them, and of their right to justice.  It requires an end to the denial of their rights based on narrow, cynical and unjustified political interests.

Furthermore, the callous remarks regarding the “number” of Palestine refugee, and who constitutes a Palestine refugee or not, are the height of hypocrisy by a State granting return to any Jewish person from anywhere in the world, yet denying Palestine refugees their right to return. [Read more…]

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the State of Palestine, pending a just solution to their plight in accordance with UN resolution 194 (III).

UNRWA’s human development and humanitarian services encompass primary and vocational education, primary health care, social safety-net, community support, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance and emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict.