Statement by H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Ambassador, and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN. Agenda Item 51: United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). 07 November 2013
On behalf of Bangladesh delegation, I would like to extend our appreciation to you and also the esteemed Bureau Members to successfully steer the Committee’s work.
I thank the Commissioner General Mr. Filippo Grandi for presenting comprehensive annual report and briefing the Committee on the challenges faced by the Agency.
My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of The Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
We have noted with great appreciation that the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is continuing its pursuit of sustainable, efficient and quality services to Palestine refugees to reach its human development goal. We believe and hope that the Agency can fulfill its humanitarian and human development mandate by providing protection and essential services to Palestine Refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.
We remain gravely concerned about the security of UNRWA staff and note the effort of UNRWA and the host governments to prevent threats to and attack on UNRWA staff while delivering their services. We regret that detention of UNRWA staff has not yet been stopped despite repeated appeals to the host authorities. We urge that detailed information on detained staff be provided to UNRWA. With regards to restrictions on the movement of UNRWA staff and goods, the imposition of transit charges on shipments of UNRWA and the intrusion of military and security forces to UNRWA premises, we call upon all parties to show due respect to the Charter of United Nations, the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and relevant United Nations resolutions.
Taking the volatile situation in Syria into account, Palestine refugee communities there need more attention from the international community. Vulnerability of the Palestine refugees has deepened there. Violence in Syria continues to increase the number of displacements and loss of countless lives. Rise in the cost of basic commodities and services are further worsening their lives. While we appreciate UNRWA’s effort with cooperation of the host country, we call on all parties to take all possible steps to ensure the protection of the Palestine refugees in Syria and to ensure the Agency’s unhindered access and the supply of essential goods to them.
The situation in Gaza Strip and the West Bank being remained dire, we urge for removal of controls on the economy and on the movement of goods, services and people; immediate halt to the expansion of settlements and seizure of Palestinian properties, ending of associated humanitarian impacts and violence; removal of impediments to construction and infrastructure investment; discontinuation of construction of barriers and resulting loss of Palestinian land; stopping destruction of Palestinian houses, water, gardens and livestock.
We reaffirm our appreciation to the donors and host countries and relevant agencies for their generous support and services extended to the Palestinian refugees and towards the sustainability of UNRWA and its operations. Refugees are always among the most vulnerable groups that depend on international assistance. Hence, we appeal to the international community to come forward with generous contribution particularly for funding the rehabilitation and emergency assistance programs for the refugees.
I would like to reiterate our appreciation for the commendable job done by the Commissioner General and all the staff of the Agency. They deserve a special word of thanks for their commitment and hard work in the face of continued adversities.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.