Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See
Pledging Conference of 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)
United Nations, New York, 25 June 2019
Madam President of the General Assembly, Mr. Secretary-General,
Mr. Commissioner General,
My Delegation would like to take this opportunity to thank once more the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for its work in favor of the Palestine refugees by providing them with the most basic human needs like education, health care, social services and housing.
The Holy See believes that in a situation that shows no sign of being resolved quickly, a fully functional UNRWA remains the best means to prevent the situation in the region from worsening in a way that would bring even greater cost to the international community. Moreover, the worrying lack of horizon, in particular for the young people, could contribute to a further degradation of the security situation in the region.
Thus, the Holy See, in addition to direct contributions in favor of the Palestine refugees through the work of various entities of the Catholic Church, would like to make a modest contribution of $ 40,000.00 to the projects of the Agency, in particular for the benefit of the children in the Palestine refugee camps.
Like UNRWA, various entities and organizations of the Catholic Church provide education, health-care and social services to Palestine refugees. Generous donors associated with the Catholic Church around the globe make these activities possible. Assistance programs are not limited to Palestine refugees, but also to Palestinians in Palestine. The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations helps to promote fundraising drives to provide thousands of university scholarships and subsidized or free medical care at the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem.
The Holy See hopes that, sooner than later, a fair and durable solution to their predicament may be reached, through the resumption of final status negotiations between the interested parties, aimed at reaching a two-State solution, with Israel and a Palestinian State, living side by side in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.
Thank you, Madam President.