|Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Voluntary Contributions to UNWRA|
China thanks Secretary-General Guterres and PGA Espinoza for attending and speaking at this meeting, thanks UNWRA’s Commissioner-General for his comprehensive briefing of the work of the Agency and welcomes the statements by Palestinian student representatives.
For more than 70 years, generations of Palestinian refugees have been displaced and unable to return home. Neighboring host countries of refugees have also been seriously affected as a result. UNWRA provides assistance and protection to more than five million Palestinian refugees alleviating their suffering, upholding their rights and dignity, helping promote economic and social development and easing the pressure on the host countries. At the same time, UNRWA has been a positive influence in promoting regional peace and security and preventing the spread of terrorist and extremist ideologies in refugee camps. All this deserves the international community’s appreciation and acknowledgment.
Last year, UNWRA faced a dire financial crisis and challenge. The international community mobilized in a spirit of solidarity and pulled together to offer support which enabled the Agency to overcome its difficulties. China commends UNWRA for carrying out humanitarian operations under trying circumstances and for the positive results it has achieved. The international community should provide UNWRA with sufficient, predictable and sustained funding and support the renewal of its mandate. Parties should take effective measures to ensure that the Agency can operate in a normal and unhindered manner.
Today’s meeting on financing demonstrates the international community’s recognition and support of the important work by UNWRA to help Palestinian refugees. China pays high attention to the situation of the Palestinian refugees and is deeply concerned about the financial difficulties UNWRA is facing this year. China will provide $1 million to the Agency this year. We have increased our annual contribution to UNWRA because we value and support its work. China will also provide support to Palestinian people through bilateral channels including support to refugee relief programs in regional countries.
The two-states solution is the right and only way forward to resolve the question of Palestine and Israel. The international community should proceed on the basis of principles of the Arab Peace initiative and Land for Peace and relevant Council resolutions and remain committed to a negotiated settlement that is comprehensive, just and durable with the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Any initiative should be in line with these international norms.
Thank you, Madam President.