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UAE pledges to continue assistance for Palestinian people

posted on 19/12/2010: 746 views



New York - UAE has pledged to continue its commitment to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority until the liberation of their land from the Israeli occupation.

It also demanded of the international community to compel Israel, the occupying power, lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, open all the passages immediately to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people, end its occupation of the Arab lands and resume the peace negotiations according to relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The donor countries should continue their assistance to the Palestinian people and government in anticipation of the end of the Israeli occupation of their land and the establishment of their independent state.

These views were expressed by UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman in a statement before the 65th UN General Assembly Session on item 69 "Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance; Assistance to the Palestinian people".

He said that UAE is one of the major contributors to humanitarian urgent assistance and development projects as well as the direct budget of the Palestinian Authority.

UAE's contribution in 2009 alone amounted to 262.7 million dollars earmarked to support the government, the civil society, the infrastructure, the education and health sectors, food and social development and the reconstruction of Gaza, he added.

Following is the full text of his speech.

Thank you Mr. President, The number of persons in need of immediate relief and long-term humanitarian assistance continues to rise especially in the developing and poor countries due to the lack, in those countries, of the necessary national preparedness capacities and inability to effectively respond to sudden disasters. Reports also show an increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons and the exacerbation of their humanitarian conditions due to the continued armed conflicts which usually erupt in areas suffering from chronic poverty and lacking basic living resources.

The international community has recently witnessed an example where urgent humanitarian assistance was delayed from reaching affected people due to the weakness of national capacities and the vulnerability of required infrastructure. The catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti last January and the floods in Pakistan both resulted in unprecedented losses in lives and properties. Therefore, we stress the necessity of the implementation of United Nations recommendations and resolutions on national and international strategies for Disaster Risk Reduction. And in this context, we emphasise the essential major role of the United Nations in this field and we urge all Member States to support the efforts of the organisation, strengthen and finance its bodies concerned with humanitarian activities and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected areas.

Mr. President, The UAE believes that building and strengthening the effective response and disaster reduction capacities of developing countries is strongly linked to the achievement of all aspects of sustainable development and building their national capacities to respond quickly and effectively to disasters. We stress the importance of international cooperation in helping the affected countries in their transition from relief to development.

The UAE is a major partner in the international partnership for development and assistance of countries affected by natural disasters, climate change and armed conflicts. In addition to providing direct humanitarian relief emergency assistance for affected areas as well as through the UN consolidated Appeals; my country contributes in financing humanitarian relief and long-term development activities carried out by the UN agencies and other regional and international organisations.

This is aside from other initiatives and humanitarian and development projects, many of which we implement in collaboration with the relevant UN bodies and other international partners. Moreover, we are a primary member in a number of international groups concerned with the rebuilding and reconstruction of countries affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters; supporting their economic, security and social institutions and enabling them to achieve security and stability. Such groups include "the Group of Friends of Yemen", and "the Group of Friends of Pakistan", as well as the international partnership to help Afghanistan. Our humanitarian and relief contributions for the period from 2009-2010, including emergency donations to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan, amounted to 2 billion Dollars.

The UAE plays an important role in coordinating and strengthening the efficiency of international humanitarian activities through local specialised centres such as Dubai International Humanitarian City, Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aids, the first of its kind in the region and the UAE Red Crescent, all of which provide necessary logistic services for the UN agencies and other international humanitarian bodies to enhance the level and speed of response to emergencies and emerging conditions in the affected areas.

Mr. President, The Humanitarian conditions in the occupied Palestinian Territories, especially in the Gaza Strip, continue to deteriorate because of the siege imposed on the Strip by the Israeli occupying forces for the last three years. The United Arab Emirates continues its commitment to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority until the liberation of their land from the Israeli occupation. The UAE is one of the major contributors to humanitarian urgent assistance and development projects as well as the direct budget of the Palestinian Authority. Our contribution in 2009 alone amounted to 262.7 million dollars earmarked to support the government, the civil society, the infrastructure, the education and health sectors, food and social development and the reconstruction of Gaza.

In this regard, we demand the international community compel Israel, the occupying power, to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, open all the passages immediately to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people, end its occupation of the Arab lands and resume the peace negotiations according to relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We further urge the donor countries to continue their assistance to the Palestinian people and government in anticipation of the end of the Israeli occupation of their land and the establishment of their independent state.

We reaffirm our support to UNRWA and stress the importance of its role in helping the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. We demand that UNRWA workers and assistance should have easy access to the Palestinian refugees in all areas of its operations and we stress the necessity of providing UNRWA with sufficient financial support so it can continue its humanitarian and developmental activities. The UAE has doubled its annual donations to UNRWA in order to enable it to carry out its responsibilities towards the Palestinian Refugees. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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