The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said the UN General Assembly is the only body authorised to change its mandate regarding the Palestinian refugee issue.
“UNRWA receives its mandate from the UN General Assembly; and only the UN General Assembly, by a majority vote, can change our mandate,” Christopher Gunness, UNRWA chief spokesperson, said in a statement.
The statement explained that the UN organisation’s mandate was extended for three years in December 2016 by the General Assembly by a large majority.
The situation of Palestine refugees needs to be resolved as part of a political resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It is time for political action to resolve this long-standing crisis.
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, asked the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to work to dismantle UNRWA.
UNRWA was established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some five million registered Palestine refugees.
The UN agency helps Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip and provides services including education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance to them.