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PLO rejects tampering with UNRWA's mandate

A Palestinian man stands in front of the emblem of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Gaza City on 31 July 2018 [SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images]
A Palestinian man stands in front of the emblem of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City on 31 July 2018 [SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images]

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has categorically refused any changes to the United Nations Relief and Works agency for Palestine Refugees' mandate.

The Higher Committee of the PLO Executive Committee said during a meeting held yesterday that the only body with the power to define UNRWA's mandate is the United Nations General Assembly through the vote of Member States.

Discussing UNRWA's financial situation in light of the stifling financial deficit and the statements issued by the organisation's Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, on strengthening partnerships with international organisations to provide service on behalf of UNRWA, the committee rejected Lazzarini suggestion.

Adding that it is a "transgression and violation" of the powers assigned to him as an executive officer responsible before the General Assembly for UNRWA's work, as well as an "insult" to UNRWA's standing, continuity and survival, as a witness to the crime of uprooting an entire people from their homeland and land and their right to return to it.

The committee called on Lazzarini to retract his statement and search for new funding models to mobilise secure sustainable backing that enhances UNRWA's role to carry out the tasks entrusted to it in accordance with the mandate given to it by Resolution 302.

The PLO also called on the UN to increase its financial contributions to cover UNRWA's financial deficit.

READ: By redefining UNRWA, Washington destroys the foundation for a Just peace in Palestine

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