The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, participated in the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), via videoconference today. The Conference, entitled “A strong UNRWA in a Challenging World – Mobilising Collective Action” was co-chaired by His Excellency Ayman Safadi, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; His Excellency Peter Eriksson, The Minister for International Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Sweden.
In his remarks at the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference, Minister Shahid highlighted the extraordinary progress achieved by UNRWA since its establishment 70 years ago, noting that over 5.5 million Palestinian Refugees depend on UNRWA for basic healthcare and education. He also expressed concern about the funding crisis faced by UNRWA, which severely affects the welfare of Palestinian people. Yet, Minister Shahid claimed, UNRWA’s perseverance in the face of the multi-faceted challenges, including COVID-19, was a testament to its resilience.
Minister Shahid further called on the international community to provide financial support to UNRWA in order for the Agency to adequately promote and protect the human rights and dignity to which the people of Palestine are entitled to. He reiterated the Maldives’ long-standing position of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in accordance with international law and respective UN resolutions.
The Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA was held to mobilise political and financial support to UNRWA, meet resource requirements for 2020, and act collectively to secure its needs for 2021 and 2022. Several UN Member States generously pledged to assist UNRWA in the face of the current crisis.