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Mr. Lazzarini's clarifications are welcomed, but insufficient to end the UNRWA liquidation Project!
Mr. Lazzarini's clarifications are welcomed, but insufficient to end the UNRWA liquidation Project!

In his opening speech to the UNRWA Advisory Committee, UNRWA Commissioner-General Lazzarini explained: “when in my message to refugees in April I mentioned that services could be provided by other UN Agencies “on behalf of UNRWA”, I did not mean “instead of UNRWA” but was constantly referring to partnership with UN Agencies, in line with article 18 in the resolution 302.”[1] The Commissioner-General's recognition that UNRWA's mandate rests exclusively with the General Assembly is a step in the right direction. While we, the Global Palestinian Refugee Network and the under signed community-based organizations from Palestine and in exile welcome the clarifications of the UNRWA Commissioner-General, we reaffirm the following:

  1. Urging international agencies to cooperate with UNRWA for the success of its programs according to Article 18 of UNRWA's statute (UNGA Res. 302) means cooperating with these agencies and not authorizing them to provide services on behalf of UNRWA. Accordingly, the refugees’ sensitivity to the word “partnerships” is not a matter of misunderstanding, but rather stems from the sharp decline in the level of services that impacted refugees on one hand, and from the absence of the necessary political will to achieve a comprehensive and just solution to their cause based on the UNGA resolution 194 of 1948, on the other hand.
  2. The Commissioner-General's sympathy with the concerns that the word “partnerships” raises among refugees is not enough. First and foremost, the Commissioner-General is required to strengthen partnership with the Palestinian refugees themselves by developing mechanisms for listening to refugees in various stages of program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  3. The Commissioner-General's retraction from his previous statements does not change the fact that there is a project to liquidate UNRWA by diminishing its budget and operations. Accordingly, it remains the duty of the Commissioner-General to continue to urge the international community to fulfill its political, legal and humanitarian obligations towards Palestinian refugees and to work to secure the core budget for UNRWA. At the same time, the method of accumulating UNRWA's budget, similar to non-profit organizations is not effective. Addressing UNRWA's chronic budget crisis is an urgent need that must be given the utmost priority. It is essential to have an effective mechanism set and approved by the UN General Assembly and binding on member states to ensure a stable and adequate budget for UNRWA. This mechanism should preserve the political dimension of the Palestinian refugee issue and affirm international responsibility for them until UN Resolution 194 of 1948 is enforced.
  4. The Commissioner-General's recent appeal for "unity, courage, vision and leadership to find solutions to fulfil the General Assembly's commitment to Palestine refugees" does not justify his statement that "The Agency does not need more detractors."[2] As refugees and as the Palestinian people, we continue to witness international double standards. Therefore, we cannot be silenced while many countries, according to the Commissioner-General himself, are pressuring UNRWA to manage its affairs based on available budget only, to allow UNRWA to collapse, or to transfer its responsibilities to the host countries, or third parties.


  1. The Global Palestinian Refugee Network (45 organizations)
  2. The Executive Office for  Refugees Popular Committees in the West Bank
  3. The Palestinian Performing Arts Network (13 organizations)
  4. The Palestinian Network for Child Rights - West Bank and Jerusalem
  5. The Civil Coalition for Human Rights in Jerusalem
  6. The National Democratic coalition – Al-Jadedah Al-Maker
  7. Laylac Center – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  8. Shurouq Organization – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  9. Ibdaa’ Organization – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  10. Juthour Center – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  11. Aida Youth Center – Aida Refugee Camp
  12. Lajee’ Center – Aida Refugee Camp
  13. BADIL – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
  14. Addar For Culture and Art – Nazareth
  15. Yabous center - Jerusalem
  16. Taghreed Association for Culture and Development – Beit Hanoun / Gaza
  17. Palestinian Labors Union – Bar Elias Refugee Camp
  18. Popular Initiative – Nahr Al Bared Refugee Camp
  19. Aidoun Refugees’ Rights Center - Lebanon
  20. Palestinian Students’ Fund – Lebanon
  21. Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation - Lebanon
  22. The Palestinian Association for Human Rights Shahed - Lebanon
  23. The Human Appeal Association - Lebanon
  24. The Future Leaders - Lebanon
  25. Humanitarian Development Center - Lebanon
  26. Union of Palestinian Writers and Authors
  27. Union of Palestinian Writers and Authors - General Secretariat
  28. Al Karmel Club – Shatila Refugee Camp / Lebanon
  29. Al Hawla Association – Lebanon
  30. Al Awda Center for the Development of Children and Youth – Tulkarem
  31. Ansar Center – Al Walaja
  32. The Popular Theatre
  33. The Freedom Theatre
  34. Yes Theatre for Youth Communication
  35. Al Fawwar Cultural Youth Center – Al Fawwar Refugee Camp
  36. Not to Forget Association – Jenin Refugee Camp
  37. Naqsh Popular Art Troupe
  38. Nawa Association for Cultural Development - Ramallah
  39. Burj Al Laqlaq Association
  40. Haifa Cultural Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  41. Youth Social Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  42. Women’s Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  43. Association for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  44. Return Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  45. Al Karmel Sports Club
  46. Psychological and Social Development Association – Al Jalazon Refugee Camp
  47. The Cultural and Social Association Nashet
  48. Commission of the Martyrs, the Prisoners and the Injured
  49. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Jabalia Refugee Camp
  50. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Shate’ Refugee Camp
  51. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Braij Refugee Camp
  52. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Maghazi Refugee Camp
  53. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Nuserat Refugee Camp
  54. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Deir Al Balah Refugee Camp
  55. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Khanyounis Refugee Camp
  56. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Rafah Refugee Camp
  57. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  58. Refugees’ Popular Camp – Aida Refugee Camp
  59. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Azzah Refugee Camp
  60. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp
  61. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  62. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp
  63. National Action Front – Majd Al-Krum
  64. Hadaf Cultural Center
  65. The Algerian-Palestinian Brothers Association
  66. Prisoner’s Association
  67. Waten Youth Center
  68. Palestinian Child Culture Center
  69.  Social Rehabilitation Center
  70. The Palestinian Arab Cultural Club - Beddawi Refugee Camp
  71. Al Karmel Association
  72. Women’s Charity Association
  73. Nuwat Association
  74. Tadamon for democratic work and community development
  75. Women’s Activity Center
  76. Ansar Center
  77. Al Bustan Association - Silwan
  78. Yafa Cultural Center – Balata Refugee Camp
  79. Local Association for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped – Balata Camp
  80. Aqabat Jaber Youth Center




[2] Ibid