At the outset allow me to express Iceland’s sincere appreciation for the work of UNRWA’s staff, operating in increasingly difficult contexts, and use this opportunity to recognize Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, for his leadership and dedication as the head of the Agency. We acknowledge with deep appreciation you and your staff’s fundraising efforts and cost-saving measures during UNRWA’s most severe institutional and funding crisis.
Iceland has been a regular contributor to UNRWA since 1964, providing both funds and complementary staff. We further strengthened our support for UNRWA with the signing of a four-year framework agreement in 2018. In doing so, we committed to providing predictable multi-year funding, in line with our World Humanitarian Summit commitments.
Iceland greatly values the work of UNRWA and acknowledges that the agency contributes significantly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, notably in education and health for Palestine refugees. As highlighted by the Palestinian youth leaders earlier. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, UN Member States pledged to “leave no one behind” and UNRWA is playing its part to ensure the achievement of this commitment.
UNRWA has managed to provide vital services to Palestine refugees despite an increasingly difficult operating context. This is largely due to UNRWA being a competent, resilient and resolute agency, as highlighted in the most recent performance assessment of UNRWA. Iceland was particularly pleased to see that MOPAN, a network comprised of 18 countries that assesses the effectiveness of major multilateral organizations, found the agency is indeed achieving results in both the humanitarian and development domain despite the funding crisis and external challenges. A clear sign of a well-managed organization.
The Icelandic Government is pleased to continue to do its part to preserve regional stability and ensure that Palestine refugees can access relief and social services.
Thank you Mr./Madam Chair.