Remarks by H.E. Mr. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland
Mr President, Commissioner General, Excellencies,
Let me start by thanking the President for convening this important meeting in support of UNRWA and Palestinian refugees - and expressing Iceland´s appreciation to Commissioner General Lazzarini for his leadership and measures undertaken by him and his staff to address the serious financial situation that UNRWA continues to face. I also wish to thank the two Palestinian students that spoke so eloquently this morning.
Iceland is a longstanding supporter of UNRWA’s mandate. Our support consists of unearmarked, predictable funding through a multi-year framework agreement. We also continue to provide seconded staff into UNRWA’s structures.
To lend a helping hand in addressing the financial shortfalls of the agency, I am pleased to confirm that Iceland is doubling its core contribution for this year - from 25 million ISK in 2022 to 50 million ISK in 2023.
I wish to take this opportunity to commend UNRWA for its enduring commitment and dedication to Palestinian refugees in Palestine and neighbouring countries. In the absence of a lasting political solution, UNRWA´s role remains of critical importance. You can rely on Iceland´s continued support.
I thank you.