Hoppa yfir valmynd

Statement of Iceland at UNRWA Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference

Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson - mynd

Address by Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
23 June 2020

Thank you Co-Chairs.

Let me start by thanking Sweden and Jordan for co-chairing this important event in support of UNRWA and Palestinian refugees, and congratulating Commissioner General Lazzarini on assuming his new and important position.

The severe funding shortfall of UNRWA is of serious concern. UNRWA’s services for the 5.6 million Palestinian refugees, including in the fields of health and education, are unparalleled. Also, UNRWA pays the salaries of front-line staff – both teachers and health workers – which has become ever more important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The need for UNRWA is dire and remains imperative until a lasting political solution is sustained in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

On behalf of the Government of Iceland, I am pleased to announce Iceland’s commitment to renewing the current multi-year agreement beyond 2021 - thereby continuing to provide the agency with predictable and flexible funding. We encourage more donors to step up and provide UNRWA with predictable guarantees through multi-year commitments.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity and commend the agency and its staff for their commitment and dedication to serving Palestinian refugees across UNRWA’s five fields of operations.

Thank you.


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