UN Rejects Request for Increase in Palestinian Refugee Budget After Israeli Diplomatic Efforts
JNS.org – The United Nations’ Administrative and Budgetary Committee has rejected a request to increase funding for the world body’s Palestinian refugee relief agency for the 2018-2019 timeframe.
The Group of 77 — a 77-member coalition of developing nations, of which the Palestinian Authority is a member — submitted a request to increase the budget for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by around $5 million. The bloc also asked for four additional slots for Palestinian representatives at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UCTAD).
According to its website, UCTAD’s Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit has a “specific mandate to monitor and investigate the social and economic impact of policies of the Israeli occupation authorities in the Palestinian territory.” The unit’s annual report routinely accuses Israel of harming the Palestinian economy, undermining Palestinian development, and violating international law and UN resolutions.
Following diplomatic efforts by the Israeli delegation to the UN, spearheaded by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, the budgetary committee declined the Palestinians’ requests to increase UNRWA’s budget as well as the number of Palestinian UCTAD slots when it authorized the international body’s budget last week.
“It is inconceivable for the UN budget and the funds of countries intended for humanitarian assistance and development to be diverted toward incitement and be turned into a political battering ram,” Danon said.