Statement by Can Dizdar, Counsellor of the Turkish Permanent Mission to the United Nations at the Ad Hoc Committee Meeting for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA

Can Dizdar 04.12.2007
Mr. Chairman,

UNRWA has been entrusted to deal with one of the most difficult aspects of the Middle East question. For nearly 60 years, UNRWA has been providing the Palestinian refugees with relief, humanitarian services and the possibility of a life in dignity.

We commend the Agency's ability to sustain these operations under difficult and often dangerous circumstances.

I wish to extend, once again, our sincere appreciation to Mrs. Karen Koning AbuZayd, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, and the members of UNRWA staff for their professionalism and invaluable efforts to ease the plight of the Palestinian refugees.

As we have stated at the deliberations in the Fourth Committee on UNRWA, Turkey remains fully committed to the goals and mandate of the Agency. We feel privileged to serve as the Chairman of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA and we attach utmost importance to the continuation and intensification of the activities of the Agency.

In this vein, the Turkish Government will sustain its increased level of contribution of 500.000 Dollars to the Agency for 2008. In the meantime, we will stand ready to respond to the emergency appeals necessitated by sudden developments as in the recent case in Northern Lebanon for which Turkey donated UNRWA considerable amount of food for distribution to refugees displaced from Nahr El Bared Camp.

Turkey will continue to be a strong supporter of UNRWA. We will also carry on the flow of direct assistance to the people of Palestine and keep our focus on the revitalization and establishment of industrial zones in the Palestinian territories with the cooperation of Israeli and Palestinian Chambers of Commerce which does not only constitute an important confidence building measure but also creates a significant source of livelihood.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.