Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Ad Hoc Committee Meeting for the Announcement of Voluntary Contribution to UNRWA

Baki İlkin 05.12.2005
Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to express our deep appreciation to Mrs. Karen Koning AbuZayd, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, and her able colleagues for their dedication and valuable efforts to ease the plight of the Palestinian refugees.

As we have previously stated at the deliberations in the Fourth Committee pertaining to UNRWA, Turkey is fully committed to the Agency`s goals and mandate. The Agency has been entrusted to deal with one of the most difficult aspects of the Middle East question. We highly commend its successful work. Indeed, UNRWA has proved to be indispensable in responding to the multi-faceted needs of the Palestinian refugees dispersed throughout the region.

Turkey feels privileged to serve as the Chairman of Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA. We attach utmost importance to the continuation and intensification of the activities and services of the Agency. With this understanding, we welcome the enlargement of the Advisory Commission with members of the donor community. This, in our view, would further facilitate the efforts to sustain the maximum benefit of contributions for the well-being of the refugees.

In addition to assisting the Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, Turkey also provides support to the brotherly people of Palestine on bilateral basis. Under a plan of action, supervised by a Coordinator representing the Government, we have been implementing programs in the areas of security, technical and vocational education, public financing, institution-building, small and medium-size enterprise development, health, tourism and agriculture. We also provide food, medicine and medical supplies to the refugees.

With respect to Turkey`s voluntary contribution to UNRWA for 2006, I am pleased declare that my Government pledges to contribute 500.000 Dollars to the Agency.

Thank you, Mr. President.