UN renews UNRWA mandate with overwhelming majority

NEW YORK, The UN General Assembly on Friday renewed the mandate of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in a stark show of support to the Agency amid continuing investigation into the misconduct of its former president.

170 countries voted to renew the mandate of UNRWA, while only Israel and the United States voted against the resolution, with Canada, Cameroon, Guatemala, Vanuatu, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru abstaining.

The decision follows a long campaign by Israel and the US against the Agency on the grounds that it proves that Palestinians are refugees who can exercise their right of return, preventing a pragmatic solution from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the important and historic decision to renew the mandate of the UNRWA by an overwhelming majority.

“The UN vote in favor of renewing the mandate of UNRWA is proof that the whole world stands with the Palestinian people and their inalienable historical rights,” official WAFA news agency quoted President Abbas as saying in Ramallah this evening.

In 2018, President Donald Trump reduced the US contribution to UNRWA’s budget, prompting the agency into financial turmoil before it was able to stand on its feet as Arab and European countries filled the funding gap for their activities.

Source: Kuwait News Agency