Mr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia
To the United Nations
“United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East”
New York, 2 November 2010
Let me begin by extending the appreciation of my delegation to you and the members of the Committee for convening this debate on such a crucial issue.
Indonesia wishes to congratulate also Mr. Fillipo Grandi on his appointment as Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and wish him continued success in fulfilling his mandate.We commend him most warmly for his work, which continues to take place in very difficult circumstances, and thank him for his report contained in document A/65/13.
My delegation associates itself with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement delivered earlier by the Representative of Egypt.
The report before us confirms much of what we already know: Life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has become increasingly unbearable.
The report notes that the closure of the Gaza Strip’s borders, which has now entered its fourth year, is causing human misery on a massive scale.It is inconceivable that as much as 80 per cent of the population is now dependent on food assistance from the United Nations; that 90 per cent of the water is unsafe to drink; and that 95 per cent of the private sector businesses have closed down.
Despite all of that, UNRWA continues to undertake its important task of serving the millions of Palestinian refugees still being denied their right to return and to fair compensation, in line with General Assembly resolution 194 of 1948.
On another front, it is significant to consider that this meeting of the Fourth Committee has been convened at a time of great anxiety in the Middle East, following Israel’s failure to extend the moratorium on settlement construction on the West Bank which expired on 26 September.
As one of the core issues, settlements remain the biggest obstruction to peace, as we have seen since the return to direct negotiations early in September.Israel’s settlement policies and practices, which are aimed at altering the demographic composition, physical character and status of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are a blatant violation of international law.
If Israel has a genuine commitment to peace, and not propaganda about peace, she must stop all settlement construction, expansion and planning in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and dismantle the settlements built therein, in compliance with international law and various resolutions of the UN.
Indonesia is highly concerned about the extremely difficult conditions facing Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, as well as in refugee camps in Gaza as a result of the continued building of settlements, the continued collective punishment measures and the blockade.
As we all know, these have caused widespread damage and destruction to the Palestinian civilian infrastructure, and the well-being of the people as a whole.What is even more distressing is that Israeli policies are making certain that nothing is improving for the Palestinians.
There is no doubt that illegal Israeli occupation since 1967, and its excessive and disproportionate use of force and its policy of collective punishment, militate against our principles and beliefs as an Organization, and the sanctity of the Charter.
For many years, Indonesia has joined the efforts of the international community in trying to draw attention to the consequences of continued illegal Israeli activity in Arab occupied territories.
We would once again like to underscore the important role which UNRWA has played for over 60 years in ameliorating the plight of Palestinian refugees.To that extent, Indonesia believes that we must all share the concern about its chronically under-funded budget, which is causing increased difficulties in fulfilling its mandate. The financial and staffing situation of UNRWA requires increased and urgent attention from the donor community and the international financial institutions.
Finally Mr. Chairman, I wish to convey Indonesia’s appreciation and unequivocal support for all the services and assistance exerted by UNRWA to the Palestinian refugees throughout the hardships they have endured.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org