Independent panel releases final report on UNRWA activities

Независимая группа опубликовала окончательный доклад о деятельности БАПОР

UN agencies continue humanitarian activities in Gaza. Independent panel releases final report on UNRWA activities Peace and Security

An independent panel released on Monday its final report on the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which makes 50 recommendations and notes that Israeli authorities have yet to provide evidence of their claims. that UNRWA employees have ties to terrorist organizations.

“Israel has publicly stated that a significant number of UNRWA personnel are members of terrorist organizations. However, he has yet to provide any evidence,” states the 54-page final report, “Independent Review of Mechanisms and Procedures to Ensure UNRWA Compliance with the Humanitarian Principle of Neutrality.”

General The UN secretary announced the creation of an Independent Review Panel of UNRWA, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, days after Israel brought charges against agency staff. During a nine-week review of existing mechanisms, the group conducted more than 200 interviews, met with Israeli and Palestinian officials, and contacted 47 countries and organizations directly.

Humanitarian Neutrality

The final report said UNRWA, created by the General Assembly in 1949, has extensive tools to ensure impartiality in its work and regularly provides lists of staff to Israel. The commissioners stated that “the Government of Israel did not inform UNRWA of any problems associated with any UNRWA personnel based on these personnel lists.”

“Code of Regulations, UNRWA’s mechanisms and procedures are the most sophisticated in the UN system, as the agency operates in a complex and sensitive environment, Catherine Colonna told reporters at UN headquarters after the presentation of the report. – What needs to be improved will be improved. I am confident that the implementation of these measures will help UNRWA fulfill its mandate.”

She urged the international community to “work side by side” with the agency so that it can fulfill its mission and overcome challenges when they arise.

New Action Plan

The report’s recommendations include the creation of a centralized neutrality investigation unit, the implementation of an updated Code of Ethics and related training for all staff, and the identification and implementation of additional ways to screen UNRWA candidates early in the hiring process .

In a statement on Monday, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said the UN chief accepts the recommendations contained in Catherine Colonna’s report. He agreed with Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini that UNRWA would develop an action plan to implement the recommendations contained in the final report.

Financial damage to UNRWA

According to the panel’s final report, Israel’s claims against UNRWA resulted in the suspension of approximately $450 million in funding.

The direct impact of Israel’s allegations undermined UNRWA’s ability to continue its work. The agency has seen major donors, including the United States, cancel or suspend funding for the agency.

In April, Washington banned funding for UNRWA until at least 2025, but other donors pledged additional funds or reinstated their donations.

Investigation continues

Following Israeli charges against UNRWA in late January, the agency immediately fired the employees in question and called for a swift and impartial investigation.

A few days later, the Secretary-General appointed an independent group headed by Katrin Colonna, which included experts from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute from Sweden, the Michelsen Institute from Norway and the Danish Institute of Human Rights.

At the same time, the UN chief ordered the Office of Internal Oversight to investigate Israeli claims against 12 UNRWA employees. Investigators visited UNRWA headquarters in Jordan and reviewed initial information the agency received from Israeli authorities and various sources, including those published in the media. The investigation is ongoing.


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