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The GPRN and Palestinian organizations in Palestine and in exile address an open letter to the UNRWA Advisory Committee in response to the statements of Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini
The GPRN and Palestinian organizations in Palestine and in exile address an open letter to the UNRWA Advisory Committee in response to the statements of Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini

To: Honorable Dr. Basil Al-Hassan, Chairman of the UNRWA Advisory Committee,

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the UNRWA Advisory Committee


Subject: Mr. Lazzarini’s, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, extension of authority in addressing the UNRWA budget crisis

Mr. Chairman of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen, members,

We, the Global Palestinian Refugee Network, and the Palestinian NGOs and grassroots organizations undersigned, address this open letter to you to reaffirm:

  1. The expansion of UNRWA's partnerships with other UN agencies and international organizations to address the financial crisis of UNRWA represents a serious breach of the Commission-General’s authority, and a fundamental infringement of the rights of Palestinian refugees and their cause in its political and legal dimensions. Any derogation or reassignment of UNRWA services – its mandate - is the sole authority of the United National General Assembly. This approach constitutes an actual implementation of the strategy to disrupt UNRWA, which is being used by some countries and parties complicit with Israeli illegal policies and practices. We reject this approach and we call for resistance to this strategy to disrupt UNRWA, which is based on two main pillars. The first pillar is the transfer of UNRWA's responsibilities to the host countries, and/or UN agencies and international organizations, and/or the non-governmental organizations, bodies and committees operating in the areas of refuge. Second, ending the political dimension from the Palestinian refugee issue and limiting it to humanitarian needs, means exempting Israel from its responsibilities as embodied in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948.
  2. The historically known cooperation between UNRWA and other UN agencies does not allow the Commissioner-General (CG) to enforce expanding partnerships so that services are “provided on behalf and under the guidance of UNRWA”.[1] The formation of “Education Expert Advisory Group”[2] ignores the voice and will of the Palestinian refugees. The CG’s insistence with this approach and the creation of the advisory group will degenerate the relationship between UNRWA and Palestinian refugees in a way that will not serve the refugee issue and their rights, and will not resolve the UNRWA budget crisis.
  3. The UNRWA financial crisis should be addressed through the establishment of a UN mechanism to finance UNRWA’s core services. This mechanism must be based on mandatory contributions made annually by Member States to UNRWA, as decided by the UN General Assembly. Moreover, it is possible to continue to utilize the voluntary contributions of states to cover additional vital programs and emergency interventions.


Accordingly, we ask the Advisory Committee to address this issue in the upcoming meeting, on June 14-15 in Beirut, highlighting the CG’s extension of authority by reassigning UNRWA’s services to other UN agencies, which is the sole responsibility and authority of the UN General Assembly.


  1. The Global Palestinian Refugee Network (45 organizations)
  2. The Executive Office for  Refugees Popular Committees in the West Bank
  3. The Palestinian Performing Arts Network (13 organizations)
  4. The Palestinian Network for Child Rights - West Bank and Jerusalem
  5. The Civil Coalition for Human Rights in Jerusalem
  6. The National Democratic coalition – Al-Jadedah Al-Maker
  7. Laylac Center – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  8. Shurouq Organization – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  9. Ibdaa’ Organization – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  10. Juthour Center – Al Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  11. Aida Youth Center – Aida Refugee Camp
  12. Lajee’ Center – Aida Refugee Camp
  13. BADIL – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
  14. Addar For Culture and Art – Nazareth
  15. Yabous center - Jerusalem
  16. Taghreed Association for Culture and Development – Beit Hanoun / Gaza
  17. Palestinian Labors Union – Bar Elias Refugee Camp
  18. Popular Initiative – Nahr Al Bared Refugee Camp
  19. Aidoun Refugees’ Rights Center - Lebanon
  20. Palestinian Students’ Fund – Lebanon
  21. Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation - Lebanon
  22. The Palestinian Association for Human Rights Shahed - Lebanon
  23. The Human Appeal Association - Lebanon
  24. The Future Leaders - Lebanon
  25. Humanitarian Development Center - Lebanon
  26. Union of Palestinian Writers and Authors
  27. Union of Palestinian Writers and Authors - General Secretariat
  28. Al Karmel Club – Shatila Refugee Camp / Lebanon
  29. Al Hawla Association – Lebanon
  30. Al Awda Center for the Development of Children and Youth – Tulkarem
  31. Ansar Center – Al Walaja
  32. The Popular Theatre
  33. The Freedom Theatre
  34. Yes Theatre for Youth Communication
  35. Al Fawwar Cultural Youth Center – Al Fawwar Refugee Camp
  36. Not to Forget Association – Jenin Refugee Camp
  37. Naqsh Popular Art Troupe
  38. Nawa Association for Cultural Development - Ramallah
  39. Burj Al Laqlaq Association
  40. Haifa Cultural Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  41. Youth Social Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  42. Women’s Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  43. Association for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  44. Return Center – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  45. Al Karmel Sports Club
  46. Psychological and Social Development Association – Al Jalazon Refugee Camp
  47. The Cultural and Social Association Nashet
  48. Commission of the Martyrs, the Prisoners and the Injured
  49. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Jabalia Refugee Camp
  50. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Shate’ Refugee Camp
  51. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Braij Refugee Camp
  52. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Maghazi Refugee Camp
  53. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Nuserat Refugee Camp
  54. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Deir Al Balah Refugee Camp
  55. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Khanyounis Refugee Camp
  56. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Rafah Refugee Camp
  57. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Dheisheh Refugee Camp
  58. Refugees’ Popular Camp – Aida Refugee Camp
  59. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al Azzah Refugee Camp
  60. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp
  61. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Tulkarem Refugee Camp
  62. Refugees’ Popular Committee – Al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp
  63. National Action Front – Majd Al-Krum
  64. Hadaf Cultural Center
  65. The Algerian-Palestinian Brothers Association
  66. Prisoner’s Association
  67. Waten Youth Center
  68. Palestinian Child Culture Center
  69.  Social Rehabilitation Center
  70. The Palestinian Arab Cultural Club - Beddawi Refugee Camp
  71. Al Karmel Association
  72. Women’s Charity Association
  73. Nuwat Association
  74. Tadamon for democratic work and community development
  75. Women’s Activity Center
  76. Ansar Center
  77. Al Bustan Association - Silwan
  78. Yafa Cultural Center – Balata Refugee Camp
  79. Local Association for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped – Balata Camp
  80. Aqabat Jaber Youth Center