UN, Palestine Sign Development Assistance Framework

RAMALLAH, August 15, 2013 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday signed in Ramallah a Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the State of Palestine for the years 2014-2016.

Hamdallah stressed the grave importance of the UN and its bodies in supporting the building of Palestine’s institutions.

The UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) outlines the strategic programming framework of the UN and describes a collective vision and response of 19 UN agencies to national development priorities.

“We look toward more support from the bodies of the UN to develop the Palestinian institutions in a way that accomplishes the government’s goal to achieve a sustainable development and serve the Palestinian citizen,” said Hamdallah at the signing ceremony.

He praised UN efforts to support the Palestinian bid to the UN General Assembly to become an observer non-member state and for efforts to achieve peace through negotiations.

Hamdallah called on the United States to pressure Israel to stop settlement activities, which he stressed obstruct the peace process and negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

He pointed out that despite of UN recognition of a Palestinian state, ‘it is still under occupation.’ He said, ‘Palestine is still suffering which requires from the international community and the UN to immediately intervene.’

Hamdallah tackled the obstacles facing the West Bank represented in the Israeli occupation and the ongoing settlement activities, particularly in East Jerusalem, which is under full Israeli control.

Ban, on the other hand, said the agreement “marks a new chapter of partnership between the people and government of Palestine and the UN.”

He said that the UN is helping to strengthen the capacity of the Palestinian state and other institutions to provide essential services for Palestinians.

“It is the right of all Palestinians and central to the stability of the region to live in a viable, independent and sovereign state,” affirmed the UN chief.

He welcomed the launching of negotiations, expressed appreciation for Abbas’ efforts and called for helping both Palestinians and Israelis to make progress in negotiations.

“Let us seize the moment for the benefit and interest of Palestinians and Israelis so they can live side by side in peace and security,” he said.

Following the signing ceremony, Ban met with a number of Palestinian students from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem who participated in Model UN clubs in their schools.

The students addressed a number of obstacles that they as students face on daily basis and reflected on life under Israeli occupation and its effects on their future.

A student from East Jerusalem shared her personal experience as she lives the constant fear of becoming homeless as a result to Israel’s measures against Palestinian residents of the city.

source: WAFA NEWS