UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General Calls for Renewing Peace Process to Resolve Palestinian Refugees Issue

NEY YORK, December 3, 2014 (WAFA) – Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Margot Ellis, called on Wednesday for renewing the Middle East peace process in order to resolve the issue of around 5,000,000 Palestinian refugees living in Diaspora.

Ellis’ remarks came during a concurrent event to mark the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People held in eight cities across the world: Bangkok, Beirut, Dubai, Jakarta, Seville, New York, Tokyo and Vienna. An iconic image from UNRWA’s newly digitized archive was displayed on buildings

As part of this campaign, a huge image of an UNRWA student dating from 1983 was emblazoned for six hours on the UNHQ building that is part of the Manhattan skyline.

Speaking in front of the UN Headquarters building in New York on which the image was projected, Ellis said, “The very fact that after all these years, over five million refugees, many of them very poor, are still waiting for a resolution of their plight underlines once again that there must be renewed political action in the peace process,” said Ellis.

“Humanitarian action by UNRWA is vital though it is certainly not a substitute for full rights, employment and dignity without which refugees will remain in a state of extreme vulnerability. UNRWA remains committed to its human development mandate, offering hope and the prospects of a dignified future to the next generation,” he remarked.

“Now more than ever before, it is important to show solidarity with the Palestinians.  UNRWA has been doing this for 65 years through the delivery of basic services such as education and health, which have successfully led to the human development of the Palestine refugee community.”

UNRWA has digitized over 300,000 images (67%) from its archive of nearly half a million images, some of which date back to 1948 and the Nakba. The Agency is making these images available on line to journalists, writers, scholars and members of the public, anyone interested in the long and still unresolved question of the Palestine refugees and the development of UNRWA’s services over six decades.