Jordan hails UN’s decision to extend UNRWA mandate

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AMMAN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — Jordan on Saturday hailed a decision by the UN General Assembly to extend the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to 2023.

Spokesperson of Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Deifallah Fayez said that the decision represents a genuine support to the Palestinian refugees’ right, according to the ministry’s statement, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

“The decision supports Palestinian refugees’ right to live in dignity especially that their cause is one of the top final-status issues that have to be resolved in line with the international legitimacy resolutions, mainly UN Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative,” he said.

Stressing that Jordan will continue supporting UNRWA, Fayez said that the vote is a clear message and reaffirmation by the international community on the need to maintain the agency’s works.

The UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee voted on Friday night to renew the mandate of the UNRWA until June 30, 2023, with 196 votes in favor and nine abstentions. Only the United States and Israel voted against the resolution.

The UNRWA is considered a highly important organization for Palestinians as it offers essential services, including healthcare and schooling to more than 5 million refugees in the region.

Moreover, the relief agency highlights the internationally-backed right of return for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194.

In Jordan, more than 2.1 million registered Palestinian refugees distributed among 10 camps benefit from the agency’s services and financial aid.

The agency runs 169 schools in Jordan, where some 120,000 students are enrolled, as well as a faculty of science and educational arts, 25 primary healthcare centers and other services.

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