The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including resolution 56/56 of 10 December 2001,
Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,
Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002,1
Taking note of the letter dated 26 September 2002 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General,2
Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,3
Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,4 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,
Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,
Also aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,
Gravely concerned about the increased suffering of the Palestine refugees, including the loss of life, injury and destruction and damage to refugee shelters and properties, during the recent tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Expressing grave concern about the recent events that have occurred in the Jenin refugee camp, including the loss of life, injury, destruction and displacement inflicted on many of its civilian inhabitants,
Gravely concerned about the safety of the staff and the damage to the facilities of the Agency as a result of Israeli military operations during the reporting period,
Expressing deep concern about the policies of closure and severe restrictions, including in particular the curfews, imposed on the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which have had a grave impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees and have greatly contributed to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,
Deeply concerned about the continuing restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Agency's staff, vehicles and goods, including the harassment of personnel, which adversely affect the ability of the Agency to provide its services, including its educational, health and relief and social services,
Deeply concerned also about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuing provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,
Recalling the signing, on 13 September 1993, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization5 and the subsequent implementation agreements,
Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,
Aware also of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,
Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,6
1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the increasingly difficult conditions throughout the past year;
2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;
3. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency;
4. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;
5. Takes note of the functioning of the headquarters of the Agency in Gaza City on the basis of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;
6. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;4
7. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations3 with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;
8. Urges the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side, particularly during the reporting period;
9. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement of the personnel, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges, which have a detrimental effect on the Agency's operations;
10. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;
11. Notes that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;
12. Notes also the success of the Agency's microfinance and enterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute towards the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees;
13. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency and to indicate the progress made in that regard in his report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session;
14. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the ongoing financial constraints, which have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground, and to support the Agency's valuable work in providing assistance to the Palestine refugees.
11 December 2002
2Ibid., p. viii.
3Resolution 22 A (I).
4United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
6Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.
Sources: The United Nations