The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolution 53/46 of 3 December 1998 and all its previous resolutions on the question, including resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948,
Taking note of 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 1998 to 30 June 1999, 1/
Welcoming the signature in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the people of Palestine, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements 2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, and also the signature of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/
Welcoming also the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,
Encouraging the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process to continue its important work,
1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of concern;
2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2000;
3. Expresses its thanks to the Commissioner-General and to all the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, recognizing that the Agency is doing all it can within the limits of available resources, and also expresses its thanks to the specialized agencies and to private organizations for their valuable work in assisting refugees;
4. Notes the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 2/ and stresses the importance that contributions to this Programme not be at the expense of the General Fund;
5. Welcomes the increased cooperation between the Agency and international and regional organizations, States and relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations, which is essential to enhancing the contributions of the Agency towards improved conditions for the refugees and thereby the social stability of the occupied territory;
6. Urges all Member States to extend and expedite aid and assistance with a view to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people and the occupied territory;
7. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General; 1/
8. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to move towards budgetary transparency and internal efficiency, and welcomes in this respect the new, unified budget structure for the biennium 2000-2001, which can contribute significantly to improved budgetary transparency of the Agency;
9. Welcomes the consultative process between the Agency, host Governments, the Palestinian Authority and donors on management reforms;
10. Notes with profound concern that the continuing shortfall in the finances of the Agency has a significant negative influence on the living conditions of the Palestine refugees most in need and that it therefore has possible consequences for the peace process;
11. Calls upon all donors, as a matter of urgency, to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including the remaining costs of moving the headquarters to Gaza, encourages contributing Governments to contribute regularly and to consider increasing their contributions, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute.
71st plenary meeting
6 December 1999
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
Sources: The United Nations