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UN General Assembly Resolutions: Resolution 56/52

(December 10, 2001)

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 55/123 of 8 December 2000 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 2000 to 30 June 2001, 1

Stressing the importance of the Middle East peace process,

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,

Aware that the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process has an important role to play in the peace process,

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 2002;

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 unified budget for the biennium 2002–2003;3

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, in particular at this time of acute crisis, 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. Expresses deep concern about the continuing problem of restrictions on the freedom of movement of Agency staff, vehicles and goods in the occupied territory, which has an adverse impact on the operational effectiveness of the Agency's programmes;

12. 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 regular contributions, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute;

13. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2005, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of its resolution 194 (III).

82nd plenary meeting
10 December 2002


1. Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/56/13 and Add.1).

2. A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

3. Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 13, addendum (A/56/13/Add.1).

Sources: The United Nations