Tue 11-June-2024

Germany to resume cooperation with UNRWA

Wednesday 24-April-2024

BERLIN, (PIC)

The German government said it will resume cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, after it temporarily withdrew its support for the organization following allegations that a number of its employees were involved in the October 7 attack, which led some countries, including Germany, to halt their contributions.

The decision follows the publication of an independent investigation, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, which concluded that Israel did not provide evidence to support its accusations that UNRWA employees participated in the October 7 attack, and that the UN agency regularly provided Israel with name lists of its employees for auditing.

The report confirmed that the agency had established a large number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with humanitarian principles, with an emphasis on the principle of neutrality, and that it had a more developed approach to neutrality than other United Nations entities or similar non-governmental organizations.

However, it identified a number of measures in different areas that need immediate improvement, namely “dealing with donors, governance, management structures, internal oversight, neutrality of employees and their behavior, neutrality of facilities, neutrality of education, neutrality of employee unions, and strengthening partnership with United Nations agencies.”

In a statement, the German Foreign and Development Ministries urged UNRWA to swiftly implement the report’s recommendations, including strengthening its internal audit function and improving external oversight of project management.

“In support of these reforms, the German government will soon continue its cooperation with UNRWA in Gaza, as Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan, among others, have already done,” it said.

Since January 26, 18 countries and the European Union have suspended their funding for the UN agency, against the backdrop of Israeli allegations about the participation of 12 of its employees in the October 7 attack, before several countries later retracted their decision.

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