On behalf of the European Union and the co-sponsors, I have the pleasure to introduce draft resolution A/64/L.33 entitled Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and Protection of United Nations Personnel, as well as draft resolution Assistance to Palestinian People.
I would like to thank all delegations for their active participation throughout the negotiation on the draft resolution on Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and Protection of United Nations Personnel. Delegations constructive engagement allowed for consensus to be reached once more on this important issue. The safety and security of humanitarian personnel is increasingly challenged and requires full attention and strong support from Member States. We thank delegations for their constructive approach in this years negotiations. This allowed for an unprecedented timely agreement sending a strong message of unity in support of the safety and security of humanitarian and United Nations personnel.
Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic escalation of threats and deliberate attacks against humanitarian and United Nations personnel. Locally recruited personnel are often most severely affected. For the first time we have alarming reports of politically motivated attacks. This development can not be accepted and calls for concerted action. The draft resolution recognizes these developments and suggests ways to address them.
The draft resolution urges states to ensure the full and effective implementation of the relevant principles and rules of international law, and to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel. The draft emphasizes the need to pay particular attention to the safety and security of locally recruited humanitarian personnel. States are urged to end impunity for acts of violence perpetrated against humanitarian and United Nations personnel.
The draft requests that the Department of Safety and Security should continue to improve and implement an effective, modern and flexible information management capacity, in order to reduce the risks arising in the context of United Nations related operations.
The draft also takes note of the ongoing efforts by the Secretary General in addressing the recommendations of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of United Nations Personnel and Premises Worldwide. We look forward to further reports on measures to follow up on these important recommendations.
Finally, the draft underlines the urgent need to allocate adequate and predictable resources, with a view to reinforcing the efforts of the Department of Safety and Security to meet its mandate and responsibilities. There can be no programme without security, and no security without adequate resources.
The deteriorating conditions under which both international and national humanitarian staff carry out their work require increased efforts to reinforce safety and security. We hope that this consensus resolution will provide a foundation for wider efforts in ensuring the safety and security for humanitarian and United Nations personnel.
We look forward to draft resolution A/64/L.33 being adopted by consensus.
Let me now turn to the draft resolution entitled Assistance to the Palestinian people under agenda item 70b. The draft resolution has been shared with Member States and will be considered on Friday 11 December. As in previous years, we expect the resolution to be adopted by consensus.
The European Union reaffirms its commitment to providing assistance to the Palestinian people. The sustained support from the donors of the international community is essential in order to support the state building efforts, to strengthen the Palestinian economy and to meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.
The EU stands ready to further develop and enhance its bilateral relations with the Palestinian Authority. The EU will promote Palestinian state-building and intensify work in partnership with the Palestinian Authority towards further implementation of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. This will involve a broad range of areas including health, education, governance, customs, public financial management and the rule of law.
The EU fully supports the Palestinian Authority’s Government Plan entitled “Palestine, Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State” and will work for enhanced international support for this plan.
The EU welcomes the Palestinian Authoritys efforts to develop an effective and reformed security sector and will cooperate with the Palestinian Authority towards additional improvement in restoring law and order, countering terrorism, the implementation of a more comprehensive security strategy, developing an effective and a reformed security sector and criminal justice system. Civil police and justice will continue to be a focus of EU support, through the assistance provided by EUPOL COPPS, the European Commission and Member States, and in close coordination with the US and other partners.
The EU remains gravely concerned at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and calls for the immediate and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid in accordance with international humanitarian law, as well as commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. Reconstruction and economic recovery has to be allowed and the current humanitarian crisis must be solved.
Let me reaffirm the EUs gratitude to and solidarity with humanitarian actors whose safe, unhindered and timely access to civilian population, in particular in times of armed conflict, is a fundamental condition for the fulfilment of their mandates and mission. We applaud the work of humanitarian personnel on the ground and call on all actors to respect the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
The EU welcomes Israels steps to ease restrictions of movement in the West Bank which have made a contribution to economic growth. We look forward to further and sustained improvements of movement and access, noting that many check points and road blocks remain in place.
We call on all partners to contribute actively to the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The EU urges Arab countries and other partners to be forthcoming, both politically and financially, in assisting the Palestinian Authority, in accordance with Roadmap provisions.
A comprehensive settlement requires a regional approach, covering the political, security and economic dimensions. Encouraged by enhanced US engagement and convinced that tangible benefits regarding economic development and security would facilitate achieving agreement on the various political tracks, the EU stands ready to use all instruments at its disposal such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean. Through numerous agreements with partners in the region, the EU is uniquely placed to work with the parties on key issues of regional development.
In light of further developments at the political level and on the ground, the EU will carefully assess how its policies and programmes can promote concrete and early results on the path of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.
I would like to express our gratitude to the delegations that thus far have requested to be included in the list of co-sponsors of this draft resolution. We would also like to thank the Palestinian and Israeli delegations for their cooperation during the negotiations.
I thank you.