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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. President,

It is my pleasure, on behalf of the European Union, to introduce draft resolutions A/62/L.38, entitled “Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel”, and A/62/L36, entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian People”.

Mr. President,

Humanitarian personnel and United Nations and associated personnel conducting operations in the field provide an invaluable service to millions of people in need, often at great personal risk. The deeply disturbing information on the deaths, injuries and harassment against those personnel, as well as the fact that the perpetrators of such acts of violence seemingly operate with impunity, clearly demonstrates that this issue deserves our urgent attention.

The draft resolution before us addresses both the issues of strengthening the normative framework for the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, as well as efforts to promote and enhance the security management system of the United Nations.

On the normative framework, the draft resolution calls upon all States to consider becoming parties to and to respect fully their obligations under the relevant international instruments, mindful of the need to promote the universality of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. The Optional Protocol to the Convention is a very important step forward in the protection of UN and associated personnel. The draft resolution calls upon all States to consider signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol as soon as possible and urges States parties to put in place appropriate national legislation, as necessary, to enable the effective implementation of the Optional Protocol.

The draft resolution also recommends that the Secretary-General continue to seek the inclusion of, and that host countries include, key provisions of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, among others, in the host country agreements and other related agreements concluded between the United Nations and those countries.

Importantly, the draft resolution reaffirms the need to hold accountable those responsible for all threats and acts of violence against humanitarian personnel and United Nations and associated personnel, and urges States to end impunity for such acts.

Secondly, the draft resolution acknowledges the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General to further enhance the security management system of the United Nations, recognizing the important work of the Department of Safety and Security. The draft recognizes the need for continued efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation between the United Nations and other relevant organizations to address mutual security concerns in the field. The draft resolution also invites the United Nations and, as appropriate, other humanitarian organizations, working closely with host states, to further strengthen the analysis of threats to the safety and security of their personnel. The draft also highlights the importance of information on the range and scope of security incidents involving humanitarian personnel and United Nations and associated personnel.

In addition, the draft resolution addresses the importance of providing humanitarian and United Nations staff adequate information and training on security, and encourages collaborative initiatives to address security training needs.

Recalling the essential role of telecommunication resources, the draft also addresses the issue of limiting and, whenever possible, lifting the restrictions placed on the use of communications equipment by United Nations and associated personnel.

Mr. President, the increasing dangers faced by both international and national staff involved in humanitarian and UN operations underlines the urgency of the need for further measures to reinforce their safety and security. It is our sincere hope that this resolution will contribute to wider efforts to provide the necessary security and protection required for humanitarian and UN and associated personnel in assisting those in need.

Finally, I would like to thank all interested delegations for their engagement on the text in the informal consultations. My delegation and other sponsors hope that the draft resolution contained in document A/62/L.38 will be adopted by consensus.

Mr. President, I will now turn to draft resolution A/62/L 36, which is entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian People”.

The European Union reiterates its commitment to the provision of assistance to the Palestinian people. Sustained donor support from the international community, working with the parties, is crucial for an improvement of the Palestinian economic and social infrastructure and to address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.

For its part, the European Union has been consistently increasing its assistance. The overall European Union assistance to the Palestinian people, including humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance as well as contributions to the temporary international mechanism will this year exceed 900 million euros, which represents an important increase from last year, and makes us again the single biggest donor.

The European Union remains determined to support the ongoing negotiation process between the parties launched at Annapolis and stands ready to work closely with the Palestinian Authority, the Quartet and regional partners to contribute to the Palestinian economy’s revival and development. The European Union adopted recently an action strategy in order to adapt an enhance its activities in areas like security, law and order, institution building, good governance, civil society contributions and support for the Palestinian economy, in order to foster a new, substantive and credible peace process.

We would also like to underline the importance of the role of the Quartet Representative, Mr Tony Blair, and welcome the work already done, in particular the recent announcement of a number of quick impact projects.

The European Union remains gravely concerned with the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, and calls for the opening of crossings for both humanitarian reasons and commercial flows. We welcome the recent opening of a crossing for the export of agricultural goods as an important first step.

Today the international donors are meeting in Paris in a Conference that represents an essential building block to the political process launched at Annapolis and constitutes a unique opportunity for the international community to back up its commitment to assist in the economic and financial development of a future viable and prosperous Palestinian state.

Mr. President, I would to express our gratitude to the delegations that requested to be included in the list of co-sponsors of this draft resolution. The European Union and our fellow co-sponsors hope that this draft resolution will be adopted by consensus.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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