The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said today it was disappointed by the language adopted by the European Parliament in its 2019 discharge resolution on European Union (EU) budget implementation.
“The language implies that UNRWA teaches and disseminates hate speech and encourages violence within its schools. UNRWA is a United Nations Agency with zero tolerance for hatred, incitement to violence or discrimination,” said the UNRWA in a statement. “It unequivocally rejects such unfounded assertions and confirms that its educational materials uphold and advance the UN principles and values of neutrality, human rights, equality and non-discrimination regarding race, gender, language and religion.”
The Agency said host country curricula are used by it in all its fields of operations and the content of the educational materials is thoroughly reviewed to ensure that it is in line with UN values and principles.
“In the rare cases where discrepancies are found, a robust system is in place to address them. To suggest that hate is widespread within the Agency and schools is not only false and misleading, but it validates sensationalist and politically motivated attacks which deliberately seek to discredit UNRWA and harm the most vulnerable section of the community: the Palestine refugee children,” the statement said.
The UNRWA said, “UNRWA has a zero-tolerance policy for any deviation to UN principles. Nevertheless, UNRWA acknowledges that there cannot be zero risk when operating in a complex humanitarian setting and in a highly politicized environment.”
“Members of the Parliament have been duly informed and kept up to date regarding this important development, and we profoundly regret that UNRWA investments have been ignored by many members of the European Parliament in its 2019 discharge resolution on EU budget implementation.”