Resolution: UNRWA Assistance

This is a yearly resolution introduced at the UN General Assembly whose title is similar to: “Assistance to Palestine refugees.”

Resolution in brief: Extends the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is the agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.

From 2000 to 2010 Canada voted "Yes" on this resolution, under Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin (both Liberal), and for the first few years under Stephen Harper (Conservative). From 2011 to 2022 Canada abstained on the resolution, starting with Harper and continued under Justin Trudeau (Liberal). In 2023, Canada changed its abstention to "Yes."

The 2019 version of this resolution can be found in .pdf here, on the UN website here, or copied below.

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 13 December 2019 [on the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/74/409)]

74/83.    Assistance to Palestine refugees

        The General Assembly,

        Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 73/92 of 7 December 2018,

        Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

        Recalling further the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

        Aware of the fact that, for more than seven decades, the Palestine refugees have suffered from the loss of their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

        Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

        Acknowledging the essential role that the Agency has played for over 65 years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees through the provision of education, health, relief and social services and ongoing work in the areas of camp infrastructure, microfinance, protection and emergency assistance,

        Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the Agency covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2018,[1]

        Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of 31 May 2019, submitted pursuant to paragraph 57 of the report of the Secretary-General,[2] and expressing concern regarding the severe financial crisis of the Agency and the negative implications for the continued delivery of core programmes to the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation,

        Aware of the growing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

        Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions,

        Expressing grave concern in particular at the grave humanitarian situation and socioeconomic conditions of the Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance and urgent reconstruction efforts,

        Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization[3] and the subsequent implementation agreements,

  1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected, and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern and the Palestine refugees continue to require assistance to meet basic health, education and living needs;
  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 reaffirms its request to the Conciliation Commission to continue exerting efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly on the efforts being exerted in this regard as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2020;
  3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its unimpeded operation and its provision of services, including emergency assistance, for the well-being, protection and human development of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the just resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;
  4. Calls upon all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including with regard to increased expenditures and needs arising from conflicts and instability in the region and the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian situation, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and those needs mentioned in recent emergency, recovery and reconstruction appeals and plans for the Gaza Strip and in the regional crisis response plans to address the situation of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic and those Palestine refugees who have fled to countries in the region;
  5. Commends the Agency for its provision of vital assistance to the Palestine refugees and its role as a stabilizing factor in the region and the tireless efforts of the staff of the Agency in carrying out its mandate;
  6. Recalls its decision 60/522 of 8 December 2005, and decides to invite the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to attend the meetings of the Advisory Commission of the Agency;
  7. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2023, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).


47th plenary meeting
13 December 2019



        [1] Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/74/13).

        [2] A/71/849.

        [3] A/48/486-S/26560, annex.