UNs role in the occupied Palestinian territory impeded
Jerusalem - The ability of the United Nations to play a full role in meeting the basic needs and aspirations of the people of Gaza Strip is impeded by the current restrictions on access, a senior United Nations official cautioned today.
Jordan Ryan, an Assistant Secretary-General of the UN today told His Excellency Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, that the United Nations could do much more to promote peace if it could access building materials in order to foster early recovery from the recent conflict in Gaza.
Mr. Ryan, the Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Director of its Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery, met Prime Minister Fayyad to discuss the impact of UNDP’s US$80 million programme in the occupied Palestinian territory and to seek ways to further aid Palestinian state building efforts.
Mr. Ryan, who has just returned from Gaza, told the Prime Minister that he witnessed how much reconstruction is already underway through means that by-pass current access restrictions. Repairs had been carried out on private homes, businesses and some infrastructure by making use of recycled materials and the goods available in the local market, he said in the meeting in Ramallah.
“I also witnessed the initiative and drive of Gazans who are showing great determination in improving their circumstances by creating businesses and supporting their families regardless of the restraints and recent losses,” said Mr. Ryan."
“I met with beneficiaries who lost loved ones and all means of support and I was very encouraged that through the support of UNDP they have managed to focus on the future despite the pain of their past. But I also heard from many that the focus should shift to development that leads to self-reliance rather than aid dependency,” he said.
UNDP is engaged in removing and crushing rubble and debris, rehabilitating farmlands, electricity networks, providing support to Gazans affected by conflict and promoting economic development.
The Prime Minister and Mr. Ryan also discussed UNDP’s support to the Palestinian Authority’s state building programme, detailed in the document, “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”.
Mr. Ryan also met with the Minister of Justice, Dr. Ali Khashan, the Chief Justice, Mr. Farid Al Jallad and other representatives of the Palestinian legal community to discuss the UNDP supported Access to Justice programme that aims to improve the function of law in the occupied Palestinian territory.
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