Australia is a long-term supporter of UNRWA. Its work is vital. Until there is a just and sustainable solution to the refugee situation, UNRWA is the only organisation that has the mandate and central role to provide relief and social services to Palestinian refugees in the region.
In recognition of the vital work UNRWA undertakes and I am pleased to announce today that Australia plans to double our contribution to UNRWA this financial year, from $10 to $20 million Australian dollars.
Respect for all religions and people is important – the path to peace and stability requires efforts on all sides. We will continue to hold UNRWA accountable for its adherence to principles of tolerance, non-discrimination, equality and neutrality.
Ultimately, Australia wants to see a region in which UNRWA’s work is no longer necessary.
Australia remains a strong supporter of a two-state solution, in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders.
Viewing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from one perspective will not achieve that goal.
A two-state solution can only be achieved through a negotiated outcome between the two parties. Australia encourages Israel and the Palestinians to return to direct negotiations in good faith.
We would welcome any initiative that can assist in the resumption of direct peace negotiations, to arrive at a sustainable and resilient settlement.