On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, the Association 302 in Defense of Palestinian Refugees’ Rights held a seminar on “the future of UNRWA and Palestinian refugees’ Issue under the international power balance,” during which it hosted the Arab intellectual and the Secretary-General of the General Assembly of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA), Munir Shafiq. The discussion was run by Ali Hwaidi, director of Association 302.
Shafiq addressed the international power balances, how tilted they are and their influence on the Palestinian cause, pointing also to the UNRWA cause and defending it, as well as the rights of Palestinian refugees.
“The matter of defending UNRWA is part of the battle against resettlement of refugees and the cancellation of the refugees’ cause.”
The Secretary-General stressed the importance of the official Palestinian role in protecting and supporting UNRWA, adding that the role lies in “further expansion in the scope of foreign action,” through communication with European and donor states.
“There is no fear for the UNRWA and the refugees’ cause, since the power balance is to Palestine’s side.”
Today, Shafiq added, the UNRWA’s battle has shifted to finding means to compensate for the losses caused by the US funding cuts. However, according to the power balance, the US administration has lost its power to politically cordon the agency, when 167 countries voted for extending the UNRWA’s authorization for three additional years.
He explained that the core issue at the heart of the UNRWA cause is directing an attack on the occupation, through further establishment of its actions after the West Bank and Jerusalem (al-Quds) are liberated, attributing this to the fact that the UNRWA issue must be rooted through ultimate liberation and a complete return.
He stressed that:
“UNRWA must remain a witness to the crime of uprooting the Palestinian people, which role ends after the return, given that there is no return before liberation.”