UN Secretary-Normal António Guterres announced on Monday a evaluation of whether or not the UN Reduction and Works Company for Palestinians within the Close to East (UNRWA) is “ensur[ing] neutrality” and correctly responding to allegations of potential breaches. The announcement got here after Israel accused UNRWA of involvement within the October 7 Hamas attacks. The accusation brought about a number of nations, together with the US, to halt funding to the company.
Guterres named Catherine Colonna, the previous Minister of International Affairs of France, as the top of the unbiased evaluation group. Three “analysis organizations” based mostly in Denmark, Norway and Sweden may even take part.
The unbiased evaluation group will assess and make suggestions for enhancements in 4 main areas. First, the group will “establish the mechanisms and procedures that the Company at present has in place to make sure neutrality” and the way it responds to allegations of wrongdoing. Second, the group will think about how the company has used the procedures at present in place, “taking into consideration the actual operational, political and safety surroundings wherein the Company works.” Third, the adequacy of present procedures will probably be reviewed. Lastly, the evaluation group will make suggestions for enhancements to present procedures and counsel various strategies if essential.
Guterres famous that the investigation comes at a time when UNRWA “is working beneath extraordinarily difficult situations to ship life-saving help to the two million individuals within the Gaza Strip who depend upon it for his or her survival amidst one of many largest and most advanced humanitarian crises on the earth.” Based on a report by UNRWA, 75 % of Gaza’s inhabitants has been displaced. Moreover, the company claimed that 152 workers had been killed in the course of the combating.
Israeli International Minister Israel Katz said on X (previously Twitter) that Israel deliberate on submitting proof to the evaluation group “highlighting UNRWA’s ties to terrorism and its dangerous results on regional stability.” Katz additionally referred to as for the resignation of UNRWA Chairperson Philippe Lazzarini.
The evaluation group is predicted to start work on February 14 and situation a ultimate report in late April. The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is conducting a parallel investigation into allegations of the involvement of 12 UNRWA personnel within the assaults on Israel.