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United Nations General Assembly Resolution 212
19 November 1948

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By November 1948, there were at least 500,000 refugees created as the result of the Israeli war of independence. Resolution 212 represented an initial attempt to provide assistance. Subsequently, Resolution 302 created the UNRWA.

Ami Isseroff

Copyright 1999-2002

This introduction is copyright by MidEastWeb and by the author and may not be copied to another Web site or reproduced without permission.

General Assembly

A/RES/202 (III)
19 November 1948

212 (III). Assistance to Palestine Refugees

Whereas the problem of the relief of Palestine refugees of all communities is one of immediate urgency and the United Nations Mediator on Palestine, in his progress report of 18 September 1948, part three, states that "action must be taken to determine the necessary measure (of relief) and to provide for their implementation- and that "the choice is between saving the lives of many thousands of people now or permitting them to die",

Whereas the Acting Mediator, in his supplemental report of 18 October 1948, declares that "the situation of the refugees is now critical" and that "aid must not only be continued but very greatly increased if disaster is to be averted",

Whereas the alleviation of conditions of starvation and distress among the Palestine refugees is one of the minimum conditions for the success of the United Nations to bring peace to that land,

The General Assembly

1. Expresses its thanks to the Governments and organizations which, and the individual persons who, have given assistance directly or in response to the Mediator's appeal;

2. Considers, on the basis of the Acting Mediator's recommendation, that a sum of approximately $29,500,000 will be required to provide relief for 500,000 refugees for a period of nine months from I December 1948 to 31 August 1949, and that an additional amount of approximately $2,500,000 will be required for administrative and local operational expenses;

3. Authorizes the Secretary General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to advance immediately a sum of Lip to $5,000,000 from the Working Capital Fund of the United Nations, the said SLIM to be repaid before the end of the period specified in paragraph 2, from the voluntary governmental contributions requested under paragraph 4;

4. Urges all States Members of the United Nations to make as soon as possible voluntary contributions in kind or in funds sufficient to ensure that the amount of supplies and funds required is obtained, and states that, to this end, voluntary contributions of non-member States would also be accepted; contributions in funds may be made in currencies other than the United States dollar, in so far as the operations of the relief organization can be carried out in such currencies;

5. Authorizes the Secretary General to establish a Special Fund into which contributions shall be paid, which will be administered as a separate account;

6. Authorizes the Secretary General to expend the funds received under paragraphs 3 and 4 of this resolution;

7. Instructs the Secretary General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to establish regulations for the administration and supervision of the Fund;

8. Requests the Secretary General to take all necessary steps to extend aid to Palestine refugees and to establish such administrative organization as may be required for this purpose, inviting the assistance of the appropriate agencies of the several Governments, the' specialized agencies of the United Nations, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Red Cross Societies and other voluntary agencies, it being recognized that the participation of voluntary organizations in the relief plan would in no way derogate from the principle of impartiality on the basis of which the assistance of these organizations is being solicited;

9. Requests the Secretary General to appoint a Director of United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, to whom he may delegate such responsibility as he may consider appropriate for the overall planning and implementation of the relief programme;

10. Agrees to the convoking, at the discretion of the Secretary General, of an ad hoc advisory committee of seven members to be selected by the President of the General Assembly, to which the Secretary General may submit any matter of principle or policy upon which lie would like the benefit of the committee's advice;

11. Requests the Secretary General to continue and to extend the implementation of the present programme, until the machinery provided for by the present resolution is set up;

12. Urges the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Refugee Organization, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, and other appropriate organizations and agencies, acting within the framework of the relief programme herein established, promptly to contribute supplies, specialized personnel and other services permitted by their constitutions and their financial resources, to relieve the desperate plight of Palestine refugees of all communities;

13. Requests the Secretary General to report to the General Assembly, at the next regular session, on the action taken as a result of this resolution.

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