Senator Ivan Scalfarotto at the International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA


Remarks of Senator Ivan Scalfarotto at the International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA:

Honorable attendees,

As a former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and a current member of the Senate of the Republic of Italy, I regret that I am unable to be present in Geneva for this significant gathering. However, I am compelled to extend my sentiments through this brief video, aligning my voice with yours on the crucial matters at hand.

The imperative mission of supporting refugees and ensuring the provision of adequate assistance and aid to displaced individuals transcends borders and ideologies. The United Nations, undeniably, stands as the bastion of hope and refuge for those afflicted by the ravages of conflict and destitution. It is incumbent upon the international community to rally behind the UN in such endeavors, embodying the spirit of compassion and solidarity.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that all UN agencies maintain an unwavering commitment to impartiality and neutrality in their operations, irrespective of the parties involved. Their integrity and efficacy hinge upon their ability to function as apolitical arbiters of justice, fostering trust among all stakeholders.

Regrettably, recent revelations implicating UNRWA staff members in the tragic events of October 7, 2023, and their subsequent celebration thereof, have profoundly shaken the foundation of trust in the agency’s neutrality and impartiality. This egregious breach underscores the imperative for a thorough reassessment of UNRWA’s role and efficacy in addressing the Palestinian crisis.

In my estimation, the consolidation of UNRWA into the broader framework of UNHCR presents a pragmatic solution to these pressing challenges.

Such a merger would not only eliminate redundancies but also enhance operational coherence, drawing upon the vast expertise and resources of UNHCR to better serve all refugee populations, including Palestinians.

In conclusion, I advocate for a concerted effort to pursue this organizational realignment, guided by the principles of efficiency, accountability, and inclusivity.

Let us seize this opportunity to reaffirm our collective commitment to the noble cause of refugee assistance and humanitarian aid.

I extend my best wishes for a productive deliberation and eagerly anticipate your invaluable contributions.

UN Watch