NEW YORK, 9th December, 2016 (WAM) — The UN General Assembly, by a draft on “Assistance to the Palestinian people”, urged Member States, international financial institutions and regional organisations to extend economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. It also stressed the role of all funding instruments in directly assisting the Palestinian people and called on international donors to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance in order to help the Palestinian people meet their urgent needs.

Emphasising its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the State of Palestine announced that it would launch a new plan for the next five years spanning from 2017 to 2022.

The government of Palestine has created a national team to steer and coordinate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in wide-scale consultation with civil society and the private sector.

During the day-long meeting, speakers shared experiences in giving and receiving assistance and urged donors to continue aid flows to the Palestinian people.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, said a Palestinian development plan must be established in accordance with the 2030 Agenda. Calling on Member States to work “alongside us” to adopt a draft supporting those “genuine” development endeavours, he said the Palestinian people were determined to overcome all obstacles and manage a modern State with great efficiency.

He said the Palestinian economy had suffered from decades of Israeli occupation with a lack of control over their monetary and fiscal policies, the two main components of a healthy economy. While citing recent progress, he said economic losses continued, with everything that was being paid to the Palestinian people being “just a bill of the occupation”. Accessing its resources would allow Palestine to establish a strong economy, making it no longer dependent on international aid, he said.

Mansour emphasised the need to distinguish between rescue and development operations. The goal should not be just to remain alive, he said, welcoming donor and partner efforts that had provided assistance to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian economy had suffered for decades from the Israeli occupation which was a direct violation of international law with a lack of control over their own monetary and fiscal policies, the two main components of a healthy economy.