WILPF Australia has written an urgent letter to Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese urging him to restore funding to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA).
Read the letter below.
2 February 2024
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister,
We are deeply disturbed by your government’s decision to suspend aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza after allegations about 12 of its 13,000 workers.
This decision amounts to “collective punishment” of already grossly deprived Palestinians and cannot be justified.
We are most concerned that the Australian Government continues to rate diplomatic friendship. ahead of its humanitarian obligations under the Genocide Convention.
The International Court of Justice has provided an interim ruling that the Government of Israel must act to prevent genocide with the court specifically identifying humanitarian support – “Enable and facilitate the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza” as one of the measures the Government of Israel must report back to the court by 27 February.
Yet the Australian Government soon after announced its suspension of aid to Gaza. It would appear your government is more concerned about its relationships with Israel, the United States and other so called “like minded “countries than our nation’s traditional humanitarian values.
We understand the pressures in international diplomacy, but Australia, like New Zealand, Ireland and Finland, must assert its independence and rely on our long-term commitment to international law.
Please urgently restore aid to UNRWA and act to influence our allies who also have obligations under the Genocide Convention. A suspension of military aid to Israel is recommended as a basic start to mediating an end to this war.