U.S. Statement on the Health Conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

U.S. Statement on the Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory
Agenda item 14

As delivered by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor

Geneva, May 16, 2007

The United States strongly regrets the resolution before us. It is a largely political resolution and it interjects political considerations into the debate of this global health body.

The United States, too, cares deeply about the health of the Palestinian people. Yet, this resolution will neither further the search for peace in the Middle East nor improve the health of those living the West Bank and Gaza.

To help meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, the United States has invested 24.2 million dollars in on-going maternal and child health and nutrition activities. We also provided 30 million dollars for an emergency medical assistance project that provides pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and equipment to the Palestinian health sector.

In September of 2006, the United States donated 27.4 million dollars to the World Food Program’s food assistance activities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Throughout 2006 and 2007, the United States also provided 12 million dollars to support emergency interventions in small-scale water and sanitation projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

Our contribution of over 50 million dollars to the UNRWA Emergency Appeal in 2006 helped meet the needs of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, whose livelihoods and health needs have been badly affected by the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority Government’s policy choices.

The U.S. contribution enables UNRWA to support five fixed health stations and five mobile health units in the West Bank to bring health services to Palestinians who can no longer travel to health clinics that formerly served them.

We will continue to look for ways to meet the basic needs of the Palestinian people and we encourage other countries to join us in this effort. Nevertheless, it remains our view, along with the other members of the Quartet, that any Palestinian government must renounce violence, recognize Israel, and respect previous agreements and obligations between the parties.

Much of this resolution is biased and political in its focus, and ignores the obligation of the Palestinian Authority Government to govern responsibly, end terror, and commit to the path of a peaceful resolution in search of the two-state solution called for in the Road Map – with a Palestinian State and Israel living side by side in peace and security. This will allow the rightful health needs as well as other aspirations of the Palestinian people to finally be realized.

The United States is opposed to this resolution, and requests its consideration be taken by a recorded vote.

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