"Temporary" Palestinian Refugee Groups Turn 60

Holy See Calls Again for Peace

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NEW YORK, NOV. 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The continued existence of a U.N. agency and a pontifical mission both dedicated to Palestinian refugees is a reminder of the six decades of tragedy that have impacted millions of lives, a Holy See representative said Tuesday.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine are turning 60 this year. Both were created as temporary agencies until the situation of Palestinian refugees could be resolved.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, recalled these two institutions when he spoke Tuesday before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

The ongoing conflict is fruit of a “failure on the part of both concerned parties to engage in significant and substantive dialogue and dispute resolution in order to bring stability and peace to the Holy Land,” the archbishop said.

He called on the international community to continue to mediate, saying it is needed “more than ever before […] to continue its efforts to facilitate with haste a rapprochement of the parties.”

Archbishop Migliore reiterated that the status of the city of Jerusalem must be part of the solution. He further mentioned the “numerous incidents of violence and challenges to free movement” caused by the security wall.

The Holy See representative repeated the “call to the international community to facilitate significant negotiations between the conflicting parties.”

And he affirmed that “only with a just and lasting peace — not imposed but secured through negotiation and reasonable compromise — will the legitimate aspirations of all the peoples of the Holy Land be fulfilled.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of Archbishop Migliore’s address: www.zenit.org/article-27435?l=english

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