The massive displacement of 1948, known as the Nakba (meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic), holds great significance for Palestinians around the world, said Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. peace at a high-level event at United Nations Headquarters in New York marking the day.
The occupation must end
“The legacy of this event lives on, urging us to continue our tireless efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” she said, recalling that the General Assembly adopted a resolution in November 2022. to create this commemorative day.
Currently, the road to peace and the implementation of a concerted solution, Israeli and Palestinian, consisting of two States follows decades marked by war, the exacerbation of tensions, violence and multiple processes of negotiations.
Ms. DiCarlo expressed her deep concern about the dwindling chances of restarting the peace process on the path to a two-state solution, given the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, recent violence and Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.
“Palestinians deserve to live with justice and dignity and to exercise their right to self-determination and independence,” she said.
This grim anniversary shines a light on the longest refugee crisis in the world, reminding that Palestinian refugees continue to live amid conflict, violence and occupation, while yearning for a just and lasting solution to their plight
“The position of the United Nations is clear: the occupation must end. A two-state solution must be found, in accordance with international law. We want to see an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace,” the senior UN official said.
The “catastrophe” of 1948
For Palestinians, the massive displacements of 1948 meant that families took what they could carry, or what was transported in trucks, from their homes to areas outside the new State of Israel.
The United Nations agency established to serve displaced Palestinian populations (UNRWA) reports that 5.9 million Palestinians are currently registered as refugees.
This grim anniversary shines a light on the longest refugee crisis in the world, reminding us that Palestinian refugees continue to live amidst conflict, violence and occupation, while yearning for a just and lasting solution to their plight, said the UN Committee on the Rights of the Palestinian People.
The morning event brought together UN Member States and high-level speakers, including the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas.
“The memory of the Nakba will remain; he will continue to motivate our people to end the occupation,” Abbas said. “The occupation will end. The rights of the Palestinians will prevail sooner or later, so that peace can reign in our region and in the world”.
Longest unresolved refugee crisis
“The plight of Palestinian refugees remains the longest unresolved refugee crisis in the world,” said the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, in a video message.
“More than ever, they need our collective solidarity,” he added. “There is simply no alternative to a political solution for all. To this day, there is no alternative to UNRWA; we must continue to support him until a just solution is finally found to their plight”.
Special commemorative event
On Monday evening, United Nations Headquarters was to host a special event and concert, with films and performances by Palestinian singer Sanaa Moussa, cellist and composer Naseem Alatrash, and the New York Arab Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Friesen, four-time Grammy Award winner.