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Meeting between Foreign Minister Kamikawa and Commissioner General Phillipe Lazzarini
of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

March 28, 2024
Foreign Minister Kamikawa shakes hand with UNRWA Commissioner General Lazzarini
Meeting between Foreign Minister Kamikawa and UNRWA Commissioner General Lazzarini

On March 28th, commencing at 07:25 p.m.(Japan time), for approximately 50 minutes, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Foreign Minister Kamikawa expressed her respect for the many UNRWA staff members dedicated to humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip and expressed her condolences for the loss of the staff members.
    She also stated that the contribution to UNRWA is a valuable resource funded by the Japanese taxpayers' money, and that it is important to strengthen UNRWA's governance in consideration of the interim report of the independent Review Group, so that effective measures are taken to ensure that our assistance is not used for any terrorist activities.
    Foreign Minister Kamikawa then emphasized UNRWA's efforts (1) to enhance organizational due diligence, (2) strengthen cooperation with other international organizations, (3) ensure the neutrality of education, and (4) reflect women's perspectives by promoting women's participation in leadership positions.
    In addition, she pointed out the importance of ensuring transparency and traceability of fund flows and the neutrality of UNRWA staff.
  2. In response, Commissioner General Lazzarini expressed his gratitude for Japan's support to date and stated the following;
  1. UNRWA is committed to:
    a. enhance the HQ function to oversee the field offices including strengthening the capacity of the Department of Internal Oversight Services (DIOS), and strengthen the management skills of local staff in front-line management positions;
    b. collaborate with other international organizations, and keep donors informed on key issues in a transparent manner;
    c. address issues of concerns in textbooks;
    d. improve screening and education to ensure neutrality of UNRWA staff.
  2. In addition, UNRWA will promote the participation of female staff as leaders in UNRWA’s efforts for its governance reform and reconstruction of Gaza;
  3. UNRWA will establish a new flamework with Japan on project management and monitoring to ensure transparency and traceability of projects, with active participation of UNRWA Japanese staff;
  4. Regarding the implementation of these reform efforts by UNRWA, UNRWA will regularly review and report to donors, including Japan.
  1. In response, Foreign Minister Kamikawa appreciated UNRWA's action plan and additional bilateral efforts with Japan in line with its priorities. Based on the above, Japan and the UNRWA confirmed that they will advance final coordination about necessary efforts to resume Japan's contribution.

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