Minister Martin's Statement on the departure of John Ging Director of UNRWA Gaza
Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., on completion of posting by John Ging as Director of UNRWA Gaza
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., today offered his congratulations to the outgoing Director of UNRWA Gaza, John Ging, on his appointment to a senior humanitarian role with the United Nations in New York.
Mr. Ging, who is originally from Co. Laois, will take up duty as Director of Operations with the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) which has the lead role in coordinating global response to crisis and natural disasters. Mr Ging has become known for his high-profile defence of the rights of Palestinian refugees in Gaza during his five years leading the UN operation in the enclave.
Minister Martin said “John Ging has been an outstanding example of a true humanitarian. He has put the plight of Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian children in particular, at the centre of his role as Director of UNRWA, Gaza.
“I saw for myself the enormous esteem in which he is held when I visited Gaza in February of last year. In an unimaginably challenging and arduous role, and at some personal risk to himself, he has always sought to put the humanitarian needs of those he assisted at the heart of his everyday work. His advocacy for and commitment to the vulnerable population of Gaza, as they face ongoing conflict and suffering, in particular during the conflict in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, have been unstinting.”
“Likewise, his courage and resilience, in directing and inspiring UNRWA staff and operations in Gaza in the face of a completely unjustified and counter-productive blockade, have been exemplary.”
“I would like to wish him the very best with the new challenges he is taking on. Ireland is a very strong supporter of the role and mandate of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. OCHA plays a vital role in the initial and ongoing global response to humanitarian crisis. In 2010, we provided funding support of more than €4 million for OCHA’s work.”
“Ireland will remain also a key donor to UNRWA. During my visit to Gaza I had the honour of pledging €12 million over three years in support of UNRWA’s ongoing humanitarian work.”
Note for editors:-
Set up in 1949, UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. It is entirely reliant on voluntary contributions for its budget.
UNRWA provides education, health, relief and social services to eligible refugees among the 4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in its five areas of operations:
- Gaza Strip
- the Syrian Arab Republic
- the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
In March 2010, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., pledged support of €12 million from Ireland to UNRWA’s work over the period 2010-2012.
17 January, 2011