EU/Gaza — Remarks by High Representative Ashton at UNRWA school and summer camp

Remarks made by High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton dur­ing her vis­it to Gaza at UNRWA school and sum­mer camp — 18 July 2010
First of all I want to say what a plea­sure it has been to come to Gaza again and have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet the chil­dren here at this UNRWA sum­mer camp. They are clear­ly hav­ing a fan­tas­tic time, but also the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work togeth­er, to learn and to have fun togeth­er. I want to begin by pay­ing trib­ute not only to UNRWA, but also to all the teach­ers and the sup­port staff who so freely give their time to make this pos­si­ble. Watch­ing the chil­dren have these oppor­tu­ni­ties has been a great joy.

I want also to show the com­mitt­ment of Europe to help these chil­dren have a brighter future. Today we have giv­en an addi­tion­al two mil­lion euros to sup­port not only the schools, but also the orga­ni­za­tions to make sure that this work will con­tin­ue.

I want­ed to come back to Gaza only a few months since I was here last to make sure that we are also sup­port­ing the econ­o­my of Gaza.

There are small signs of change in pol­i­cy to allow goods into Gaza, but we con­tin­ue to call for the open­ing of the cross­ings to enable peo­ple and goods to move around. In par­tic­u­lar to allow the peo­ple of Gaza to run their busi­ness­es, to grow their own econ­o­my and in that sense to be able to offer a future to their chil­dren. Improv­ing the eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion in the Gaza Strip is not sim­ply a mat­ter of let­ting in aid — it is a mat­ter of revi­tal­iz­ing the local econ­o­my with pri­vate sec­tor devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial activ­i­ty, includ­ing exports.

And so as I said, I am delight­ed to be back here in Gaza for one, I hope, of the many vis­its I will make while I am in office. I will con­tin­ue to press for all sup­port of the EU and to try and make sure that what I have asked for, which is the open­ing of the cross­ings for goods and peo­ple and the growth of the econ­o­my, hap­pens.

Thank you.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union