Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Nakba at UN Headquarters in New York
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the mass displacement of Palestinians known as “the Nakba” or “the Catastrophe” which saw over half of the Palestinian population turned into refugees. This anniversary puts the spotlight on the world’s longest standing protracted refugee crisis and is a reminder that the population of over 5.9 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA continue to live amidst conflict, violence, and occupation and aspire to a just and lasting solution to their plight.
For the first time in the history of the UN, this anniversary has been been commemorated pursuant to the mandate by the General Assembly (A/RES/77/23 of 30 November 2022) at UN Headquarters in New York.
Special Commemorative Event
The Special Commemorative Event brought to life the Palestinian journey, and aimed at creating an immersive experience of the Nakba through live music, photos, videos, and personal testimonies. This was an occasion to highlight that the noble goals of justice and peace, require recognizing the reality and history of the Palestinian people’s plight and ensuring the fulfillment of their inalienable rights.
The Commemoration featured a performance by Palestinian singer Sanaa Moussa, an “Ambassador of Palestinian heritage” and a musical composition around the Nakba entitled “Bright Colors on a Dark Canvas” by Naseem Alatrash, Grammy Award-nominee cellist and composer, accompanied by the New York Arabic Orchestra and directed by Eugene Friesen, four-time Grammy Award Winner.
High-Level Special Meeting
Conducted in the six official languages, the High-Level event was presided over by the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Cheikh Niang. It included a keynote address by the President of the State of Palestine, H.E. Mahmoud Abbas, and statements by Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, and representatives of Regional Groups and civil society.