Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “key to sustainable peace in the Middle East”, the UN chief said
on Tuesday, maintaining that the lack of any progress only “furthers radicalization across the region”.
António Guterres told the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
, meeting in New York, that the Organization supports an end to the decades-long conflict on the basis of numerous
“resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements” that have been made, with “recognized borders on the basis of
the pre-1967 lines”.
He cited the expansion and acceleration of illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, ongoing demolitions,
seizures of Palestinian-owned property and evictions, as continuing cause for concern.
Moreover, the UN has “repeatedly stated that Jerusalem remains a final status issue”, he continued, “the city’s future
can only be resolved on the basis of international law and through negotiations between the parties”.Unilateral proposal
Last week United States President Donald Trump proposed his ‘Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future’ that
would legalize Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and also allow Israel to annex around 30 per cent
of the West Bank.
Michael Link, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine, referred
to it as “a one and a half State solution".
For his part, the Secretary-General responded by recalling the UN’s longstanding commitment to realize a two-State
solution, with Israelis and Palestinians “living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the
basis of the pre-1967 lines.”
“The position of the United Nations on the two-State solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant
Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound”, he upheld.Human sufferingSuffering continues
Meanwhile, human suffering prevails throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, said the UN chief, including the
“dire socio-economic conditions” facing the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
“Projects implemented by UN agencies and other donors are bringing a measure of relief, but far more needs to be done”,
explained the UN chief.
Ultimately, Gaza also requires political solutions: “On its own, no amount of humanitarian or economic support will
resolve either the situation in Gaza or the broader conflict”, he said.
Restrictions must be eased on the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza, with the goal of ultimately lifting
“I call on Palestinian leaders to engage constructively with Egypt and others to advance intra-Palestinian
reconciliation”, Mr. Guterres stated, repeating his pleas to Member States to “ensure reliable funding for UNRWA
[UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] to fully continue its vital work on behalf of
On its own, no amount of humanitarian or economic support will resolve either the situation in Gaza or the broader
conflict -- UN chiefElections ‘long overdue’
Holding “long overdue general elections” in Palestine, including East Jerusalem, will be “a crucial step” towards
renewed legitimacy for national institutions and “reuniting the Palestinian people under a single, legitimate and
democratic Palestinian national government”, according to the UN chief.
“As my Special Coordinator of the Middle East Process recently said to the Security Council, we are hopeful that the
Palestinian President will very soon issue the decree scheduling legislative and presidential elections and that Israel
will allow voting in East Jerusalem as well”, he said.UN’s diamond anniversary
In marking the Organization’s 75th anniversary, Mr. Guterres flagged, “we need a renewed commitment to uphold the values
of the Charter as our shared framework of cooperation for realization of the rights of future generations of Israeli and
“Rest assured of my full commitment and that of the United Nations” for a “just and comprehensive peace” between
Palestinians and Israelis “living side by side” as two States, concluded the Secretary-General.