Question of Palestine home
9 September 1987
Report of the
Secretary-General on the work
of the Organization
Official Records · Forty-second Session
Supplement No.1 (A/42/1)
At the beginning of this year, I undertook a special effort to pursue the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. With the widespread support of the international community, I held numerous consultations with the parties and the members of the Security Council. These consultations focused on both the principles of a conference and questions of procedure. The views expressed to me differed in nuance and detail, but it was generally hoped that they could be sufficiently narrowed to make possible the convening of a conference at which the more difficult substantive issues could be tackled in a constructive spirit. Unfortunately, it has not yet proved possible to obtain the agreement of all the parties to the principle of an international conference and this has hindered my efforts to make progress on the procedural issues. Bilateral efforts to promote the peace process have also apparently run into difficulties. In spite of these set-backs, the search must by all means by sustained for a comprehensive settlement through a negotiating process, under United Nations auspices, in which all parties would participate.
It has not been 20 years since the Security Council adopted unanimously
resolution 242 (1967)
, which at the time was viewed as a major first step towards a settlement of all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. During this period, the inhabitants of the region have been subjected to two major wars. A continuation of the
is contrary to the interests of all the parties concerned - it hampers economic development, social stability, and freedom of choice. In the search for a comprehensive settlement, the central priority should be the achievement of a just and lasting peace, which will meet the aspirations of all the people in the region. It would seem to me that the emphasis should be more on these objectives than on questions of procedure. The right road, obviously, is that which will lead to fruitful negotiations, based on resolutions 242 (1967) and
, and take fully into account the rights of the Palestinians. From my extensive consultations, I am convinced that the compositions and agenda of a conference do not need to present insurmountable obstacles. No solution can be found without negotiations. Delay can only prolong the violence and danger that have become daily companions to life in the Middle East.