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Recent events in Gaza and the West Bank make it more urgent than ever to move forward with the search for peace in the Middle East. The Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, recently reaffirmed its goal of promoting an end to the conflict in accordance with the road map and expressed its intention to step up its efforts in that regard.
The urgency of recent events has made it even more necessary for the international community, bearing in mind the obligations of the parties, to help the Palestinians as they build the institutions and economy of a viable State in Gaza and the West Bank that is able to take its place as a peaceful and prosperous partner, at peace with Israel and its other neighbours.
In order to facilitate efforts to achieve these objectives, on 27 June 2007 the Quartet announced the appointment of Tony Blair as the Quartet Representative. His mandate is to:
(a) Mobilize international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and the existing coordination bodies;
(b) Help identify and secure the international support needed in order to address the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian State, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law;
(c) Develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, by building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and freedom of movement; and
(d) Liaise with other countries, as appropriate, in support of the agreed Quartet objectives.
As Representative, Mr. Blair will bring continuity and intensity of focus to the Quartet’s efforts in support of the Palestinians, within the framework of its efforts to promote an end to the conflict in accordance with the road map.
It is envisaged that as from 1 September 2007, he will spend significant time in the region, working with the parties and with others to help create viable, lasting government institutions representing all Palestinians, as well as a robust economy and a climate of law and order for the Palestinian people.
The members of the Quartet have agreed that an office of the Quartet Representative will be established in Jerusalem. The Quartet Representative will be assisted in his work by a small team of experts seconded by partner countries and institutions.
The Quartet has encouraged robust international support for the Representative’s efforts. In the context of Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Quartet’s road map and encouraged the diplomatic efforts of the Quartet and others, I would be grateful if you could confirm the Council’s support for the proposed arrangements. In view of the urgent nature of Mr. Blair’s mission, it would then be my intention to proceed swiftly with the provision of logistical, technical and financial assistance in support of his mandate.