SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE, PRAISES ARAB LEAGUE'S EFFORTS TO PROMOTE
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, as delivered by Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, to the twenty-fifth ordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States, in Kuwait today:
I congratulate His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the Government of Kuwait for hosting this Summit. This is testament to Kuwait’s standing in the region and beyond, and its important role in addressing issues of regional and international concern.
It has been more than three years since the desperate act of a young man in Tunisia triggered a remarkable series of events that spread rapidly throughout the Arab world. People spoke with one voice for freedom, dignity and human rights. The message was clear. People were calling for change. The Middle East is now a more complex place than it has been for a very long time, hence the importance of your deliberations.
Another issue of major concern is Palestinian-Israeli relations. I continue to urge both parties to make the necessary compromises to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The Palestinians have a legitimate right to an independent and viable State. Israel has a legitimate right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized and secure borders. However, continued Israeli settlement activities are a violation of international law and pose a serious threat to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. We must act decisively to salvage the two-State solution by creating the conditions for meaningful negotiations that will resolve the core issues of the conflict and end the occupation that started in 1967.
In closing, allow me to express my satisfaction with how cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States is developing at all levels. The United Nations and the League have worked well together to promote development and the peaceful resolution of conflict. I count on your support in strengthening this cooperation, in particular in the areas of mediation and electoral support.
Please accept my best wishes for a successful and productive meeting.