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Department of Public Information (DPI)
27 July 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
MEDIA SEMINAR ON MIDDLE EAST MEETS AT TIME OF NEW ENERGY, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL
ENCOURAGING PARTICIPANTS TO 'SPREAD MESSAGE OF COEXISTENCE AND PEACE
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, as delivered by Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, in Rio de Janeiro, on 27 July:
I am pleased to send greetings to all the participants in this timely media seminar on peace in the Middle East. I thank the Government of Brazil for hosting this event, the first such seminar to be held in the region.
You meet at a time of new energy and possibility in the Middle East peace process. I hope the momentum for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace will be used by both Palestinians and Israelis.
The international community, for its part, must focus all its energies on this goal. As we do so, we can take heart from public opinion polls in recent years that point to consistently strong grass-roots support in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory for peaceful coexistence within the framework of a two-State solution.
At the same time, we must also pay close attention to needs on the ground. I remain deeply concerned about conditions of the civilian population in Gaza and the potential for renewed instability. I am doing my utmost to ensure that reconstruction starts as soon as possible.
As members of the media and representatives of civil society, you have central roles to play in informing and influencing people, and in promoting dialogue and mutual understanding. I encourage you to explore what more you can do to spread the message of coexistence and peace. While fully respecting your professional independence, we also need your creativity and engagement.
Thank you for participating in this seminar. Please accept my best wishes for a successful gathering.
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