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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/66/2
31 July 2011

General Assembly
Official Records
Sixty-sixth Session
Supplement No. 2







Introduction

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, continued to be considered on a monthly basis. ...


Middle East


The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The Council continued to consider the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on a monthly basis, in particular with monthly briefings by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and regular debates. The Council called on Israelis and Palestinians to rapidly resume peace negotiations.

On 4 August 2010, the Council agreed on a statement to the press, welcoming the United Nations Panel of Inquiry on the flotilla incident of 31 May 2010. At the time of writing, the report of the Panel had not been submitted to the Secretary-General. Council members heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, on the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question on 17 August. He emphasized that, for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to succeed, the parties should adhere to their road map commitments.

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Robert Serry, briefed the Council on 17 September. He called for support for the revived dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and reiterated the Quartet’s request for Israel to freeze all settlement activity in accordance with the road map. On the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the flotilla incident, the Special Coordinator explained that the Panel had submitted an initial progress report to the Secretary-General. In the consultations that followed, many Council members called for an extension of the settlement moratorium, which was due to expire on 26 September 2010, and for the lifting of the restrictions on access into Gaza.

On 18 October, the Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question, and heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. He stressed the need to overcome the impasse in the talks between Israelis and the Palestinians, since there was no alternative to an negotiated settlement to achieve peace after the expiration of the moratorium. Having heard statements by the Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer for Palestine, the Council members called upon the parties to restart negotiations and to make compromises for a two-State solution for durable peace and security.

The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Council on 23 November and expressed his concern about the diplomatic impasse since the end of the settlement moratorium. He encouraged more sustainable financing for the Palestinian Authority’s state-building plan. Council members called on Israel to halt settlement activities and to ease restrictions on access to Gaza, and seconded the Under-Secretary-General’s condemnation of the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

On 14 December, the Special Coordinator briefed the Council and highlighted the failure of negotiations on Israeli settlement activities. On Gaza, he mentioned the restrictions on access and on freedom of movement. The Special Coordinator and Council members welcomed the resumption of at least indirect peace talks. After a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 19 January 2011, the Council held an open debate on a draft resolution on the Israeli settlement policy. Council members criticized the continued settlement activity. On 18 February, the Council was unable to agree on a draft resolution; while 14 members voted in favour, 1 member cast a veto.

The Council heard a briefing by the Special Coordinator on 24 February. Council members shared his concern regarding the stalemate in the Middle East peace process. He described the lack of trust between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and suggested a stronger role of the Quartet to revive the peace process. The Council was briefed again on 22 March by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. He reiterated the urgency of overcoming the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

On 21 April, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Council. He called on both parties to be concerned that the political track was falling behind the significant progress made by the Palestinian Authority in its state-building agenda. In the open debate many speakers urged a return to negotiations that would tackle the core issues and allow the establishment of a Palestinian State as state-building efforts reached completion. Many speakers saw the current period as critical, as the end of the Palestinian Authority’s two-year state-building period coincided with international statements that had projected a negotiated settlement by September.

On 19 May, the Special Coordinator briefed the Council on the Middle East situation, including the Palestinian question. He focussed on the events of 15 May in the Golan Heights and on Palestinian reconciliation. In subsequent consultations of the whole, Council members voiced concerns about that incident. On 23 June, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Council, and underlined the urgent necessity for both parties to return to the negotiation table. This view was echoed by Council members in subsequent consultations. Many Council members expressed hope for a more constructive engagement of the Quartet.

On 26 July, the Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, chaired by the State Minister at the German Foreign Office, Werner Hoyer, during which it heard a briefing from the Special Coordinator. He described the gap between the progress made in Palestinian state-building and the political deadlock. Having heard statements by the Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer for Palestine, Council members called upon the parties to restart negotiations and to make compromises for a two-State solution for durable peace and security.

/...

Part I
Activities relating to all questions considered by the Security Council under its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security

MeetingdateSubject
637217 August 2010The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
638817 September 2010The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
640418 October 2010The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
643023 November 2010The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
644814 December 2010The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
647019 January 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
64778 February 2011Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security
    European Union
648418 February 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
648824 February 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
650122 March 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
652021 April 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
654019 May 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
656223 June 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
659026 July 2011The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
/...


SymbolDate submittedSubject
S/2010/484 and Add.117 September and
4 October 2010
Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine
S/2011/9128 February 2011Fifteenth report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006)
S/2011/25819 April 2011Thirteenth semi-annual report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004)
S/2011/4061 July 2011Sixteenth report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006)
/...

Part II
Questions considered by the Security Council under its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security
Chapter 1
Items relating to the situation in the Middle East


A. The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question Meetings of the Council Consultations of the whole Reports of the Secretary-General Communications dated from 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 /...

IV Communications from the President of the Security Council or the Secretary-General during the period from 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011
/...


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