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Source: United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
25 March 2009


STATEMENT BY THE UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE
EAST PEACE PROCESS, ROBERT SERRY FOLLOWING HIS VISIT TO GAZA



25th March 2009

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry visited Gaza today to take stock of efforts to help Gaza recover and rebuild. He met with business and civil society leaders as well as UN colleagues. He was informed about the extent of the difficulties facing businesses, families and civic groups in Gaza as they attempt to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the recent conflict, and restore normal civilian life.

Mr Serry said, “I'm frankly concerned that, two months after the conflict, things are not significantly moving forward on the ground. We must allow the people here the opportunity to restore and rebuild their homes, essential services and dignity.

He continued by saying, “I told business and civil society leaders that the United Nations and the international community as a whole will work closely with them to try to restore a functioning economy in the Gaza Strip. These efforts cannot be sustained without the crossings being opened, not just for food and medicines, but for materials, people, and commercial traffic. “

'We need urgent political progress on a ceasefire, open crossings, a prisoners exchange and in Palestinian reconciliation. This will benefit everybody on all sides who seek peace through negotiations and co-existence. Otherwise I fear we will drift again towards more violence and suffering, which is in nobody's interest. The United Nations is intensifying its work in Gaza but we also need political progress for this work to bring real benefits.” Mr Serry concluded.


Richard Miron
Chief Public Information Officer
United Nations Special Coordinator's Office
Mobile: +972 54 5627825
Email: mironr@un.org
www.unsco.org

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