ATTAINABLE IF PARTIES DEMONSTRATE POLITICAL WILL
It is my pleasure to offer greetings to all those taking part in the United Nations International Meeting of Parliamentarians in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. I thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for organizing this event.
The relationship between the United Nations and parliamentarians is crucial. Earlier this year, the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for even closer work together in a number of fields, including peace and security.
On the Question of Palestine, parliamentarians have a special responsibility to ensure that their Governments actively promote and support the realization of a peaceful and just solution of this conflict and uphold obligations under international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
The Government of Israel’s statements of intent, as well as activities on settlement expansion, run contrary to our efforts to bring about the two-State solution. Through persistent interaction with your respective Governments, you can help ensure that international obligations are upheld.
I have also repeatedly voiced my serious concern about rising tensions in East Jerusalem. Incitement from both sides continues to fuel tensions and violence. De-escalation is urgently needed. I welcome the repeated assurances from the Government of Israel to the international community that there is no intention to change the status quo regarding the holy sites.
Meanwhile, the suffering of the people in Gaza persists in the aftermath of this summer’s brutal conflict. I commend the international community for its generous pledges of support for reconstruction in Gaza. These funds need to be disbursed without further delay.
Palestinians and Israelis will continue to need your support. The two-State solution is long overdue. A just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on the relevant Security Council resolutions, previous agreements, the Madrid principles, the Quartet Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative can still be achieved if the parties, supported by the international community, demonstrate the collective political will to implement these constructive proposals. Thank you for your commitment to the cause of peace.