Question of Palestine home
14 December 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, it’s been almost a year since you stood in the burning rubble of Gaza and expressed your shock at the situation there and called for accountability. According to John Ging at the time, and many people, you really gave hope to the people of Gaza. But that hope seems to be dying. We all know that the Security Council is not going to take up the Goldstone Report; the members have said as much. But what about the Board of Inquiry that you requested? What about the $11 million in reparations from Israel? What happened to accountability?
SG: The situation in Gaza, particularly the humanitarian situation suffered by the Palestinian people, is a source of great concern still. I have been working very hard with the Israeli leadership, starting from Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu and his predecessor, former Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert. It’s regrettable that we have not been able to make much progress. I will continue to do that. And the peace process in the Middle East has been almost stalled. As you know, last month, I had a teleconference with the Quartet principals. We shared all this assessment about how the international community, particularly the Quartet, should do more in making this peace process [stay] on track. This will be one of my top priority issues which I will carry on.
As for the compensation in the amount of around $11 million, I have been again pushing very hard. I understand that the Israeli Government has been considering this matter with special emphasis on this issue. I hope they will make a decision as soon as possible. And I will continue to press the Israeli Government to agree on my proposal to have humanitarian projects, to build hospitals and sanitation facilities and schools, which are badly needed by the Palestinian people and particularly children there. But this all has been linked with a certain release of kidnapped Corporal [Gilad] Shalit, and other prisoners. I hope that this process will also make progress. And in that regard, I continue to support the Egyptian Government in their ongoing efforts to promote the unity of the Palestinian people. Through the unity of the Palestinian people, and through the international community’s continuing support, we hope to see this resumption of the peace process going on. Thank you very much.
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For information media • not an official record