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On 21 April, the Council held an open debate to consider the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine. The Council heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
The Under-Secretary-General expressed regret at the stalemate in negotiations between Israel and Palestine. He underlined the importance of preventing violent expressions that undermined political efforts and reported that on 13 April in Brussels, at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians, the United Nations had expressed the view that the governmental functions were adequate for a viable State Government in the areas in which it participated with the Palestinian Authority (good governance; the rule of law and human rights; means of subsistence and productive sectors; education and culture; health care; social protection; and infrastructure and water). He noted that, Israeli measures to facilitate movement had also supported economic activity and access to basic services. The Under-Secretary-General reiterated that settlement activities ran counter to international law and the commitments made by Israel under the road map.
Regarding the situation in Lebanon, he expressed concern that, several months after the nomination of Najib Mikati as Prime Minister, a new Government had not yet been formed. He said that the overall situation in the area of operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon had remained generally stable.
The Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer of Palestine also made statements, and 41 other speakers took part in the meeting.