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Conférence internationale de la société civile à l'appui de la paix israélo-palestinienne (Bruxelles, 30-31 août 2007) - message du Secrétaire général - Communiqué de presse Français

Conférence internationale de la société civile à l'appui de la paix israélo-palestinienne (Bruxelles, 30-31 août 2007) - message du Secrétaire général - Communiqué de presse Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
Secretary-General
30 August 2007







SECRETARY-GENERAL PRAISES CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS FOR 'HELPING BUILD BRIDGES'

BETWEEN ISRAELI, PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, IN MESSAGE TO BRUSSELS CONFERENCE
 

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, delivered by Angela Kane, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in Brussels, 30 August:

I would like to offer warm greetings to all participants in the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.  Your gathering, organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, reflects the deep and enduring desire of people across the world for a comprehensive, just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Such a settlement is also one of the foremost priorities of the United Nations.  The continued occupation of the Palestinian territory prolongs hardship and injustice for millions of Palestinians, yet it has also failed to ensure the security of Israeli civilians.

I am encouraged by recent international and regional efforts to get the Palestinians and the Israelis back on the negotiating track.  The Arab peace initiative, Tony Blair’s appointment as the Quartet Representative, and President Bush’s decision to convene a Middle East peace meeting all have the potential to result in a significant breakthrough.

Amidst this activity, I particularly welcome the decision by Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas to meet regularly to discuss a range of issues.  I hope that the internal challenges each faces will not deter them from moving forward with discussions on the political horizon.

Of course, movement on the political front cannot obscure the dire humanitarian situation on the ground.  The unsustainable division of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has grave humanitarian and political implications.  Conditions in the Gaza Strip have become particularly acute; they demand the urgent reopening of border crossings for commercial and humanitarian deliveries.  To alleviate this crisis, UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] and other United Nations agencies are doing everything they can to support the affected populations.  Their efforts, however, cannot compensate for the effect of the closed crossings.

Today, I again encourage both parties to demonstrate a true commitment to peace through a negotiated two-State solution.   Israel should cease settlement activity and the construction of the barrier, ease Palestinian movement and implement the Agreement on Movement and Access.  Palestinians, for their part, need to make every effort to end violence by militant groups and make progress on building robust institutions.

The United Nations will continue to support international efforts aimed at bringing an end to the occupation, and achieving a two-State solution.  This work is not easy, but it would prove close to impossible without the active participation and support of innumerable civil society groups and individuals in Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and around the world.  Civil society actors are helping build bridges between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.  They are strengthening institutions and providing critical humanitarian and other assistance.  In every aspect of their work, they are contributing towards a just solution to this decades-old conflict.

Working together, we can achieve our goal:  a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, based on Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and the principle of land for peace.

In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.
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For information media • not an official record

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