29 March 2017
Secretary-General's Address at the Summit of the League of Arab States [As prepared for delivery]
Your Royal Highnesses,
Each of these conflicts has created tremendous suffering, displaced millions of people, unsettled an entire region and contributed to a new threat of global terrorism. They have consumed countless lives and much of our attention.
But that must not distract us from seeking to heal the longest open wound in the region: the plight of the Palestinian people.
For far too long, the international community has failed to provide the avenues and support for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.
I understand the deep sense of despair of the Palestinian people. The dreams of generation after generation have been confined by the parameters of conflict, humiliation and half a century of occupation.
Some may think that the situation can simply be managed.
But Palestinians and Israelis do not need conflict management, they need conflict resolution.
The two-state solution is the only path to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis can realize their national aspirations and live in peace, security and dignity.
There is no Plan B.
That is why it is important to stop all unilateral actions that can undermine the two-state solution.
This is particularly true in relation to the need to stop settlement activities, which are illegal under international law. It is also important to condemn terrorism and to avoid incitement.
I salute the Arab League for offering a pathway through the Arab Peace Initiative.
We should not be allowed to be skeptical about the prospects for peace – because at the end of the day skepticism is an elaborate form of surrender to the assumptions of the moment.
On the contrary, when things are difficult, we must invest more.