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Séminaire des Nations Unies sur l’assistance au peuple palestinien, Doha - message du Secrétaire général - Communiqué de presse Français

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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
5 February 2007


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, delivered by Angela Kane, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in Doha, 5 February:

It is a pleasure to send greetings to the participants in this United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

I am keenly aware that I have taken up my duties as Secretary-General during a very troubled period for the Middle East, and in particular for efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In recent days alone, we have seen an appalling terrorist attack in Eilat and fratricidal fighting among Palestinians.

Notwithstanding this violence, what has been a rather dark political landscape, has been brightened somewhat by a number of recent developments.  Last Friday, the Quartet agreed on the need to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and to re-energize its own efforts.  Direct dialogue has resumed between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and the understandings between them have begun to be implemented.  It is vital to build on these steps with a credible political process that is supported by the world community.  We must all focus on resolving the conflict and on improving the socio-economic situation, not merely managing its inevitable crises.

Both sides will measure any progress by its impact on their daily lives and by its ability to propel the parties towards an end to their conflict through a two-State solution.  Without bold steps to guarantee security of the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations and without tangible measures that will enable the Palestinians to lead a normal economic and social life, the political process will not succeed.

That is why I am very alarmed by the precarious state of the Palestinian economy and the serious humanitarian emergency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Israeli military operations, restrictions on movement, border closures and the withholding of large parts of Palestinian tax revenues -- which make up almost half of all Palestinian revenue -- continue to have a devastating effect.  Continued settlement activity, as well as barrier construction despite the provisions of international law, further complicate Palestinian life, as well as efforts to achieve a two-State solution.  Internal Palestinian tensions are further compounding an already dismal situation.

Israel’s recent release of some of the withheld tax revenues was a welcome step, and I urge Israel to take further steps in this direction without delay.  Equally important will be the lifting of all restrictions on the movement of goods and people, in order to breathe life into the Palestinian economy.  Recent improvements at the Karni crossing are, again, a good first step in the right direction.

The Palestinians, for their part, must take firm steps to cease rocket fire and other indiscriminate attacks against Israeli civilians.  For that to happen, it will be essential for the Palestinians to resolve their internal differences by peaceful means and seek national unity.

A concerted effort by the international community, including donor countries, will be crucial.  The United Nations has substantially increased its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians, but this, by itself, cannot offset the continuing deterioration of the situation.  I appeal to all international donors to be generous and step up their efforts at delivering emergency and other forms of assistance to the Palestinians people.  The various United Nations entities on the ground will, at the same time, continue to do their important work in order to alleviate hardships for the Palestinian population.

For my part, I am determined to work closely with the parties, with regional partners and with my colleagues in the Quartet to revive the peace process as a matter of urgency.  Only a permanent political settlement, which ends the occupation, can provide a sustainable solution to the economic and humanitarian problems of the Palestinian people and lasting security for Israel.  I look forward to working with you to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful seminar.

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For information media • not an official record

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