Question of Palestine home
9 September 1986
Report of the
Secretary-General on the work
of the Organization
Official Records · Forty-first Session
Supplement No.1 (A/41/1)
In the Middle East, despite efforts from many sides to advance the search for a just and lasting settlement, there is at present an alarming absence of a generally acceptable and active negotiating process. Experience shows all too clearly that such a stalemate encourages resort to extremism and risks the recurrence of wider violence. A way must be found to alienate, as soon as possible, a negotiating process with the participation of all concerned. I still believe that the machinery of the United Nations, suitably adapted if necessary, can be a useful and acceptable framework for this purpose. There is now a wide measure of agreement that peace in the Middle East can best be achieved through a comprehensive settlement that would cover all aspects of the conflict, including the question of Palestine. This, and the common ground in the various proposals that have been made, should provide the basis for substantive negotiations.
The United Nations has, of course, been intensively engaged in the Middle East in an effort to maintain some degree of stability and thus promote the achievement of a settlement. This effort has not been without heavy cost. During the current year, the United Nations peace-keeping force in Lebanon has pursued its duties under constant and growing danger. Brave soldiers have lost their lives as they carried out their mission of peace. I wish to pay tribute to the dedication, fortitude and discipline of the contingents of all the peace-keeping forces in the region and to express appreciation to all the countries that have contributed soldiers and logistic support to these operations. These forces serve a vital purpose: they serve to reduce and mitigate violence and to create, or preserve conditions in which peace may be sought. Their sacrifices impose an obligation on all the parties concerned to work constructively and compassionately for stability and peace in the region, an obligation that includes refraining from hostile actions and co-operating unreservedly with the peace-keeping forces in the service of the mandates entrusted to them by the Security Council. It is particularly important at this difficult time that these peace-keeping operations should continue to receive the support of the Security Council - in particular, of all its permanent members. I would add that the vital work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has also had to be carried out under extreme difficult circumstances. The work has gone ahead, however, as it must, and continues to merit, and need, the financial support of all States.