The President: I now give the floor to Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Mr. Diallo (spoke in French): Allow me, at the outset, on behalf of the Committee to thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to address the Council during this important debate. I wish the Council the greatest success in its deliberations in the month of October under your presidency, Sir.
The tragic events of recent days in and around Gaza is a sobering reminder that resolution 1860 (2009) has yet to be fully implemented. The Committee condemns all attacks against civilians, regardless of their perpetrators. Indiscriminate rocket fire, targeted assassinations and military strikes must cease, as must provocations, threats and acts of incitement. The policy of brinksmanship employed by the parties is irresponsible and dangerous. Any major incident risks unleashing a spiral of violence and provoking a deadly conflict.
At its high-level meeting on 22 September 2011 on the prevention of armed conflict (see S/PV.6621), the Council resolved to strengthen efforts in this regard. It is now high time for action. While we applaud Egypt’s efforts to restore calm, the Council has the Charter responsibility and the tools to act to stabilize the situation, protect civilians, prevent the eruption of new hostilities, and fully implement resolution 1860 (2009) before it is too late.
Over the past few years, the Palestinian Authority has built strong institutions, reformed its finances and restored law and order. It is a major force of stability and security in the area. However, those accomplishments are starting to unravel owing to a financial crisis that is triggering social unrest among the Palestinian people. The donors’ meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians did not result in significant new aid inflows. Our Committee strongly urges donors to step up efforts to provide the assistance so urgently needed, without politicizing the issue.
The Committee is aware that donor-driven development is unsustainable in the long run. Palestinians need a healthy economy to underpin a viable State. At its meeting in August, our Committee heard a briefing by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Norwegian Refugee Council on the devastating humanitarian toll of Israeli restrictions and settler violence on Palestinians in Area C, which is under full Israeli control. Let me recall that Area C covers some 60 per cent of the West Bank.
The Area is also strategic for a viable Palestinian economy. Our Committee calls for a speedy transfer of additional portions of the West Bank to Palestinian control, a process that began under Oslo that was frozen after 2000 and never restarted.
Our Committee is concerned by the assessment contained in the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/701) that the two-State solution must be urgently implemented to avoid the fait accompli of a one-State reality. In that regard, our Committee feels that an upgrade of the United Nations status of Palestine can open up new opportunities to revitalize the political process, rescuing the two-State solution, before it is too late. At the same time, we reiterate our principled position that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.
At its meeting on 8 October, our Committee heard a briefing by members of the jury of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a civil society initiative that just concluded its fourth session in New York. We were struck by the assessment of eminent jurists that the United Nations failure to take action commensurate with the duration and severity of Israeli violations testifies to a failure of the international community. Our Committee takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. We will continue to promote accountability and will continue to make a constructive contribution to our shared goal of two States living in peace and security. We encourage the Council to do the same.
French: Chairman statement - SC 2012 10 15 F [final].pdf