The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday.
In a message to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The UN chief warned that persistent violations of the rights of Palestinians, along with the expansion of Israeli settlements, risk eroding the prospect of a two-State solution.
Despite being ‘encouraged’ by recent engagements between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, the UN chief said that “containing the situation is not sufficient”.
Mr. Guterres reiterated that the overall goal of two States living side-by-side in peace and security remains.
This includes fulfilling the “legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both States”.
The Secretary-General called on the parties to avoid measures that would undermine the chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He urged the parties to engage constructively “to end the closure” of the Gaza strip, and improve the living conditions of all Palestinians who continue to live under occupation.
Mr. Guterres’ message comes ahead of a special meeting held in New York on Monday to discuss the unresolved question of Palestine and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights.
The occasion will be an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that their rights as defined by the General Assembly Committee (CEIRPP) in 1975, have yet to be attained. These are namely, the right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced.
Alongside the event, a permanent exhibition has been mounted at UN Headquarters in New York, on “The Question of Palestine and the United Nations”.