A two-State solution where Israel and Palestine live side-by-side as sovereign nations is still “the only option” for lasting peace, and “containing the situation is not sufficient,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The Assembly adopted Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine in 1947, but an independent and sovereign state has yet to be realised.
Mr.Guterres called on Palestinian and Israeli leaders “to restore faith in the promise of Resolution 181, of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state.”
This, he said, was “the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”
President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa highlighted the role of the United Nations in the peace process.
She reminded the committee and others in attendance of the theme of the 73rd session of the General Assembly: “Making the United Nations Relevant to All.”
“I would like to emphasize this point, ‘relevant to all,’” she said. “Our solidarity with the Palestinian people must not be rooted just in sympathy. As worthy as that is, the Palestinian people are entitled to more than that.”
Part of the UN pledge to leave no one behind, Mrs. Espinosa said, means doing “everything in our power to end their current nightmare.”
She said it was “not enough” to advocate on behalf of the Palestinian people, “if we don’t exercise the political will needed to make the stand count.”
Calling on world leaders, the Assembly President declared the need for an urgent response to the longstanding and complex humanitarian crises arising from the decades of conflict and mistrust.
“The state of the Palestinian people remains a scar on our collective conscience,” she said, “and we all have a responsibility to press the urgency of the need for an expeditious resolution.”