Today I will chair the open debate in the Security Council on situation in the Middle East. We meet at ministerial level. My hope is to contribute to renewed efforts towards solving the conflict.
The two-state solution is the only viable path to peace and security for both peoples. Therefore, I urge the parties to resume talks. I invite the Council to join me in calling for this.
The situation on the ground is unstable. It could flare up at any time, bringing new escalations of violence and hostilities. We need to steer the situation onto a better track.
Last year we witnessed that tensions and violence increased. In eleven days in May, 242 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed.
This is unacceptable. All civilians must be protected. Human rights must be respected.
The settlements are a major obstacle to peace. They are illegal under international law. Yet the construction and expansion has continued.
Last night, another Palestinian family was evicted from their home in East Jerusalem. All settlement activity, demolitions and evictions must stop.
The Palestinian Authority is facing severe financial difficulties. The space for civil society in Palestine has been restricted.
I am encouraged by the economic cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis.
We need to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and the economy. This will improve living conditions for the Palestinians.
I want to thank EcoPeace for being here today and bringing a different perspective into our discussions.