Senior officials joined ambassadors and other representatives from the international community in New York on Wednesday to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, officially observed each year on 29 November.
Established in 1977, it marks the day in 1947 when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning Palestine into an Arab State and a Jewish State.
No alternative to two-state solution
Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains one of the most intractable challenges facing the international community, UN Secretary-General António Guterres observed in his message for the day.
As there is no viable alternative to the two-State solution, he called on both sides, and their supporters, to work towards restoring faith in the process.
“Only constructive negotiations between the parties, in good faith, with support from the international community and adhering to long-standing United Nations resolutions and long-agreed parameters, will bring about a just and durable solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states”, the UN chief said.
“What is needed, first and foremost, are leadership and political will. The efforts of civil society and those on all sides who seek to bridge the gap between Israelis and Palestinians also need to be supported.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his people have endured more than 70 years of tragedies and crises, yet remain steadfast.
“Despite decades of disappointment and setbacks, we remain committed to a multilateral order that respects and ensures respect for international law,” he said in a message read by Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour.
“The State of Palestine will continue engaging in efforts aimed to advance the rule of international law, including through the building of our national institutions, spreading the culture of peace and empowering our people, especially women and youth.”
Humanitarian support vital
The roughly eight million Palestinians live primarily in territory occupied by Israel, but also across the Middle East in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande called for action to ensure critical humanitarian support.
“This must be tackled by strengthening the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to ensure that it can meet the humanitarian needs of over 5.4 million Palestinian refugees. It is important that we collectively safeguard the Agency against the political and financial challenges it faces,” he said.
Niang Cheikh, Chair of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, maintains hope that the two-State solution will be realized.
“Despite all the contrary winds, this day will come and we will then celebrate the realization of a just peace in the interest of the Palestinians and indeed all the peoples of the region,” he stated.