Press Release
UNITED NATIONS

Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York
 

 SG/SM/7651
OBV/180
PAL/1883
27 November 2000
 

SECRETARY-GENERAL'S MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PALESTINIAN PEOPLE



Following the text of the Secretary-General's message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, commemorated on 29 November:

On this important day, I am pleased to convey my greetings to the Palestinian people and to all who strive for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. I wish to also express my deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of those killed and wounded in the violence of the past two months. I pledge to seek an end to the violence and a restoration of trust between the parties with all the means and resources at my command.

This year's day of solidarity with the Palestinian people falls at a very sensitive and difficult time. During the past year, the parties have continued to make a determined effort to overcome decades of suspicion and animosity in order to build bridges of reconciliation and partnership. Regrettably, following the September events in East Jerusalem, the situation on the ground began to escalate, rapidly reaching crisis proportions and putting on hold the prospects of further negotiations.

As the situation deteriorated, I appealed to the leadership of the two sides to refrain from making emotional public statements, and to weigh their words with great care. The same should apply to the wider international community. We all should do our best to assist the Palestinians and the Israelis in their truly historic quest for peace. I would like to seize this opportunity to call upon the parties once again to preserve the achievements of the past nine years and to move steadily ahead along the path of peace and reconciliation.

The worsening of the situation on the ground in the past few weeks has had an extremely damaging effect on the Palestinian economy. As a result of the conflict, the unemployment and poverty rates have risen considerably after several years of improvement. There is a growing sense of despair, frustration and anger among Palestinians. This is why it is essential to restore calm as soon as possible, and to revive the peace negotiations in order also to restart the economy.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the full commitment of the United Nations to supporting the parties through the peace process. I can also assure you that the United Nations will continue to provide the assistance to the Palestinian people until a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine is achieved, and peace and prosperity at last prevail in the Middle East.