8 January 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General ‘HEARtened and relieved’ by Security Council’s

adoption of resolution aimed at ending tragic gaza crisis

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement to the Security Council on 8 January:

For the past two weeks, people around the world have observed with grief and horror the escalating violence and suffering in Gaza and southern Israel, and have looked to the United Nations to put an end to the fighting.

I am heartened and relieved at the adoption by the Council today of a resolution to bring an end to this tragic situation.

Your decision signals the will of the international community.

It must be fully respected by all parties to this conflict.

The resolution calls for an immediate and durable ceasefire in and from Gaza.

This will open the way for the United Nations to resume, urgently, the delivery of humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies.

All parties in Israel and Gaza will need to respect this humanitarian effort.

We also need to turn quickly to the process of rebuilding what has been destroyed in the fighting.

The United Nations stands ready to assist and support this process.

An immediate and durable ceasefire is the first step.

However, we also all know that more will be needed, and that a political way forward is required to deliver long-term security and peace. 

My visit to the region next week will focus on helping to ensure that the ceasefire is implemented, that urgent humanitarian assistance reaches those in need and encouraging the diplomatic efforts currently underway.  

Thank you very much.

For information media • not an official record