New York, 18 October 2011 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the release of Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisonersThe Secretary-General welcomed the recent prisoner exchange agreement and views today's releases as a significant humanitarian breakthrough. He has long called for the end of the unacceptable captivity of Gilad Shalit and has also called for the release of Palestinian prisoners. For several years, the United Nations has actively supported channels of dialogue to resolve this issue.
The Secretary-General thanks Egypt for its contribution to this outcome, and Germany for its efforts. In the aftermath, the Secretary-General hopes that more far-reaching steps will be taken to end the closure of Gaza and enable reconstruction. He continues to call in the same context for an end to the smuggling of weapons and a sustained calm between Israel and Gaza.
Statements on 18 October 2011
- New York, 18 October 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at opening of photo exhibition celebrating 50th anniversary of Peace Corps and 20th anniversary of Korean International Cooperation Agency [delivered by Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, as prepared for delivery]
- Geneva, Switzerland, 18 October 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks to Executive Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe [as delivered]