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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 24 November 2014 - Secretary-General's Remarks at Opening of UNRWA Photo Exhibition

I am pleased to join you on this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The photographs here – many of which are from the UNRWA archive -- capture the history of Palestine and Palestine refugees from 1948 to today.

The images vividly express the human cost of this decades-long conflict.

They also exemplify the unbroken commitment of the international community to support the Palestine refugee community through the heroic work of UNRWA – as we saw once again during the terrible Gaza conflict this summer. 

The photographs are also a reminder that the suffering of the Palestine refugees, living in camps since 1948, is not limited to Gaza and the West Bank. 

Palestine refugees in Syria are victims of the civil war in that country, and the situation for Palestine refugees in Lebanon has become more precarious.

These images  amplify the call to end the conflict… and finally stop the cycle of building and destroying.

The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable.  The worsening situation underscores the need for leaders on both sides to stand up to extremists in their own communities and make the difficult decisions for stability and security for Israelis and Palestinians.
There is simply no substitute for a two-state solution. 

We cannot afford another year without tangible results.  I assure you I will continue to do everything in my power to achieve our common goal.

Thank you very much.

Statements on 24 November 2014