Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, today:
It is my pleasure to greet participants of the 2020 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. Twenty-nine years ago, this annual event was born to help promote peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Unfortunately, the possibility of that peace seems as remote as ever.
This seminar occurs just a few days after the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, marking the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution that called for the creation of two States.
I understand the deep sense of despair of the Palestinian people. The dreams of generation after generation have been dimmed by conflict and more than half a century of occupation. I also recognize the legitimate concerns of the Israeli people and their aspirations to live in peace and security.
The position of the United Nations is defined by resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly as well as international law and bilateral agreements. The two‑State solution remains the only path to ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis can both realize their legitimate aspirations, living side‑by‑side in peace and security, based on the 1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
I will continue to speak out against any effort that undermines peace and moves the parties further away from constructive negotiations. I urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume a meaningful dialogue and I welcome all international initiatives which could help advance a just and comprehensive peace between the two peoples. I wish you a successful seminar.