New York

05 December 2003

Secretary-General's statement on the Geneva Accords

The Secretary-General is encouraged after meeting today with Yasser Abed Rabo and Yossi Beilin and other Geneva Accord signatories. A major part of the Geneva Accord's importance comes from the hope of future reconciliation and peace that it brings to both Israelis and Palestinians. The Secretary-General believes that the momentum needed for conflict resolution in the Middle East must come from people working together for change.

Even though the Geneva Accord is not a substitute for official negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it has already achieved the important goal of stimulating debate among Palestinians and Israelis on the factors that must be resolved to end this long conflict.

The Road Map remains the key mechanism in moving towards the goals on which there is already broad agreement. The Geneva Accord and the Peoples' Voice Initiative, with their proposals for a two-State solution and an end to the occupation that began in 1967, are consistent and compatible with the Quartet's Road Map. Track-two initiatives are a positive and praiseworthy contribution to stimulate the process.