New York

29 November 2012

Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine

An important vote has taken place today in the General Assembly.

The decision by the General Assembly to accord Palestine Non-member Observer State status in the United Nations was a prerogative of the Member States. I stand ready to fulfill my role and report to this Assembly as requested in the resolution.

My position has been consistent all along.

I believe that the Palestinians have a legitimate right to their own independent State.

I believe that Israel has the right to live in peace and security with its neighbours.

There is no substitute for negotiations to that end.

Today’s vote underscores the urgency of a resumption of meaningful negotiations.

We must give new impetus to our collective efforts to ensure that an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine lives side by side with a secure State of Israel.

I urge the parties to renew their commitment to a negotiated peace. I count on all concerned to act responsibly, preserve the achievements in Palestinian state building under the leadership of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, and intensify efforts towards reconciliation and the just and lasting peace which remains our shared goal and priority.  

Thank you.