New York

03 June 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the announcement of a Palestinian Government of National Consensus

The Secretary-General welcomes, on the basis of assurances provided both publicly and to the United Nations, the announcement on 2 June by President Mahmoud Abbas of the formation of a Government of national consensus headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The United Nations has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the Palestinian Authority and the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Secretary-General takes note of the renewed assurances yesterday by President Abbas that the Government will continue to abide by those commitments of recognition of Israel, non-violence and adherence to previous agreements. The Secretary-General also notes that the Palestine Liberation Organization will remain responsible for holding peace negotiations with the State of Israel, a commitment President Abbas has reaffirmed, and hopes that new opportunities for progress toward a two-state solution will emerge soon.

The United Nations stands ready to lend its full support to the newly formed government in its effort to reunite the West Bank and Gaza, in line with the intra-Palestinian unity agreement of 23 April, under one legitimate Palestinian authority, including by addressing the serious political, security, humanitarian and economic challenges in Gaza, and holding long overdue elections. Special Coordinator Serry discussed those issues with Prime Minister Hamdallah in their meeting today.

The Secretary-General counts on a constructive approach by regional stakeholders, and hopes the international community will not relent in its support to the development of Palestinian economy and Israeli-Palestinian peace.