Amman, Jordan

16 November 2016

Secretary-General's message to Amman Security Colloquium

I am pleased to send greetings to this year’s Amman Security Colloquium.  I commend the joint organizing committee and the Arab Institute for Security Studies for convening it, and
I thank Jordan for hosting.  Jordan is a valued partner of the United Nations and is a longstanding generous host to refugees fleeing conflict.  
The security dynamics of the Middle East continue to be affected by violent conflicts, radicalization, sectarian violence and an increasingly politicized geopolitical environment. 
In Israel and Palestine, a lack of forward momentum, continued occupation and violence are undermining the prospects for the realization of the two-state solution.  This threatens peace and security in the region as a whole.
In Syria, Iraq and Yemen, civilians continue to pay the highest price of protracted wars.  Repeated calls from the United Nations for an immediate end to violence are routinely ignored by all parties and international humanitarian and human rights laws have been flouted with impunity.  Against this backdrop, the United Nations continues to work with local and international partners to assist and protect civilians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. 
Many countries, communities and individuals in the region have showed extraordinary generosity in the face of the massive refugee flows, and they have had their resilience severely tested.  As an international community, we must not relent in our efforts to support those who are suffering the most and seek avenues for the peaceful resolution of all the conflicts in the region.
We must also address the urgent threat from terrorist and violent extremist groups, such as Daesh.  This can only be tackled holistically, in an approach that goes beyond an exclusive focus on security.  Humanitarian assistance and development aid, stabilization efforts, capacity- and institution-building and investment in education and strategic communications are critical.  There must also be justice and accountability for crimes committed.  The United Nations is, and will continue to be, an important partner in these efforts.
Preventing conflict and violent extremism ultimately requires respect for diversity and the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and the rule of law.  To promote stability and prevent states from relapsing into conflict, it is crucial that all countries in the region work to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by all United Nations Member States.  
The challenges facing the Middle East are formidable, but they can all be solved with political will.  I wish you a successful meeting.