New York

20 May 2021

Secretary-General’s press stakeout following the ceasefire announcement between Gaza and Israel

I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 days of deadly hostilities. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the violence and their loved ones.

I commend Egypt and Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close coordination with the UN, to help restore calm to Gaza and Israel. I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire.

I appeal to the international community to work with the United Nations on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift, sustainable reconstruction and recovery that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions. I stress that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict. Gaza is an integral part of the future Palestinian state and no effort should be spared to bring about real national reconciliation that ends the division.
I underscore the United Nations’ deep commitment to working with Israelis and Palestinians, and with our international and regional partners, including through the Middle East Quartet, to return to the path of meaningful negotiations to end the occupation and allow for the realization of a two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, UN resolutions, international law and mutual agreements.

Thank you very much.

Q: Secretary-General, what do you think the next steps should be after the cease-fire announcement?

SG: I think it will be very important to stabilize the cease-fire. I think it will be very important to have a robust programme of humanitarian aid and recovery for Gaza.  And I think it will be very important to revitalize the peace process, to restart the peace process in order to have a two-State solution. Thank you very much.