TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE BY UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON AT THE PALAIS DES NATIONS

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Q: Monsieur le Secrétaire général, moi je viens du Moyen-Orient et si je vous transmets un message de la région – de l’opinion publique – c’est que les Nations Unies ont échoué dans plusieurs endroits – en Syrie, au Yémen, en Libye et surtout dans les territoires occupés où la colonisation continue toujours. Aussi, la question que je vous transmets est: est-ce qu’on a toujours besoin des Nations Unies puisque, pratiquement, ce sont les grandes puissances qui dictent la loi et vous, donc, ne faites qu’agir en conséquence de ces diktats ? Pour vous aussi, Monsieur le Secrétaire général : durant ces huit dernières années que vous êtes au sommet des Nations Unies, comment vous décririez votre rôle, surtout au Moyen-Orient ?

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Therefore, it is not the United Nations, it is the parties who have not been respecting and implementing all those agreements or decisions, resolutions, whatever it may be called by the parties. Therefore, I am still very much troubled that all those areas where still violence is continuing, we have not been able to see, as you just mentioned: Syria, Yemen, Libya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

When it comes to the Middle East peace process, the Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions and, as a member of the Quartet, as one of the principals of this Quartet process, I have been deeply involved and engaging with the leaders of the two parties and also leaders of the regional countries. A lot of time and the energy have been spent on this issue. During my time, unfortunately, three wars have taken place in Gaza – it is unprecedented that in such a short period of time, what has taken place so often, [between] late 2008 until 2014. So, I very much regret that the leaders of the two parties have not been engaging sincerely for the peaceful resolution of these long-pending issues. The two-state solution has been fully supported by the international community – they have identified most of the issues. The issues are all on the table. It is a matter of choice, what kind of solutions or ideas they can take. I have been urging both Israeli and Palestinian leaders that it is a matter of your choice, it is a matter of your political will. If you really want to make sure that this two-state solution works so that the two peoples can live side by side in peace and security – then it depends upon your leaders. After all, it is your future, it is your country, it is not the United Nations, regional powers – we are there to facilitate the process. I sincerely hope again that they should sit down together and engage seriously. This process has been dealt without any resolution, longer than six decades. It is high time, they should listen to the voices. Recently, I met Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas on the margins of the General Assembly of the United Nations. I have been very genuinely, honestly, urging them to engage in dialogue.

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For use of the information media; not an official record

SG16/021E


Document symbol: SG16/021
Document Type: Briefing, Press Conference, Transcript
Document Sources: Secretary-General, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Subject: Peace process, Quartet, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 03/10/2016