10 DECEMBER 2020

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

/…

Questions and Answers

/…

Question:  Yes.  Thank you, Stéphane.  So, I want to go back to… you said that you hope that all these normalization agreements between Israel and the other countries will help Palestinians and Israelis get closer to a peace agreement.  My question is, as a matter of fact, on the ground, the opposite is actually happening.  There are more settlements that have been built.  There is more Palestinians that are killed.  Even now, there is some news reports about some export from the settlements to the United Arab Emirates, etc.  So, how can it be that your office is totally saying things that are not connected to the facts on the ground?  And the same goes also to the Western Sahara.

Spokesman:  I think, if you read the numerous reports, either published by the Secretary‑General or presented by Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov, I think they are anchored in reality.  And I think they give a pretty clear picture of the reality.  I think… you could do two things at once.  You could actually paint a pretty clear picture of the reality on the ground and then hope for more positive developments.

/…

Question:  Oh, great, Stéph.  Listen, another question on the US‑Israel‑Morocco deal, and obviously, it’s got big knock‑ons for the Palestinians and the Sahrawi people, two groups that want – and have done for a long time – autonomy, self‑determination of some sort, and they look to the United Nations as a fair hand in a world that, perhaps, doesn’t have many fair hands in it.  Is there any message that you can give to those two peoples today who have been watching the news and are maybe disheartened by their current position?

Spokesman:  Look, I would say that our efforts to find a solution to both of these issues remains unchanged and will remain unabated.

/…

For information media. Not an official record.