8548TH MEETING (AM)
SC/13841
13 JUNE 2019

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Video

With Middle East crises occupying a significant portion of its agenda, the Security Council today expressed its intention to promote closer cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States in the fields of conflict early warning, prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

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“From day one, I have prioritized cooperation with regional organizations to prevent conflict and sustain peace,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, stressing that stronger ties with the League is pivotal.  Referring to numerous regional challenges — including in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and the Occupied Palestinian Territory — he said partnerships are essential to advance a global order based on international law.

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Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said the two organizations are collectively committed to the vision of two States, based on relevant United Nations resolutions, long-held principles, previous agreements and international law.

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AHMED ABOUL GHEIT, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States…added that he could not neglect the centrality of the Palestinian question in the minds and conscience of the Arab people.  Israel’s ongoing occupation fuels radicalization in the Middle East and beyond, he said, emphasizing that the region will never enjoy stability without an end to the occupation, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State and a just resolution to the conflict with Israel.

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He went on to warn against the dangers of maintaining the status quo regarding the Palestinian situation, especially given Israel’s continuing oppressive practices and attempts to legitimize the occupation while casting doubt on the just cause of Palestinian refugees.  Warning against attempts to resolve the Palestinian question outside the framework of international law, or creating alternative economic or development tracks, he called on the Council to assume its responsibilities without selectivity or double standards, afford protection to the Palestinian people and compel Israel to uphold its obligations.  The League is aware of the Council’s internal dynamics, or lack thereof, vis-à-vis the many conflicts and crises in the Arab region, and it is confident it appreciates the complications within the Arab system.  But, that is no excuse for inaction or an abdication of the Council’s obligation to uphold international law.  Advancing partnership can help both organizations to assume their responsibilities and better discharge their duty to maintain peace and security, in the letter and spirit of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.

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Statements

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JOSÉ SINGER WEISINGER (Dominican Republic) said that the best results are achieved through cooperation and inclusive dialogue.  The Middle East faces major challenges that represent a significant portion of the Council’s agenda, including the Israel-Palestine issue and the situation in Syria.

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JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa)…Turning to the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict, he pointed out that the League is “not even included as a member of the Middle East Quartet”.  He urged the Council to consistently make use of regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security.

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JONATHAN R. COHEN (United States)…Regarding the Palestinian question, he said his country will release its plan “when the time is right” and that it looks forward to discussing a more prosperous future for the Palestinians at the upcoming workshop in Bahrain.

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VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation)…Efforts to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict have been undermined by unilateral moves.

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GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru)…The two organizations must pool their efforts to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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KAREN VAN VLIERBERGE (Belgium)…Noting the serious incident in the Gulf of Oman and citing the League’s support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the two-State solution, she said the region is stronger when it speaks with one voice.

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For information media. Not an official record.