Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message, delivered by Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, to the 2018 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, in Moscow today:

I send my warm greetings to everyone at the 2018 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East.  My thanks go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation for hosting this event, and to the United Nations Association of Russia and the Russian Peace Foundation for their generous support.

This is an important platform to discuss media-related topics connected to the difficult and challenging situation in the Middle East.  It is encouraging that it remains strong, 27 years after its inception.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains central to the Middle East quagmire.  The recent tensions in Gaza are a painful reminder of how fragile the situation is.  The people of the region and the world cannot afford another escalation of violence.  The United Nations remains strongly committed to a just, comprehensive and lasting two-State solution that ends the 50-year occupation and resolves all final status issues.  This is key for security and stability in the entire region.

This seminar is an opportunity for people from different walks of life to come together and engage in debate — a welcome reminder of the power of words over weapons and an important way of keeping hope alive.

I wish you a successful seminar.

For information media. Not an official record.