19 NOVEMBER 2020

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

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Thank you, Steph.  How does the UN view the move by Secretary of State [Michael] Pompeo to visit the West Bank?  Is this a provocative gesture?

Spokesman:  I will leave the analysis to you and other journalists.  Our stance on the illegality of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory remains unchanged.

Okay.  Any other questions?

Question:  Hi.  Can I jump in? It’s James Reinl here.

Spokesman:  Yes, James.  Sorry.  Go ahead.

Question:  Thanks so much.  It’s just a continuation of Toby’s question, actually.  Mr. Pompeo is, obviously, in the West Bank.  He’s been meeting with Israeli officials.  He’s made references to the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, BDS.  He said that it’s anti‑Semitic.  Does the UN have a position on BDS?  And what is that position in a line or two?

Spokesman:  Not that I’m aware of at this point, but I will get back to you.

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Question:  So, my second question is back to the Secretary of State visit to the West Bank and the settlements.  I understand that you don’t…  in general, you don’t comment on these issues, but in this case, actually, this visit comes against UN resolutions, on occupied territory to settlements, so I do not understand why don’t you have a comment on that.

Spokesman:  I have…  the comment that I have is that our position is clear, right, on where we stand on illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The respect for Security Council resolutions is up to Member States to respect those resolutions.

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Question:  But don’t you…  so, yeah, absolutely, but somebody is…  Secretary of State is not respecting your own resolutions.  So, you don’t have a comment on that?

Spokesman:  Resolutions of the Security Council are everyone [inaudible] resolutions.

James?

Question:  This is a follow‑up on that, though.  Does the Secretary‑General believe that Secretary Pompeo is respecting the Security Council resolutions by visiting that settlement?

Spokesman:  I’m not going to get into a running commentary on his visit.

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For information media. Not an official record.