Guterres warns of “irreversible reality”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday voiced called for continued efforts toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Guterres reiterated that a two-state solution is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and secure a sustainable solution to the conflict. “There is no Plan B.”

Over many decades, the international community has encouraged a negotiated process leading to a two-state solution, addressing all final-status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, international law and mutual agreements as the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace, said Guterres.

The Security Council has consistently reiterated its vision of a region where two democratic states — Israel and Palestine — live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders.

The General Assembly has reaffirmed the two-state solution through the establishment of a Palestinian State as the only way to achieve stability, peace, prosperity and development in the region, he noted.

“And I have always said that I would like to see a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, both with capital in Jerusalem.”

However, he warned, decades of convergence and global consensus could be eroding, making effective concerted action more difficult to achieve, at a time when it is more important than ever.

Negative trends on the ground have the potential to create an irreversible one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national, historic and democratic aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, said Guterres.

Israel’s ongoing settlement construction and expansion in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal under UN resolutions and international law, he said. “It is a major obstacle to peace and it must be halted and reversed.”

Violence and incitement continue to fuel a climate of fear and mistrust, added the UN chief.

He also emphasized the importance of advancing Palestinian unity. “Reconciliation is a key step in reaching the larger objective of a Palestinian state and lasting peace.”

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was founded by the UN General Assembly in 1975.

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