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Remarks on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (28 Nov)

28 November 2018

[as delivered]

More than forty years ago, the General Assembly established an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people to remind us of our collective, unfinished task of resolving the question of Palestine.

Over the decades, this has become one of the most intractable challenges for the international community, and we know only too well the tragic results. 

Demolitions, illegal continued settlement expansion and construction, forced evictions and collective punitive measures will not bring peace.

The same goes for violence and incitement, and similarly, unilateral steps will not resolve final status issues or the conflict.

Only constructive negotiations, in good faith, and adhering to the long-established and agreed parameters for a two-State solution, will bring the desired, long-lasting solution. 

Containing the situation is not sufficient.

I call on all actors, and first and foremost the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of Resolution 181, of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, fulfilling the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples, with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state.

It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

It is the only option for a comprehensive and just peace, and I call on the international community to intensify its engagement and reiterate its commitment to assist Palestinians and Israelis in reaching the two-State solution. 

Today, in particular, our hearts are heavy with the suffering of the people in Gaza. 

Approximately two million Palestinians remain blocked in increasing poverty and unemployment, with limited access to adequate health, education, water and electricity. 

Young people see little prospect of a better future. 

I urge Israel to lift restrictions on the movement of people and goods, which also hamper the efforts of the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, without jeopardizing legitimate security concerns. 

I call on Hamas and other militant groups to halt their military build-up in Gaza, including the indiscriminate launching of rockets and incendiary devices directed at Israel.

The violence during demonstrations at the Gaza fence is a matter of great concern.

Palestinians in Gaza have legitimate grievances and the right to demonstrate peacefully. 

Hamas and the leaders of the demonstrations have a responsibility to prevent violent actions and provocations.

But for its part, Israel has a responsibility to exercise maximum restraint and to not use lethal force, except as a last resort against imminent threat of death or serious injury.

I am encouraged by the recent reduction of violence in Gaza.

I commend the efforts of the Government of Egypt and key regional and international partners – together with my Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process – to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, restore calm and support intra-Palestinian reconciliation and the return of the legitimate Palestinian Government in Gaza.

The United Nations will not waver in its commitment to the Palestinian people. 

On this International Day of Solidarity, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and to building a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike. 

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Peace is at risk and violated in many places, but ‘we will not give up,’ says UN chief Guterres

On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres cited the strong correlation between the International Day of Peace and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basis for peace.

According to the UN chief, the Declaration, which turns 70 this year, provides a reminder that peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty and oppression and can thrive and prosper.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UN Member States in 2015, also aim to serve this purpose by building a peaceful world through economic and social development for all with guaranteed human rights.

And yet, “when we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we know that human rights are violated in so many parts of the world, we even know that the human rights agenda is losing ground,” he said at the ceremonial ringing of the Peace Bell to commemorate Peace Day.

“But we don’t give up because respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace,” Mr. Guterres stressed. “We are here because we are determined, and we do not give up.” 

“Peace is at risk. Peace is violated in so many places. But we will not give up,” he underscored.

newsicon [ read the full story on UN News ]


 What is Peace and Security?

 

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Message on International Day of Peace

This year we mark International Day of Peace as we prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This foundational document is a reminder that peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty and oppression and can thrive and prosper. 

With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our guide, we must ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

I encourage you to speak up. For gender equality.  For inclusive societies.  For climate action. 

Do your part at school, at work, at home. Every step counts.

Let us act together to promote and defend human rights for all, in the name of lasting peace for all.

 

 

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World needs generation of self-empowered ‘superheroes’, UN youth forum told

  • 09 August 2018 |
  • Published in Youth
The United Nations needs to spend more time talking directly to young people across the world, beyond simply talking about their concerns, said the President of the General Assembly on Wednesday, opening a major Youth Dialogue event at UN Headquarters in New York.

“They still feel they are excluded, from the decisions that are affecting their lives,” said Miroslav Lajčák,  adding that “we want this to be an event when we take a step back, and we listen to young people, talking to each other.”

Quite often, he said,  “they have a feeling that when they speak, no one is listening”.

He added that the themes he was keen to hear their views on were education, jobs, and the complex issue of how young people could be dissuaded from taking a path towards violent extremism. “We talk about it, but we still don’t really get it – don’t really grasp it,” he said.

Other speakers included an athelete from the Pacific island nation of Tonga, who won world reknown, when he marched shirtless into the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, carrying his country’s flag.

“The world does not need violence, does not need bombs, the world needs today’s youth to become superheroes,” said Pita Taufatofua.

At the UN, wearing a shirt, he said his brother advised him to “keep your shirt on and leave the oil at home”.

The second piece of advice from his brother was, “tell your truth, leave the youth with something they can take into the future,” Mr. Taufatofua said.

 

 

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Haiti: New UN mission to take innovative approach to strengthening rule of law

The head of the new United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, known as MINUJUSTH, has said the operation will carry out its work in an innovative in the island nation – complete with an unusually tight timeframe and a bench-marking exit strategy.

Describing what is unique about the mission, the Special Representative and Head of MINUJUSTH, Susan Page, underscored that it focusses “exclusively on the rule of law.”“The new mandate by the [UN] Security Council is to work with the Government of Haiti to strengthen its rule of law intuitions. It's also to continue to support the HNP, the Haitian National Police, and to work on justice and human rights – and that includes human rights reporting, monitoring and analysis,” she told UN News.MINUJUSTH is also unique in that its mandate calls for a benchmarking exit strategy.“Within two years, we can figure out how we [will exit the country] but with benchmarks for progress that can be measured,” she stressed.

“Within two years, we can figure out how we will, but with benchmarks for progress that can be measured,” 

Susan Page
Special Representative/ Head of Mission. MINUJUSTH

The mission head stated that the country team created a framework with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which, along with SDG 16 – to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies – is working in conjunction with the Haitian Government.

[ read the full story on UN News ]

 

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Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

Feature photos

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