New York: Abdulla Shahid, President of United Nations General Assembly, said that the credibility of the UN is also at stake along with peace and security in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Arab News reported. He warned that the UN's reputation and its ability to work together to resolve international disputes is on edge.
While speaking at a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on Wednesday to discuss Palestine and the situation in the broader Middle East, he said that the lack of progress on the issue, though it has been on the UN agenda for years, is disheartening.
Shahid said hope should not be given up and called all the member states to come together to resolve the conflict per international human rights, humanitarian laws and the UN charter. Push for positive dialogue and engagement between the parties must be given, he added.
He further said that the Palestine situation and the wider region are deeply intertwined. The spillover effects of the dispute are undermining the stability of the whole Middle East. Bitterness will fester as long as Palestinian people are deprived of statehood, illegal settlements continue to be built on their lands, their families are forced to flee, and injustices against them persist. It is a cycle of violence that has gone for too long, he said.
The plenary session of the General Assembly came after the 74th anniversary of its resolution 181 of 1947 that called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states and the city of Jerusalem to be governed by an international administration. Shahid said facilitating a two-state solution is the best thing the world can do to resolve the conflict. He called upon the multilateral political process for a just and peaceful settlement.
Regarding the issues faced by Palestinians, he said that the international community should back its promises with actions such as humanitarian assistance, effort to resolve the conflict and upholding Palestinians' dignity. Issues of water scarcity, electricity, proper sanitation, and decent living conditions for the population need to be addressed. Also, their suffering due to decades of occupation, arbitrary arrests, excessive force on them, demolished homes, the proliferation of settlements on their land etc., need solutions, he added.
More than half of the five million Palestinian population and 80 per cent in Gaza alone depend on humanitarian aid for survival. Many Palestine refugees in elsewhere countries of the Middle East are also suffering due to shortfalls in funding for UN Relief, he said.