If we do not act with resolve, the two-State solution will die [fr]
Middle East - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 15 September 2016
I would like to start by thanking the Secretary-General for his presence here today, for his commitment and for his briefing. We would also like to pay tribute to the United Nations and the Special Coordinator, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, for their work on the ground. I take this opportunity to reiterate France’s full support for Mr. Mladenov.
We find ourselves, on the eve of the beginning of the ministerial segment seventy-first session of the General Assembly, at a moment where it is appropriate to take stock. The results of the past year have been indisputable. What we are seeing here is the inexorable marginalization of two-State solution, which is a solution, let us be clear, that is today at risk. Israeli settlement policy constitutes one of the main threats to the implementation of a two-State solution. By splintering Palestine’s future territory, the settlement policy undermines the prospects for a Palestinian State. The settlement policy is demonstrated by the de facto annexation of Area C, the transfer of populations, impediments to movement, and the destruction of housing and humanitarian infrastructure for Palestinians. The radicalization of public opinion, acts of violence, incitements to violence and terrorism seriously undermine the prospects for seeing two States coexist — a State of Israel and a Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security. Progress in terms of Palestinian reconciliation are also indispensable and urgent.
Following two years of interruption of the negotiations process, France vigorously advocates for the need for renewed international assistance for the peace process and the preservation of a two-State solution. We must act collectively to place this conflict at the very core of our priorities and extricate ourselves from the current impasse, which is an impasse that weakens the Palestinian Authority, jeopardizes security for Israelis and fuels the radicalization of public opinion throughout the region and beyond.
It is in that context that France has presented to the parties and their main partners an initiative aimed at recreating collective political mobilization in favour of the peace process. Our approach is both progressive and collective. It is progressive because all of us know that the conditions for the immediate relaunch of the negotiations are simply not in place today. It is therefore the responsibility of the international community to urge the parties to return to the negotiating table by creating around them a conducive climate coupled with a positive agenda, with a set of incentives to that end. This is the very heart of our initiative. It is a collective approach because we are attempting to tailor each stage of our initiative to existing efforts, in particular those of the Quartet and our Arab partners. Furthermore, France has always yearned to see the Security Council, when the time is right, play a key role in assisting and consolidating the negotiations process.
The ministerial conference that was held in Paris on 3 June was a decisive moment that enabled us to take a first step. The international community reaffirmed its commitment to the two-State solution and expressed its determination to engage collectively to recreate the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations. On 19 September, in New York, at the margins of the General Assembly, France will organize a working meeting at the level of high officials to take stock of work already carried out and to identify measures that should enable us to preserve the twoState solution and make progress on the conditions necessary for a resumption of the peace process. It goes without saying that we will continue to involve the parties and inform them of our work in the most transparent manner, as we have always done at all stages of the process.
If we do not act with resolve, the two-State solution will die, and it will gradually make way for a situation of fait accompli, which will never guarantee a just and lasting settlement of the conflictl; rather, it will continue to weigh upon the region’s equilibrium. France will therefore spare no effort to prevent this drift and will work to recreate a political momentum based on the two-State solution.
We will never give up. Together with all of our partners, we will continue to work unstintingly to this end.