The emergence of a Palestinian state is in our interest for Middle East stability - 21 April 2015 [fr]
Middle East - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 21 April 2015
I thank the Secretary-General for his statement, which underscored the need to act to preserve the two-State solution.
I once again express my warmest congratulations to the Jordanian presidency of the Security Council as well as our profound appreciation of your presence, Sir, at this important debate.
Since last summer, France has maintained a simple position — the two-State solution is fast disappearing. The continuation of the illegal settlement activity undermines, day on day, the viability of a Palestinian State on the ground. The political vacuum raises the risk of escalation. In Israel and Palestine alike, public opinion is becoming radicalized and support for the two-State solution is dissipating.
There is therefore an urgent need to end the downward spiral we are witnessing. To do so, we must reaffirm our commitment to the two-State solution and thence map out a political path leading to the creation of a Palestinian State alongside that of Israel. Without such a political path, we will have to face the continuation of the unilateral strategies under way, which will serve only to fuel the mistrust between the parties. It is in no one’s interests for security cooperation to cease; for the Palestinian Authority, in which we have invested so much, to founder; or for diplomatic spats to ensue in international institutions, always with the underlying risk of an explosion in violence. We cannot pretend that these risks do not exist.
France’s analysis for several months now has been based on a simple premise — only with renewed and strengthened international support can the parties commit resolutely to the necessary path of peace. Everything in the recent past shows how vain it would be to hope that Israel and the Palestinians can resume, and less likely still conclude, negotiations without a major change in methodology. The peace process, as we have been going about it for more than 20 years, has not succeeded. To pretend otherwise is tantamount to accepting the irreversible deterioration of the situation on the ground.
France renewed efforts to mobilize the Security Council last autumn, when we listened to the calls for patience from our partners — that we had to wait for primaries then for elections. We must now take stock of the Israeli elections and statements made around them
Against the present backdrop, the international community has two options. The first option is to manage the crisis with stop-gap solutions, hoping that the degree of violence remains contained and waiting for better timing to address the underlying problems. There will, unfortunately, be good reasons to move the goalposts, for instance to the formation of the Israeli Government, regional events or yet further elections. What will happen tomorrow, while the settlements, violence and tension carry us ever closer to a point of no return, when everybody loses?
The second option is to take action. This is France’s choice, not only as it is our responsibility as a member of the Security Council but also because we have a direct interest in the emergence of a Palestinian State to contribute to stability in the Middle East. The choice to act must, in our view, be based on two particular elements. First, the international community must act jointly. France wants to promote a new approach incorporating a greater number of partners in addition to the central role of the United States — namely, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the permanent members of the Security Council — with a view to helping the parties to make the difficult compromises that are necessary for peace and to support them in their implementation.
Moreover, the Security Council can provide useful support in this process and must be a central player in the conflict. This does not mean imposing a solution on the parties, of course, but setting the framework for negotiations. Indeed, it is the responsibility of the Security Council to adopt a consensual and balanced resolution that finally sets the parametres of the final status and a timetable for negotiations. Almost 50 years since the adoption of resolution 242 (1967), this is an imperative step. Such a resolution must provide a credible basis for a resumption of negotiations and generating the necessary renewed healthy political momentum.
Let us be frank; there will be no Palestinian State, and therefore no peace in the Middle East, without a strengthened collective commitment on the part of the international community. We cannot give up and we cannot resign ourselves to a status quo that would lead inevitable to disaster. We believe more fervently than ever that there is no alternative to the establishment of a Palestinian State: it is in the interests of all parties and above all of peace. That is why it is vital to ensur