The members of the Security Council were briefed this afternoon by the Secretary General on his visit to the Middle East.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the cease-fire in Gaza, and the efforts of international and regional partners - in particular the Egyptian initiative - in helping bring this about. The members of the Security Council expressed their strong appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary General to support the implementation of resolution 1860. The members of the Council emphasised the need for full implementation of resolution 1860, in particular for the cease-fire to be durable and fully respected by all parties, for the provision of arrangements and guarantees to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition to Gaza, and to ensure the sustained reopening of the crossing points, on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
The members of the Security Council restated their grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stressed the need for unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian aid throughout Gaza. In this regard, Council members recognised the excellent work being carried out in Gaza under very difficult circumstances by UN agencies, in particular UNRWA, the infrastructure of which was severely damaged. Council members called upon all parties to ensure these agencies receive the support and protection they need, and recalled the obligations of all parties to a conflict to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council encouraged, as set out in resolutions 1850 and 1860, tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation and stressed the need to continue to work towards a long-term solution. Members re-emphasized that only a two-state solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace to both Israelis and Palestinians. Council members welcomed, in this regard, the initiatives and proposals aimed at organising international meetings, including, as mentioned in resolutions 1850 and 1860, the Quartet’s consideration, in consultation with the parties, of an international meeting in Moscow in 2009.