New York City, 29 November 2023(TDI): United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Dennis Francis emphasized the need for a peaceful and just solution to the Middle East crisis, following the Hamas attack on October 7 and Israel’s assault on Gaza, in his annual debate on Palestine.
He requested that UN Member States find common ground, engage in cooperation, and promote collective solutions to end the ongoing conflict.
President Francis stated during the meeting, “The longer the fear, distrust, appetite for revenge, hatred, and anxiety fester and deepen further, the more lethal the psychological chasm grows and the darker the shadow it will cast over generations to come.”
Additionally, he stated that without a fair, long-lasting, and complete peace, the Middle East “cannot and will not” achieve constant security and stability.
A Two-State Solution as a Possible Future Way
According to the decisions of the General Assembly, a two-state solution is the only possible way of ending the ongoing cycle of war, violence, and suffering among states, as President Francis stated.
He encouraged the temporary ceasefire in Gaza as a “breakthrough for hope,” but emphasized that it is not sufficient. Furthermore, he demanded fair treatment and the immediate, unconditional release of all hostages.
“I reiterate my call for a longer-term humanitarian ceasefire so food, water, and desperately needed medical aid can reach all those in need in the Gaza Strip and all affected areas,” he added.
UN Envoy at UN General Assembly Meeting
Furthermore, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, Minister Riyad Mansour, stated that this is the deadliest period Palestinians have experienced in the Gaza Strip. More than 30,000 people have been injured, and at least 15,000 Palestinians have died.
He stated, “This is a full-fledged war against Palestine and its people,” and added that the atrocities in Gaza have inspired people to speak up against injustice on a global scale.
Additionally, he reported that approximately 1.8 million civilians, or 80% of the population, are internally displaced in Gaza, with 1.1 million of them taking refuge in UNRWA shelters. “They are still not protected, even under the UN flag,” he added.
UN Secretary-General’s Call and Global Unanimity
During the session, the Kuwaiti delegate condemned Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, arguing that such hostility promotes hatred and violence among Muslims and threatens regional stability.
Moreover, during the UNGA meeting, he appealed to the Security Council to hold Israeli forces accountable, underscoring that Israelis must stop behaving like this, as if international law does not protect the rights of the Palestinian people.
In a statement about the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UN Secretary-General António Guterres once again called for a long-term humanitarian ceasefire, unrestricted access to life-saving aid, the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians, and an end to violations of international humanitarian law.
The UN chief emphasized the need for a determined, irreversible two-state solution, based on UN resolutions and international law, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine as both.
In the closing remarks, the UNGA President asked nations to “find our way back to rebuild trust.” He underlined the need to have faith in the equality principles found in the UN Charter, international law, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
He requested, “Have faith that parents and family members in the Middle East and on both sides of this conflict will be able to safely put their kids to bed every night.”