NEW YORK – The UAE, in its capacity as the Chair of the Group of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), urged the international community to create an environment conducive to peace efforts in the Occupied Palestine Territories by alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people and by halting any illegal and provocative measures that undermine the two-state solution. The UAE also called on all external parties to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and emphasized the need for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, spoke on behalf of the OIC group during the UN Security Council’s quarterly “Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine” on 28 October 2019.

“We would like to reiterate that reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict will not only enable Palestine and Israel to live side by side in peace and security but will also support the stability of the region,” Ambassador Nusseibeh said. “The continuation of the status quo will be exploited by extremist groups for recruitment and radicalization and only further destabilize the region.”

She also called for international momentum to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East Peace Process, in accordance with the established terms of reference. Additionally, Ambassador Nusseibeh called for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967, in accordance with Security Council resolutions. She affirmed the need for all external parties to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and reiterated the OIC’s support for a political solution of the Syrian crisis consistent with resolution 2254 (2015).

She expressed the OIC’s commitment to an outcome that enables an independent Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to relevant resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace initiative, and the Quartet road map.

Ambassador Nusseibeh deplored the continued building of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones, as well as the annexation and confiscation of land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem. She also expressed the OIC’s concern over unlawful attempts to alter the historical status and demographic composition of Occupied East Jerusalem, including illegal and provocative acts concerning the Christian and Islamic holy sites in the city, particularly Al-Haram Al-Sharif. She underscored that such actions threaten the sanctity, stability, and status of the holy sites, potentially fueling further violence and extremism in the region.

Additionally, Ambassador Nusseibeh recommended that the Council and the wider international community urgently avert the further deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation in Palestine and alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian refugees. She encouraged Member States to provide or to increase their contributions to UN entities working diligently to improve the livelihoods of Palestinians and support economic recovery and development in the occupied territories. She also reiterated the OIC’s strong support for the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and for the renewal of its mandate.

“We affirm that our goal is to achieve the long-delayed vision of two states – Palestine and Israel – living side by side in peace and security. OIC Member States will continue to support international efforts to promote a just, comprehensive, lasting and peaceful solution that will end the conflict, a vital prerequisite for regional and international peace and security,” Ambassador Nusseibeh concluded.