‘Negative developments’ undermining two-State solution in Middle East

World Bank/Natalia Cieslik Children walk on road in Gaza, where the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) maintain food assistance to over one million Palestine refugees.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Recent heightened tensions in the Middle East underscore the critical need for dialogue and diplomacy in the region, the UN’s Political Affairs chief told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Rosemary DiCarlo was briefing ambassadors on developments related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as recent protests in Lebanon, against the backdrop of the crisis sparked by the killing of a top Iranian general by the United States earlier this month.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not immune to the tensions in the region”, she said.  “At the same time, the effects of its persistence are felt far beyond Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Ms. DiCarlo reiterated the UN’s position that there can be no sustainable peace in the Middle East without resolving the decades-long dispute.

However, with the political process deadlocked, she said “negative developments” continue to undermine prospects for a two-State solution, including Israel’s expansion of settlement activity and threats to annex parts of the West Bank.

“In the absence of progress towards an agreement that will resolve all final status issues based on the 1967 lines, the United Nations continues to focus its efforts on establishing an environment conducive to the return to the negotiations”, she said.

“Recent regional events have once again brought to the fore the crucial necessity of dialogue and diplomacy in the region.”

Humanitarian needs

The UN deputy humanitarian coordinator informed the Council that $348 million will be needed this year to provide food, protection, health care and other services to some 1.5 million vulnerable Palestinians, particularly in Gaza.

Ursula Mueller was fresh from a six-day visit to the region, where she witnessed Gazans trapped in a cycle of deepening poverty and insecurity due to a decline in external aid, high unemployment and economic recession.

UNICEF reports rising rates of school dropout, child labour, and child marriage, and an estimated 270,000 children suffer from some form of mental disorder.  Similarly, I have seen how the lives and wellbeing of residents in Israeli communities around Gaza are disrupted by rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups, with mental health impacts particularly among children”, she said.

Ms. Mueller also pointed to signs of “cautious optimism”, such as an increase in the number of people allowed to leave Gaza, and the creation of 37,000 jobs by the UN agency that assists Palestinians, UNRWA, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

“Ultimately, the solution for the occupied Palestinian territory is neither humanitarian nor development action, but lies in political discourse and agreement”, she stated.

Election hopes

The UN remains hopeful that the Palestinian Authority will hold legislative and presidential elections this year.  The last vote was held in 2006.

Ms. DiCarlo reported that political parties have confirmed they would include more women candidates than the law requires.  There is also discussion over amending the law to raise the quota of listed women candidates from 20 to 30 per cent.

“Despite broad internal political agreement and a series of compromises by all factions, to date President Abbas has not issued the decree needed to schedule elections.  In the past month, he has stated that he would not set dates until Israel agrees that elections can take place in East Jerusalem. Plans to organize the vote are now grinding to a halt”, she said, noting that UN engagement continues in the interim.

Turning to Lebanon, Ms. DiCarlo expressed serious concern over violent protests in the capital, Beirut, this past weekend.

Since October, people have been taking to the streets in mostly peaceful demonstrations over corruption and economic collapse as stalemate over forming a new Government continues.

She said senior UN officials in the country have encouraged parties to protect against any potential spill-over and to urge for calm.                     

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

“911, What’s your emergency?”

Nearly a third of the globe is now on Facebook – chart of the day

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

This is why mental health should be a political priority

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

Commission welcomes agreement on the modernisation of EU export controls

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: Better consumer and employee protection needed

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Working fewer hours makes you more efficient. Here’s the proof

COVID-19: A coordinated EU health strategy needed, say MEPs

‘BioSolar Leaves’ are better at cleaning the air than trees, say the technology’s developers

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

EU, Latin America and the Caribbean: Partnering for prosperity, democracy, resilience and global governance

Collective action to enable sustainable growth will be critical to end tropical deforestation

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

State aid: Commission approves around €36 million Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM

COVID-19: from the chaos of the pandemic to the difficulties in vaccination

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stopped in its tracks’

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Commission welcomes political agreement on strategy for 2021-2027

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

The challenge of palliative care in universal health coverage

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

GDP growth slows in most G20 economies in third quarter of 2019

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

This man is turning cities into giant sponges to save lives

4 key trends on how COVID has impacted women in business

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s