In his briefing to the Security Council on 24 November last year, the Assistant Secretary-General stated that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had reached “a deep and worrying impasse” and that “without a political horizon, destructive forces would gain ground, putting both the Palestinian Authority and the two-state solution at peril.”
This morning, the Assistant Secretary General Fernandez-Taranco delivered what in fact was the same message. Consequently, two months have passed and little has in reality changed, notwithstanding partial measures on the ground, of which we have taken positive note. Unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that the current conditions do not yet allow for the resumption of final status negotiations.
This is not to say that we can simply give in to the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to getting the negotiations restarted. Inaction is not an option.
Other efforts must still be made to drive the process forward towards a two-state solution. We hope that the parties will respond positively and proactively to parallel endeavours by the international community to overcome the current political impasse in the peace process.
All along, steps in the right direction in some areas of the occupied Palestinian territories should not be reversed by detrimental action in others, including East Jerusalem. As for Gaza, the unacceptable and counterproductive grip on the civilian population, holding it down, must urgently come to an end.
As Chair of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee, Norway has repeatedly stressed the need for a clear political horizon in order to justify the high levels of international donor support to the Palestinian state-building project.
On the economic track, the donor community remains committed to the effort to build a Palestinian state bottom-up. The AHLC has given its strong and unanimous support to Prime Minister Fayyad’s plan for preparing for Palestinian statehood within two years. The implementation of this work is ongoing, in close contact and coordination between the Palestinian Authority and the donor community.
The plan thus forms an important platform for continued international support, notably, within a set timeframe. To keep the two-state solution clearly in sight, it cannot be relegated to some distant and uncertain future.