THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
29 November 2023
This International Day of Solidarity comes during one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Palestinian people. I am horrified by the death and destruction that have engulfed the region, which is overwhelmed with pain, anguish and heartache.
Palestinians in Gaza are suffering a humanitarian catastrophe. Almost 1.7 million people have been forced from their homes – but nowhere is safe. Meanwhile, the situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, risks boiling over.
I express my sincere condolences to the thousands of families who are mourning loved ones. This includes members of our own United Nations family killed in Gaza, representing the largest loss of personnel in the history of our organization.
I have been clear in my condemnation of the terror attacks by Hamas on 7 October. But I have also been clear that they cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
Across the region, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency is an indispensable lifeline, delivering vital support to millions of Palestinian refugees. It is more important than ever that the international community stands with UNRWA as a source of support for the Palestinian people.
Above all, this is a day for reaffirming international solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to live in peace and dignity.
That must start with a long-term humanitarian ceasefire, unrestricted access for lifesaving aid, the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians and an end to violations of international humanitarian law. We must be united in demanding an end to the occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
It is long past time to move in a determined, irreversible way towards a two-State solution, on the basis of United Nations resolutions and international law, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security with Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
The United Nations will not waver in its commitment to the Palestinian people. Today and every day, let us stand in solidarity with the aspirations of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for all.