Hoppa yfir valmynd

Joint Nordic Statement at the UN General Joint Debate on "The situation in the Middle East" and "Question of Palestine" (agenda items 37 and 38)

by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
at the UN General Joint Debate on agenda item 37 entitled “The situation in the Middle East” and agenda item 38 entitled “Question of Palestine”

Mr. President, I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and my own country Sweden.

We welcome the opportunity for the General Assembly to meet amid the most serious escalation in Israel and Palestine in years.

We also welcome the latest meetings in the Security Council on the matter. We urge the Council to shoulder its responsibility and act according to its mandate and we support the efforts of Norway, Tunisia and China, and also France, in this regard, as well as the engagement from neighbouring countries, the Quartet and the EU and the US in seeking an immediate de-escalation of the conflict.

Mr President,

As the Secretary General has pointed out, the latest round of violence only perpetuates a cycle of despair, and makes hopes of coexistence and peace more distant. The Nordic countries have stressed several times in recent weeks that this grave escalation, and not least the major upsurge in violence from and in Gaza, must stop immediately. A ceasefire must be reached without any delay.

Mr President,

We continue to strongly condemn the indiscriminate and recurrent firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas or any other group in the Gaza Strip. We recognise Israel’s legitimate right to protect itself and its citizens. At the same time, we underline that the response must be in accordance with international law, and that the obligations of international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution, must be strictly observed.

We are appalled by the civilian lives already lost, especially the large number of children. All children must be protected from violence and harm, including the psychosocial stress from conflict.

Mr President,

The humanitarian situation in Gaza was already serious before the escalation. It is now acute and deteriorating. Humanitarian access must be ensured, in line with international humanitarian law. We commend the pivotal humanitarian role that UNRWA is playing and urge donors to support the organisation and other humanitarian actors.

Mr President,

Beyond the short-term priority of ending the violence and achieving a ceasefire, the international community must address the root causes of the conflict. It needs to facilitate concrete steps towards a realisation of the two-state solution and ending the occupation. As we have recently witnessed, continued settlement expansion, illegal under international law, evictions, demolitions and tensions around the holy sites can easily spark an increase in violence and unrest. The recurring cycle of violence must be broken. We must draw lessons from the current events. Moreover, the risk of regional escalation must be taken seriously. Leaders must act in a responsible manner and raise their voice against incitement.

The international parameters for a sustainable solution to the conflict are clear. The end destination is well-known, the road itself needs to – once again – be paved. The international community needs to re-mobilise its efforts to create a credible process towards a two-state solution, based on international law, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. The Nordic countries’ have a long-term commitment to peace, as well as friendship with the peoples of Israel and Palestine. We stand ready to contribute accordingly.

Let me conclude by voicing our support to the EU statement.

Thank you, Mr President.


Contact us

Tip / Query
Please answer in numerics