General Assembly Security Council

UN Security Council meeting on

‘The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question’

[26 February 2021]


India Statement


Ambassador K. Nagaraj Naidu

Deputy Permanent Representative


Madam President,


I thank the UK Presidency for its initiative of inviting youth representatives Malak and Oren to this meeting to share their perspectives. We also thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing.


2. Let me begin by reaffirming India’s support to the Palestinian cause and the establishment of a sovereign, viable and independent State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We firmly believe that only a two-state solution will deliver enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve. This should be achieved through direct negotiations between both sides on final status issues. Both sides must avoid any unilateral action which could prejudice these final status issues.


3. Recent diplomatic efforts to revive the stalled peace talks are encouraging. The meeting of the Quartet’s Special Envoys is timely. We urge the Quartet to initiate engagement with the Israeli and the Palestinian leadership. In this regard, we also appreciate the Munich Group’s recent outreach. India welcomes all efforts, which are aimed at strengthening the collective commitment of the international community to resume direct negotiations and facilitate the peace process.


4. We are pleased to note that preparations for the Palestinian elections are moving forward. The Cairo agreement between the Palestinian parties on the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections - to abide by the electoral timetable, accept the results of the election and on other election related arrangements - is a positive step in the right direction. The commitment undertaken by all parties to release political detainees will also help build trust between them. We acknowledge Egypt’s efforts in facilitating this agreement. The high percentage of Palestinians, who have registered to vote in the elections, reflects their desire to take part in the democratic process.


5. The opening of Rafah border crossing is a significant development, which will ease the humanitarian and health situation in Gaza. The recent announcements pertaining to the gas pipeline to Gaza are also encouraging. The pandemic’s impact on the people of Gaza has been particularly severe due to the fragile health-care infrastructure.


6. We note that COVID-19 vaccines are being made available to the people of Palestine, including in Gaza. India strongly believes that equity in access to vaccines across the world is important for mitigating the impact of the pandemic. India had earlier provided critical medicines and medical equipment to Palestine as COVID-19 assistance. We are now in the process of sending a second batch of medicines as a grant to the Palestinian people in the coming weeks. We will also facilitate an early supply of vaccines to Palestine.


7. India has been consistently supporting Palestinian nation-building efforts under the India-Palestine developmental partnership. In addition to our ongoing projects in health, education and technology sectors, we have recently signed agreements for funding Quick Impact Projects to be implemented through partnerships with grass-root Palestinian institutions.


Madam President,


8. Before I conclude, let me also reiterate our continued support for UNRWA’s humanitarian and development work for the Palestinian refugee community. In 2020, UNRWA faced a double-crisis of unprecedented magnitude – a drastic financial shortfall compounded by the unparalleled public health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the gravity of the Agency’s situation, India has pledged an annual financial contribution of 5 million dollars to support UNRWA for the next two years.


I thank you, Madam President.