General Assembly Security Council


UNSC Briefing on Middle East (Palestine)


Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



25 March 2021



Thank you Madam President, I also thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing on the implementation of resolution 2334.


2. I would like to begin by reaffirming India’s firm and unwavering commitment to the resolution of the Palestine issue. India strongly supports a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel. India has also supported Palestinian national development and the strengthening of its institutions, especially in vital sectors like education, health, women empowerment etc, through our development partnership and technical cooperation agreement with Palestine. We are also initiating grass-root level development projects to strengthen the capacities of local communities.


3. India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, based on a global consensus on the end-goal of a two-state solution. Resolution 2334 adopted by the Security Council calls for advancing this two-state solution through negotiations as well as to reverse negative trends on the ground, which includes settlements. We urge parties to refrain from all unilateral measures that vitiate conditions necessary for promoting peace and instead focus on bridging the trust deficit. Resolution 2334 also calls for preventing all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, and for both parties to refrain from provocative acts of incitement and inflammatory rhetoric. These will create conditions for launching “credible negotiations on all final status issues”.


4. The resumption of civil and military coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a welcome step. This along with regular and timely transfer of PA’s entitled tax revenues will alleviate the humanitarian situation in West Bank and Gaza. We encourage both sides to continue this coordination and strengthen it further. We need more such measures to help both the parties to bridge the trust deficit and pave way for re-launching of credible negotiations.


5. We welcome the efforts of member states and various UN agencies in supporting the Palestinian Authority’s preparedness to receive and administer vaccines, including through the COVAX facility. We also take note of the efforts by Government of Israel to facilitate the transfer of vaccines to Palestinian territories.


6. The reports of agreement between Palestinian parties on the technicalities for the upcoming legislative elections, including a code of conduct intended to preserve the transparency and integrity of the election process, are welcome. We encourage all parties to continue the dialogue and resolve other pending issues to ensure the smooth conduct and conclusion of the Parliamentary, Presidential and National Council elections.


7. We renew our support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Despite severe constraints, UNRWA has continued to provide critical humanitarian, education and health services to more than 5 million registered Palestinians and has also assisted host governments in their COVID-19 response programs. We stress the need to provide sustained and predictable financial support for the Agency’s program budget and hope that 2021 would be a better year for the Agency. India has voluntarily contributed $15 million to UNRWA over the past three years and has committed another $10 million for 2021-2022.


Madam President,


8. The upcoming months will witness government formation in Israel and elections in Palestine. The international community must use this phase to focus on how to encourage the parties back to meaningful negotiations with the goal of achieving a peaceful solution to the dispute.


9. We appreciate the efforts by the Quartet and other countries towards resuming these direct negotiations. India will support all international efforts, including the peace conference called by President Abbas, that attempt to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stands ready to contribute constructively to such efforts.

I thank you Madam President.