The U.N. General Assembly and related committees held on Thursday special meetings to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for strengthened efforts to bring justice, security, and peace to the Palestinian people.
Ban made the remarks at the solemn meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People held by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
"The vision of an end of occupation, an end of conflict, and two states living side-by-side in peace is a vision of justice, security, and peace," he said, noting "it is still achievable."
The U.N. chief noted that the day comes at a time when Palestinians continue to suffer the indignities and violence of occupation and conflict, but also at a time when a new beginning has been made in efforts to achieve a two state solution to the conflict.
He hailed the agreement achieved at Annapolis two days ago between Palestine and Israel to launch negotiations on all core issues without exception, in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues by the end of year 2008.
"Implementation is now paramount," he said. "What we do tomorrow is more important than what we say today."
Ban pointed out that the process launched at Annapolis must change the lives of Palestinians, secure their independence and freedom, end the occupation and create an independent and viable State of Palestine, at peace with itself and its neighbors.
"It also must deliver on the vital interests of Israelis: a Palestinian State that is a true partner and not a source of terrorism, secure and recognized borders, and a permanent end to the conflict," he added.
He said that indignities, injustices, and fear on both sides make it difficult to build faith in the political process, stressing "we must abandon piecemeal approaches, and address all aspects of the conflict."
The secretary-general stressed that final status negotiations need to begin in earnest, and address all the issues, including Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water, noting that "the broad outlines of solutions to these issues are clear."
Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly held plenary meeting at the U.N. Headquarters in New York to discuss the latest U.N. reports on the situation concerning Palestine and adopt related resolutions.
The U.N. General Assembly adopted in 1977 designating Nov. 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On that day, in 1947, the assembly passed a resolution on the partition of Palestine.
Each year, the assembly's Committee on the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People holds a special meeting in observance of the Day of Solidarity.