Thank you, Mr. President,
I would first like to thank the Secretary-General for his presentation,
I also express my sincere condolences for the loss of his 153 humanitarian colleagues.
Switzerland shares the principles of humanity and peace that guide the Security Council's action.
We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas's attacks on Israel, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.
Statements recurrently made in this room remind us that we have reached a level of extreme hatred and suffering in the Middle East.
At a time when, since October 7, there seems to be no limit to the violence in Israel, in Gaza and all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, I am particularly concerned about one question:
What can we do?
Although this Council adopted two essential resolutions, yet we have not managed to implement them.
- Only on part of the hostages have been released;
- Civilians continue to fall victim of the fighting every day;
- International humanitarian law continues to be violated; and this on the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When we see that - despite all our efforts, despite all the energy this Council has put into adopting these two resolutions - violence continues, only one word comes to mind: frustration.
But we cannot give in to frustration. We cannot let ourselves be discouraged. In the face of such degree of inhumanity, we have no right to do so.
If we are to work together to find a solution and to be up to our responsibilities, we need to take a step back and confront, without taboo, the obstacles that prevent this council from fulfilling its mandate.
I would like to emphasize three key points that must be taken into account on the road leading to a lasting peace in the Middle East:
1. First: the world has changed. The Middle East is no longer what it was at the time of the Camp David or Oslo Agreements. States in this region have notably evolved: they express legitimate aspirations ; they want to play a key role. No lasting peace in the Middle East will be possible without a regional political consensus.
2. Second, Israel has developed a new regional diplomatic dynamic. I see this as a sign that political common ground exists, that common interests are mutually recognized, for the Israeli and Palestinian people alike.
3. Finally, the foundation of a lasting peace remains the creation of a two-state solution.
It is the solution that will give Israelis and Palestinians the prospect of living in peace and security.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Colleagues,
Allow me to quote Eleanor Roosevelt here: “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it “.
We can no longer afford to manage this conflict. The current impasse in Gaza is proof of this.
We have reached a tipping point: we must now take further concrete steps towards a political resolution of this conflict, which has already cost the lives of far too many people.
What concrete action can we take?
I advocate a common approach. We must all work towards it: the parties to the conflict, the States in the region, the members of this Council.
Together, we need to imagine the future on the basis of a comprehensive approach that includes all the key drivers of the conflict.
By this I mean the release of the remaining hostages; a humanitarian ceasefire; unimpeded access for humanitarian aid; unimpeded respect for international humanitarian law: all this against the backdrop of a political solution.
I am well aware that these elements are part of the concerns of this Council, but we need to work on them as part of a new "peace geography".
Your country, France, is the cradle of the Lumières.
I am sure that you will understand my approach, which sees critical thinking and questioning as important drivers motivating us to move forward beyond the obstacles to reach the light, which is peace.
I am convinced that all of us here at the United Nations have the capacity to come together, to change perspectives.
Some will find this utopian.
But I prefer utopia to dystopia.
Together with you - with the Israelis, the Palestinians and the States of the region - Switzerland is ready to play its part in this difficult but vital process towards peace.
We stand ready to bring together the key players in this conflict and to support every effort paving the way to peace, which includes the peace plan announced yesterday by the EU.
I thank you.