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UN / MIDDLE EAST

The Security Council today (25 June) heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who said that given the current regional turmoil in the Middle East, it makes it “all the more imperative to build on the opening created by the diplomatic push from the United States and create a positive momentum towards Israeli-Palestinian peace which can provide a stabilizing horizon and hope for the whole region.” UNTV
U130625e
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00:02:41
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U130625e
Description

STORY: UN / MIDDLE EAST
TRT: 2.41
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 25 JUNE 2013, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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Shotlist

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

25 JUNE 2013, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, delegates
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs:
“The current regional turmoil makes it all the more imperative to build on the opening created by the diplomatic push from the United States and create a positive momentum towards Israeli-Palestinian peace which can provide a stabilizing horizon and hope for the whole region. However, there are so far only too few encouraging signs on the prospects of breaking the deadlock.”
5. Med shot, Security Council President
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs:
“Progress necessitates serious political commitments by both leaders, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, who should show statesmanship, recognize a partner in each other, and finally negotiate and achieve a two-state solution, a vision they both agreed on. The current window of opportunity, however narrow, should not be lost.”
7. Wide shot, Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs:
“The de-facto settlement restraint observed earlier this spring has seen signs of unravelling. The Secretary-General has been particularly troubled by reports that planning for hundreds of housing units in the settlement of Itamar, deep into the West Bank, has advanced to the next stage, as is also the case in the outpost of Bruchin. We also note with disappointment that according to data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, during the first quarter of 2013 there were 865 building starts of housing units in settlements, representing a 176 percent increase compared to the equivalent period in 2012 and a record of seven years. These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards a two-state solution.”
9. Zoom out, Syrian Ambassador
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs:
“The Middle East is living dangerous and tragic days as the scourge of war is, once again, destroying lives and burying hopes. It is a trying period for the United Nations and our collective ability to live up to the values and principles of the Charter is put to a hard test. But however difficult the task, this Council and the United Nations at large cannot give up and cannot let a sense of collective impotence erode our sense of responsibility.”
11. Wide shot, Security Council

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Storyline

The Security Council today (25 June) heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who said that given the current regional turmoil in the Middle East, it makes it “all the more imperative to build on the opening created by the diplomatic push from the United States and create a positive momentum towards Israeli-Palestinian peace which can provide a stabilizing horizon and hope for the whole region.”

However, Taranco said, “there are so far only too few encouraging signs on the prospects of breaking the deadlock.”

Secretary of State John Kerry of the United States has been leading diplomatic efforts to restart peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, while also leading efforts to convene an international conference in Geneva to bring about a political solution in Syria.

Taranco told the Council that “progress necessitates serious political commitments” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, “who should show statesmanship, recognize a partner in each other, and finally negotiate and achieve a two-state solution, a vision they both agreed on.”

He stressed “the current window of opportunity, however narrow, should not be lost.”

Regarding continued Israeli settlement activity, the official said “the de-facto settlement restraint observed earlier this spring has seen signs of unravelling.”

He said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “has been particularly troubled by reports that planning for hundreds of housing units in the settlement of Itamar, deep into the West Bank, has advanced to the next stage, as is also the case in the outpost of Bruchin.”

He noted “with disappointment that according to data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, during the first quarter of 2013 there were 865 building starts of housing units in settlements, representing a 176 percent increase compared to the equivalent period in 2012 and a record of seven years.”

He added that “these are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards a two-state solution.”

Taranco concluded by saying that “the Middle East is living dangerous and tragic days as the scourge of war is, once again, destroying lives and burying hopes.”

He said this was “a trying period for the United Nations and our collective ability to live up to the values and principles of the Charter is put to a hard test.”

He added that “however difficult the task, this Council and the United Nations at large cannot give up and cannot let a sense of collective impotence erode our sense of responsibility.”

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