Ambassador Raff Bukun-Olu Onemola

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, NY

18th February, 2011

As Delivered

This Council has consistently expressed concern over the situation in the Middle East, including the continued Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This issue is of serious concern to my delegation because of its implication for peace and security in the region. We view the cessation of settlement activities as a confidence-building measure with the potential to return the parties to the negotiating table. We therefore felt constrained to vote in favour of the draft resolution, and we regret that it was not adopted.

 We reiterate that it is time for the parties to this dispute to demonstrate their undivided commitment to peace. They should remove all obstacles to the resumption of direct negotiations to resolve persistent permanent status issues. The Council, for its part, should continue its supporting role in the peace process, fostering security and stability within the occupied Palestinian territory.

 For our part, we shall remain firmly committed to the goal of seeing a secure State of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent State of Palestine with recognized borders.

 While peace in the Middle East is attainable, it must come on the back of sustained political will and commitment. The Middle East needs peace. The world needs peace.