Following the signing of the Oslo I Accord in 1993, the UN appointed its first special coordinator for the Middle East peace process to support the Palestinians during what was deemed to be the transitional phase of the accords’ implementation. Over time, the role has expanded to include representing the UN secretary-general in discussions relating to the peace process and with the Middle East Quartet.
After serving over seven years in the post, Robert Serry delivered his final briefing to the UN Security Council in March. Serry called on the international community to prioritize Gaza reconstruction before pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, arguing that there could be no solution until Gaza was stable, and crossings and seaports were opened. The outgoing special coordinator also called for a three-to-five-year “reconstruction hudna,” or freeze in all military activities, in order to achieve a sustainable peace. Presented below are excerpts from Serry’s briefing. A full transcript is available at www.un.org.