Statement before the vote as delivered by Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 23 December 2016.

New Zealand has made no secret of its frustration that it has been almost 8 years since the Security Council passed a resolution on the Middle East Peace Process.

New Zealand has worked hard over the last two years to try to advance a resolution on this issue which we consider to be one of the most pressing and unaddressed issues on the Council’s agenda. 

New Zealand has floated its own ideas for a more comprehensive draft, than that which is before us today and we are grateful for the willingness of other Council members to engage with us on that text.  It became apparent to us however that the balance of the Council wished to focus on the more pressing issue of the settlements, which as my colleague from Malaysia has said, is threatening the viability of the two-State solution. 

This message was very clearly delivered to us in the last Quartet report and in regular reports of the Secretary-General.  For these reasons we supported the text circulated on Wednesday, and joined the group calling for a vote on that text today in order to ensure that this Council has a chance to consider it.  

Thank you.