Statement by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in UN Security Council General Debate, New York, 22 January 2019



Statement by

H.E. Retno L.P. Marsudi

Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia


United Nations Security Council Open Debate:

The Situation in the Middle East

including the Palestinian Question

 New York, 22 January 2019

Mr. President,

Congratulations on your able Presidency of the Security Council.

I wish to thank Mr. Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing.

I also wish to warmly congratulate Palestine for assuming the Chairmanship of the G-77.

It shows the international community's vote of confidence on Palestine.

My presence here today is intentional.

To show Indonesia's consistent support towards the Palestinian cause.


Mr. President,

It is a natural and the legal right of Palestine to be a full member of the United Nations.

The road towards Palestine's membership has been and will remain bumpy, everybody knows that.

But I am sure this bumpy road will not stop Palestine and the international community to fulfill this right.


Mr. President,

Palestine deserves the Council's full attention.

The Palestinian question defines the credibility of the Council. 

In this context, I wish to underline three main points.

First, all sides must comply with international law and relevant UN resolutions in particular 478 (1980) and 2334 (2016) as a matter of urgency.

Continued violence and violation of international law and relevant UN resolutions reduce the Council's credibility. This must be stopped and restored.

Compliance with international law also includes refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.

Two days ago, Israeli media circulated news of the planned closure of UNRWA-run schools in East Jerusalem next year.

I truly hope this news is a hoax. If not, it amounts to provocative actions as well as a violation of Israel's responsibilities under various international agreements.

Furthermore, we reject the continued expansion of illegal settlements.

This is provocative, not to mention, morally and legally wrong. Palestinian families are driven unjustly from their homes. It has to end.


Second, peace process requires legitimacy.

And legitimacy comes when the process is under the guidance of a multilateral mechanism based on internationally agreed parameters.

Any peace plans which fail to accommodate such parameters will not succeed.

What we are witnessing now is disturbing.Where agreed parameters have been undermined including the attempts to move away from two-States solution


Let me reiterate loud and clear the two-states solution is the only option for solving the Palestinian issue.

Unity and reconciliation are also of paramount importance. Thus, I commend the statement of Ambassador Riyadh Mansour on Palestine's insistent in their pursuit of unity and reconciliation.

Moreover, we commend countries who have upheld the principled positions in line with many UN resolutions, including on the status of Jerusalem.


Third, humanitarian collapse, especially in Gaza, must be stopped.

The 11 years blockade is unjust. It does not contribute to solving the problem. It must be lifted.

We appreciate those who have provided generous contributions to fill the budget deficit of UNRWA and improve the condition in Gaza.

Indonesia, too, has increased significantly its contribution to UNRWA and we will step up our humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

Let me emphasize that UNRWA has a humanitarian mandate and is not a political agency. The plight of 5.4 million Palestine refugees is at stake.

Mr. President,

On both Syria and Yemen, continued efforts for peaceful and inclusive political solution must be further encouraged.

Syria has seen more than a decade of sufferings.

We condemn the recent series of bombings that led to a number of casualties. 

We therefore welcome the latest efforts towards advancing a credible political process.

We call on all parties to ensure the success of this Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated process this would lead to a concrete pathway for peace.

On Yemen, Indonesia welcomes various UN-led processes, including the establishment of a United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement.

The Mission is a critical step towards establishing peace and opening humanitarian access.

Indonesia stands ready to contribute.  

On Lebanon, we pay tribute to the excellent work of UNIFIL to keep peace. And we are honored that Indonesian 1308 peacekeepers, 45 of them are women are part of UNIFIL.


Finally, Mr. President,

Any violence and disproportionate use of force against civilians by anyone, anywhere, must be rejected.

All parties must exercise maximum restraint and continue working with good faith to move the peace process forward.

And the spirit of multilateralism must be revived.


Thank you.