UNITED NATIONS, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - With the current Gaza ceasefire still appearing to hold, the UN's Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry on Wednesday told the UN General Assembly the goal should be to “end the blockade on Gaza, address Israel's legitimate security needs.”
Speaking by video from Cairo, where negotiations are taking place, Serry said “the way to achieve these two, interrelated goals is to bring back the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.”
On governance, Serry noted that “tens of thousands of employees hired after 2007 and working in Gaza are not getting paid, while over 60,000 employees continue to receive salaries from Ramallah without performing the essential governance functions that Gaza so desperately needs.”
Many governmental functions in Gaza are being performed by the UN Relief and Works Agency, whose schools have repeatedly been shelled during the conflict. To the same General Assembly session, UNRWA Director-General Pierre Krähenbühl said that 11 UN staff were killed in the recent fighting.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN flag will be a half-mast on Thursday, in commemoration.
While there has still been no resolution adopted by the UN Security Council, and no outcome was proposed for Wednesday's General Assembly meeting, Serry said this process “may also need action by the Membership, including the Security Council, at the appropriate time.”
A negotiating session among the UN Security Council Permanent Representatives was held earlier on Wednesday, but no vote has been called on a pending, Jordan-drafted resolution on Gaza.