The following is a message delivered by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to the United Nations international media seminar on peace in the Middle East:
“I am pleased to greet the 2022 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East.
For over three decades, this gathering has served as an important space for fostering dialogue and deepening understanding for peace.
Today, we face an extremely challenging environment of growing violence, escalating tensions, and numerous civilian deaths.
Among those recently killed was veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, whose death was mourned by millions around the world.
I was appalled by her killing and reiterate my call for an independent and transparent investigation for effective accountability.
All attacks against journalists must end. Media workers must be able to carry out their vital work freely and without harassment, intimidation, or the fear of being targeted.
As we look forward, we must never give up hope.
However steep the path may seem today – we must pursue every avenue to revitalize the peace process.
There is no credible alternative to a two-State solution with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security, based on the 1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
Your work is also a critical pillar for peace and a reminder of the pivotal role of free and independent media.
Your actions and determination demonstrate the power of words over weapons and help keep hope alive at a time when we need it more than ever.
I thank you and wish you a successful seminar.”