Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for Mideast peace.
(photo credit: Ronen Topelberg)
A strong Palestinian economy will not be enough to maintain stability in the West Bank, UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said Monday night.
Serry was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Israel International Model United Nations at the College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS) in Rishon Lezion. The theme of this year's program was "It's Not All About the Money."
Serry said that while the last few years had seen "considerable economic growth in the Palestinian territories, and relative stability, including unprecedented security cooperation," this was not enough to assure a sustainable future.
"This is because the Palestinian Authority is quickly, in my view, losing its legitimacy in the eye of the public, if it is not able to bring also the political goal forwards – the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security," Serry told the crowd of Israeli and international students.
"As we have witnessed lately in the region, no political institution can survive if it rests only on economics and lacks political legitimacy," Serry said in reference to the Arab Spring. He stressed that in order for a sustainable Palestinian state to exist, a viable two-state solution was needed that would ensure peace and security for both states.
Serry concluded that if the peace process can be revived, the PA's achievements can be consolidated to the benefit of Palestinians, Israelis and the entire region.