Speech/statement | Date: 2014-10-12 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
'This conference is important because countries pledged important financial resources to reconstruct Gaza according to the National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan of the Government of Palestine', said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, in his remarks at the press conference.
Thank you, Minister Shoukry.
Let me first of all thank Egypt for your hospitality.
This conference was important. It was important because participants came to Cairo to support the people of Gaza.
Already in July, I called for an international conference to address the challenges in Gaza within its broader Palestinian context.
I did so because the people of Gaza simply cannot wait. There is no more time to lose.
Nearly 90 countries and international organizations responded to the call. They came to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people and to mobilise support for Gaza.
This conference was important because the donor countries decided to move forward.
World leaders and high-officials came in large numbers.
We agreed that there can be no going back. We must find a radically new way of dealing with the whole Gaza equation.
This conference was important because the donor countries made their requirements clear.
They called on Israel to reverse the closure regime.
Security and prosperity must be sought for both peoples – on equal terms.
The materials necessary for large-scale reconstruction must be delivered into Gaza.
The wheels of the Gazan economy must be set in motion. We must find find ways of tapping the potential of the private sector both in Gaza and in the West Bank.
Gaza’s entrepreneurs need access to internal and foreign markets. They must be able to trade with the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the outside world.
A fundamental turnaround in Gaza requires the reintegration of the whole Palestinian Territory under one effective authority. All Palestinian factions were called upon to facilitate this reintegration.
This conference was important because it underscoored the political and strategic reasons for solving the Gaza equation.
Their efforts aim to pave the way for the two-state solution to the conflict whereby a sovereign and viable state of Palestine lives in peace with the state of Israel with internationally recognized borders for both.
Only then will the vicious cycle of destruction and reconstruction in Gaza be broken. Only then can security and prosperity for both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples be ensured – on equal terms.
Therefore, the conference called for a return to credible final-status negotiations in good faith.
This conference is important because countries pledged important financial resources to reconstruct Gaza according to the National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan of the Government of Palestine.
The participants pledged approximately USD 5.4 billion, half of which will be dedicated for Gaza reconstruction, and committed themselves to start disbursing their assistance as soon as possible in order to bring about rapid improvements to the daily lives of the Palestinians.
I thank my colleague and friend, Foreign Minister Shoukry for his leadership. Egypt is doing a great service in hosting this critically important conference and Cairo is a fitting venue, in the light of Egypt’s indispensable role in the region and for Palestine and Israel.
I thank Deputy Prime Minster Mustafa for the leadership he has shown by holding his first cabinet meeting in Gaza. This fact, and the important delegation he brought with him from Gaza to the conference, was an excellent inspiration for us all.