Two-state solution for Palestine and Israel unanimous at G20 meeting

Foreign ministers also called for a reform of the UN Security Council

Published on 23/02/2024 - 08:30 By Bruno de Freitas Moura - Rio de Janeiro

A solution including two states—one Palestinian, one Israeli—as the only path to peace in the Middle East is a unanimous stance among G20 members. The position was disclosed Thursday (Feb. 22) by Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira at the end of the meeting in Rio de Janeiro. The assembly was the first at ministerial level held under the Brazilian presidency of the G20.

Another unanimity pointed out by the Brazilian leader is the need for a reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the highest multilateral institution for issues linked to world peace and the resolution of conflicts and wars.

The gathering, held at Marina da Glória, a tourist attraction on Rio’s beachfront, was attended by 45 delegations of G20 members, as well as guests and multilateral bodies such as the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Of the countries, 32 were present with ministerial-level representatives.

Among the foreign ministers who attended were US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and UK Foreign Secretary and former British Prime Minister David Cameron.


The G20 members and guests discussed the group’s participation and role in resolving international conflicts and tensions, most notably the current situation in Ukraine—which is being invaded by Russia—and in the Gaza Strip—which is facing Israeli offensives and territorial invasion, the Brazilian official reported.

“Several countries have reiterated their condemnation of the war in Ukraine,” he said, without citing the specific position of each country.

“A large number of countries from all regions expressed concern about the conflict in Palestine, highlighting the risk of its spreading to neighboring countries. Several nations also demanded the immediate release of the hostages held by Hamas,” he added.

Minister Vieira went on to mention there was “virtual unanimity in supporting the two-state solution as the only possible solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

Special attention was paid at the event to the forced displacement of over 1.1 million Palestinians to the south of the Gaza Strip. “In this context, several calls were made for the immediate release of humanitarian aid access to Palestine, as well as calls for a cessation of hostilities. Many took a stand against Israel’s announced operation in Rafah, calling on the Israeli government to reconsider and immediately suspend this decision,” he declared.

Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip comes as retaliation for the Hamas attack on Israeli territory on October 7 last year, when 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 people were kidnapped. According to Gaza authorities, the death toll in the besieged Palestinian region since then stands at 30 thousand.

United Nations

Regarding the role of the UN, the Brazilian foreign minister said there is consensus among the countries on the organization’s essential importance for peace and security in the world and the promotion of sustainable development. Regarding the Security Council, the Brazilian presidency of the G20 hopes to push for a reform that includes new member countries—both rotating and permanent—with an increase in representation, especially from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

As it stands today, the council is made up of 15 countries, but only five—the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK—have the power of veto, which has made resolutions such as a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip impossible. In this case, the veto came from the US.

Mauro Vieira also called for multilateral financial organizations, like the IMF, to facilitate access to financing for poor countries and to enable them to take a greater part in institutional governance.

The Brazilian minister announced that a new extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers has been approved for September in New York, on the sidelines of the opening of the 79th UN General Assembly, to be attended by all countries, regardless of whether they have a seat on the G20.

“It will be the first time the G20 will meet at the United Nations headquarters, in a session open to all members of the organization, to promote a call to action for the reform of global governance,” he noted.

G20 agenda

The two days of ministerial meetings in Rio this week come in preparation for the November summit, also to be held in the city, to be attended by heads of state and government.

On February 28 and 29, finance ministers and central bank presidents will meet in São Paulo. Several working group meetings are also planned in Brazilian cities until the final assembly under the Brazilian presidency in November, before the G20 leadership is passed on to South Africa.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga

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