On February 16, 2017, the UN's "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" held its opening 2017 session at UN Headquarters. During the meeting, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet (Chief of Staff) to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, delivered a statement on behalf of the Secretary-General.
In the words of the statement:
"The recent announcement by the Palestinian Government to hold municipal elections throughout the country on 31 May, if they can take place both in Gaza and the West Bank, should present an opportunity to renew the democratic legitimacy of the Palestinian leadership and institutions. I encourage all to participate in these elections. The formation of a single, legitimate, inclusive Palestinian government, on the basis of the PLO principles would greatly contribute to advancing the Palestinian cause."