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13th plenary meeting
Monday, 19 September 2005, 10 a.m.
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Address by Mr. Emile Lahoud, President of the Lebanese Republic
The President : The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Lebanese Republic.
Mr. Emile Lahoud, President of the Lebanese Republic, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall .
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Emile Lahoud, President of the Lebanese Republic, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Lahoud : ...
For decades now, the Middle East has witnessed conflicts and unresolved disputes and, as a consequence, has been subject to the festering wounds of terrorism. Needless to say, the core of the problem remains the fact that Arab lands are still under occupation in spite of the many resolutions of international legitimacy, many adopted in this very edifice, calling for an end to occupation.
The immediate implementation of those resolutions, as well as General Assembly resolution 194 (III) — which affirms the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their lands confiscated by Israel and bars the resettlement of the uprooted Palestinians in their host countries — remains the only way to defuse and to dry up the wells of extremism. That will pave the way to a comprehensive, just and peaceful settlement in our region, as foreseen in the 1991 Madrid peace summit and the implementation of the land-for-peace principle.
Those principles of peace were confirmed as a strategic choice by all Arab leaders during the Beirut Arab summit of 2002. Sadly, the initiative has yet to be seized upon to resolve regional conflicts and to achieve a final and peaceful settlement in the Middle East.
Awaiting the historic resolution of the conflict, Lebanon commends the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for all that it does, and calls upon the international community to bolster its capabilities in order to alleviate the hardships of the Palestinian refugees in their places of “temporary” residence.
Item 9 of the provisional agenda (continued)
Address by The Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
The President : The Assembly will now hear an address by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.
The Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, was escorted to the rostrum.
The President : I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency The Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Ramgoolam (Mauritius): ...
The situation in the Middle East is seeing some tangible progress. We welcome the process of Israeli disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank, and we commend the efforts of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict. We urge both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to continue the much-needed confidence-building measures so as to achieve a just and lasting peace.
The President : I now call on the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain.
Mr. Al-Khalifa (Bahrain) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The greatest security challenge in the Middle East is not simply to end terrorism and violence; it also includes the absence of a just and comprehensive peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is an ongoing source of confrontation and a threat to stability and which brings despair to those who have legitimate hopes for a life of dignity and regional economic progress.
We must not forget that the year 2005 has opened a path that might lead to an opportunity for peace, through the positive internal developments on the Palestinian side and through Arab and international support for the new leadership of President Mahmood Abbas and his moves towards achieving peace, reducing tension, and promoting democracy.
We welcome the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and hope that this withdrawal will be a significant step towards a just and comprehensive peace in the area. We also hope that this withdrawal will be a part of the road map plan.
The achievement of security, stability and peace in the Middle East requires an end to the Israeli occupation of all Arab territories and the full implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions, as reaffirmed by the Arab initiative adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002. That was reaffirmed once again by the latest Arab Summit held this year in Algiers. A just and comprehensive peace cannot be achieved, except through the end of the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan and the rest of the Lebanese territories, through the return of Palestinian refugees and through the establishment of the Palestinian State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.
Mr. Albar (Malaysia): ...
In our preoccupation with the reform of the United Nations, we must not lose sight of the need to address and resolve, on a priority basis, one of the most important outstanding issues confronting this Organization: the question of Palestine. While we all welcome the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, it should be part of the Road Map and should be quickly followed by similar measures in the West Bank. The issue of settlements must not be left unresolved, including in and around Jerusalem, as well as the construction of the Separation Wall, which has already been pronounced illegal by the International Court of Justice. Such activities must cease forthwith. The international community, particularly the United Nations, must continue to remain engaged with this issue until the goal of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine is realized.
Rich or poor, strong or weak, whatever our religion or belief, one fact is inescapable: we inhabit one world, our global village. Sixty years ago, the founders of our universal Organization came together after witnessing horrors hitherto unimaginable and said that never again could human life be so wantonly extinguished. They also proclaimed that humankind would forevermore work and live together in peace, harmony and common respect. On this historic occasion, my plea is that we return to those hopes and ideals.
The President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Rashid Abdullah Al-Noaimi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Al-Noaimi (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic): ...
The United Arab Emirates welcomes Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank and hopes that the international community will urge Israel to complete its withdrawal from the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan and the Lebanese Shaba’a farms, dismantle the separation wall and discontinue its settlement plans and activities, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, the Arab peace initiative based on the land-for-peace principle, and the Quartet’s road map. Furthermore, the international community must strengthen its support of the Palestinian Authority and help it rebuild its national institutions and exploit its natural and economic resources.
We also demand that Israel accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and submit its nuclear facilities to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions calling for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the Middle East and the Arab Gulf region.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.