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The Palestinian people have now been living in truly tragic humanitarian conditions for more than six decades, starting with their expulsion from their homes and continuing with the annexation of most of their territory, the confiscation and levelling of their land and the demolition of their homes — all in flagrant violation of international humanitarian laws and norms. The time has now come for the international community to assume its responsibilities to put an end to this tragedy as soon as possible by taking urgent and decisive action to ensure the full protection of the Palestinian people and to put an end to their daily suffering and the injustice done to them. That should be done through a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue that ends the occupation and enables the Palestinian people to regain their territory and establish their own independent Palestinian State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, and makes it possible for all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Mariano Rajoy Brey, President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
In a related context, I wish to emphasize that the Middle East peace process is taking on a new perspective. Last year, in this very forum, it was decided by a significant majority to recognize Palestine as a United Nations Observer State. The current negotiations are perhaps the last chance to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting peace for the two States, Israel and Palestine, to live in peace, security and prosperity. At this crucial time for the region, the political leaders concerned, with the support of the international community, must take the bold decisions necessary to achieve the historic goal of peace, and thereby promote stability in the entire region and the world.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway.
The Middle East has yet to find an effective regional architecture. It is also a part of the world that is causing considerable concern these days. Israel and Palestine are facing a moment of truth. This month marks 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. We have witnessed positive achievements on the ground. State institutions have been built and are ready for statehood. But for many years, a political horizon has been missing. Time is running out for a negotiated two-State solution.
But now, as Palestinian and Israeli leaders have returned to negotiations, hope is renewed. This afternoon, in the Conference Building, I presided over a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians, the international donor group for Palestine. The donors reaffirmed their commitment to providing necessary assistance to the Palestinian Authority through the current transition to statehood. This may be the last chance — a chance we cannot afford to miss.
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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.