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        General Assembly
1 October 2013

Official Records
General Assembly
Sixty-eighth session
23rd plenary meeting
Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 9 a.m.
New York

President: Mr. Ashe ...........................................................(Antigua and Barbuda)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Errázuriz (Chile), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 9.05 a.m.

Agenda item 8 (continued)

General debate

The Acting President (spoke in Spanish): I now call on Her Excellency Ms. Mariyam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and Energy and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Maldives.


The Maldives also calls on the General Assembly to recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. We urge the Assembly to support a two-State solution through the establishment of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the lands occupied in the 1967 war. Is it fair that Palestinian children grow up without a country of their own? Is it fair that the Palestinian needs for security, stability, prosperity and development go unanswered and unfulfilled because of the continued violence? We have discussed that issue enough. It is time for action. We are encouraged by the renewed United States-led Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. It is our earnest hope that those talks will ultimately lead to a peaceful and secure future for future generations of Palestine and Israel.


The Acting President (spoke in Spanish): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Kosal Sea, head of the delegation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.


My country reaffirms its support for the Palestinian people’s just demand for a sovereign and independent State of Palestine and for the two-State solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. We urge all parties to play a constructive role in the efforts aimed at resuming peace talks and to remove any obstacles standing in the way of such resumption.


The President: I now give the floor to the chair of the delegation of Togo.

Mr. Menan (Togo) (spoke in French): ...


I cannot fail to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by welcoming the resumption of direct negotiations between the two parties, thanks to the sustained efforts of President Barack Obama. Togo calls on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to negotiate in good faith to reach, in the shortest possible time, an agreement that finally allows for the creation of two States living side by side in peace and security and within internationally recognized borders.


The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Xavier Lasso Mendoza, head of the delegation of the Republic of Ecuador.


Because we believe that this is the forum in which to defend the right of all peoples to be respected, beginning with respect for their territorial integrity, we are reitereating, for the umpteenth time, that the time has come for the Israeli settlements to cease and for Palestine to be respected and recognized within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


The President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Carlos Filomeno Agostinho das Neves, head of the delegation of Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.


As for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we urgently appeal to both Israel and Palestine to move towards resolving their differences through dialogue, based on respect for the integrity of the State of Israel and the right of a Palestinian State to exist.


The President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora of the State of Israel, and inviting him to address the Assembly.


And Israel continues to seek a historic compromise with our Palestinian neighbours, one that ends our conflict once and for all. We want peace based on security and mutual recognition in which a demilitarized Palestinian State recognizes the Jewish State of Israel.

I remain committed to achieving a historic reconciliation and building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. I have no illusions about how difficult it will be to achieve. Twenty years ago, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians began. Six Israeli Prime Ministers — myself included — have not succeeded in achieving peace with the Palestinians. My predecessors were prepared to make painful concessions. So am I.

But so far, Palestinian leaders have not been prepared to offer the painful concessions they must make in order to end the conflict. For peace to be achieved, the Palestinians must finally recognize the Jewish State and Israel’s security needs must be met. I am prepared to make a historic compromise for a genuine and enduring peace. But I will never compromise on the security of my people and of my country — the one and only Jewish State.


The President: Believe it or not, we have come to the end of the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, one in which Member States gave voice to their distinct needs and diverse challenges, as well as individual and shared concerns. I truly thank each and every one of them for sharing their priorities, concerns, hopes and expectations for our sixty-eighth session.


On the issue of Palestine, a number of delegations repeated their call for a two-State solution and welcomed the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 8?

It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 1.55 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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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