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6th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 23 September 2008, 3 p.m.
President: Mr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann .......................................... (Nicaragua)
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
The President ( spoke in Spanish ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Ahmadinejad ( spoke in Farsi; English text provided by the delegation ): I am grateful to the Almighty for granting me another opportunity to be present at this world Assembly. In the past three years, I have talked to the Assembly about great hopes in the bright future of human society and about some solutions for achieving sustainable peace and expanding love, compassion and cooperation. I have also talked about unjust systems governing the world; pressures exerted by some Powers seeking to trample the rights of other nations; oppression imposed on the majority of the global community, especially on the peoples of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Africa, Latin America and Asia; about challenges we are faced with, such as efforts to shatter the sanctity of families, destroy cultures, humiliate lofty values, neglect commitments and expand the shadow of threats; as well as about the arms race and the unfairness and inability of the systems governing world affairs to reform the status quo.
In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still continuing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime by collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to another people’s land by displacing, detaining and killing the true owners of that land. With advance notice, they invade, assassinate and maintain food and medicine blockades, while some hegemonic and bullying Powers support them. The Security Council cannot do anything and sometimes, under pressure from a few bullying Powers, even paves the way for supporting those Zionist murderers. It is natural that some United Nations resolutions that have addressed the plight of the Palestinian people have been relegated to the archives unnoticed.
Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool it and its supporters have created. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while fully respecting the resistance of the oppressed people of Palestine and expressing its all-out support for it, submits to the Secretary-General of the United Nations its humane solution, based on a free referendum in Palestine to determine and establish the type of State in the entire Palestinian lands.
The President ( spoke in Spanish ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Lebanese Republic.
Mr. Michel Sleiman, President of the Lebanese Republic, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Michel Sleiman, President of the Lebanese Republic, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Sleiman (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The young Lebanese nation that emerged in 1943, however, suffered from the aftermath of the catastrophe that befell Palestine in 1948. It has received on its narrow territory hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Since the late sixties, it has been subject to two large-scale Israeli invasions and to a series of Israeli devastating attacks that wreaked havoc in terms of lives, property and infrastructure. The records kept by this Organization bear witness to that brutality.
Lebanon closely follows the developments of the situation in the Middle East. In view of its commitment to just Arab causes, especially the cause of Palestine, Lebanon reiterates its commitment to the process of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region and to the Arab peace initiative that was unanimously adopted by Arab leaders at the 2002 Beirut Summit. Having said that, Lebanon stresses the need for Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories that are still under occupation and stresses the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their land and to establish their independent State on their national soil.
We call on the international community to assume its full responsibilities to provide the necessary financial resources to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and to support the work carried out by the Lebanese State in this area, until a just solution to the Palestinian problem is found.
From this rostrum, Lebanon cannot but draw the attention of the international community once again to its absolute rejection of any form of resettlement of the Palestinian refugees on its territory, for the following main reasons.
First, the resettlement of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon runs counter to their right to return to their homeland and homes, which is reaffirmed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the relevant United Nations resolutions.
Secondly, it is difficult for a small country like Lebanon, with limited resources and a population below 4 million people, to provide a decent livelihood for more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees on its territory at a time when large segments of the Lebanese people are emigrating in search of their own livelihoods.
Thirdly, the resettlement of Palestinian refugees is explicitly rejected in the preamble to the Lebanese Constitution, and by the Taif Agreement, which has been recognized and enshrined by resolutions of the United Nations and constitutes a key element of consensus in Lebanon.
The President ( spoke in Spanish ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Republic of Namibia.
Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Pohamba : ...
The people of Palestine have an inalienable right to self-determination. Namibia is concerned about the lack of progress in the negotiations on the question of Palestine. We call for the immediate implementation of all United Nations resolutions on Palestine and for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine living side by side with Israel.
The meeting rose at 7.35 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.