Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/59/PV.3
21 September 2004

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-ninth session
3rd plenary meeting
Tuesday, 21 September 2004, 10 a.m.
New York


President:Mr. Ping ...........................................................(Gabon)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

...

Agenda item 10


Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization

The President (spoke in French ): In accordance with the decision taken at its 2nd plenary meeting, on 17 September 2004, the General Assembly will hear a presentation by the Secretary-General of his annual report on the work of the Organization, under agenda item 10 of the agenda.

The President (spoke in French ): I give the floor to the Secretary-General.

The Secretary-General : ...

...

The vision of a government of laws and not of men is almost as old as civilization itself. In a hallway not far from this rostrum is a replica of the code of laws promulgated by Hammurabi more than 3,000 years ago, in the land we now call Iraq.

Much of Hammurabi’s code now seems impossibly harsh. But etched into its tablets are principles of justice that have been recognized, if seldom fully implemented, by almost every human society since his time: legal protection for the poor; restraints on the strong, so that they cannot oppress the weak; laws publicly enacted, and known to all.

That code was a landmark in mankind’s struggle to build an order where, instead of might making right, right would make might. Many nations represented in this Hall can proudly point to founding documents of their own that embody that simple concept. And this Organization — your United Nations — is founded on the same simple principle.

Yet today the rule of law is at risk around the world. Again and again, we see laws shamelessly disregarded — those that ordain respect for innocent life, for civilians, for the vulnerable — especially children.

To mention only a few flagrant and topical examples, in Iraq, we see civilians massacred in cold blood, while relief workers, journalists and other non-combatants are taken hostage and put to death in the most barbarous fashion. At the same time, we have seen Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused. In Darfur, we see whole populations displaced, and their homes destroyed, while rape is used as a deliberate strategy. In northern Uganda, we have seen children mutilated, and forced to take part in acts of unspeakable cruelty. In Beslan, we have seen children taken hostage and brutally massacred. In Israel, we see civilians, including children, deliberately targeted by Palestinian suicide bombers. And in Palestine, we see homes destroyed, lands seized and needless civilian casualties caused by Israel’s excessive use of force. And all over the world we see people being prepared for further such acts, through hate propaganda directed against Jews, against Muslims and against anyone who can be identified as different from one’s own group.

...

The President (spoke in French ): I thank the Secretary-General for his presentation.

Agenda item 9


General debate

...

Address by Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Da Silva ( spoke in Portuguese; English text provided by the delegation): ...

...

I am fully aware of the serious security problems that pose a threat to international stability. There seems to be no prospect for improvement in the critical situation in the Middle East. In that and other conflicts, the international community cannot allow violence — whether sponsored by States or by other actors — to prevail over democratic dialogue. The Palestinian people are still far from achieving the self-determination to which they are entitled.

...

Address by Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the United States of America.

Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Bush : ...

...

The advance of freedom always carries a cost, paid by the bravest among us. America mourns the losses to our nation and to many others, and today I assure every friend of Afghanistan and Iraq, and every enemy of liberty: We will stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq until their hopes of freedom and security are fulfilled.

These two nations will be a model for the broader Middle East, a region where millions have been denied basic human rights and simple justice. For too long, many nations, including my own, tolerated and even excused oppression in the Middle East in the name of stability. Oppression became common, but stability never arrived. We must take a different approach. We must help the reformers of the Middle East as they work for freedom and strive to build a community of peaceful, democratic nations.

That commitment to democratic reform is essential to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Peace will not be achieved by Palestinian rulers who intimidate opposition, tolerate corruption and maintain ties to terrorist groups. The long-suffering Palestinian people deserve better. They deserve true leaders capable of creating and governing a free and peaceful Palestinian State.

Even after the setbacks and frustrations of recent months, good will and hard effort can achieve the promise of the road map to peace. Those who would lead a new Palestinian State should adopt peaceful means to achieve the rights of their people and create the reformed institutions of a stable democracy. Arab States should end incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for terrorism, and establish normal relations with Israel. Israel should impose a settlement freeze, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people, and avoid any actions that prejudice final negotiations. And world leaders should withdraw all favour and support from any Palestinian ruler who fails his people and betrays their cause.

...

Address by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

Sheikh Al-Thani (spoke in Arabic): ...

...


The question of Palestine embodies the suffering of a people deprived of both its political and its economic rights and struggling, despite its difficulties, to remedy the situation. However, the Israeli occupation remains a crushing burden on the legitimate Palestinian dreams of freedom and development. For more than 50 years, the question of Palestine has been on the agenda of the General Assembly. Hence, the international community needs to listen to its conscience and to reconsider its position, bearing in mind that this question despite its humanitarian nature and manifest legitimacy, has been allowed to fester from one century to the next, thus compounding the tragedy of the Palestinian people before the might of the Israeli occupation forces. Compelling Israel to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy is more than a mere duty, because such legitimacy must not be applied selectively. Also, Israel must fulfil the commitments it has made, in accordance with the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice issued on 9 July 2004 and later endorsed by the General Assembly at its tenth emergency special session. This includes its commitment to the road map; halting the construction of the separation wall, which has harmed the Palestinian homeland and disrupted livelihoods; and enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self determination and to establish an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, that would coexist in security and peace with Israel.

Related to this is the need to achieve a comprehensive peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Israel’s withdrawal from all the territories occupied in 1967, including the Syrian Golan and the Lebanese Shaba’a farms. In this regard, we stress the need to transform the Middle East into a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, without any exception.

...

Address by El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Republic of Gabon.

El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Bongo Ondimba (spoke in French ): ...

...

In the lengthy conflict between the State of Israel ad the Palestinian people, the restoration of lasting peace will be possible only at the negotiating table. It also depends on the reactivation of the road map.

In this case, as in many others, such as the war on international terrorism, United Nations action must be more effective. The decisions of the Security Council will then be decisive in the settlement of such conflicts.

...

Address by Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the Swiss Confederation

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Swiss Confederation.

Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the Swiss Confederation, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the Swiss Confederation, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Deiss (spoke in French): ...

...

Over and above institutional aspects, the commitment of Member States is critical if the United Nations is to be effective. First of all, if it is to remain credible, the United Nations and its Member States must be the unassailable guarantors of international law and, in particular, international humanitarian law. I would like to thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for having emphasized today the absolute primacy of the rule of law — a source a strength for the weak. Switzerland will continue to insist that respect for the rule of law is the only practical way forward. In the absence of a political solution to the conflict in Darfur, for example, civilians have become the victims of attacks that constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law — a violation which must be punished by the appropriate national and, if necessary, international, bodies.

For that reason, too, following the adoption of resolution ES-10/15 on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice — which found that the construction of the separation barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory by Israel is contrary to international law — Switzerland accepts, in its capacity as depositary of the Geneva Conventions, the mandate to conduct consultations on ways and means for the parties concerned to achieve greater respect for international humanitarian law.

...

Address by Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa, President of the United Republic of Tanzania

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Mkapa: ...

...

When the Middle East road map was put forward in 2003, we supported it, believing that it addressed comprehensively the issue of the establishment of a viable Palestinian State living with the State of Israel, with recognized and secure borders between them. It is regrettable that the road map has been put aside. In our view, the road map remains the most reasonable, viable and sustainable way of resolving this long-standing conflict. We condemn the cycle of violence and killings and the use of excessive force. We urge that the implementation of the road map be brought back on track.

...

Address by Mr. Bernard Rudolf Bot, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

The Acting President (spoke in French ): We will now begin the general debate. I call on His Excellency Mr. Bernard Rudolf Bot, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Mr. Bot (Netherlands): ...

...

Several regional issues warrant special attention. The Middle East peace process must be put back on track. That means that the entire international community must back the road map — the only road to an agreed negotiated two-State solution. The European Union and its Quartet partners will remain engaged in the search for a settlement. The European Union thinks that the Assembly can make an important contribution to that objective by focusing on substantive issues in the peace process and adopting a pragmatic and constructive approach towards this problem.

...

The meeting rose at 1.40 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.



Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter