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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Plenary
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)
GA/10260
22 September 2004

AS GENERAL DEBATE CONTINUES, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT URGES UNITED STAND
IN TACKLING COMMON CHALLENGES CONFRONTING HUMANITY
Leaders Stress Role of Multilateralism in Solving
World Crises, Strengthening United Nations, Combating Global Poverty

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Statements

SULEJMAN TIHIĆ, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ...

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Regarding global matters, he said that the Iraqi crisis needed to be resolved simultaneously with the Palestinian issue.  ...

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THABO MBEKI, President of South Africa ...

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He opposed the bombing of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the 11 September 2001 bombing of the WorldTradeCenter and acts of terrorism in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain, Israel and Russia.  Violent conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere as well as the right to self-determination in the Western Sahara cried out for solution.

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PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, President of Pakistan, ...

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In that regard, he said that the tragedy of Palestine was an open wound inflicted on the psyche of every Muslim.  He called on Israel to move its separation wall to pre-1967 boundaries and to stop atrocities against Palestinians.  He also called on Yasser Arafat to use his influence to stop the intifada, and on the Quartet, in particular the United States, to fairly and effectively broker a two-state solution.

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VAIRA VIKE-FREIBERGA, President of the Republic of Latvia, ...

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The United Nations Road Map for peace was the only feasible means to end hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians, she continued.  The transition of power, reconstruction of infrastructure and free and fair elections in January in Iraq would require continued international assistance, she said, encouraging an active United Nations involvement.  ...

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ISSAM FARES, Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon, expressed his country’s gratitude to the United Nations for dispatching the UNIFIL forces stationed on its frontiers with Israel, and for the continuing aid from United Nations agencies.  Lebanon had moved from destruction to construction, from rule by militias to the rule of law, from anarchy to stability, and from division to unity.

He recalled Security Council Resolution 1559, which called for the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces in Lebanon.  He said there were still Israeli forces occupying part of Lebanon and his country called for the immediate withdrawal of these forces.  It also called for Israel to stop its daily violations of his country’s air space.  He noted that there were also Syrian forces in Lebanon, but these forces were there upon the request of his Government because of security conditions in the region.  He said Lebanon’s disagreement with the United Nations concerning the withdrawal of the Syrian forces was one of timing, not one of principle.  As for the internal dimension of the resolution related to the amendment of Lebanon’s constitution, his country considered it an inappropriate and unacceptable intervention in its internal affairs.  Its constitution, promulgated in 1926, may be the oldest democratic constitution in the entire Middle East.   Lebanon was a liberal democratic country that abided by international policy.

Noting that Lebanon had witnessed terrorism on its soil, he said his country stood with the United Nations in opposing international terrorism in all its forms.  It also condemned the smearing of national liberation movements by branding such legitimate movements as terrorism.  His country called on the United Nations to multiply its efforts to solve the Middle East problem.  It should do so by implementing its resolutions concerning Israel’s withdrawal from the territories it occupied in 1976 and by giving the Palestinians an independent sovereign State.  Lebanon also called on the United Nations to assume more responsibility in resolving the violent conflict in Iraq and in restoring peace, stability and unity to the Iraqi people.

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RASHID ABDULLAH AL-NOAIMI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, ...

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A settlement in the Middle East could not be achieved through imposing a de facto situation of occupation and siege of the Palestinian people, arbitrary killings, destruction, famine and unjustified mass detentions by the Israeli authorities, he said.  The United Nations and members of the Quartet had a historical, political and legal responsibility towards settlement of the Palestinian question through obligating Israel to unconditionally comply with the terms of the Road Map and relevant resolutions, especially those issued by the International Court of Justice and the General Assembly, which called for dismantling the illegal separation wall in the West Bank.  A comprehensive, just and lasting peace depended on the ability of the international community to end Israel’s intransigence, revitalization of the peace process and full withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967.  It also depended on the establishment of a PalestinianState, with its capital at Al Quds al Sharif, based on relevant resolutions and the Arab initiative.

Achieving and maintaining security equilibrium in the Middle East and the Gulf had become an important priority, he stressed, which required a comprehensive and non-discriminatory policy for building confidence.  It was necessary to eliminate all existing arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.  In that connection, he looked forward to the implementation of the outcome of a recent visit by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to some countries of the region to convince them to give up their arsenals of nuclear weapons.  The international community should compel the Israeli Government to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and subject its nuclear facilities to international inspection, in order to establish a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the region.

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