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In the absence of the President, Mr. Hidayat (Indonesia), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 44 ( continued)
Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit
Report of the Secretary-General (A/57/270 and A/57/270/Corr.1)
Agenda item 10 ( continued)
Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/57/1)
Mr. Zarif (Islamic Republic of Iran): ...
As to the Palestinian question, one of the lingering political issues in the report of the Secretary-General, it is unfortunate that the Israeli regime has frustrated and finally defeated all efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his representatives aimed at alleviating the plight of the Palestinian people. The assertion by the Secretary-General, who has repeatedly affirmed that security cannot be achieved while no move towards the restoration of the basic rights of the Palestinian people is in sight, has fallen on deaf ears.
The proposal made last April by the Secretary-General to establish a multinational force was a courageous initiative, which, if implemented, could have had a great impact in lessening the suffering of the Palestinian people. Moreover, the effort of the Secretary-General to organize an investigation into the crimes committed during the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp — an effort that was blocked by the Israelis — is also worth recalling.
Regrettably, the Security Council has failed to act on these initiatives or to follow through on them and, in general, the Council continued in the period under review with its pattern of inability to put an end to the occupation of the Arab lands or to take any action that might improve the plight of the Palestinians. It is needless to recall that several actual vetoes or threats of veto lie at the origin of the paralysis of the Security Council on the Palestinian question. In the final analysis, the failure of the Council to enforce the implementation of its numerous resolutions risks eroding its authority.
The Acting President : I call on the representative of Indonesia.
Ms. Rustam (Indonesia): ...
We cannot end our comments on the subject of conflict prevention without saying a couple of things on the situation in the Middle East. The Secretary-General observed that, in the past year, the political tension was aggravated by further violence in the region. My delegation shares his view concerning the opportunities that arose during the year for progress towards a political settlement. We refer here to Security Council resolution 1397 (2002), which endorsed the prospects of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders, and welcomed the emergence of the Quartet to help both parties transcend the cycle of destruction.
We reiterate our call on those Member States that wield influence in the region to adopt a just and balanced approach to the issue of Palestine. They should persuade Israel to withdraw its forces from occupied territories and cease settlement activities in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions with a view to giving peace a genuine chance. In the interim, we once again stress the urgent need to deploy an international security force to protect innocent civilians in the conflict-ridden areas.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to the representative of Brazil.
Mr. Cordeiro (Brazil) (spoke in Spanish): ...
I turn now to the situation in the Middle East and to the problem of Iraq. With regard to the tragic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the absence of a political consensus on how to resume the peace process and how to find hope with security for Israelis and Palestinians has led us to intolerable inaction. It is urgent that we find a solution, and it cannot be wholly delegated to a few actors. Rather, it is a collective responsibility that rests with the United Nations and, above all, the Security Council.
Mr. Akram (Pakistan): ...
Despite the Security Council resolutions adopted this year, again affirming the principle of land for peace and the creation of two States — Israel and Palestine — living side by side, the security environment in the Middle East has sharply deteriorated, as noted in the Secretary-General’s report. Israel has persisted in its reoccupation and in the displacing of Palestinians, seeking to portray President Arafat in an ignominious light but, ironically, achieving the opposite. Unfortunately, peace remains ever more distant in Palestine, with the parties far apart on the structure and sequence of lasting peace in the region.
Today, the shadow of conflict hovers over the Middle East and beyond. The course of events relating to Iraq could have a significant impact on the future of international relations and of the United Nations itself. In our view, full and faithful implementation of Security Council resolutions and adherence by all to international legality are good guiding principles in this as in other international crises.
The Security Council has assumed an important role in peacekeeping and peace-building in various parts of the world. It is vital to ensure respect for the United Nations Charter. This includes implementation of Security Council resolutions, in accordance with Article 25 of the Charter.
Recent developments in South Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere have highlighted the continuing reluctance of the United Nations fully to utilize the modalities for the peaceful resolution of disputes as set out in Chapter VI of the Charter. We hope that the Secretary-General will find it possible to activate these procedures where necessary, without the precondition of their open acceptance by all concerned parties.
The meeting rose at 5.05 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-154. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.