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


GA/10050
14 September 2002

Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Plenary
7th Meeting (PM)

EFFORTS TO RESOLVE ROOT CAUSES OF CONFLICT OVERSHADOWED
BY DEFENCE BUILD-UP, GENERAL ASSEMBLY TOLD
Speakers Also Address Global Instability, Famine and HIV/AIDS


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Statements

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LYDIE POLFER, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Commerce of Luxembourg, ...

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Certain tragedies had remained open wounds, she said, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Standing by in passivity was not an option; efforts were continuing to create conditions for new negotiations to conclude the peace process in the Middle East.  Luxembourg sought to put the political context at the heart of its concerns in that regard.  In addition, she said, efforts in Afghanistan must ensure the establishment of a stable and fully functioning democratic State.  The situation in the Balkans deserved similar attention.

DATO SERI ABDULLAH HAJI AHMAD BADAWI, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, ...

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Expressing concern at the lack of urgency in addressing the underlying factors of terrorism, he said most of the Muslim world believed that one of the key issues was the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.  It was important to understand the root causes of violence in the region, namely, the continued occupation of Arab lands by the Israeli occupying forces.  Israel’s oppressive policies had made life unbearable for the Palestinians.  The international community could not stand on the sidelines indefinitely.  It was time for the Security Council to intervene directly beginning with the dispatch of a United Nations peacekeeping force to the occupied territories.

He said that targeting Iraq outside the United Nations framework would not only be wrong but would also result in a more volatile world order.  Welcoming the decision of the United States to work with the United Nations on that issue rather than pursuing a unilateral policy of military intervention, he said that engaging the international community through the United Nations must not merely be an exercise in public diplomacy. 

The international community could not be made to assume that military intervention against Iraq was inevitable and that the United Nations was only being engaged as a matter of course, he stressed.  The international community must be presented with incontrovertible evidence of the perceived threat posed by Iraq.  At the same time, efforts should be made to urge Iraq to cooperate with the United Nations.  A preemptive attack against Iraq without credible evidence would draw imaginary battle lines between the Muslim world and the West, especially in view of the continued oppression of the Palestinians.

MOHAMMED BENAISSA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Morocco, ...

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Concerning the Middle East, he said that Israel persisted in its repressive policies.  He welcomed the Saudi peace initiative and the vision of two States coexisting side by side.  Despite the continued violence, Morocco still supported a revitalization of the peace process and an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

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PHIL GOFF, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, ...

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Regarding the Middle East, he said agreement required good faith from each side and a determined effort by the international community.  The situation in Iraq was another threat to world peace, he said, adding that the requirement to comply with United Nations resolutions was not the instruction of one country, but a collective one that should be endorsed by all Member States.  The response chosen by the Security Council should not impose further costs on ordinary Iraqi people and should not involve actions that undermined, rather than strengthened, the war against terrorism. 

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BENITA FERRERO-WALDNER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria, ...

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On the situation in the Middle East, she called for an effort to arrive speedily at a political solution providing for two States –- Israel and Palestine -- each living within secure and recognized borders.  Austria supported the idea of an early international conference with the backing of the Quartet (United Nations, United States, Russian Federation and the European Union), as well as interested countries in the region, to find a solution to such political issues  as the final borders of the two States, the final status of Jerusalem and the question of refugees,

The Middle East had also attracted the attention of the international community in the context of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction owing to Iraq’s continued non-compliance with Security Council resolutions, she said.  The potential perils of such policies would not be tolerated, and, for that reason, Austria supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to bring about the speedy, unfettered and unconditional return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq and that country’s full compliance with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

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ANATOLIY ZLENKO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, ...

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Ukraine was also deeply concerned over the situation in the Middle East, he said.  Ukraine fully supported the efforts of the international community to assist the parties to find peaceful ways of settling the conflict and to bring about in three years the coexistence of Israel and Palestine in security and within internationally recognized borders.

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