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Réunion plénière de haut niveau de l’AG sur les objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement - Déclaration par le Ministre de la planification et du développement administratif de l’Autorité palestinienne - Compte rendu (extraits)

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        General Assembly
22 September 2010

General Assembly
Sixty-fifth session

8th plenary meeting
Wednesday, 22 September 2010, 10 a.m.
New York

Co-Chair: Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki (President of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session)
Co-Chair: Mr. Joseph Deiss (President of the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session)

High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals


The Acting Chair: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Ali Jarbawi, Minister for Planning and Administrative Development of the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Jarbawi (Palestine): In paragraph 2 of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, world leaders acknowledged their collective responsibility
We must also recall that world leaders rededicated themselves to support all efforts to uphold “the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation” (resolution 55/2, para. 4).

Palestine is heartened by this commitment, as we continue to strive for the realization of our just national aspiration for freedom and independence. The Palestinian National Authority is determined to deliver social justice and equality to the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. We are committed to adhering to the principles enshrined in the Millennium Declaration and to promoting the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Palestine. We are doing this despite the prolonged military occupation of our land by Israel. This is an illegal occupation, it is the major obstacle to our attainment of the MDGs, and it must end.

As requested by the United Nations, we reported our progress towards achieving the MDGs in a report published in June. Universal primary education and gender equality in education have already been achieved, and we are making great strides in improving maternal health care. These achievements have been made despite the fact that children and pregnant women are still routinely held up at Israeli military checkpoints as they travel to school and health-care facilities, while many of them are completely denied access to those vital social institutions.

Moreover, improvements in basic services are being achieved through significant and ongoing investment in public infrastructure, with the generous support of the international donor community. Regrettably, however, these essential investments are often obstructed, and sometimes indefinitely delayed, by a complex web of restrictions imposed by the occupation that undermines our development in all sectors.

In addition to imposing restrictions on Palestinian governance and socioeconomic development, the Israeli occupation authority, and Israeli settlers, are also systematically exploiting our natural resources to the detriment of the Palestinian people. According to a World Bank report issued last year, per capita withdrawals by Palestinians from our water sources amounted to only one quarter of the amount withdrawn by Israelis. The same report concluded that, by regional standards, Palestinians have the least access to fresh water. This is just another example of how the occupation breeds injustice and inequality, with significant negative social, economic and political ramifications. In this regard, in concluding our MDG progress report, we have highlighted our firm belief that if the occupation ends and we are able to consolidate Government in our own sovereign and independent State, we can not only meet but in fact exceed most of the MDGs before 2015.

Furthermore, in the Gaza Strip, as reported by the International Monetary Fund this week, the unemployment rate now stands at 37 per cent — the highest in the world. The private sector in Gaza is still denied basic raw materials needed to rebuild the businesses destroyed by the Israeli military aggression of 2010 and 2009 and the ongoing illegal blockade. In the West Bank, however, where our private sector is beginning to recover and is creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods, the unemployment rate is at 16 per cent — its lowest level since the turn of the millennium.

We all know that high unemployment rates drive poverty, hunger and other serious social problems. If the current status quo is allowed to continue, the socioeconomic inequalities that exist between Gaza and the West Bank will widen to unprecedented proportions, with tragic consequences for the civilian population, particularly children, women and the abject poor. The blockade on the Gaza Strip must be completely lifted and we must be allowed to begin its recovery and reconstruction. Otherwise, not only will our path towards the attainment of the MDGs continue to be obstructed but we shall likely regress.

In conclusion, I must draw your attention to the fact that, wherever we look across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, whether in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, or the Gaza Strip, we see human suffering, injustice and inequality, entrenched by years of occupation and colonization. We also see vast challenges to our development as a result of the occupation’s illegal policies and practices.

This suffering, injustice and inequality must end. We are committed to ensuring that Palestinian families — men, women and children — enjoy their human rights, equal rights and equal opportunities. We are striving to do so in line with international law and the true spirit of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and will continue to move forward on this path.

We believe that equality and justice for all our citizens can only be achieved in an independent State of our own, in which we can live in freedom and dignity. We know this is a vision we share with the international community, and Palestine expresses its sincere gratitude to all nations that have supported us in this just endeavour. Your support is needed now more than ever as we push forward to complete the process of developing and strengthening the institutions of our State before next year’s General Assembly.

This is the cornerstone of our aspirations to independence and inclusion as a permanent member in the family of nations, in which we will play an active and positive role in upholding the rule of law and fulfilling shared goals, including the MDGs.


The meeting rose at 2.50 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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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