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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/58/PV.29
13 October 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
29th plenary meeting
Monday, 13 October 2003, 3 p.m.
New York

President:The Hon. Julian R. Hunte ..............................(Saint Lucia)

The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

Agenda item 11 (continued )

Report of the Security Council (A/58/2)

/...

Mr. Amer (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic ): ...

/...

During the reporting period, the Council debated items on the maintenance of international peace and security, missions were dispatched and troops deployed to resolve crises. Such activity, however, did not extend throughout the world. In one specific case, the Council was silent while war raged. On the issue of Palestine, the right of veto paralysed the Council’s ability to adopt measures to end the aggression against the Palestinian people and to dispatch any international forces. This paralysis prompts us to reconsider the role of the Council and the exercise of the right of the veto.

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Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chau (Viet Nam): ...

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The ongoing crisis in the Middle East has continued to be a source of profound concern for the States Members of the United Nations. It is again a challenge to the credibility of the Security Council. The failure to secure the implementation of some resolutions and to reach consensus among the Council members on certain issues of the conflict has led to the further deterioration of the already volatile situation and the stamping out of hope for a comprehensive settlement. The Palestinian people deserve the Council’s resolute commitment to alleviating their plight and putting the peace process back on track. Unilateral acts only worsen the situation. The precedence of resorting to pre-emptive force against perceived threats or the erection of walls cannot bring about security on either side of the wall.

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Mr. Hakeem (Saudi Arabia) (spoke in Arabic): ...

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While we appreciate the interest which the Council has shown in the Middle East, where the Arab-Israeli conflict persists, and the resolutions adopted concerning our region, we remain concerned that most relevant resolutions on this issue have yet to be implemented. Israel, in utter disregard for international law, has refused to implement any of the Council’s resolutions seeking to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such disregard is dangerous in international relations and seriously hinders the Security Council’s action, damages its credibility and impedes its effectiveness. Israel’s refusal to implement the Security Council’s resolution demonstrates its determination to continue its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories and to torpedo any effort to restore peace in the Middle East.

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Mr. Kim Sam-hoon (Republic of Korea): ...

/...

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, remains a pressing issue in the Security Council and an ongoing concern for the rest of the international community. We hope that Israel and Palestine will both reaffirm their commitment to the road map as elaborated by the Quartet. That proposal offers the best hope for a political settlement whereby the two States of Israel and Palestine will be able to live side by side within secure and recognized borders. Furthermore, the recent acts of violence, such as the suicide bombing in Haifa and the air strike against Ain Al Sahib, are deeply deplorable and must not be allowed to escalate into a broader conflict. We would urge all parties at this time to exercise maximum restraint.

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Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): ...

/...

In the year prior to this session, the Security Council addressed important issues related to its role and competence, such as its failure to prevent the war against Iraq and to end the barbaric Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories. My delegation reaffirms the need for the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution submitted by Syria in condemnation of the latest Israeli aggression against its territories, which represents a flagrant violation of the Charter and of the disengagement agreement between the two countries and is a major escalation of violence in the Middle East, the repercussions of which will be felt indefinitely throughout the region.

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In its capacity as a Security Council member, Syria has striven above all to champion issues of relevance to developing countries and to international peace and security. Thus, Syria was the first State to propose the provision of monthly briefings. The Council has responded positively to this proposal and more than 20 such briefings have been held on the Middle East. This is a step in the right direction, as some members of the Council have noted, with a view to addressing certain hotbeds of tension throughout the world. The briefings have been useful in giving all Member States an opportunity to review developments in that sensitive region of the Middle East and to hold open debates on a range of other issues.

My delegation has always sought to achieve unanimity or consensus in the Council in addressing certain matters that threaten international peace and security. However, we regret the fact that the Council has been unable to take necessary decisions in several instances because of a lack of objectivity and the unjustified use of the veto. The Council has thereby been prevented from adopting resolutions on issues that challenge international peace and security, thus necessitating recourse to the General Assembly to hold emergency sessions, such as that on the Middle East.

In the course of Syria’s second presidency of the Council this past August, the Council held a great many meetings at which a wide variety of issues, covering many regions of the world, were addressed. A wrap-up meeting was held on the role of peacekeeping operations in the maintenance of international peace and security, at which the members of the Council were able to develop an overarching vision for peacekeeping operations and several countries offered specific proposals. The Security Council has also addressed such thematic issues as women and peace and security, children in armed conflicts, small arms, the protection of civilians in armed conflict, interaction between the Security Council and regional organizations and the fight against terrorism, among others. The delegation of Syria believes that these discussions have allowed many States Members to give their own views on such issues of primary importance.

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Mr. Ivanou (Belarus) (spoke in Russian ): ...

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However, the Security Council did not fully meet our expectations with regard to a settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. Despite the Council’s ongoing efforts in support of a comprehensive and just settlement in the region, it regrettably failed to agree on some important aspects of the process. As a result, violence and acts of terrorism in Israel and the Palestinian territories are continuing.

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Mr. Gaspar Martins (Angola): ...

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Despite the significant progress achieved in the Council’s work, as portrayed in this year’s annual report, some of the issues on the Council’s agenda clearly needed further attention. For instance, despite the adoption of resolution 1397 (2002), which was a landmark resolution embodying the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, can live side by side within secure and recognized borders, the Middle East crisis remains unsettled, and, since March 2003, has been further aggravated by the Iraqi conflict.

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Mr. Alcalay (Venezuela) (spoke in Spanish ): ...

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As the great majority of speakers in the recent general debate rightly noted, issues such as the situation in Iraq, the crisis in the Middle East and counter-terrorism have had and continue to have an impact on the international agenda. The Security Council is, of course, compelled to address such questions. Venezuela fully concurs that these are issues of special significance, since they have not only been a principal feature of the work of the Organization over the past year, but have also underscored the importance of multilateralism and the urgent need to enhance the role of our Organization in the face of the most topical and serious problems on the international scene.

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With regard to the Middle East, Venezuela reaffirms its position on this issue, which is oriented towards the achievement of peace and respect for the rights of both parties. In this connection, my country reaffirms its support for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and recognizes the right of the States of the region to exist within secure and internationally recognized borders. We support the United Nations efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict. We condemn all acts of violence and believe that a fair solution must be based on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, especially resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

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The meeting rose at 6 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.



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