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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/67/PV.16
28 September 2012

Official Records
General Assembly
Sixty-seventh session
16th plenary meeting
Friday, 28 September 2012, 3 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Jeremić ...........................................................(Serbia)

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Agenda item 8 (continued)

General debate

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The Acting President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Patrice Emery Trovoada, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.

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The massacres in Syria must cease, the integrity and security of the State of Israel must be effectively guaranteed, the Palestinian people must have their own State, the embargo against Cuba must end, countries, including Iran, must have the right to civil nuclear technology and must scrupulously observe the commitments that that entails, and polluters must be the principal payers. It must be our ambition, and not a mere hope, to ensure that we return here next year with an agenda that includes fewer of these troublesome issues, many of which are recurring.

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The Acting President: The Assembly will now hear an address by His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, Prince of the Kingdom of Morocco.

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The rapid developments in the Arab region must not distract us from the fundamental, longstanding challenge of resolving the Palestinian issue. In that regard, the Kingdom of Morocco calls for the mobilization of international support to back the steps taken by the Palestinian National Authority to secure non-member State status. At the same time, my country is of the view that negotiations are the best way for the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate national rights and to set up an independent, fully viable and geographically contiguous Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel, in peace and security. I therefore look forward to seeing the international community change its approach to resolving that crisis by reconsidering its intervention mechanisms and work methods in order to ensure that direct negotiations are resumed very soon and in the best possible circumstances, under the auspices and with the commitment of the inf luential Powers.

That cannot be achieved if the fait accompli policy is allowed to continue. In that regard and in my capacity as Chair of the Al-Quds Committee, I have strongly condemned the Israeli plan for the Judaization of occupied East Jerusalem, as well as the Israeli plans to wipe out the city’s spiritual and cultural identity and change its demographic and urban features. Let me reaffirm, in that regard, that there can be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian State.

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The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Eamon Gilmore, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the State of Ireland.

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As world attention focuses on Syria, peace and justice remain elusive elsewhere in the Middle East. The need for a lasting resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is as urgent as ever. Yet a depressing stalemate persists, with no progress towards a comprehensive settlement. Ireland has said on many occasions that the establishment of a Palestinian State, within borders based on those of 1967, is long overdue. We have made clear our hope that Palestine will be formally admitted to the United Nations as a full Member. While that hope remains to be fulfilled, we welcome the announcement by President Abbas of his plans to consult with the membership of the General Assembly on a resolution that, as an interim step towards the achievement of that goal, would accord Palestine non-member State observer status. Ireland will be proud to support a
fair and balanced resolution to that end, and we look forward to the forthcoming consultations.

We know of course that such steps will not alter the situation on the ground. Israel must stop expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which only impede the prospect of achieving Israel’s own stated desire for a Palestinian State. The peace and security of the people of Israel, to which they are entitled, gain nothing from denying the basic rights of the people of Gaza, who are subjected to an unjust and counterproductive blockade.

There is no alternative to serious negotiations between the two sides aimed at a comprehensive settlement. I would like to see President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu commit themselves to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement within a specified timescale. That will not be easy and will require painful compromises on both sides. But if both leaders are willing to embark on that path they will have the unstinting support of the entire international community, including Ireland.

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The Acting President: I now give the floor to Mr. Michael Spindelegger, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria.

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The still unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to gravely destabilize the Middle East. The terms of a negotiated and sustainable solution — two States with secure and mutually recognized borders — have been discussed over and over again and are broadly supported by the people and the international community, and yet we experienced a complete lack of progress in the last year. We therefore call on the leadership on both sides to finally assume their responsibilities and enable a lasting peace and security to be established for their children and future generations.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Samuel Santos López, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Nicaragua.

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Mr. Bale (Congo), Vice-President, took the Chair.

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... We need to resolve without delay the aspirations of the Palestinian people by supporting the peace negotiations and their legitimate right to their own State and to be part of the United Nations. ...

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The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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The changes taking place in the Middle East should not marginalize the Palestinian problem. The achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting Arab- Israeli settlement, which should lead, among other results, to the establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State, coexisting in peace and security with Israel, would be a major contribution to the normalization of the overall regional situation. The Arab Peace Initiative fully retains its relevance, and we support the efforts of the League of Arab States to move it forward.

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The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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The Palestinian issue, which is at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, has been a constant challenge for the United Nations since its inception more than 60 years ago. The cause of the stalemate is Israel’s attitude. We all know how intransigent Israel has been in its positions, which have undermined negotiations and have emptied all discussions of any meaning. Moreover, Israel has taken unilateral actions that could lead to more complications in the occupied Palestinian territories and to undermining the efforts of Arab countries and others in the international community to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution by establishing an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The situation requires that the international community, as represented by the United Nations, move quickly in order to put an end to the calamity that the situation represents for the Palestinian people and provide all manner of support and assistance for the Palestinian Authority. My country finds that Palestine must receive full membership in the United Nations, as that is its natural and legitimate right, and we should all help the Palestinians to achieve that objective. For its part, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is sparing no effort in fulfilling its commitment to the peace process with respect to our Palestinian brethren by providing various types of support and assistance.

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The meeting rose at 6.35 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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