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13th plenary meeting
Monday, 1 October 2007, 3 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 8 (continued)
The President : I now call on His Excellency The Honourable George Andre Wells, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu.
Mr. Wells (Vanuatu): ...
/... The situation in the Middle East is of grave concern to all peace-loving Members of the United Nations. We earnestly pray and hope for an early end to the conflict and to the suffering of all innocent children, women and men. Both Israel and Palestine have the right to live in peaceful coexistence as independent and sovereign States. The international community must be realistic about the future. Let us allow justice, security and long-lasting peace to prevail for both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
The President: I now give the floor to Her Excellency Mrs. Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary.
Mrs. Göncz (Hungary): ...
We are following with great attention the work of the teams set up recently by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate core issues related to a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We welcome the initiative of the President of the United States to convene an international conference in November.
The President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Mourad Medelci, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria.
Mr. Medelci (Algeria) (spoke in French ): ...
In the Middle East, which is another especially unstable part of the world, the situation is deteriorating. This is reflected in daily violence and recurring crises. If we are not vigilant, that situation threatens to undermine any hope of establishing lasting peace in the region. The international community must once again become more involved in order to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East that is based on the implementation of the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. In that regard, Algeria welcomes the renewed attention being given to the Arab Peace Initiative, as reflected in President Bush’s proposal to hold an international peace conference this fall. The international community should support that effort, which has rekindled hope for a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in order to avert failure, which would have enormous consequences for international peace and security.
The President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Aboubakr A. Al-Qirbi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen.
Mr. Al-Qirbi (Yemen) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The tense situation in the Palestinian territories and the violence the Palestinian people are facing from the Israelis are matters that run contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Charter, international law, international agreements, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention. While the Arabs in the past have been criticized for not providing an Arab vision to put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, they were indeed surprised that, when they presented their own Arab Peace Initiative, it was totally ignored by Israel and the international community, in spite of all the elements that would secure a comprehensive and just solution to the conflict. Thus, it is our hope that the Arab follow-up committee of the Arab initiative will have created a positive atmosphere leading to an international conference to be held under international supervision to achieve peace in the Middle East. It is also our hope that the United States of America will keep its promise regarding the establishment of the Palestinian State on national soil, with Holy Jerusalem as its capital, based on the principles of total sovereignty, viability, and return of refugees; and we hope that the solution will be widened to include total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan and the Sheba’a farms. We emphasize the importance of the participation of all the parties concerned in the international conference to be held soon.
On this occasion, we call on our Palestinian brothers to return to dialogue, to unite their positions, to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative, to reorganize the Palestinian house in accordance with the constitution and Palestinian legitimacy. I refer here to the recent Yemeni initiative to bring the Palestinian factions together to serve the unity and ambitions of the Palestinian people.
The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Mr. Shalgham (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The Palestinian people have lived in great misery for more than half a century, since their land was seized. More than half of them were displaced to various parts of the world and those who remain have been subjected to a bloody and vicious Israeli occupation and to systematic violations of international humanitarian law: houses are demolished, lands are confiscated and Palestinian agricultural land is bulldozed. Under siege and denied food and medicine, inhabitants are expelled and unarmed citizens killed while the building of an apartheid wall continues. The oppression to which the Palestinian people are subjected and the failure of the United Nations to protect them and to aid them in attaining their rights —the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish an independent State on all Palestinian land — are factors that prevent the restoration of peace and security in the region. It is time to address the issue of Palestine more seriously and to refrain from attempts to impose a fait accompli on the Palestinian people, depriving them of their legitimate rights.
The President: Before proceeding further, I would like to remind members that, as announced in today’s Journal, the informal meeting of the plenary to observe the first International Day of Non-Violence will be held tomorrow, 2 October, from 9.30 to 10 a.m. in this Hall. All are invited to attend.
I now call on His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Benaissa, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco.
Mr. Benaissa (Morocco) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The difficult circumstances in the Middle East require strengthened coordinated efforts in order to put an end to a lengthy and bitter conflict that has caused great suffering for the people of the region for more than half a century.
The Kingdom of Morocco, which follows closely all those developments, affirms once again from this rostrum the pressing need to reactivate the peace process in the Middle East according to a comprehensive approach and on the basis of agreements signed by the parties, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. That is a strategic choice and reflects the sincere will of the Arab States to search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East — a peace that guarantees the national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to establish an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, and withdrawal from occupied Arab territories in Syria and Lebanon, in order to allow the States and peoples of the region to live in peace and security.
Morocco is optimistic about the positive results that will ensure from the international conference on Middle East peace to be held in the United States before the end of this year. Moreover, the Kingdom of Morocco, which chairs the Al-Quds Committee in the person of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, insists once more on the need to respect the special status of Jerusalem and to preserve its cultural and spiritual identity. In that respect, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has endeavoured to draw the attention of the United Nations and influential actors to the illegal, invalid archaeological excavations around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to obtain their good offices so as to put an end to them.
The meeting rose at 7.25 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.