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


GA/10046
12 September 2002

Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Plenary
3rd Meeting (PM)

AFGHAN, YUGOSLAV LEADERS POINT TO CHANGE AS THEIR SOCIETIES EMERGE FROM CONFLICT
Continuing International Support Stressed as Assembly General Debate Continues

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Statements

LUIS ANGEL GONZALEZ MACCHI, President of Paraguay, ...

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... Paraguay was also proud to be a member, for the first time, of the Commission on Human Rights, and would work toward the noble aims of that body.  In that vein, he expressed grave concern over the situation in the Middle East and the loss of innocent lives on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.  The international community must work to pave the way for the peaceful coexistence of two independent States within internationally recognized borders.  The situation in Afghanistan must also be watched carefully, he added.

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MIREYA MOSCOSO, President of Panama, ...

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She expressed concern about the situations in the Middle East, Colombia and many other areas of the world that were still awaiting United Nations support.  ...

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KJELL-MAGNE BONDEVIK, Prime Minister of Norway, ...

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Turning to the Middle East question, he said that while Israel had a right to self-defence, a human disaster was unfolding before the world’s eyes in the Palestinian areas.  The Palestinians must deal effectively with the terror attacks and the Israeli Government must recommit itself to the political process while halting its military operations and withdrawing its forces.  Only a political process, aiming at an independent Palestinian state and security for Israel, could lead to peace.  Norway was working with other donors to help rebuild economic and social infrastructure in Palestine and had pledged its continued support for Afghanistan as well.

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WILLIAM GRAHAM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, ...

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Noting that the contribution of resources and experience to Afghanistan’s new leaders and to the various United Nations programmes seeking to establish political stability and representative government had reaffirmed the value of multilateralism, he pointed out that the human suffering in Africa demanded action, as did the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis.  Canada called upon the people of Israel and Palestine to end the targeting of civilians, assure the security of Israel, end settlement activities, meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, effect democratic reforms within the Palestinian Authority and resume the peace negotiations.

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DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, ...

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Regarding Iraq, he said the international community was obviously concerned and determined that the status quo be brought to an end.  However, care should be taken not to exacerbate the situation because a politically-motivated, ill-defined or poorly mounted intervention would not garner the necessary broad support, but might galvanize regional public opinion in favour of the Baghdad regime, which was currently isolated.  Furthermore, it might aggravate tensions in the Middle East and beyond at a time when a redoubling of efforts was required for a return to the path of dialogue and peace.

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He said the deadlock in the Middle East must be broken and hope restored.  The situation would deteriorate as long as the parties remained “prisoners of the logic of violence”.  The Palestinian Authority, he went on, must use all available means to prevent and curb terrorist actions, with a view to the establishment of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian State, based on the pre-1967 borders.  It must also pursue reforms, in particular in the institutional domain. Israel should defend itself against terrorism in compliance with international law, he stressed.  The imperative for security could not by itself replace policy.  He called for an end to settlements, and the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied territories as demanded by the Security Council.  Measures were also needed to improve the alarming humanitarian and social situation of the Palestinian people.


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