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


GA/10044
12 September 2002

Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Plenary
2nd Meeting (AM)

AS GENERAL DEBATE OF 57TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OPENS,
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES INDISPENSABLE
NECESSITY OF MULTILATERALISM

United States President Bush Calls on International Community
To Stand Up for Its Security, Saying Iraqi Government a ‘Grave Danger’


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Statement by Secretary-General

Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN said ...

He said the limited objectives of reconciling Israel’s legitimate security concerns with Palestinian humanitarian needs could not be achieved in isolation from the wider political context.  The ultimate shape of a Middle East peace settlement had been defined long ago in Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, as well as in resolution 1397:  land for peace; an end to terror and to occupation; two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders.  An international peace conference was needed without delay to set out a roadmap of parallel steps.  Meanwhile, humanitarian steps to relieve Palestinian suffering must be intensified.

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Statements in Debate

CELSO LAFER, Minister for Foreign Relations of Brazil, ...

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The situation in the Middle East underscored how distant the world still was from the international order imagined by the founders of the United Nations Charter, he continued.  Brazil supported the creation of a democratic, secure and economically viable Palestinian State as well as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.  Brazil also defended the right of the State of Israel to exist within recognized borders and of its people to live in security.  Those were essential prerequisites for lasting peace in the Middle East.  The use of force at the international level was only admissible once all diplomatic alternatives had been exhausted.  Force must only be exercised in accordance with the Charter and consistent with the determinations of the Security Council. 

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GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States, ...

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He said the international community’s common security was challenged by regional conflicts -– ethnic and religious strife that was ancient but not inevitable.  There could be no peace for either side in the Middle East without freedom for both sides.  America stood committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living beside Israel in peace and security.  Like all other people, Palestinians deserved a government that served their interests.  Above all, international security was challenged by outlaw groups and regimes that accepted no law of morality and had no limit to their violent ambitions.  The threat hid within many nations, including his own, he said, and the greatest fear was that terrorists would find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw regime supplied them with the technologies to kill on a massive scale.

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ROBERT MUGABE, President of Zimbabwe, ...

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“By assuming its independence in 1980, Zimbabwe had discarded the colonial yoke for all time and, therefore, will never brook any interference in its domestic affairs by any foreign Power”, he stressed.  He added that Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, needed to be informed of this.  Having already waged a revolutionary struggle to secure its independence, Zimbabwe stood ready to defend it in the same way.

A similar problem of outside interference also affected the Palestinian question, one that should be resolved without further delay.  “We note with some concern that some countries wish to arrogate to themselves the right to choose and/or impose leadership in developing countries by sidelining and/or overthrowing democratically elected governments.”  That must be resisted, he said.

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ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, Prime Minister of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, ...

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The Millennium Declaration, he said, had given the United Nations renewed impetus to deal globally with conflict prevention, crisis management, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict rehabilitation and development, and disarmament and arms control.  The European Union had worked tirelessly with the United Nations to find solutions in the Middle East and Cyprus, to rebuild Afghanistan, to hold in check the civil war in Sierra Leone and to rebuild Kosovo. 

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