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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
By your leave, Sir, I will read out and distribute to delegations the letter from Commander Hugo Chávez:
“Caracas, 26 September 2011
“ ... We demand the immediate cessation of the bombing on Libyan territory. We will also continue demanding that international law be respected in the case of this sister nation. We will not remain silent in the face of evil intentions to destroy the foundations that endow it with sense and reason. We therefore put this question to the Assembly: Why is the Libyan seat in the United Nations granted to the so called National Transitional Council while Palestine’s admission is blocked by ignoring not only its legitimate aspiration, but also the will of the majority of the General Assembly? With all its strength and with the moral authority granted it by the will of the majority of the world’s peoples, Venezuela hereby affirms its unconditional solidarity with the Palestinian people and its unlimited support for the Palestinian national cause, including, of course, the immediate admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a full Member State.
Pakistan has always upheld the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent homeland with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. Here, I would like to reaffirm our principled position. President Mahmoud Abbas made an historic and memorable case for his people (see A/66/PV.19). We stand by him and the Palestinian people. We stand by our brothers and sisters, and we agree that the current situation is no longer sustainable. We support the quest of the State of Palestine for membership of the United Nations.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Pak Kil Yon, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and head of delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
It is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to live free of the Israeli occupation and to create an independent State of their own. It is also an obligation of the international community to admit Palestine as a full-fledged United Nations Member State. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recognized Palestine as a State in 1988 and we support its admission to the United Nations. We believe that the aspirations of the Palestine people will be translated into a reality.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Doru Romulus Costea, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania.
Recently, important statements were issued on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Romania favours a sustainable peace in the Middle East, and our country strongly supports the principle of two States — Israel and Palestine — living together, side by side, in peace and security. The only viable solution that could be effectively applied to that case and form the basis of a global and sustainable peace would be through direct negotiations. Romania is chairing the Fourth Committee during this session, and we are ready to encourage, from that position as well, all diplomatic efforts aiming at achieving progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Francisco Álvarez de Soto, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama.
Mediation and dialogue have formed the basis of the stand that Panama has taken in connection with conflicts that have a bearing on peace and international political stability. Allow me to point out in that respect that the Government of the Republic of Panama believes that the Palestinian people have the right to be recognized as a State, but that they must first resolve their differences with their neighbour Israel, which also has the right to peaceful and harmonious coexistence with Palestine and the other States of the region. There could be no better solution than one that emerges from direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway.
Back in 1947, Norway voted in favour of the establishment of two States in the former mandate of Palestine in this Assembly. In 1949, we also heeded the call in resolution 181 (II) to give sympathetic consideration to an application by either State for admission to membership in the United Nations. We voted in favour of admitting Israel as a Member State. We based our decision at that time on the declarations and explanations provided by the Israeli delegation. Israel had persuasively explained why recognition and membership should not await resolution of the outstanding issues regarding borders, refugees, Jerusalem, and peace with neighbouring countries. When it admitted Israel as a Member State, this Assembly referred to those declarations and explanations.
Since then, Norwegian policy has been based on the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Norway has consistently stood by Israel and its inherent right to self-defence in accordance with international law. We have also supported the Palestinian right to statehood and the building of the Palestinian Authority.
One of the main issues before this session of the General Assembly is the Palestinian quest for recognition. It is legitimate for the Palestinian people to turn to the United Nations under the current circumstances. This is neither incompatible with a negotiation process, nor an expression of unilateralism. Norway welcomes the call by the Quartet for negotiations on a comprehensive agreement on the outstanding final status issues to be completed within a year.
However, the situation on the ground is changing in several ways. A few days ago, the donor support group to the Palestinian Authority affirmed the success of local institution-building. The performance of Palestinian public institutions was scrutinized by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. Their joint conclusion was that the Palestinians are fully capable of running a State.
On Friday President Abbas confirmed his commitment to resolving final status issues through negotiations. He also assured us of the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to complying with the United Nations Charter, relevant United Nations resolutions, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
The main obstacle to full institution-building remains the occupation. Measures taken under the latter are changing the shape of the territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in ways that undermine negotiations and may soon render the two-State vision physically unattainable. The Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Court of Justice have all rejected the legality of such unilateral changes.
Both the Palestinians’ readiness for statehood and the declarations and commitments they have made should be acknowledged. Norway looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full Member of the United Nations.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to Her Excellency Ms. Lucy Mungoma, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zambia.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues to be a major concern to international peace and security. We understand the frustrations of the Palestinian people over the long negotiations, which have completely stalled in recent years. In that regard, I wish to reaffirm that Zambia recognizes the Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. In a similar vein, Zambia recognizes the State of Israel and its right to live in peace with its Palestinian neighbour.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Francisco Carrión-Mena, chair of the delegation of Ecuador.
Ecuador’s position with regard to the Middle East has as its founding principle our full adherence to the standards and principles of international law and strict compliance with United Nations resolutions. Forty-three years after having accepted the partition of Palestine into two States, on 24 December 2010 the Government of Ecuador, in a gesture of historic justice, recognized Palestine as a free and independent State, within its 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. My country therefore gave its full support to accepting Palestine’s request to become a full State Member of the United Nations, as formally requested by the Palestinian President a few days ago. We also support all initiatives directed towards consolidating lasting peace, to benefit not only Palestine and Israel, but the entire region. This is a historic time for the United Nations, and Ecuador hopes that the Organization will rise to the occasion.