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10th plenary meeting
Saturday, 26 September 2009, 3 p.m.
In the absence of the President, Mr. Valero Briceño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 8 (continued)
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency The Honourable Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Wickramanayake (Sri Lanka) ( spoke in Sinhala; English text provided by the delegation ): ...
We are disappointed that little progress has been made in the implementation of General Assembly resolutions regarding the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to statehood and the realization of the two-State solution, whereby Israel and Palestine could live side-by-side in peace and harmony. A just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including through practical recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, has been strongly advocated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In this regard, we are encouraged by the words spoken by President Obama in his address to the Assembly.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Mr. Hor Namhong (Cambodia): ...
While talking about threats to international peace and security, we should also keep an eye on the Middle East situation. The never-ending cycle of violence of the Israel-Palestine conflict must be broken. One of the most pressing issues is to achieve a just, comprehensive and sustainable solution to the problem of Palestine in accordance with the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Cambodia strongly urges all parties involved to cease using military force and violence, in order to foster a peaceful and lasting settlement through the establishment of a State of Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel in a spirit of peaceful coexistence and close cooperation between the two peoples.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Michael Spindelegger, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria.
Mr. Spindelegger (Austria): ...
Regarding the Middle East, we saw this week’s summit between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas as a sign of hope. We appeal to the parties to remove any remaining obstacles to the early resumption of negotiations.
After decades of hostility and violence, time has come to move decisively forward. Israel’s right to exist in security and peace and the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people to their own State are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they are both crucial elements of a comprehensive and just solution.
Austria will continue to help establish the economic foundation and the institutional infrastructure of a future Palestine State. It will also, within the framework of the European Union, contribute to the efforts to promote a dynamic and results-oriented peace process.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now call on His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Al Nahyan (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
Since the last session of the General Assembly, we have witnessed various actions and developments that have left their negative impact on international joint efforts to address the threats and challenges that still face our world, particularly in the areas of security, stability and sustainable development.
Among the most notable implications of those challenges, whose consequences transcend national borders, are the international financial crisis, deterioration of the environment, the increase in unemployment and poverty, the outbreaks of infectious diseases, lack of security and stability in a number of countries, and the stalemate in the Middle East peace process.
The United Arab Emirates expresses its disappointment at the state of the peace process in the Middle East, which has deteriorated owing to continuing Israeli aggression against and occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories. This includes the harsh blockade imposed on the Palestinian people, in particular in Gaza, the ongoing confiscation of land, property and homes of the Palestinian people, and the building of more settlements and the separation wall in the occupied territories. That is all carried out with a view to Judaizing occupied East Jerusalem and changing its Arab identity in flagrant violation of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy.
The United Arab Emirates welcomed the positive positions expressed by United States President Barack Obama in this Hall on 23 September. We believe that his address (see A/64/PV.3) set out a firm basis for negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli Government. We hope that Mr. Obama will continue to closely pursue that important issue.
We also welcome the cautious positions stated by the European Union, the other members of the Quartet and the international community regarding the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, we believe that those positions are not sufficient. More effective efforts are needed in order to resume serious negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
In that context, we emphasize that the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East requires an end to the Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, with Al-Quds as its capital, based on the principle of land for peace and in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and resolutions of international legitimacy.
The United Arab Emirates will continue to stand by the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian people and to support their just cause. In that context, we commend His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas for his tireless efforts to restore the legitimate rights of his people, to establish a Palestinian State with Al-Quds as its capital and to achieve development and peace there. The United Arab Emirates also supports all ongoing efforts, particularly those undertaken by the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt, with a view to achieving national reconciliation in Palestine.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now call on Her Excellency Mrs. Rumiana Jeleva, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Mrs. Jeleva (Bulgaria): ...
Bulgaria is well aware of the need to pursue international diplomacy in order to overcome existing conflicts. As a consequence, we welcome the positive role that the European Union plays as a mediator in numerous conflict areas around the world. One such area is the Middle East. Bulgaria firmly supports the efforts of the members of the Quartet in the Middle East peace process and believes that re-establishing direct dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations is of fundamental importance. Bulgaria firmly supports the position of the European Union in this regard and underlines the fact that a comprehensive and lasting peace can only be realized if the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can live peacefully, side by side, each in its own sovereign State and in mutual recognition.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now call on His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam.
Prince Bolkiah (Brunei Darussalam): ...
Looking at the United Nations today, I would judge its response to the past 25 years as very effective. Things are much better than they were back then. Certainly, many of the old problems may still be with us, such as terrorism, poverty, disease, war and the 60-year struggle by the Palestinian people for justice, hope and dignity. ...
The meeting rose at 8.50 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.