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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/58/PV.9
24 September 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
9th plenary meeting
Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 10 a.m.
New York

President: The Hon. Julian R. Hunte.............................................. (Saint Lucia)

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

/...

The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Enrique Bolaños Geyer, President of the Republic of Nicaragua, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Bolaños Geyer (spoke in Spanish): ...

/...

Peace is still only a hope in some regions of the world. Nicaragua advocates multilateral action to find peaceful solutions in keeping with international law. We are concerned at the escalation of the situation in the Middle East and its consequences, which is why we believe that the international community must contribute, through the United Nations, to finding a just and lasting peace in the region. My Government supports an immediate resumption of the peace process begun this year through the peace plan known as the road map.

/...

The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Kufuor: ...

/...

We sincerely hope that the Organization will be empowered to assume a central role in the current efforts to normalize the situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Palestine. The strengthening of the Organization to provide this leadership will reinvigorate it to survive this century and promote the cause of peace and security in the world.

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The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and former President of the General Assembly, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Bouteflika (spoke in Arabic):...

/...

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we will continue to warn against all misconceptions and the tendentious association of terrorism with a particular religion, civilization or geographical area. Equally, we need to agree upon an accurate definition of terrorism, so as not to affect national liberation struggles and the legitimate right of peoples to self-determination. Such a clarification should be provided as part of the draft global convention against terrorism, currently on the international agenda. Launching a genuine dialogue among cultures and civilizations will be helpful in fostering rapprochement and understanding among peoples, by combating prejudiced viewpoints and narrow-minded perceptions. Situations will still be tense wherever peoples are deprived of their rights, and denied freedom and dignity.

This is the case in Palestine, where the Palestinian people are still denied the enjoyment of their right to exist, despite the universal recognition of their national rights today. The prevarication, delaying tactics and systematic repression used by Israel for decades to defer the settlement of the Palestinian problem, have now led to an explosive situation that seriously threatens regional and global peace and security.

The international community should become involved in a more decisive manner to put an end to this spiralling situation, and firmly urge Israel to fully cooperate for a global, just and lasting solution which necessarily includes the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, and the withdrawal from the Lebanese and Syrian territories remaining under occupation.

/...

The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Musharraf: ...

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When the Berlin Wall collapsed, hopes revived for a new age of cooperation and peace, free from ideological confrontations. Sadly, those hopes were dashed — by ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and then in Kosovo; by the failure to end the occupation of Palestine, leading to the revived intifada against Israeli occupation; by the brutal suppression of the Kashmiri’s demand for self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation; by the unending war in Afghanistan and the international neglect which created a climate in which extremism and terrorism could breed; and by the series of international financial crises and the rise of poverty as a consequence of unequal economic globalization.

/...

I believe the way forward is to adopt a two-pronged — or double-pincer — strategy to build harmony, promote moderation, oppose extremism and ensure justice. I call this the strategy of enlightened moderation.

On the one hand, Muslim nations must assume their responsibility for internal reform and renewal. They are at the crossroads. They must eschew extremism and confrontation. They must embrace the march of human civilization. They must address the deficits in their social and economic development. They must seek science and technology, higher education and human resource development.

The international community — especially the advanced countries of the West — must deliver the other pincer in this strategy of enlightened moderation. They can do so by helping to resolve political disputes and situations in which Muslim peoples are being suppressed, such as in Palestine and Kashmir; by rejecting attempts to equate terrorism with Islam; and by assisting the Muslim world in poverty alleviation and in socio-economic development. The United Nations itself has a crucial role to play in the conception and execution of the strategy of enlightened moderation.

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Endeavours to stabilize Iraq will be enhanced by progress in promoting peace with justice in the Middle East. Hopes for a just and comprehensive peace were aroused earlier this year by the Quartet’s road map; those hopes have been progressively dimmed. But failure is not an option at all. The fate of the Palestinian people is the principal factor in determining public and political perceptions in the entire Islamic world. It is only progress towards a just peace that can marginalize the extremists. Therefore, we must revive faithful implementation of the road map and must realize the vision of two States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace within recognized boundaries.

/...

Agenda item 9 (continued)

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The Acting President (spoke in Spanish): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Li Zhaoxing, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China.

Mr. Li Zhaoxing (China) (spoke in Chinese): ...

/...

Countries are increasingly closer in their economic relations. Advanced means of communications have made it possible to share information in real time. With their interests closely connected and intertwined, countries are finding themselves more and more like passengers in the same boat. Regional cooperation has grown substantially in both depth and scope, with cooperation mechanisms taking shape at various levels. Regional economic integration is forging ahead in many parts of the world.

There are, however, many worrisome aspects of the international situation. Local wars and conflicts continue to emerge sporadically. Although the Iraq war is over, peace remains elusive, with no end of suffering in sight for the Iraqi people. With the situation between Israel and Palestine still experiencing ups and downs, the Middle East peace process remains a long, uphill journey. In Africa, wars are still raging in some countries.

/...

The meeting rose at 1.50 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 C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.



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