Question of Palestine home
12 September 2000
th plenary session
Tuesday, 12 September 2000, 10 a.m.
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 9
Address by Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti
The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Republic of Djibouti.
Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations the President of the Republic of Djibouti, His Excellency Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
(spoke in French):
Last year I noted that dialogue had been renewed between Palestine and Israel, which opened a promising opportunity for charting a new course in the Middle East. While it is true that the recent Camp David peace talks are still suspended, nonetheless a great deal was accomplished in terms of fully exploring the scope and diversity of the issues under consideration. There was at least a workable level of trust and a clear willingness to discuss the key “final status” issues of borders, settlements, water, refugees, statehood and, above all, the status of Jerusalem. It is difficult, however, to imagine any resolution or settlement that would not include Palestinian control of East Jerusalem. Israel’s continued claim to the entire city, which would include control of Muslim holy sites in the Old City, adjoining Muslim and Christian quarters and selected Arab villages, would be counterproductive to peace.
Any mention of the Middle East must, of course, include a reference to the enormous loss suffered by Syria and the world at large with the death of the long-serving President of Syria, Hafez Al-Assad. We wish the new President, Bashar Al-Assad, all the best in his efforts to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious father.
Address by Mr. Juan Francisco Reyes López, Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala
The Assembly will now hear a statement by Mr. Juan Francisco Reyes López, Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala.
Mr. Juan Francisco Reyes López, Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala, was escorted to the rostrum.
I have great pleasure in welcoming the Vice-President of the Republic of Guatemala, His Excellency Mr. Juan Francisco Reyes López, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
spoke in Spanish
Likewise, we trust that a prompt solution to the Middle East conflict will be found and that situations of tension in the African continent and other parts of Europe will be overcome, as well as among any other fraternal people of the world who are victims of violence and discord.
The Acting President
: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Hubert Vedrine, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union.
spoke in French
): I have the honour of speaking this year on behalf of the European Union, which France is presiding over until the end of December.
The European Union hails the considerable efforts and determination shown by the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Prime Minister during recent negotiations to reach a final agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. We welcome in particular the renewed vigour with which very sensitive issues have been addressed at this time.
We commend President Clinton and the Secretary of State for their unflagging efforts to facilitate negotiations. Circumstances favourable to reconciling positions continue to exist. We urge the parties to seize this historic opportunity, show courage in decisive choices, take fully into account human realities and the recognized rights of all, and thereby achieve a final agreement.
The European Union welcomes Israel’s withdrawal from the zone it occupied in southern Lebanon. It welcomes the redeployment of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the presence of a joint security force, sent to the area by the Lebanese Government. It urges all parties to fulfil their responsibilities in order to defuse tensions. The European Union believes that only a comprehensive settlement encompassing every track of the peace process, including the Israeli-Syrian track, is likely to guarantee lasting stability in the region. It will continue to support the efforts of the parties to this end and contribute to the implementation of any agreements that may be reached.
The Acting President:
I give the floor to His Excellency the Honourable Chakra Prasad Bastola, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal.
The United Nations has succeeded remarkably in bringing peace in some situations and failed in others. Its involvement has eased tensions in the Central African Republic and Tajikistan. East Timor is heading into independence in relative calm. Kosovo is engaged in building democratic institutions.
Israel has withdrawn its forces from southern Lebanon, a withdrawal which has vastly improved the prospects of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.