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49th plenary meeting
Thursday, 13 November 2008, 3 p.m.
In the absence of the President, Mr. Siles Alvarado (Bolivia), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Agenda item 45 (continued)
Culture of peace
Report of the Secretary-General (A/63/262)
Note by the Secretary-General (A/63/127)
Draft resolutions (A/63/L.23 and A/63/L.24/Rev.1)
Address by Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was escorted to the rostrum.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Brown (United Kingdom): ...
Thirdly, we should repeat the importance that everyone who has spoken here attaches to peace in the Middle East and the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with an Israeli State that has its security guaranteed. We in Britain, with other countries, will continue to work for that objective, which, I believe, can be achieved by goodwill in the Middle East.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I give the floor to the chairman of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Khazaee (Islamic Republic of Iran): ...
Unfortunately, a representative of a regime which in its short history has been marked by crimes of aggression, occupation, assassination, State terrorism and torture against the Palestinian people under the pretext of a false interpretation of a certain religion has tried to abuse this meeting for his regime’s narrow political purposes. Undoubtedly, the participation of such a regime here not only fails to benefit our common purpose, but also, as proved in this very Hall yesterday, allows it to try to disrupt the current process and divert our attention from our mandate.
The Acting President : I now give the floor to the chairman of the delegation of Italy.
Mr. Terzi di Sant’Agata (Italy): ...
The debate yesterday and today, in which so many heads of State or Government took part, is eloquent proof of the great potential of interreligious and intercultural dialogue in contributing to peace and to the settlement of even the most complex political disputes.
Through our different faiths and deepest philosophical convictions, we must strive to recognize our human affinities and translate them into a message of peace. This is what I took personally from the words pronounced yesterday by His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia and by the President of the State of Israel, His Excellency Shimon Peres: the practical application of a culture of peace. As President Peres said, “when nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, indiscriminate terror and fanatical incitement determine the agenda, all of us have to change that agenda” ( A/63/PV.46).
The tangible and effective openness to dialogue and exchange that we all perceived yesterday and today does not only convey a message of hope; it also constitutes a prerequisite for making this change of agenda possible and attaining a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East, with the vital contribution of all sides: parties to the conflict, regional States and the international community as a whole.
Today, the path to reaching a solution to this conflict is clearer. As His Majesty King Abdullah bin Al Hussein of Jordan rightly stated yesterday, “it is a political conflict and it demands a just, negotiated solution that brings statehood and freedom for Palestinians and security and more regional acceptance for Israel” ( A/63/PV.46).
The meeting rose at 6.05 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.