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The meeting was called to order at 9:15 a.m.
Item 6 of the provisional agenda
Organization of the session
The President : I should like to remind representatives that statements in the debate in plenary are limited to five minutes.
For the twenty-seventh special session of the General Assembly, the Observer of Palestine will participate in the work of the General Assembly, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988 and resolution 52/250 of 7 July 1998, with no further need for a precursory explanation prior to any intervention by Palestine in this special session.
It was so decided.
Agenda items 8 and 9
Review of the achievements in the implementation and results of the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s
Renewal of commitment and future action for children in the next decade
The President : The Assembly will now hear a statement by His Excellency Mr. Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires, President of the Republic of Cape Verde.
President Rodrigues Pires (spoke in French ): ...
I wonder how many children are at this very moment wandering the streets looking for survival or passing from refugee camps to regroupment camps due to interminable conflicts that exist for reasons unknown to them and increasingly unacceptable. Take the example of Palestine, a situation which constitutes an act of violence against the human conscience.
The President : The Assembly will now hear a statement by Her Excellency Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, Vice-President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Binh (Viet Nam) (spoke in French ): ...
It is in this spirit that Viet Nam expresses its sympathy with the difficulties and the suffering experienced by women and children in the poorest nations and those most affected by war and embargoes, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Cuba and Iraq. The international community must focus on, and provide effective assistance to, the peoples of those countries in order to allow them — especially women and children — to enjoy normal living conditions and normal development.
The President : The Assembly will now hear a statement by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Misnad, President of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs of Qatar.
Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Misnad (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
Analysis of the present situation bitterly reveals the flagrant contradictions between ideals and legal rules on the one hand and reality on the other. How can we speak of the sacred human right to life in the face of the tragic reality unfolding on the land of Palestine, where city squares are rife with hideous scenes that offend all creeds and value systems. What sin have infants and children committed to be deprived of food, medicine, education and even life? Were not the men perpetrating violence and oppression in those regions once children accustomed to exercising their own rights without heeding the rights of others? In the face of such facts, we must pledge, individually and collectively, to sensitize our children to their identity and to the dictates of humanity.
Today we face a real test of our ability to commit ourselves to implementing what was agreed upon in the final documents of the World Summit for Children, which stressed, inter alia, the need to give priority to children. Let us begin with the children of Palestine and then continue with all the children of the rest of the world. Then and only then will this session truly be a special session, not only in the significance of its having been convened, but also in the level of its resolutions and recommendations.
The President : I call on Mr. Essop Goolam Pahad, Minister in the Office of the President of South Africa.
Mr. Pahad (South Africa): ...
Given our own bitter experience, we feel the daily pain and anger caused by the continuing brutalization of Palestinian children. Those children deserve to live in peace, comfort and security. We express our solidarity with all children throughout the world caught in the nightmare of war and armed conflict. ...
The President : I now call on Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Chairperson of the delegation of Egypt.
Mrs. Mubarak (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic): This session assumes great importance because it will assess our achievements over the last decade in achieving goals for our children and will agree on a plan to protect the rights of children in the future. When we speak about the protection and rights of children, we are calling for a new world capable of fully protecting and guaranteeing their rights. In this regard, I wish to refer to the violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, where observance of international conventions and agreements, particularly those related to the rights of children and human rights, has been lacking. The effects of the tragedy in the Palestinian territories are not just limited to its negative impact on Palestinian children. The tragedy is affecting also all the children of the region and the world. It has sown seeds of fear and hatred and has created an atmosphere of violence and extremism. However, the world has not done anything. We ask, “Have we lost our conscience, or are different standards being applied today?”
In view of our collective responsibility, I call on the members of the Assembly to contribute to putting an end to human rights violations, to stopping the bloodshed in the occupied Palestinian territories and to seeking just and peaceful solutions to provide good lives for children, regardless of their nationality or loyalties. Children are innocent creatures who should not bear the responsibilities of the past. They are the children of the future.
The meeting rose at 2 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-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.