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Source: General Assembly
26 September 2006


General Assembly
GA/10508

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly
Plenary
20th & 21st Meetings (AM & PM)


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Background

The General Assembly met this morning to continue its general debate for its sixty-fourth session, which began on 19 September.

Statements

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ABDELWAHEB ABDALLAH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, ...

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Tunisia, which had supported the Middle East peace process since its inception, stressed the need to find a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he said.  He called on the international community to provide urgent protection to the Palestinian people, who were undergoing terrible hardships.  Tunisia also called on active parties, primarily the Quartet, to revive the peace process on all tracks in accordance with Arab efforts.  That would help the Palestinian people regain their legitimate rights, including the establishment of an independent State, and also allow sister States Syria and Lebanon to recover their occupied territories, he said.  Tunisia reiterated its solidarity with Lebanon, following the Israeli aggression, which had caused the huge loss of life and property, and renewed its call to the international community to contribute to reconstruction efforts.  His country also hoped that the Iraqi people would find appropriate solutions to maintain national unity and guarantee security and stability.

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WALID AL-MOUALEM, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Syria, said that volatility in the Middle East had been brought on by “protracted and relentless” Israeli occupation of Arab territories, under which the Palestinian people continued to suffer, as did that of those in the occupied Syrian Golan.  There was deep-rooted anger in the region, especially after the war against Lebanon and with the continuing logjam in peace efforts.  Syria, too, wanted a just and comprehensive peace in the region and had taken part in the peace process that began in Madrid 15 years ago, but the resulting Security Council resolutions (242 and 338) had not born fruit.  As for Security Council 1701 dealing with recent events in Lebanon, Syria would cooperate with the United Nations to implement its provisions; for example, it had adopted measures to control its borders with Lebanon, while demanding the withdrawal of Israel from all Lebanese occupied territories, including Shebaa Farms.

Turning to Iraq, he affirmed Syria’s support for the Iraqi Government, but said it was essential to draw up a schedule for the withdrawal of foreign troops there since it would assist in curbing violence.  Indeed, five years had passed since 11 September, an act which Syria condemned as a heinous terrorist crime.  Tragically, however, those in the Arab world ended up paying the price when decision makers in Washington provided solutions in a manner that was tailored to their own vision.  What people wanted was an end to Israeli occupation in Palestine, Lebanon and the Golan, and for the flow of American weapons to stop.  It was clear that the “war on terror” had not achieved its objectives and that it had played into the hands of terrorists by becoming a cause of terrorism.  Israel, as the sole power in possession of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, had refused to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to submit to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.  As such, Syria had submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council on behalf of the Arab group to rid the region of all weapons of mass destruction.

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ZARIFOU AYEVA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Togo, ...

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... In order to put an end to violence in Palestine, the United Nations needed to implement a two-State solution.  While resolution in these areas remained the height of concerns, the United Nations and the international community also needed to consolidate peace in countries emerging from conflicts and must play a vital role in strengthening democracy in those areas.

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For information media • not an official record

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