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Item 10 of the provisional agenda
Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/57/1)
The President: In accordance with the decision taken at its 1st plenary meeting, on 10 September 2002, the General Assembly will hear a presentation by the Secretary-General of his annual report on the work of the Organization.
I give the floor to the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General: ...
Let me now turn to four current threats to world peace where true leadership and effective action are badly needed.
The first is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recently, many of us have been struggling to reconcile Israel’s legitimate security concerns with Palestinian humanitarian needs. But those limited objectives cannot be achieved in isolation from the wider political context. We must return to the search for a just and comprehensive solution, which alone can bring security and prosperity to both peoples, and indeed to the whole region.
The ultimate shape of a Middle East peace settlement is well known. It was defined long ago in Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and its Israeli-Palestinian components were spelt out even more clearly in Council resolution 1397 (2002): land for peace; an end to terror and to occupation; two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders. Both parties accept that vision. But we can reach it only if we move rapidly and in parallel on all fronts. The so-called sequential approach has failed.
As we agreed at the “quartet” meeting in Washington last May, an international peace conference is needed without delay to set out a road map of parallel steps; steps to strengthen Israel’s security, steps to strengthen Palestinian economic and political institutions, and steps to settle the details of the final peace agreement. Meanwhile, humanitarian steps to relieve Palestinian suffering must be intensified. The need is urgent.
Agenda item 9
The President: I call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, His Excellency Mr. Celso Lafer.
Mr. Lafer (Brazil): ...
The situation in the Middle East underscores how distant we still are from the international order imagined by the founders of the United Nations Charter.
Brazil supports the creation of a democratic, secure and economically viable Palestinian State, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Brazil defends the right of the State of Israel to exist within recognized borders and of its people to live in security. These are essential prerequisites for lasting peace in the Middle East. Only by mutually and comprehensively acknowledging the conflicting legitimacies in the region, as well as by building on existing agreements, can we staunch the indiscriminate destructiveness of violence and forge a way forward.
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, and to invite him to address the General Assembly.
President Bush: ...
Our common security is challenged by regional conflicts — ethnic and religious strife that is ancient, but not inevitable. In the Middle East, there can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices. My nation will continue to encourage all parties to step up to their responsibilities as we seek a just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict.
If we fail to act in the face of danger, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission. The regime will have new power to bully, dominate and conquer its neighbours, condemning the Middle East to more years of bloodshed and fear. The region will remain unstable, with little hope of freedom, and isolated from the progress of our times. With every step the Iraqi regime takes towards gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow. And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of 11 September would be a prelude to far greater horrors.
If we meet our responsibilities, if we overcome this danger, we can arrive at a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can show by their example that honest government, respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond. We will show that the promise of the United Nations can be fulfilled in our time.
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Mbeki: ...
In February next year, Malaysia will assume the responsibility of guiding our Movement as it responds to the changed and changing global environment. I am certain that this will add new strength to the Non-Aligned Movement in the interests of all humanity, especially the poor of the world. As before, the Non-Aligned Movement is committed to the peaceful resolution of all conflicts, including those pertaining to Palestine and Israel, as well as Iraq, in keeping with the resolutions of the United Nations. These are urgent tasks to which the Organization must respond.
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
General Musharraf: ...
The international community must urgently revive the Middle East peace process also to realize a comprehensive and just peace on the basis of Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace.
Pakistan supports the full and faithful implementation of all Security Council resolutions.
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Parvanov (spoke in Bulgarian; interpretation into English provided by the delegation): ...
Unfortunately, regional crises and conflicts in different parts of the world continue to dominate the General Assembly agenda. Bulgaria has been closely following the situation in the Middle East, and it supports efforts to find fair and lasting solutions. We share the view that progress can be achieved only on the basis of dialogue and cooperation between the parties concerned and with the active engagement of the “quartet” in this process.
The Acting President (spoke in French): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Mr. Robert Mugabe, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Mugabe: ...
The United Nations is confronted with a volatile situation in the Middle East that has the potential to engulf the entire subregion. The Palestinian question should be resolved without further delay, as it is causing untold suffering to the people in the occupied territories. Israel must withdraw its forces from Palestinian lands, and the Palestinians must be afforded the opportunity of having a State of their own. The carnage that is going on at present will benefit neither side. Israel must know that its chances for peace and security lie in having a Palestinian State that will live side by side with it in mutual respect between sovereign States.
We believe that Palestinians should be left alone to elect the leaders of their choice, as it is their democratic and sovereign right to do. It is only leaders thus elected who can ensure peace and stability within the State of Palestine and between Palestine and all of its neighbours. We note with concern that some countries wish to arrogate to themselves the right to choose or impose leadership in developing countries by sidelining or overthrowing democratically elected Governments. Not only is this a negation of democracy and democratic principles, but it constitutes outright interference in the internal affairs of independent sovereign States, and must be resisted. I say this in relation not only to other States but also to my own country. My people elected me, and that election was held to have been valid by Africa and its organizations. But Europe said, “No” — and it was Europe that yesterday was our oppressor and colonialist. Europe said “No”, but Africa said, “Yes”. To whom do we listen? The whites in Europe or the blacks in Africa? We listen to our own blacks and their judgement; they are our people. They, and no one else, are the ones who should elect us.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Rasmussen (Denmark): On behalf of the European Union, I am honoured to address the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session.
The key role played by the United Nations in the fight against terrorism is a reminder of the fact that the United Nations itself was born out of hope founded on the ashes of the Second World War — a war which defeated tyranny and terror. With the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, the United Nations has been given renewed impetus to deal globally with conflict prevention, crisis management, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict rehabilitation and development, and disarmament and arms control. In the complicated area of peacemaking, the United Nations and the European Union work tirelessly to find solutions in the Middle East through the efforts of the Quartet and in finding a permanent settlement on Cyprus consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions. The European Union is a major partner in the rebuilding of a new Afghanistan freed from terror.
The meeting rose at 1.40 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.