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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/67/PV.15
28 September 2012

Official Records
General Assembly
Sixty-seventh session
15th plenary meeting
Friday, 28 September 2012, 6 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Jeremić ...........................................................(Serbia)

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Agenda item 8 (continued)

General debate

The Acting President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.

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... That is fundamentally why we have gathered together under the rubric of the United Nations, with a Charter so uplifting and magnificent in its ideals and purposes as to constitute the best hope for the human race. Arrogant and unbridled power, from whatever source, is thus to be contained. It is always wise to remember that the greatest exercise of power is restraint in the use of that power. That is true within and between nations. It is the surest way for the malevolent across the globe to be accorded no space to flourish and to be defeated.

It is within this context that the text of a prosperous, safe, independent Palestinian State must be written alongside a secure State of Israel, living in friendship and non-belligerence. This is a matter of grave urgency; the injustice meted out to Palestine must end now. So, too, must continue our global quest for interfaith dialogue and an alliance of civilizations, initiated by the Governments of Qatar and Turkey, respectively.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Guido Westerwelle, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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Those challenges must not lead us to lose sight of the necessity of a negotiated peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. There is a danger that the goal of a two-State solution, the only solution that can reconcile the legitimate interests of the two sides, will slip away. The two sides must build new trust. At the same time, they must refrain from doing anything that might jeopardize a two-State solution.

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The Acting President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Samoa, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.

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Mr. Schaper (Netherlands), Vice-President, took the Chair.

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As we heard from other leaders, including the Secretary-General and the President of the United States, it is of critical importance that the Palestinians be allowed to realize their right to a viable State of their own, existing alongside a secure and safe Jewish State of Israel. That has also been and continues to be Samoa’s long-standing position on the issue. We remain hopeful that current efforts to secure a peaceful, durable and fair settlement in the Middle East will successful. All efforts towards that goal rekindle hope and should be supported. A peace deal is central to providing conditions conducive to the achievement of a two-State solution.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal.

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Nepal supports a just and lasting solution to the Middle East. It is our principled position to support the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and a fully independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the basis of the United Nations resolutions. The peaceful and secure coexistence of the independent States of a sovereign Palestine and Israel are crucial to ensuring lasting peace in the Middle East.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta.

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Malta believes that the international community must redouble its efforts in that process and that there can be no rest until the world welcomes a truly stable and secure Middle East. We owe it to the Palestinians and the Israelis. We owe it to the wider Mediterranean region, which has now been deadlocked for far too long in the grips of that struggle. There really is no other option than that, for the alternative is further entrenchment of the positions held and more extremism and instability. Malta reaffirms its commitment to the efforts of the United Nations and the European Union, in particular towards the attainment of the goal of two viable States living side by side in harmony. However, that solution is possible only if it is feasible on the ground. That means no unilateral action, which would make it an unattainable reality.

A year from now, we should no longer be talking of a Middle East peace process but of a Middle East in peace, and that is that. The sceptics among us will note that that is what was said last year and, of course, even the year before. For over 60 years, we have been making that call but we must not let the opportunity slip away once again. The Arab Spring shows us that we need to answer the call of history now. It can be different this time.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Alfredo Moreno Charme, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile.

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In addition, we have resolutely supported all international efforts towards a just, legitimate and lasting solution of the problem between Palestine and Israel. We recognize the Palestinian State — a country that we hope very shortly to welcome to the Organization. We strongly believe that the Palestinian people have the right to a free, sovereign and democratic State. However, we also note that the State of Israel has the right to recognized, safe and respected borders. Only in that way will Palestinians and Israelis be able to coexist and move forward in peace and harmony.

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Mr. Charles (Trinidad and Tobago), Vice-President, took the Chair.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Bernard Kamillius Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania.

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The United Nations is anchored in the principles of human rights, the rule of law, good governance and democracy. We the Member States must implement what we deliberate and agree upon, otherwise the credibility of the United Nations will be at stake. The Security Council and the General Assembly have adopted many resolutions on Palestinian independence. Tanzania applauds the admission of the Palestinian State to UNESCO. As we do so, Tanzania would like once again to appeal to the major Powers and donors in UNESCO to review their decision to punish UNESCO by withdrawing their contributions. That decision impacts more on developing countries, in particular African countries, which draw on up to 65 per cent of UNESCO funds in education, science and culture.

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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey.

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Another tragedy that has long been taking place before our eyes in the Middle East is that of Palestine. This is the fourth General Assembly session where we continue to stress the unacceptability and unsustainability of the situation in Gaza. However, to date, there has been no progress. As a result, in the fourth year of the unlawful blockade by Israel, the people in Gaza, children in particular, continue to live in despair, desolation and fear.

Many decisions and resolutions have been adopted at the United Nations calling for the lifting of that unlawful blockade. However, Israel persists in its illegal policy to this day, thereby causing misery and anguish in Gaza. In fact, we see the same attitude by Israel in all of the occupied Palestinian territories. Despite insistent calls by the international community, it carries on with its illegal settlements in Palestine, and thus deliberately undermines the prospects of a peaceful two-State solution.

Indeed, when President Mahmoud Abbas spoke in the Assembly last year (see A/66/PV. 19) and declared the right of Palestine to be recognized as an independent State, I remember seeing the whole Assembly in a standing ovation. But as of this day we have yet to see the State of Palestine as an equal member of the General Assembly, with the f lag of the independent Palestine flying. How can we convince the Palestinian people that the international community is serious about a two-State solution when no United Nations resolutions have helped their cause for an independent State of Palestine? However, we will one day see the f lag of Palestine in the Hall. Turkey will certainly support the Palestinian people in their quest for statehood, dignity and peace.

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The meeting rose at 3.30 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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.


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