Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
Agenda item 108
Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/69/1)
The President: In accordance with the decision taken at its 2nd plenary meeting, on 19 September 2014, the General Assembly will hear a presentation by the Secretary-General of his annual report on the work of the Organization, under agenda item 108. I give the floor to the Secretary-General.
(spoke in French)
After the latest tragedy in Gaza, Palestinians and Israelis seem more polarized than ever. If we do not save the two-State solution, we will be left in a state of permanent hostilities.
Agenda item 8 General debate
Address by Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
I wish to underscore that we cannot possibly remain indifferent to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, particularly after the recent dramatic events in Gaza. We condemn the disproportionate use of force that has strongly victimized the civilian population, especially women and children. The conflict must be properly resolved, not precariously managed, as has been the case up to now. Effective negotiations between the parties must ultimately lead to a two-State solution with Palestine and Israel living side by side in security within internationally recognized borders.
Address by Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
We recognize as well that leadership will be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace. Understand that the situation in Iraq and Syria and Libya should cure anybody of the illusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the main source of problems in the region. For far too long that has been used as an excuse to distract people from problems at home. The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. And that is something worthy of reflection within Israel. Because let us be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from that effort — not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or when the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world will be more just and more safe with two States living side by side, in peace and security.
Address by His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
The conflict in the Middle East, which escalates from time to time, with no hope of achieving a clear and definite solution despite multiple Arab and international initiatives, constitutes an ongoing danger to world peace. The parties in conflict must agree to make sacrifices, even painful ones. The international community must also ramp up pressure and act swiftly to find a fair solution to the conflict on the basis of relevant international resolutions, including those that guarantee the Palestinian people the establishment of an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Address by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar
The Middle East went through an extremely dangerous phase during the recent war on our Palestinian brothers. There are no guarantees that it will not recur. Israel continues to persist in its policies of occupation and to defy the will of the international community by confiscating land in the West Bank and building settlements in an effort to perpetuate that occupation Humankind was shocked by the tragic scenes and unprecedented images of destruction during the latest round of aggression targeting civilians in Gaza. Babies were killed in their mothers' arms, almost half a million Palestinians were displaced and the Gaza Strip was virtually destroyed when people had hardly managed to rebuild after the destruction inflicted on Gaza during the previous war. Under international law and international humanitarian law, such acts are defined as crimes against humanity. The arrogance of power will not prevail over the resistance of the Palestinian people. I salute their steadfast resistance in the face of the occupation in Gaza and their insistence on regaining their legitimate rights. May the souls of the Palestinian martyrs rest in peace.
Israel must realize that it can achieve security for its people only through peace, and that the occupation is bound to end. The damage caused by Israel's repeated acts of aggression in the Gaza Strip in recent years, the unjust blockade imposed on it and the destruction wreaked on its infrastructure make it incumbent on the international community to compel Israel to implement internationally agreed-on resolutions, fulfil its obligations and hasten to remove every obstacle to lifting the blockade and launching the process of reconstructionn. The State of Qatar will spare no effort to provide assistance for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, and we urge every country to follow suit.
The international community's response to the aspirations of the Palestinian people to freedom and national independence is vital to affirming the justice of international legality, especially since the question of Palestine is the last remaining issue on the decolonization agenda. In that context, temporary solutions and piecemeal settlements have proved useless and unacceptable. Israel's intransigence compels us to resort to the United Nations as a framework that can accommodate all parties.
The Security Council should shoulder its moral and legal responsibilities by upholding the principles of international legality and human rights and avoiding the selectivity that has characterized its approach to this issue in recent times. It should adopt a resolution, under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, forcing Israel to end its occupation of the lands it seized in 1967 and to implement the two-State solution agreed on by the international community, according to a clear and time-bound political plan, within the framework of peace negotiations leading to a permanent settlement of the Palestinian question through a two-State solution, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant internationally legitimate resolutions. The world is duty-bound to persuade the Palestinians that those who killed their children in Gaza will not be received in diplomatic forums as if they had carried out a civilized action because they had bombed Palestinians from the air without staining their hands with Palestinian blood.
Address by Mr. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Despite the multitude of crises threatening our region, some of which I have mentioned, the Palestinian issue remains a top priority for Egypt. Palestinians still aspire to establish their independent State on the territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the principles of the peace process that was established in the 1970s, following an Egyptian initiative. Those principles are not up for negotiation; otherwise the basis of a comprehensive peace in the region would erode and the values of justice and humanity would vanish. The continued deprivation of the Palestinian people of their rights is undoubtedly exploited by some to inflame other crises, achieve hidden goals, fragment Arab unity and impose control on Palestinians under the guise of realizing their aspirations.
All of these factors place a special responsibility on Egypt, and on the strength with which it confronted terrorism and extremism in the 1990s. I am confident that certain challenges will require us to work seriously and with a clear vision to achieve the ambitions of our people for democracy and human dignity and for our youth and their aspirations for a brighter future. Our success will guarantee the future of our people.
Address by His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
We cannot address the future of my region without addressing its central conflict: the denial of Palestinian rights and statehood. This year, yet again, we have seen a dangerous halt in the progress towards peace and a Palestinian State. Instead, in Gaza, we have seen another violent detour into conflict. How shall we heal the families who have lost so much? How shall we offer hope to young people whose futures are at risk? A first imperative step is to mobilize international efforts to rebuild Gaza. As we do so, we must also marshal the united global response needed to achieve a once-and-for-all lasting settlement. Such action can create the environment necessary to relaunch the final status negotiations on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative.
That approach offers a clear path — the only path — to a comprehensive settlement based on the two-State solution, international legitimacy and the terms of reference. For Israel, it offers security and normal diplomatic and economic relations with Arab and Muslim States and, for Palestinians, a viable and independent sovereign State, within the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Unilateral actions that seek to pre-empt negotiations must end. Jordan strongly opposes threats to the Arab, Muslim and Christian identity of Jerusalem. As the Hashemite custodian of Jerusalem's Muslim and Christian Holy Sites, I will continue to oppose any violation of the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The people of Palestine seek what all humans seek. It is the common cause of the General Assembly: justice, dignity, opportunity and hope. That is our global responsibility. It is in our global power, and we must make it our global reality. Jordan stands ready to do its part.
Address by Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey
The unresolved issue of half a century — Palestine — is already a root cause of many problems in the region.
Implementing a two-State solution, lifting the blockade against Gaza and establishing an independent, viable State of Palestine alongside Israel is a political, human and moral necessity. Many have spoken about a two-State solution from this rostrum. However, speaking about it is not sufficient. It is high time to act. It is no longer appropriate simply to talk about the issue — we must advance beyond that. Thousands of people are dying while we talk instead of acting. I think, at this point, it is a sad indication of the limits of our sense of responsibility here at the United Nations. We must therefore move forward. We must address these problems at the United Nations without any further delay in order to prevent more deaths of innocent people and arrive at a solution.
Let me also say that the world is larger than the five permanent members of the Security Council. The fact that they have rendered the United Nations ineffective, despite the situation in the world, must not be accepted by the global conscience. Otherwise, decisions taken at the United Nations will depend on a single country. That is, if one country disagrees, then a decision will not be taken or implemented. The United Nations failed to find a solution as more than 2,000 innocent people were killed within only two months in Palestine. In Syria, the United Nations failed to find effective solutions as
more than 200,000 people were killed and more than 9 million people were displaced in the past four years.
I find it strange that we focus on issues selectively. If 2,000 people are killed by chemical weapons, then we focus on chemical weapons, and we consider the killing of 2,000 people by chemical weapons to be a crime. But what about the killing of 200,000 people by conventional weapons — is that not a crime? I cannot understand such an approach or such a mentality. Let us clarify our thinking. Let it be understood that the use of any kind of weapon leading to the deaths of people is a crime, whether by chemical or conventional means.
Turkey has been trying very hard to build peace and prosperity in the region. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of any country; we respect and support the territorial integrity of every country in the region. Regarding the question of Palestine and Israel, we have been working to try to achieve a two-State solution based on peace and mutual respect. Our sensitivity to
this issue is based on the principle that the right to live of every human being is sacred.