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10th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 19 September 2006, 11 a.m.
The President ( spoke in Arabic): In accordance with the decision taken at its 2nd plenary meeting, held on 13 September 2006, the General Assembly will hear a presentation by the Secretary-General of his annual report on the work of the Organization under agenda item 102. I give the floor to the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General: ...
Moreover, this climate of fear and suspicion is constantly refuelled by the violence in the Middle East. We might like to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict among many. But it is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield. As long as the Palestinians live under occupation, exposed to daily frustration and humiliation; and as long as Israelis are blown up in buses or in dance halls: so long will passions everywhere be inflamed.
On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged, by standards that are not applied to its enemies. Too often that is true, particularly in some United Nations bodies. On the other side, people are outraged by the disproportionate use of force against Palestinians and by Israel’s continued occupation and confiscation of Arab land.
Agenda item 8
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 Assembly.
President Bush: ...
The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land. I am committed to two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. I am committed to a Palestinian State that has territorial integrity and will live peacefully with the Jewish State of Israel. This is the vision set forth in the road map, and helping the parties to reach this goal is one of the great objectives of my presidency. The Palestinian people have suffered from decades of corruption and violence and the daily humiliation of occupation. Israeli citizens have endured brutal acts of terrorism and constant fear of attack since the birth of their nation. Many brave men and women have made the commitment to peace. Yet extremists in the region are stirring up hatred and trying to prevent these moderate voices from prevailing.
This struggle is unfolding in the Palestinian territories. Earlier this year, the Palestinian people voted in a free election. The leaders of Hamas campaigned on a platform of ending corruption and improving the lives of the Palestinian people, and they prevailed. The world is waiting to see whether the Hamas Government will follow through on its promises or pursue an extremist agenda. The world has sent a clear message to the leaders of Hamas: serve the interests of the Palestinian people, abandon terror, recognize Israel’s right to exist, honour agreements and work for peace.
President Abbas is committed to peace and to his people’s aspirations for a State of their own. Prime Minister Olmert is committed to peace, and has said he intends to meet with President Abbas to make real progress on the outstanding issues between them. I believe that peace can be achieved and that a democratic Palestinian State is possible. I hear from leaders in the region who want to help. I have directed Secretary of State Rice to lead a diplomatic effort to engage moderate leaders across the region to help the Palestinians reform their security services and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders in their efforts to come together to resolve their differences.
Prime Minister Blair has indicated that his country will work with partners in Europe to help strengthen the governing institutions of the Palestinian administration. We welcome his initiative. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt have made clear that they are willing to contribute the diplomatic and financial assistance necessary to help these efforts succeed. I am optimistic that, by supporting the forces of democracy and moderation, we can help Israelis and Palestinians build a more hopeful future and achieve the peace in the Holy Land that we all want.
The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations Her Excellency Ms. Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland, and to invite her to address the Assembly.
President Halonen: Madam President, on behalf of the European Union, ...
Contrary to our shared ideals, the realities of war and violence have not passed away into history. Conflicts and terrorism continue to destroy the social and economic progress for which we are all striving. The recent tragic events that occurred in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories have again demonstrated the need to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Sustainable peace in the Middle East and security for the people living there can be achieved only through a commitment to a peace process that leads to a viable independent Palestinian State living in peace with a secure Israel. That remains our goal. The European Union is determined to participate actively in the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) in order to help consolidate the ceasefire and reach a long-term solution based on the terms contained in the resolution.
The European Union is strongly committed to respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and humanitarian personnel during conflict. We therefore condemn the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Lebanon and Israel in the recent conflict. We welcome the outcome of the Stockholm International Donor Conferences on the Humanitarian Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and on Lebanon. The European Union has responded swiftly and generously to both humanitarian appeals.
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency General Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Musharraf: ...
The attack on Lebanon has far-reaching implications for the Middle East. The ability and relevance of moderate forces to bring about a just peace in the region has been put to a very severe test. The world must, however, still support them to address the festering problems of the region comprehensively and fairly. It is time to end Israel’s conflicts with all its neighbours. It is time, first and foremost, to end the tragedy of Palestine. There is no doubt in our mind — there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind — that that lies at the core not only of tackling the problems of Iraq and Afghanistan, but also of dealing with the menaces of terrorism and extremism at their roots.
The President ( spoke in French): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the French Republic.
Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in French ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Chirac (spoke in French ): ...
In this highly sensitive region where divides meet, the status quo has become unbearable. Because the conflict in the Middle East is a threat to global peace and security, the world has no option but to be the guarantor of peace. Let us tread off the beaten track of habit. Let us define a global strategy the key to which is an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
The parameters for that settlement are well-known, namely, the secure coexistence of two viable States, as has already been widely accepted by both peoples; safe and recognized borders; and a fair solution for refugees and for Jerusalem. All that still stands between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace to which they aspire is the deep-seated, mutual distrust of two peoples shattered by history and reeling from their sufferings and ordeals. Let us now stop extremists from laying down the law! Let us help peoples and leaders bold enough to seek peace! Like, before them, Sadat and Begin, Rabin and Arafat! Before this Assembly, I call on the world to commit itself to restoring the conditions for confidence.
The Quartet should meet shortly to start preparing an international conference. I propose that the conference define in advance the guarantees that we are prepared to provide to the parties as soon as they reach an agreement. I also propose that the conference pave the way for a new future in the Middle East through a regional framework for collective security, economic integration and dialogue among cultures.
The Acting President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I h ave the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Lech Kaczyński, President of the Republic of Poland, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Kaczyński ( spoke in Polish; English text provided by the delegation): ...
We strongly encourage efforts to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to express Poland’s position in that regard. Poland unequivocally supports Israel’s right to live in security. At the same time, Poland supports the aspirations of the Palestinian nation to build an independent State. We have been involved in the stabilization of the region for many years. ...
The meeting rose at 2.05 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-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.