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12th plenary meeting
Monday, 28 September 2009, 3 p.m.
The President ( spoke in Arabic ): I call on Her Excellency Ms. Naha Mint Mouknass, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Ms. Mint Mouknass (Mauritania) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The Arab-Israeli conflict is a source of ongoing tension and a threat to international peace and security in a sensitive and vital region of the world. For that reason, we support peace efforts aimed at finding a solution to the conflict that will, on the one hand, guarantee the brotherly Palestinian people all of their rights, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right to live in peace and security side by side with Israel; and on the other hand, will restore all occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan and the Lebanese Sheba'a farms.
The President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Peter Power, Minister of State for Overseas Development of Ireland.
Mr. Power (Ireland): ...
Let me turn now for a moment to the situation in the Middle East. Ireland very much welcomes and supports the renewed international efforts made in recent months to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process with a view to bringing about a comprehensive and lasting peace settlement. Particular praise is due to the United States Administration and to the United States Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, for their intensive engagement aimed at achieving the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the promotion of peace between Israel and all of its neighbours. We are of course fortunate in Ireland to have had the benefit of first-hand experience of George Mitchell’s formidable skills, patience and tenacity as a peacemaker, and we hope he can bring these unique skills to this particular process.
With our European Union (EU) partners, we stand ready to work closely with our Israeli and Palestinian partners and to support the United States and the Quartet in their efforts. It is vitally important that all parties contribute to confidence-building by fully honouring their commitments and obligations under the Road Map. This must include real efforts to halt all settlement activities and improve the living conditions of civilians on the ground in the Palestinian territories. Ordinary people must see in their daily lives the benefits that will derive from peace and must be encouraged to take risks for peace.
Nowhere is this more urgent than in Gaza. We wish to see all border crossings fully and immediately opened to normal commercial and humanitarian traffic. We have all been shocked by the violence and widespread civilian casualties that took place during the conflict in Gaza at the start of this year. There must be some form of accountability for the most serious violations of international law that occurred at that time. The Human Rights Council is now addressing this issue in considering the comprehensive report prepared by Justice Goldstone and his team (A/HRC/12/48).
The President (spoke in Arabic ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Abubakr Al-Qirbi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen.
Mr. Al-Qirbi (Yemen) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The difficult humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation should remind all in this Hall that the international community has failed to secure the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people and to assist it in establishing its own State, and that it has ignored the suffering of the Palestinian people, the systematic violation of their human rights and the increase in illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. The unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinians in Gaza makes life a tragedy for the entire population of Gaza owing to the complete disregard of the practices of the Israeli occupation in violation of the relevant international resolutions and instruments, and in the light of the recalcitrance shown by the Israeli Government and its rejection of all initiatives aimed at moving the peace process forward, in particular with regard to the course adopted by the United States Administration to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. We call upon our Palestinian brothers to show a spirit of national responsibility towards their people living under the yoke of occupation by unifying and putting an end to their differences so as to benefit the Palestinian issue and achieve their goals.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Oldemiro Marques Balói, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique.
Mr. Balói (Mozambique): ...
We pay tribute to his predecessor, Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann — a great sponsor of popular liberation — for the resolute manner in which he presided over the General Assembly at its sixty-third session, and for his tireless efforts in favour of and devotion to the poorest and most disadvantaged. Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann’s engagement as an advocate for those suffering in the Palestinian territories and his strong leadership, demonstrated by bringing together the 192 Member States of the United Nations to address the financial and economic crisis, have given us a vivid example of how commitment and generosity, combined with vision and resolve, can make a difference in bringing the international community together in the search for solutions to current global problems.
With regard to the Middle East, Mozambique is encouraged by the prospects for an effective, viable and durable two-State solution for the Palestinians and Israelis, as well as for broader Arab-Israeli normalization as a result of the commitments made by relevant stakeholders during this general debate.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chad.
Mr. Mahamat (Chad) (spoke in French ): ...
With respect to the question of Palestine, we urge and encourage our Organization to continue with greater resolve its efforts towards backing the conclusion of a peace agreement providing for the peaceful coexistence of two sovereign States, in accordance with the principles of international law and of the United Nations Charter. This is an opportunity to welcome the commitment of the new American Administration, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, to restoring peace to that region long torn by war.
Mrs. Gallardo Hernández (El Salvador), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I now call on His Excellency Datuk Anifah Aman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.
Mr. Aman (Malaysia): ...
Often, grave injustices are the cause of breaches of peace and threats to security. In that connection, we must accept the fact that the Palestinian issue epitomizes everything that is unjust and unfair in international relations. It has taken on a symbolic value that colours cultural and political relations well beyond its geographical scope. This issue has bedevilled the international community for too long. We must do all that we can to address the Palestinian issue, as resolving it will have a major impact in our efforts to achieve peace and security in the Middle East and beyond.
For far too long, the unstinting support given to Israel has resulted in an impasse. In the interest of global peace, Israel, Palestine and the affected countries in the region must work together to resolve the conflict. We look forward to the United States undertaking the role of an honest broker. We hold much hope for a more even-handed approach by the United States on the Middle East. We expect to be able to be part of a just and comprehensive solution and that the action of the United States will match its rhetoric. After all, history is littered with examples of the fury and vehemence that result when hope turns into despair.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. João Gomes Cravinho, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Portuguese Republic.
Mr. Gomes Cravinho (Portugal) ( spoke in Portuguese; English text provided by the delegation ): ...
One of the main challenges to international peace and security is the conflict in the Middle East. Portugal reiterates its support for a two-State solution, with the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State, to exist side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. But to attain this objective it is paramount that Palestine have a territory that enables it to exist as a State.
In this context, Portugal will continue to support all efforts, in particular those of Egypt and the United States, for the return to the negotiation process in accordance with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) and in accordance with the principles contained in the various peace initiatives, particularly the Arab Peace Initiative. We are living in a time of opportunity, and it is fundamental that the increasingly united opinion of the international community be fully listened to by the parties.
The meeting rose at 9.10 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.