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        General Assembly
7 October 2004

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-ninth session
21st plenary meeting
Thursday, 7 October 2004, 10 a.m.
New York
President:Mr. Ping ......................................................................(Gabon)

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Agenda item 10

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/59/1)


Mr. Sychov (Belarus) (spoke in Russian): ...


We note with regret that the United Nations has not yet been able to make a significant impact on the process of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and implementing the road map. In that connection, we call on the Secretary-General to intensify his mediation activities in that area in order to resolve the most problematic issues between the parties to the conflict.


Mr. Aboul Atta (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic): At the outset, my delegation thanks the Secretary-General and the Secretariat for their efforts towards achieving the Organization’s objectives as defined in the Charter and by the resolutions adopted by Member States.

The report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/59/1) discusses very important issues deserving of our attention. We wish to comment on them, but time constraints oblige us to concentrate on just a few. The Egyptian position on all issues covered in the report will be expressed during the discussion of the individual items of the agenda of the fifty-ninth session in plenary meetings and in the Main Committees. Today, I shall touch on the following issues.

First, even a cursory glance at the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and the report’s discussion of the issue reflect a single truth. Despite the constant efforts of the international community and parties in the region, notably including Egypt, the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory has worsened, and the resolutions adopted are not being implemented. There are occasional glimmers of hope that agreements concluded and initiatives adopted will be implemented, but realities on the ground undermine that hope. That is so because the occupying Power is not committed to the principles of international law. It has not heeded the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and ignores the Fourth Geneva Convention and the provisions of international humanitarian law.


Mr. Akram (Pakistan): ...


Speaking in the general debate on 22 September, at the 5th meeting, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan emphasized that the time has come for closing fronts and ending conflicts through reconciliation and reform, harmony and peace. The front that must be closed on a priority basis is the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, in the Middle East. Winding down the confrontation in Iraq is of equal importance. And we must all support Afghanistan’s efforts towards peace, democracy and stability.


Mr. Mubarez (Yemen) (spoke in Arabic): ...


The Organization’s achievements in meeting its humanitarian responsibilities are satisfactory. Paragraph 84 of the report states that the number of refugees has decreased by nearly 1 million persons for two consecutive years. We are pleased to note the initiative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees aimed at repatriating refugees both to relieve their sufferings and to assist countries that host them. We also appreciate the efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to provide basic assistance to Palestinian refugees, despite the constant shortfall in its budget, which makes it impossible for it to fully meet their needs, as noted in paragraph 106. It can provide only limited services to some of those refugees.

Paragraph 100 also states clearly that the continuing Israeli aggression against the population of the occupied Palestinian territories is exacerbating the sufferings of the Palestinian refugees and that the situation there remains tragic. Joint action is a necessity, not an option, to meet these challenges and changes and to address the varied interests of the parties involved. We must adapt our working methods to new realities, and we therefore eagerly await the report to be submitted by the High-level Panel as well as preparations for the Millennium Summit+5 conference focusing on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. We unreservedly support the views and ideas put forward at the Millennium Summit regarding reform of the United Nations, as it is the main institution for international collective action.


The meeting rose at 1.10 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 C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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