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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/58/PV.7
23 September 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
7th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 23 September 2003, 10 a.m.
New York

President: The Hon. Julian R. Hunte.............................................. (Saint Lucia)

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

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Agenda item 9

General debate

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Address by Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America

The President : The Assembly will now hear an address by His Excellency the President of the United States of America.

Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

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: ...

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The success of a free Iraq will be watched and noted throughout the region. Millions will see that freedom, equality and material progress are possible at the heart of the Middle East. Leaders in the region will face the clearest evidence that free institutions and open societies are the only path to long-term national success and dignity. And a transformed Middle East would benefit the entire world by undermining the ideologies that export violence to other lands.

Iraq as a dictatorship had great power to destabilize the Middle East. Iraq as a democracy will have great power to inspire the Middle East. The advance of democratic institutions in Iraq is setting an example that others, including the Palestinian people, would be wise to follow. The Palestinian cause is betrayed by leaders who cling to power by feeding old hatreds and destroying the good work of others. The Palestinian people deserve their own State. They will gain that State by embracing new leaders committed to reform, to fighting terror and to building peace.

All parties in the Middle East must meet their responsibilities and carry out the commitments they made at Aqaba. Israel must work to create the conditions that will allow a peaceful Palestinian State to emerge. Arab nations must cut off funding and other support for terrorist organizations. America will work with every nation in the region that acts boldly for the sake of peace.

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Address by Mr. Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa

The President : The Assembly will hear an address by the President of the Republic of South Africa.

Mr. Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President Mbeki : ...

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Our collective experience — stretching from New York and elsewhere in the United States on 11 September 2001; and reaching back to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, in Africa, earlier still; and, more recently, to Bali, Indonesia; to Morocco; to the conflict between Israel and Palestine; to Algeria, India, Russia and elsewhere; and even our own country — tells us that the United Nations, working in defence of the collective interests of the peoples of the world, must ensure that we act together to defeat the threat of terrorism, collectively defined.

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Address by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco

The Acting President: The Assembly will hear an address by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The Acting President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

King Mohammed VI (Morocco) (spoke in Arabic): ...

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Although the Group of 77 and China has sought to keep development issues high on the Organization’s agenda, one must admit that the main thrust of our efforts has focused on the serious threats posed to world peace in the Middle East region. Despite the efforts undertaken for the settlement of the Palestinian question — whether by the United Nations or by the international Quartet, through the road map — the logic of violence and intransigence continues to hamper the restoration of peace. The sufferings, deprivations and injustices endured daily by the brotherly Palestinian people call for stronger commitment on the part of the international community to achieving irreversible implementation of the road map.

As Chairman of the al-Quds Committee, I wish to say that I am fully prepared to help to find a just and final solution leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, living side by side with the State of Israel, in a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. With the settlement of that issue — which is contingent upon the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories — the region will regain its original status as a land of religious and cultural coexistence.

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Address by His Excellency Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Italy

The President: The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Italy.

Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Italy, was escorted to the rostrum.

The President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Italy, and invite him to address the General Assembly.

Mr. Berlusconi (spoke in Italian; English text provided by the delegation): I have the honour to address the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly on behalf of the European Union, over which Italy presides until 31 December 2003. The associated countries, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, align themselves with this statement.

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In the Middle East, the European Union is deeply concerned by the deterioration of relations between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and reiterates its strong support for the road map, the only hope for lasting peace and for paving the way towards stability and development in the region. The European Union will lend its efforts to this end within the Quartet. To implement the road map, it is also important that the European Union and the Group of Eight countries have a specific and generous commitment to a plan for the comprehensive economic reconstruction of the area. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must act urgently to implement the commitments contained in the road map.

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The Acting President : We have heard the last speaker in the general debate for this meeting.

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.



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