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In the absence of the President, Mr. Al-Nasser (Qatar), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Agenda item 9 (continued)
Address by The Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
The Acting President (spoke in Arabic) : The General Assembly will now hear a statement made by the Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, was escorted to the rostrum.
The Acting President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency the Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minster of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka): ...
While seeking a negotiated solution to our own conflict, Sri Lanka strongly supports negotiating a settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict. We have long supported a responsible peace process which would lead to the acceptance of two States, Israel and Palestine, prospering in conditions of peace and security, as neighbours, within secure and recognized borders. We urge the resumption of a serious dialogue between Israel and Palestine as a prelude to sustained negotiations.
The Acting President (spoke in Arabic) : I now call on His Excellency Mr. M. Morshed Khan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.
Mr. Khan (Bangladesh): ...
In the Middle East, the continued denial of the right of the Palestinian people to their own State and to freedom greatly concern us. The continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the trampling of human rights and the atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinian people by Israel must end immediately. Serious efforts must be resumed to seek a comprehensive solution to the problem — a solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of the Palestinian people.
The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad.
Mr. Annadif (Chad) (spoke in French ): ...
Along with other members of the international community, the Chadian Government is concerned at the situation that continues to prevail in the Middle East. Unfortunately, that intolerable situation results from non-compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of the General Assembly. In the light of its obligation to be fair to all Members of the Organization, the Council should ban any policy of double standards and should ensure respect for its decisions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002). Genuine peace in the Middle East demands that.
The Acting President ( spoke in Arabic ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Abou Drahamane Sangaré, Minister of State and Minister for External Relations and Ivorians Abroad of Côte d’Ivoire.
Mr. Sangaré (Côte d’Ivoire) (spoke in French ): ...
The crisis which has shaken the Middle East for decades is without a doubt a serious threat to international peace and security. The persistence of this crisis is a challenge that appears to expose the impotence of the international community to deal with a conflict that, if we are not careful, could come to be accepted as commonplace. Yet we can at least say that since the start of the conflict, the international community has not folded its arms. Indeed, the United Nations resolutions on the questions are innumerable. The best known of them are Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, resolutions supported by such forums as the Oslo and Madrid Conferences.
At the centre of the conflict are the inevitable issues of the need for the Palestinians to have a viable independent State, and of the need for the State of Israel to live in security and in peace with all its Arab neighbours, within internationally recognized borders. That is why it is important to welcome the Saudi initiative which recognizes Israel’s right to exist next to a Palestinian State.
In that regard, Côte d’Ivoire is very happy to embrace Security Council resolution 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, in which the Council, with the concurrence of its five permanent members, affirmed a vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders.
The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Roberto Tovar Faja, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica.
Mr. Tovar Faja (Costa Rica) (spoke in Spanish ): ...
A more just world will necessarily be more peaceful. Justice demands respect for others and for their freedom — in other words, tolerance. Peace in many regions of the world is seriously threatened by intolerance. In the Middle East, the rights of the peoples of Israel and Palestine are being violated. The intolerance of one leader is today making a country like Iraq the possible setting for endlessly bitter war. How different the situation would be if it had a fair Government respectful of human rights. The world has also witnessed with concern the growing dispute between India and Pakistan and the threat of nuclear war in that region.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Niger, Her Excellency Mrs. Aïchatou Mindaoudou.
Mrs. Mindaoudou (Niger) (spoke in French ): ...
For a few months now the international community’s attention has been focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whose peace process is now more paralysed than ever. Niger wants once again to reaffirm before the Assembly that a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict necessarily requires establishing the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the creation of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State. On the basis of that conviction and in light of all kinds of false starts that have characterized the peace process in Palestine and the Middle East, Niger has made a sovereign decision to break off its diplomatic relations with Israel, which continues to deny the Palestinian people their legitimate right to self-determination.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Joseph Philippe Antonio, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Haiti.
Mr. Antonio (Haiti) ( spoke in French ): ...
The Charter of the United Nations, ratified by all States Members, evokes the sacred principles of maintaining international peace and security as well as the right of peoples to determine their own future with the leaders they choose.
In that connection, the Government of Haiti expresses its grave concern at the escalating violence in the Middle East, and particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Haitian Government supports the creation of a Palestinian State, while recognizing Israel’s right to exist within safe and internationally recognized borders. We call on the parties to settle their differences peacefully through dialogue and diplomatic means.
The meeting rose at 6.15 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-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.