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16th plenary meeting
Monday, 29 September 2008, 3 p.m.
President: Mr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann .......................................... (Nicaragua)
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 8 (continued)
The President : On this afternoon, the feast of Saint Michael, I appropriately begin by giving the floor to His Excellency Mr. Micheál Martin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland.
Mr. Martin (Ireland): ...
Let me turn now to the situation in the Middle East. The first Irish peacekeepers 50 years ago were deployed to serve with the United Nations mission in Lebanon. It is therefore a particular source of sadness to me that, despite the great efforts that have been made down the years, we do not yet have lasting peace in the Middle East, especially between the Palestinian people and Israel.
I commend the efforts of all of those who are prepared to take the political risks necessary to turn that situation around. In particular, I welcome and support the dialogue that President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert have engaged in under the auspices of the Annapolis process. I hope that what they have achieved together in their talks can be built upon in the immediate period ahead, and that it will result in what we all wish to see — a just agreement, a lasting peace and a more prosperous future for their people.
Improving conditions on the ground in the Palestinian territories, including, very importantly, the economic and social situation, would, I believe, make a significant and critical contribution to creating the right context for talks to succeed. In that regard, I have called many times for an end to the construction of illegal settlements not only because it is right to do so, but also because it would send a strong and welcome signal of good faith at a difficult and uncertain time. Israel needs urgently to listen to the voice — the concerned voice — of the international community on the settlement issue.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now call on Her Excellency Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Republic of South Africa.
Ms. Dlamini Zuma (South Africa): ...
Peace continues to evade the Middle East. South Africa participated in the Annapolis Conference in 2007 with great expectations and hopes that progress would indeed be made to advance the goal of peace in that region. We will continue to support all international efforts to help the peoples of Palestine and Israel in their endeavour to find a lasting and peaceful solution to their challenges, leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian State, coexisting side by side with the State of Israel, within secure borders. We understand full well the pain, suffering and agony that conflict brings to bear on the lives of ordinary people, particularly women and children. Those ordinary souls continue to cry out to this Assembly of the world, as they have done in the past, to help bring an end to the conflict.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Ouch Borith, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Mr. Borith (Cambodia): ...
Regarding the Middle East, the peace process has been on our agenda for long enough and we are hopeful that all parties to the conflict will have the will and the wisdom to end the conflict as soon as possible in the interests of all countries concerned. In that regard, Cambodia welcomes the 24 June 2008 Quartet statement and the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Palestine to bring about peace. Israel and Palestine must seize this opportunity to use every potential for achieving an agreement acceptable to both sides.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to Her Excellency Rosemary Banks, chair of the delegation of New Zealand.
Ms. Banks (New Zealand): ...
Let me turn now to the Middle East. New Zealand continues to be strongly supportive of all attempts to find a lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. We share the international community’s vision for a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian State, existing side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to Mr. Somduth Soborun, chairman of the delegation of the Republic of Mauritius.
Mr. Soborun (Mauritius): ...
Situations of conflict and war inevitably give rise to violations of human rights and to atrocities against innocent civilians. Displacement and violent death continue to be the lot of far too many in parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Mauritius has always supported the struggle of the Palestinian people and their inalienable right to self-determination. We favour the creation of a Palestinian State coexisting with the State of Israel within secure and recognized borders. It is through dialogue, negotiations and compromise by both sides that lasting peace can come about in the Middle East.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Khaleel, chairman of the delegation of the Republic of Maldives.
Mr. Khaleel (Maldives): ...
A permanent and lasting resolution to the question of Palestine remains elusive. The Maldives reiterates its support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to an independent and sovereign homeland. We believe that the two-State solution remains the only viable option and needs to be pursued with greater vigour and vitality.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Abderrahim Ould Hadrami, Chairman of the delegation of Mauritania.
Mr. Ould Hadrami (Mauritania) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The Arab-Israeli conflict is a source of tension and a threat to international peace and security in a vital and sensitive region of the world. That is why my country supports the efforts to settle the conflict in a manner that guarantees the Palestinian people the restoration of their rights and the establishment of their own State, with Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting in peace and security with the State of Israel.
The meeting rose at 8.45 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.