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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/58/PV.28
13 October 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
28th plenary meeting
Monday, 13 October 2003, 10 a.m.
New York

President:The Hon. Julian R. Hunte ..............................(Saint Lucia)
The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

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Agenda item 11

Report of the Security Council (A/58/2)

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Mr. Andjaba (Namibia): ...

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There is unanimity in the Organization that Security Council resolutions are binding on all Member States and that anything short of that will discredit the Organization. It is therefore incomprehensible that Security Council resolutions on Palestine, and in particular resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) continue to be flouted with impunity. We cannot uphold international law when adherence to Security Council decisions is an option for some and an obligation for others. Pressure cannot be exerted on the occupied, while the occupiers are being exonerated. This concern is as valid for the situation in the Middle East as it is for other situations anywhere in the world. The people of Palestine deserve their own State, side by side with that of Israel.

When the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (2000), it reaffirmed the role of women in the process of peace-making and peace-building. In many parts of the world, women are making their full contribution to post-conflict reconstruction, a trend that must be encouraged and supported. With regard to children and armed conflict, we call for their full protection and urge those responsible to desist from using and recruiting them.

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Mr. Baali (Algeria) (spoke in French): ...

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On the other hand, on the subject of the Middle East, the Council has fallen well short of the expectations placed in it. It has been prevented, thus far, from playing its rightful role here. The monthly briefing by the Secretariat and the holding of several open debates on occupied Palestine have unfortunately not had an impact on the situation on the ground. Either Israel has continued to flout the Council’s resolutions or, more often than not, the Council has been unable to do anything because it has been blocked by the anachronistic privilege of the veto.

We are convinced that if the Council had approved the establishment of a United Nations or international presence in the occupied Palestinian territories, the violence we are witnessing today would have been largely avoided or lessened and the situation today would without doubt be more conducive to a negotiated settlement.

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Mr. Fadaifard (Islamic Republic of Iran): ...

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While considering the functioning of the Security Council over past years, we cannot refrain from expressing our frustration at the Council’s inability to address effectively the Palestinian question, which is one of the grave ongoing crises threatening peace and security in the sensitive region of the Middle East. It is appropriate and useful that, in the past year, the Council could convene monthly meetings at which members received briefings from the representative of the Secretary-General or high-ranking Secretariat officials. Undoubtedly, those meetings had an informative effect and helped the Council not to lose sight of the difficult situation in the Middle East.

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Mr. Rastam (Malaysia): ...

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My delegation has noted that during the past year the Council discussed the Palestinian question with greater frequency. We have observed that 12 meetings and 21 informal consultations were held on this issue. Only one resolution was adopted by the Council. We recall that the international community welcomed the publication of the Quartet’s road map in April. Yet the Council has not been able to play the role expected of it.

My delegation certainly welcomes the Council’s consideration of the question of Palestine through the monthly briefings and open debates. Unfortunately, these have not had an impact on the situation on the ground. Indeed, the situation is clearly worsening. The violence continues, and the death toll has mounted on both sides. The Council must improve and maintain its credibility by enforcing its authority on this question, in particular in respect of the commitment to the road map and to a peaceful two-State solution, the end of occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories, the termination of Israel’s settler-colonialism activities and the construction of the separation wall.

The Council must not allow its resolutions to be manipulated, or the Council itself to be prevented from doing anything meaningful, as happened last month. It should resolutely take action on the illegal construction of the Israeli expansionist wall. My delegation hopes that this will be done soon on the basis of the initiative currently before the Council. My delegation also hopes that the Council will act decisively on the recent flagrant violation of Syria’ s territory by Israel.

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Mr. Kuchinsky (Ukraine): ...

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This year the Security Council has been further challenged by developments in the Middle East and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first encouraging steps in the resumed peace process earlier this year, based on the Quartet’s road map, gave way to scepticism over the viability of the peace plan.

Although there were periods of relative calm, the terrorist attacks and the use of military force continued to take innocent lives. The recent suicide bombing in Haifa and the air strikes by Israel on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic led to the escalation of tensions in the Middle East. In general, we still lack final answers, and one of the major questions there is still whether the Security Council’s reaction to these events is adequate and in conformity with its Charter responsibilities?

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The meeting rose at 1 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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