Assemblée générale: le 71e débat général s’ouvre (14ième, 15ième et 16ième séances)- Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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22 September 2016
President Abbas Calls for Strengthening Palestinian Leadership on World Stage,
as General Assembly Moves into Third Day of Annual Debate
Iran, Da’esh Our Common Enemy, Prime Minister Netanyahu Tells Arab States
The General Assembly moved into day three of its general debate today with a push to elevate the Palestinian legal and political leadership in the world body so as to allow for their chairing of committees and international groups, the ability to sponsor resolutions, and to proclaim 2017 as the International Year to end the Israeli Occupation.
Those themes and others concerning rights to independence, education and social and economic empowerment needed to create a more equitable world played into broader calls for the reform of United Nations structures and working methods that had outlived their utility.
President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine, in making those appeals, regretted that he had to address an issue that had confronted his people for 70 years: the right to self-determination. None of 12 Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli settlement-building in the Occupied Palestinian Territory had been implemented. Those expansionist policies were destroying hopes for a two-State solution, based on the 1967 borders, and undermining Palestinian efforts to develop their economy.
Moreover, he asked the United Kingdom to apologize for the “catastrophes, miseries and injustices” created by the Balfour Declaration, which gave the land of Palestine to another people nearly 100 years ago, and remedy the resulting dire consequences by recognizing the State of Palestine. He also pressed the Assembly to adopt a resolution enabling the State of Palestine to present and co-sponsor resolutions beyond the question of Palestine. The international community’s ability to advance Palestinians’ rights, he said, and ensure their exercise, would offer a unique opportunity for peace to prevail in the region.
Condemning Mr. Abbas’ attack on the Balfour Declaration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel stressed that the conflict had never been about settlements; it had always been about the existence of a Jewish State. That right was non-negotiable. He called on Mr. Abbas to help establish peace between their peoples, and expressed his readiness to begin negotiations today, inviting Mr. Abbas to address the Israeli people at the Knesset, while he in turn could address the Palestinian people in Ramallah.
Committed to a vision of two States for two peoples, he also underscored that the profound changes taking place in the Arab world offered a unique opportunity to advance that peace. Despite consistent bias against his country, States in the region were recognizing that Israel was not their enemy, but their ally. Their common enemies were Iran and Islamic State in Iraq/the Levant (ISIL/Da-esh), and their common goals were security and peace. Israel’s diplomatic relations, he stated, were “undergoing nothing less than a revolution”.
ERNEST BAI KOROMA, President of Sierra Leone, said...Concluding, he stressed that it was urgent for all parties to cooperate in the search for peace in Syria, South Sudan and Libya and speed efforts to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
MAHMOUD ABBAS, President of the State of Palestine, voiced his regret that he had to address the Assembly on an issue that had confronted his people for 70 years: the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. He reiterated his Government’s commitment to the agreements reached with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Yet, Israel had not met its obligations under those agreements. In particular, he condemned Israel’s continued settlement expansion in Palestinian territories, its extrajudicial executions, its detention of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and its aggressions against the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Despite the adoption of 12 Security Council resolutions condemning the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, he pointed out that none of those resolutions had been implemented — a situation which encouraged Israel to continue its seizure of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with impunity. Those expansionist policies risked destroying whatever possibility was left for a two-State solution on the 1967 border. They were also undermining Palestinian efforts to develop their economy — a right which was of international priority under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It was regrettable, he continued, that Israel had attempted to evade an international conference for peace proposed by France, and reiterated his hope that such a conference would lead to the establishment of a mechanism and a defined timeframe for an end to the occupation, in accordance with relevant resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the Arab Peace Initiative. With the impending 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration — by which Great Britain promised the land of Palestine to another people — he called for Britain to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibilities for the consequences of that decision. As part of that process, he asked that Britain apologize to the Palestinian people “for the catastrophes, miseries and injustices that it created, and to act to rectify this historic catastrophe and remedy its consequences, including by recognition of the State of Palestine”.
Finally, he called upon the General Assembly to declare 2017 the “International Year to End the Israeli Occupation”, as that year would mark half a century of the occupation. He also appealed to the Assembly to adopt a resolution that would enable Palestine to present and cosponsor resolutions beyond the question of Palestine, and to support that country’s efforts to enhance its legal and political status by granting it additional responsibilities to chair committees and international groups.
ERNA SOLBERG, Prime Minister of Norway, said that recent violations of United Nations principles had caused wide-spread insecurity in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan and elsewhere.... Likewise, she urged Israelis and Palestinians to address threats to the two-State solution by implementing recommendations by the Middle East Quartet.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister of Israel...He condemned the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas for his remarks to the General Assembly, specifically his attack on the Balfour Declaration, which recognized the Jewish people’s right to its homeland. President Abbas was stuck in the past as he had persistently refused to recognize those rights. The conflict between the two countries had never been about settlements; it had always been about the existence of a Jewish State, a right that was non-negotiable.
He called on Abbas to make a choice to help establish peace between both their peoples, adding that, while many had given up on peace, he had not. He remained committed to a vision of two States for two peoples. Changes taking place in the Arab world offered a unique opportunity to advance that peace. He applauded the Arab Peace Initiative and welcomed a broader dialogue with Arab States. He also emphasized that he was ready to begin negotiations today, inviting President Abbas to speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset, and in turn, he would address the Palestinian people in Ramallah.
PIETRO PAROLIN, Secretary of State of the Holy See, said that...Failed attempts at resolving the crises in Syria and Iraq, as well as establishing peace between Israelis and Palestinians had dampened the hopes of generations. Conflicts in South Sudan, the Great Lakes and eastern Ukraine had also brought about immense suffering. He called for the “uproar of arms” in Syria to cease so that peace might stand a chance and for Israelis and Palestinians to abstain from unilateral or illegal measures.
ROSEN PLEVNELIEV, President of Bulgaria, said...Turning to the Middle East, he said new and fresh initiatives were needed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; a two-State solution was the only just and realistic way to resolve the aspirations of all sides.
FAIEZ MUSTAFA SERRAJ, President of Libya, said...Lasting peace would not be achieved as long as Israel occupied Palestine and continued settlements which resulted in the displacement of people and a serious humanitarian crisis. States must be empowered to achieve true sovereignty. He called on the international community to join together for justice and unity.
RAMTANE LAMAMRA, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Algeria, noted...Inaction on the Palestinian issue was evidence of the failure of the contemporary international order.
Right of Reply
Exercising the right of reply, the representative of Iran said that the Israeli representative had tried in his statement to “fool the whole world”. He had spoken of peripheral instead of the core issue, which was the land grab and military occupation of Palestinian territory. He had also been self-congratulatory about Israeli gains and had tried to divert attention from the arsenal of weapons and military build-up policy that country had pursued for many decades. He had also levelled baseless accusations against the Iranian Government, by accusing it of terrorism without proof. The Israeli regime was armed with nuclear and chemical weapons and had unleashed them on Palestinians, yet it kept setting out accusations against Iran’s nuclear programme.
For information media. Not an official record.