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The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Address by Mr. Luis Angel González Macchi, President of the Republic of Paraguay
The President : The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the Republic of Paraguay.
Mr. Luis Angel González Macchi, President of the Republic of Paraguay, 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. Luis Angel González Macchi, the President of the Republic of Paraguay, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President González Macchi (spoke in Spanish ): ...
Today we face a complex world that is still far from forming a stable international order. We continue to witness confrontations in various regions of the world. That is why we must devote all our efforts and resources to the reconciliation of humanity. The Republic of Paraguay will always invoke and support the peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue, mutual understanding and international law.
In that regard, we see grounds for grave concern in the serious worsening of the situation in the Middle East: the spiral of violence, the alarming humanitarian situation and the violation of the fundamental rights of the civilian population as well as the loss of innocent lives among both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
We resolutely support the work of the “quartet” and of the international community in general in their efforts to secure a resumption of negotiations and thus bring about much-desired peace in the region. At the same time, as a country that abides strictly by international law, Paraguay regrets the fact that the resolutions adopted by the Security Council on this question this year, which contain clear terms and references, have still not been implemented by the parties.
Paraguay would underscore once again the urgent need to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions, especially 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), in order to pave the way for the peaceful coexistence of two independent States, Israel and Palestine, within secure and internationally recognized borders.
The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, President of the Republic of Guatemala, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Portillo (spoke in Spanish ): ...
My country is aware of the divisions between sister peoples in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. We fervently hope that it will be possible to resolve those differences by peaceful means through dialogue so that, without discrimination, all the peoples of the world can be represented here. I would like to make special reference to the 23 million people of the Republic of China on Taiwan, whose aspirations to participate in the work of international organizations have not yet been fulfilled. The countries of Central America in general, and Guatemala in particular, view those aspirations as beneficial to global peace and democracy; they deserve our support.
It is likewise our earnest hope that a solution will be found, based on security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002) to the difficult situation in the Middle East, which has worsened over the past year.
The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Hâmid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Karzai : ...
We are deeply concerned about the loss of innocent lives in Palestine and Israel. We strongly support the realization of the right of self-determination of the people of Palestine. We also support the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Saudi Arabian-sponsored declarations in Beirut. ...
The President: On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations Her Excellency Ms. Mireya Moscoso, President of the Republic of Panama, and to invite her to address the Assembly.
President Moscoso (spoke in Spanish): ...
Like the rest of the world, we are concerned at the situation in the Middle East, in neighbouring Colombia and in many other parts of the world where international support is still being anxiously awaited.
The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
Mr. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (Equatorial Guinea) (spoke in Spanish ): ...
My Government shares these concerns and urges that top priority be given to strengthening the democratic process and the rule of law, protecting human rights, ensuring good governance and achieving sustainable development. We also believe that the peace process in the Middle East should be encouraged, along with the dialogue under way between North and South Korea, with a view to peaceful reunification.
Item 9 of the provisional agenda (continued)
Address by Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway
The Acting President : We shall continue the general debate. The Assembly will now hear a statement by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway.
Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, was escorted to the rostrum.
The Acting President : I have great pleasure in welcoming the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, His Excellency Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik. I invite him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Bondevik (Norway): ...
The cycle of violence in the Middle East must be broken. We must all help to bring the conflict out of its deadlock. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence, but a human disaster is unfolding before our eyes in the Palestinian areas. I urge the Palestinians to deal effectively with the terror. The terrorist attacks must end. I urge the Government of Israel to recommit itself to the political process while halting military operations and withdrawing its forces. Only a political process aiming at an independent Palestinian State and security for Israel can lead to peace.
As the country holding the chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, Norway is working with other donors to help rebuild economic and social infrastructure, while ensuring reforms in the Palestinian areas through our work in the established Task Force on Palestinian Reform.
The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency The Honourable William Graham, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada.
Mr. Graham (Canada): ...
As we meet here today, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis remains at its all too familiar impasse, despite the fact that everyone knows what is needed to restore peace. We all know that the targeting of civilians must stop, that the security of Israel must be assured, that settlement-building must end, that the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people must be met, that the Palestinian Authority must reform itself democratically and that the peace negotiations must resume. We all know, in sum, that a road to a peaceful future must be built, a future in which two independent, viable, secure and democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace and security.
Canada calls on the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel to start back on the road to peace. The people and the Government of Canada will accompany them and support them every step of the way.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France.
Mr. Galouzeau de Villepin (France) (spoke in French ): ...
... Intervention that is politically or legally ill-defined or poorly mounted would not garner the broad support necessary; it might galvanize public opinion in the region against it, and the regime in Baghdad, which is isolated now, could benefit; lastly, it might exacerbate tension in the Middle East and beyond at a time when we should, on the contrary, redouble our efforts to return to the path of dialogue and peace.
I recently travelled to the Middle East, the Balkans and Afghanistan. I realized the strength of the aspirations and hopes for peace. But I also saw how the efforts and energies of various parties need to be united and centred on a collective ambition.
In the Middle East, we must emerge from the impasse and restore hope. The situation will worsen as long as the parties remain prisoners to the logic of violence. There is urgency to act. The Palestinian Authority must use all available means to prevent and curb terrorist actions. With a view to the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian State, based on the 1967 borders, it must pursue its reforms, particularly in the institutional context.
For its part, the State of Israel, while it legitimately wishes to defend itself against terrorism, must do so with respect for international law. The security imperative cannot by itself take the place of policy. Settlement-building must cease, and the Israeli armed forces must withdraw from the occupied territories, as demanded by the Security Council. Measures must be taken quickly to improve the now alarming humanitarian and social situation of the Palestinian people.
On the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and the principle of land for peace — which all the Arab countries, meeting in Beirut, agreed to recognize at the initiative of Saudi Arabia — the political process must be relaunched with the aid of the “quartet”. We support the convening of an international conference at an early date. The objective must be a just, comprehensive and lasting peace; a peace based on the coexistence of two States within secure and recognized borders, guaranteeing security for the Israelis and offering the Palestinians a normal life with dignity; a peace based on a comprehensive settlement of the regional conflict between Israel and its neighbours.
The meeting rose at 6.20 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.