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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
11th Meeting (PM)
GA/9605
23 September 1999


UNITED NATIONS ALLOWED TO GO INSOLVENT WHEN MUCH MORE DEMANDED OF IT

AS CENTRAL MECHANISM FOR MULTILATERAL COOPERATION, ASSEMBLY HEARS

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SALIM AL HOSS, Prime Minister of Lebanon, said it seemed that there must be eventual recognition of either the relative sovereignty of States, the obligation to interfere in the internal affairs of States or the marginalization of the Security Council as the body responsible for international peace and security. The establishment of a new world order was for some States predicated on some historic development in global concepts and visions. For others, it was no more than a desire on the part of some States to impose ideas that corresponded to the balance of power. Dialogue, however, would provide consensus on, and understanding of, the issues at hand. No system could prevail if it were not based on justice and equality.

He said that no world order could condone the occupation of the lands of others by force or allow acts of aggression against people and property. The terms of Council resolution 425 (1978), calling on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon, had yet to be enforced. In the interim, Israel continued its aggression against Lebanon and its people. That aggression included killing, wounding, property damage, and forced eviction from homes and land. Most of the fallen Lebanese martyrs were women, children and elderly men. Furthermore, Israel had frequently violated the terms of the ceasefire established under the "April 1996 Arrangements".

He called for redoubled efforts by the international community to secure the release of all Lebanese detainees in Israeli prisons. There were many elderly and sick among them who were often denied humanitarian care, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which protected civilians in times of war. Support for the Lebanese resistance movement was based on the principle of the legitimate right to self-defence. Israel had also deliberately circumvented the mandate of the United Nations Force in Lebanon.

His country was committed to the Middle East peace process and was ready to provide the impetus to resume the stalled Syrian-Israeli negotiations, he said. While there were serious prospects for the resumption of peace negotiations, recent declarations by senior Israeli officials cast doubts on whether there was genuine will on Israel's part for peace.

It was impossible for a peaceful settlement to be achieved unless Palestinians were allowed to return to their homeland. Lebanon renewed its call to the international community to shoulder its responsibility and come up with a just and equitable settlement. In the interim, his country was working steadfastly to revitalize its economy and become a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It also attached importance to environmental issues. The phenomenon of globalization had both positive and negative elements. The United Nations was the proper forum to check that phenomenon.

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SULEIMAN MAJED AL SHAHEEN, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, ... also welcomed the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement signed recently between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. However, Kuwait demanded that the new Israeli Government fulfil all pledges and agreements signed with the Palestinian Authority, including the restoration to the Palestinian people of their full national rights, especially the establishment of their independent State on their national territory with Jerusalem/Al Quds as its capital.

Israel must also cease its illegitimate settlement-building and land confiscation policy, and end its unilateral creation of realities on the ground, especially in Jerusalem/Al Quds, he said.

Israel's withdrawal from the Syrian Golan was the litmus test of its genuine commitment to the land-for-peace principle. Also, Kuwait demanded that Israel end once and for all its repeated acts of aggression against the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.

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