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Source: General Assembly
16 September 2008


PRESIDENT OF THE 63RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY
UNITED NATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY



Opening statement upon assuming the presidency of the 63rd session of the General Assembly
UN Headquarters , New York, 16 September 2008

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Human Trafficking, the situation of Palestine, Humanitarian Assistance and Gender Equality are other themes to which we will also give particular attention and priority. Human trafficking is one of the worst violations of human rights and now ranks as the world’s third most profitable crime, together with drug trafficking and arms trafficking. All nations must work together in a coordinated manner to prevent this planetary plague, in order to eradicate it, to prosecute and punish the criminals involved and to protect and reintegrate its victims, the majority of whom are children and women.

The greatest case failure of the United Nations is the lack of a Palestinian State. Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations pledged as a “sacred trust” to establish a Palestine state on the Palestinian territory that was part of the Ottoman Empire. This same Assembly in 1947 approved resolution 181 that provided a detailed plan for partition of the territory within the Mandate of Palestine between an Arab State and a Jewish State. The same resolution goes on to state that the partition occur “not later than 1 October 1948”. Tragically, there was a partition of territory but not the establishment of a Palestinian State. On the question of Palestinian Statehood this body has failed completely. At this very moment people continue to die as a result of our incapacity to implement a resolution adopted more than 61 years ago. As a consequence, today the Palestinian situation is at the lowest, most critical point in its tragic history.

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