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8th plenary meeting
Friday, 25 September 2009, 3 p.m.
In the absence of the President, Mr. Saudabayev (Kazakhstan), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
The Acting President (spoke in Russian ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of the Congo, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Sassou Nguesso (spoke in French ): ...
Mr. Hackett (Barbados), Vice-President took the chair.
With respect to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, we encourage any initiative to promote sustained dialogue between the parties in the quest for a definitive and equitable solution to the crisis.
The Acting President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Majesty King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
King Mswati III : ...
As we gather here, we also wait with anticipation for the outcome of the Israeli and Palestinian peace efforts. We have seen the two parties enter into promising peace agreements in the past that, regrettably, faltered along the way. We call upon the two parties to continue to pursue peace to avoid loss of life and to live in harmony.
The President took the Chair.
The President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Minh Triet, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Nguyen Minh Triet ( spoke in Vietnamese; English interpretation provided by the delegation ): ...
It is Viet Nam’s hope that early progress will be made in the negotiations for a peaceful, comprehensive, just and lasting solution in the Middle East on the basis of ensuring the fundamental national rights of the Palestinian people and the legitimate interests of all parties concerned. ...
The meeting was suspended at 6 p.m. and resumed at 6.05 p.m.
Agenda item 8 (continued)
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Mr. Asselborn (Luxembourg) (spoke in French ): ...
We are all concerned, and the challenges we are facing are of an ever-increasing complexity, including in matters of peace and security. Yesterday, we commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an anniversary that one would somehow have preferred not to have to celebrate, for while it allowed us to express our gratitude for the outstanding work done by that United Nations agency in the service of the Palestinian people on a daily basis, it is true, it is also synonymous with failure. Sixty years later, the situation in the Middle East remains unresolved.
While we welcome that the new Administration in the United States is determined to seek a solution based on the coexistence of two States and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and while we, together with our European Union partners, are committed to working actively with the United States and other Quartet members, including, obviously, the United Nations, to achieve this goal, at the same time we deeply regret that Israel persists in its policy of colonization.
Mr. Shaheed (Maldives), Vice-President, took the Chair.
It cannot be repeated too often: the settlement activity is not only illegal under international law, but it is also an obstacle to peace. To continue colonization is to persist in humiliating the Palestinians, in dominating the Palestinian people. Without the clear signal of an end to this policy, it is unlikely that serious negotiations can resume.
We fully support the intention of the President of the United States to engage in negotiations, and we will support him in this endeavour. Annapolis showed that Israelis and Palestinians, when they are alone around the negotiating table, are not able to show a level of commitment commensurate with the fundamental problems, namely, Jerusalem, the question of refugees and their right to return, security and the issue of borders.
We call on all parties to shoulder their responsibilities and, through their actions, to establish an environment conducive to the resumption of negotiations to resolve the conflict. The end of divisions among Palestinians and the intra-Palestinian reconciliation that is centred on President Mahmoud Abbas, who has demonstrated in the West Bank that substantial progress in terms of security and governance is possible, are just as much a part of this as the adoption of confidence-building measures by Israel and Arab countries or the simultaneous search for solutions to the conflicts between, on the one hand, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic and, on the other hand, Israel and Lebanon.
In that context, I would also like to stress just how urgent it is to find a sustainable solution to the crisis in Gaza through the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). An end must be put to the untenable situation of 1.5 million Palestinians living in a prison. Giving hope and motivation to the Palestinian people is a basic human obligation. Light must also be shed on the events in Gaza, including the events following the release of the United Nations fact-finding mission’s report, which has just been published and which has brought shocking acts to light. The credibility of the United Nations is at stake in this matter.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. Jean-Marie Ehouzou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Benin.
Mr. Ehouzou (Benin) (spoke in French ): ...
We need a United Nations with strengthened capacities to contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes, inter alia, through mediation and the promotion of judicial settlements. We need a United Nations capable of rising to the challenges involved in settling the Palestinian question definitively; ...
The meeting rose at 10.30 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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.