"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the Executive Committee of
the Palestine Liberation Organization
President of the Palestinian National Authority
on the occasion of
the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
29 November 2012
H.E. Mr. Vuk Jerernic,
President of the General Assembly of the United Nations
H.E. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri,
President of the Security Council
H.E. Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo,
Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership, it is my honor to address the international community on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As we gather again commemorate this day, we do so with pride - proud of the resilience of our people, in spite of the many long decades of injustice, oppression, and hardship, and proud of the strong support for the just cause of Palestine emanating from all corners of the globe.
I reaffirm our deepest gratitude to all Member States, civil society, and ordinary people from around the world who are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and whose unwavering support for the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people, has been vital in maintaining our conviction that peace and justice are possible and will one day soon prevail.
We are humbled by this historic support and say on this day: your support is more vital than ever at this critical, decisive moment in time. We appeal to you to stand firm for peace, for the rule of law, and for right over might. The time has come for Member States to uphold the principles and words they have committed themselves to over and over. It is high time to find the political will to act resolutely in line with the longstanding positions in support of the inalienable rights of our people, including to self-determination in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in support of a peaceful, just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the conflict, for which there is clearly no military solution.
We recognize the noble efforts of the United Nations - by the major organs and specialized agencies, including in particular UNRWA - vis-à-vis the question of Palestine, consistent with the permanent responsibility of the United Nations until the question is justly resolved in all aspects. We express appreciation for the goodwill efforts of H.E. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the serious efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in support of the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people and a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We are grateful for the strong resolutions adopted in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and other organs and bodies of the United Nations, which are firmly rooted in international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, which have safeguarded the rights of the Palestinian people over the decades, and which address all facets of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - including, inter alia, the core issues of the Palestine refugees, the right to self-determination, the status of Jerusalem, the illegal Israeli settlement campaign, and the unjust blockade against our people in the Gaza Strip - and which repeatedly call for an end to Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, consistent with the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the principle of land for peace.
On this 65th anniversary of the General Assembly's adoption of resolution 181 (II) (1947), which partitioned Mandate Palestine into two States - Israel and Palestine, we continue to look to the United Nations and appeal to the international community to uphold this covenant to our people to allow them to live in freedom and dignity in their homeland and to act in the interest of peace and security in our region.
We underscore, in this regard, the call in resolution 181 for sympathetic consideration to be given to the application for membership in the United Nations by either State, and recall further that Israel's admission to the United Nations in 1949 was accompanied by two conditions: Israel's commitment to the Partition resolution and the establishment of the Palestinian State, as well as to resolution 194 (III), calling, inter alia, for the return of Palestine refugees to their homes and just compensation.
And, this year, which marked the passage of 45 years since the June 1967 war in which Israel forcibly occupied the remaining territory of historical Palestine - the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip - we reiterate that this unjust situation must end. We thus reiterate our urgent calls to the international community to compel compliance by Israel, the occupying Power, with its legal obligations, relevant resolutions and international commitments. Israel cannot continue to be permitted to act as if it is a State above the law without consequence. Serious collective action is required to send a clear message to Israel that it must abide by the law; that it is time to for this prolonged, illegitimate occupation to come to an end; and that it is time for realization of the two-State solution of an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, ushering in an era of genuine peace and coexistence between our peoples and in our region.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,
This is a matter of urgency because, in the midst of turbulent crises throughout the region, the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is totally unsustainable and risks further destabilization, taking us farther away from our shared goal of peace. In this regard, we condemn the recent Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip and call for protection for our people to ensure these crimes are not repeated by the occupying Power. We reaffirm our appreciation to all those who contributed to bringing an end to the onslaught, especially Egypt.
The Palestinian leadership continues to act with utmost responsibility to serve its people and uphold its legal obligations and commitments. It has consistently acted in good will for the sake of peace, repeatedly reaffirming its adherence to the longstanding parameters of the peace process - embodied in Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap - and its adherence to the two-State solution.
We have expressed our readiness for many years to reach a solution to the conflict with Israel that ensures relative justice, and conforms with international resolutions and initiatives through the establishment of our Palestinian State on only 22 percent of the territory of historical Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to reach a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of Palestine refugees in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194(III).
We reaffirm these commitments and that readiness once again today. Despite diminishing hopes and the decline of the situation on the ground due to Israel violations, we remain committed to the two-State solution and our hand remains extended in peace.
This is why we have embarked on the multilateral, peaceful, political initiative that will be considered by the General Assembly this afternoon to accord Non-member Observer State status to Palestine in the United Nations. Our preference remains full membership in the United Nations, which is our legitimate, legal and historic right, and we hope that the Security Council will one day soon positively recommend our application to the General Assembly. In the interim, we appeal to Member States for their principled support of the draft resolution today in support of the Palestinian people, in recognition of their State and as an investment in peace. This is indeed a positive, constructive effort aimed at preserving the two-State solution.
On this day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we affirm that we are a people clinging to our land and we will remain in it. And we have faith that every person with conscience in the world, and every State respecting the United Nations Charter, will support and contribute to enabling our people to exercise their right to self-determination and to achieve independence in their State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
With best regards, profound gratitude and appreciation. May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.