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        General Assembly
27 September 2006

Official Records

General Assembly
Sixty-first session
22nd plenary meeting
Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 10 a.m.

New York

President:Ms. Al-Khalifa .................................................................................(Bahrain)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

Agenda item 8 (continued)

General debate


The President: I now call on His Excellency José Luis Guterres, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste.

Mr. Guterres (Timor-Leste) (spoke in Portuguese; English text provided by the delegation): ...


In the international arena, we have seen an increase in violence, war and intolerance. Last week, in this Assembly, on 21 September, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, made a strong appeal to the international community to not let the olive branch fall from his hand. The international community needs to continue its strong support for the forces of peace and moderation in Palestine and for the President of the Palestinian Authority. The international community also needs to engage the elected Palestinian Government in order to find ways to guarantee a free and democratic Palestine living side by side with the State of Israel in peace and harmony.

After many years of conflict and violence, the people of Lebanon need a peaceful environment. We hope that the arrival of United Nations forces will help protect that country’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity.


The President: I now call on Her Excellency Mrs. Maria de Fatima Lima da Veiga, Chairperson of the delegation of the Republic of Cape Verde.

Mrs. Lima da Veiga (Cape Verde) (spoke in Portuguese; interpretation from French text provided by the delegation): ...


While there are unresolved conflicts, others are breaking out in various places, constantly vying for attention and action by the international community. The situation in the Middle East has recently escalated with the confrontation between Lebanon and Israel. This has led to unspeakable human suffering and tremendous material damage in both countries and throughout the region. No one can remain indifferent in the face of this conflict, which has continued far too long, 60 years, and which remains a major cause — indeed, the epicentre — of international instability.

Cape Verde supports the idea of a comprehensive strategy, the only viable key to which would be the peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) contains important provisions that could serve as a basis for such a strategy. Cape Verde urges all the parties concerned to resume dialogue and negotiations. The international community, in particular the United Nations, must strive to create conditions for restoring confidence and establishing lasting peace, which are preconditions for economic integration and the promotion of intercultural dialogue in the region.


The President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Anders Lidén, chairman of the delegation of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Mr. Lidén (Sweden): ...


A comprehensive approach to the conflict in the Middle East is urgently needed, with the strong and increased involvement of the international community. Positive contributions will be required from key countries in the region, including Syria and Iran.

The events this past summer have shown that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and long-term security for Israel are objectives that cannot be achieved by military means. Negotiations are the only avenue to peace. The Stockholm Conference last month resulted in immediate steps to extend support for Lebanon’s early recovery. It is vital that we sustain our commitment to Lebanon’s reconstruction and to the strengthening of its sovereignty. Full implementation by all parties of Security Council resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006) is needed. Sweden is currently preparing a military contribution to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the core of the tensions in the Middle East. The vision of an independent and democratic Palestine, living side by side with a secure Israel, based on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), must be revived and concretized. Israel’s right to exist should be unequivocally recognized by all. We condemn rocket attacks against Israeli territory. Terrorist attacks can never be justified and must end.

Sweden remains concerned at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Humanitarian access must be guaranteed, and humanitarian law should be observed throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. The expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories must stop. This settlement policy should instead be reversed as it undermines confidence in a credible political process, as does the building of the barrier on occupied Palestinian territory.


The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Philip Sealy, chairman of the delegation of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Sealy (Trinidad and Tobago): ...


The international community continues to grapple with the absence of realistic and pragmatic solutions to many longstanding global problems. A just and lasting peace in the Middle East continues to elude us, and the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people continues to worsen daily in view of the economic and financial stranglehold placed on their economy following the assumption of power by democratic means of the political grouping of their choice. We urge the major political parties in the Palestinian territories to find common ground that would satisfy the aspirations of the Palestinian people, who for generations have longed to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.

Peace and security in the Middle East also remain threatened by conflicts of a more recent vintage. The use of force disproportionate to the threat at hand, as in the recent cases of Gaza and Lebanon, has also had the effect of increasing the suffering of the civilian populations concerned and of destroying vital national infrastructure, and has served only to increase bitterness and hatred among those populations and to inspire resort to extremism.


The meeting rose at 1.40 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-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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