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La situation au Moyen-Orient ; Question de Palestine/Déclarations - Débat général de 66e session de AG - Procès-verbal
21 September 2011
th plenary meeting
Wednesday, 21 September 2011, 6 p.m.
Mr. Al-Nasser .........................................................
In the absence of the President, Mr. Salehi (Islamic Republic of Iran), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 6.05 p.m.
Address by Mr. Álvaro Colom Caballeros, President of the Republic of Guatemala
But in the midst of the current turbulent situation, it is not possible to delay a solution to the secular conflict resulting from the confrontation between the State of Israel and its neighbours. We support the creation of a viable and prosperous Palestinian State living in peace and harmony, behind secure and defensible borders, side by side with the State of Israel. We understand that the international community can take part in the process of fulfilling that vision, as indeed is happening through the so-called Quartet comprising the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations, but its realization is up to the two parties — Israel and Palestine — and should be achieved through direct negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues.
Address by Mr. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal
I turn to mediation used in conflicts between States. I shall take just one example: Palestine and the State of Israel. I commend all the efforts made over many years to bring the two parties closer together, which unfortunately have not yet succeeded. So this year we have an application by Palestine to the General Assembly for recognition as a Member State of the United Nations. There is no doubt about Senegal’s support for the application; it is the consequence of what has been our policy for a long time, particularly as today Senegal is Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Senegal supports an independent Palestinian State within internationally recognized borders as well as the existence of the State of Israel, each within its own borders. It will not be easy to achieve that, but the international community will do its very best.
I take this opportunity to make a clarification, because, despite my proximity to the Arab countries and to the Palestinians, a few days ago a statement was made about my playing the role of mediator in the Israel-Palestine conflict. President Netanyahu’s understanding was mistaken. I have never been a mediator in the Palestine-Israel conflict and have never sought to be a mediator. Moreover, we need to do much more than to call one country or one person to mediate in such a complicated situation.
All goodwill is needed for a solution. Having been awarded the Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, I must honour that distinction, so wherever I can intervene to find solutions I do so, on my own responsibility. I intervened personally for the release of a young soldier, Gilad Shalit, a few years ago.
Unfortunately, that was not successful, but on the basis of a number of suggestions I took the initiative once again some days ago. That seems to have had a reaction, in the light of what President Netanyahu said. He said that he did not want mediation by Senegal, and that Senegal was an ally of Palestine. But he was wrong. I do not do mediation; I provide good offices; I take it on my own responsibility to help release one young man when I believe that that young man should be elsewhere other than a prison and when I think that I can convince the parties — above all, the Palestinian parties, the current Government of Palestine, Hamas — of the need to release that young man for humanitarian reasons.
If I succeed, excellent; if I fail, it will not stop me from starting over again. I will do that regardless of the position of the two parties — in other words, regardless of the position of Israel and of the position of Hamas. That is consistent with my philosophy of peace and the choice that I have made to contribute to extending cooperation where I can.
I believe that fear and mistrust, which persist between Israel and Palestine, could be mitigated — this is a simple suggestion that I make to our Secretary-General — by establishing a committee of three States chosen by the two parties. Those States would hold discussions to discover what guarantees are demanded by each party to commit to the path of negotiation for the existence of two States, the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, because at present, I believe, there is no dialogue, indirect or direct. I believe that my suggestion could facilitate understanding of the positions on both sides and could help mitigate fears and concerns that are major psychological barriers to discussion and to any agreement.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe this will not end in anything, but it costs nothing to try. I say to the Secretary-General: “Before you reply ‘No’, I want you to consider my proposal for 40 days. If after that time you think that it cannot help solve the problem, you can say so. But I beg you to try to understand the proposal.” I am ready to go into further details, even in a document. I have established this position, which could ultimately be fine-tuned using other people’s contributions.
Address by Mr. Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique
We note with concern the lack of progress in the Israeli-Arab peace process. In this context, we urge the parties to commit themselves to relaunching negotiations that are translated into concrete actions with a view to a lasting, comprehensive and fair conflict solution. We reiterate our unequivocal support for the cause of the Palestinian people, who have been denied the inalienable right to self-determination.
We reaffirm our support for the principle of the creation of two States, Palestine and Israel, coexisting peacefully and in accordance with the 1967 borders. We also reiterate our support for the commitment of the international community to finding a sustainable solution in favour of the people of Western Sahara. We also reiterate our support for their legitimate right to self-determination.
Address by Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, Constitutional President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
I have heard a number of interventions about Palestine. Of course, Palestine has our full support. Bolivia not only supports recognition of Palestine at the United Nations, but also wishes to welcome Palestine to the United Nations. Here I have a profound observation. When Israel bombs, attacks, kills and takes Palestinian land, there is no Security Council for that; there is no international organization that can stop those bombings and killings, the genocide in Palestine.
When there was a coup d’état in Honduras and there were killings in Palestine, where was NATO? Where was the Security Council? They were nowhere to be found.
For those and many other reasons, it is important to think again about re-establishing the United Nations.
Address by Mr. Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia
Slovenia welcomes the President’s decision to put the theme of mediation at the centre of our deliberations at this session. Indeed, no other theme seems more timely at this moment of search for an approach towards a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The European Union, to which Slovenia belongs, is currently fully engaged with high-profile mediation in this context. The mediation under way has two aims.
The first is the revival of the peace process with a view to finding an early solution — a genuine and fair peace agreement involving two States, Israel and Palestine, which would live side by side in peace and security. Secondly, an immediate task relevant to the United Nations is to find an adequate status for Palestine within the ranks of our common, global Organization. Those two aims are genuinely linked, and the latter should be understood as supporting the former.
The meeting rose at 8.05 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.