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3rd plenary meeting
Wednesday, 23 September 2009, 9 a.m.
The meeting was called to order at 9.10 a.m.
Agenda item 8
The President ( spoke in Arabic ): The Assembly will hear an address by the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in Arabic ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Da Silva ( spoke in Portuguese; English text provided by the delegation ): ...
This multipolar world will not conflict with the United Nations. On the contrary, it could be an invigorating factor for the United Nations. It would create the platform for a United Nations with the political and moral authority to solve the conflicts in the Middle East, assuring the coexistence of a Palestinian State with the State of Israel; ...
The President ( spoke in Arabic ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the United States of America.
Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in Arabic ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Obama : ...
Upon taking office, I appointed a special envoy for Middle East peace, and America has worked steadily and aggressively to advance the cause of two States — Israel and Palestine — in which peace and security take root and the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians are respected.
I will also continue to seek a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine and the Arab world. We will continue to work on that issue. Yesterday I had a constructive meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. We have made some progress. Palestinians have strengthened their efforts on security. Israelis have facilitated greater freedom of movement for the Palestinians. As a result of these efforts on both sides, the economy in the West Bank has begun to grow.
But more progress is needed. We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel. And we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
The time has come to re-launch negotiations — without preconditions — that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The goal is clear: two States living side by side in peace and security: a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis, and a viable, independent Palestinian State with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people. As we pursue this goal, we will also pursue peace between Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and a broader peace between Israel and its many neighbours. In pursuit of that goal, we will develop regional initiatives with multilateral participation, alongside bilateral negotiations.
Now, I am not naive. I know this will be difficult. But all of us — not just the Israelis and the Palestinians, but all of us — must decide whether we are serious about peace, or whether we will only lend it lip-service. To break the old patterns — to break the cycle of insecurity and despair — all of us must say publicly what we would acknowledge in private. The United States does Israel no favours when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians. And nations within this body do the Palestinians no favours when they choose vitriolic attacks against Israel over a constructive willingness to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and its right to exist in peace and security.
We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It is not paid by politicians. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the middle of the night. It is paid by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own. These are all God’s children. And after all the politics and all the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security. That is a lesson embedded in the three great faiths that call one small slice of Earth the Holy Land. And that is why — even though there will be setbacks, and false starts, and tough days — I will not waiver in my pursuit of peace.
The President (spoke in Arabic ): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi, Leader of the Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, President of the African Union and King of African Kings, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
Colonel Al-Qadhafi (spoke in Arabic ): ...
As President of the General Assembly, Mr. Ali Treki should open an investigation of the assassinations file — in addition to the war files. ...
The last file is that of the massacres. In the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 3,000 people were killed. That area, under the protection of the occupying Israeli army, was the site of a huge and calamitous massacre in which 3,000 Palestinian men, women and children were killed. How can we keep quiet? Lebanon is a sovereign State; a member of the General Assembly was occupied, Sabra and Shatila were under Israeli control, and then the massacre took place.
Then there was the 2008 massacre in Gaza. There were 1,000 women and 2,200 children among the victims killed in the massacre in Gaza in 2008. Sixty United Nations facilities and another 30 belonging to non-governmental organizations were damaged. Fifty clinics were destroyed. Forty doctors and nurses were killed while carrying out humanitarian activities. This took place in Gaza in December 2008.
With regard to the Palestinian situation, the two-State solution is impossible; it is not practical. Currently, these two States completely overlap. Partition is doomed to failure. These two States are not neighbours; they are coextensive, in terms of both population and geography. A buffer zone cannot be created between the two States because there are half a million Israeli settlers in the West Bank and a million Arab Palestinians in the territory known as Israel.
The solution is therefore a democratic State without religious fanaticism or ethnicity. The generation of Sharon and Arafat is over. We need a new generation, in which everyone can live in peace. Look at Palestinian and Israeli youth; they both want peace and democracy, and they want to live under one State. This conflict poisons the world.
The White Book actually has the solution; I hold it here. The solution is Isratine. Arabs have no hostility or animosity towards Israel. We are cousins and of the same race. We want to live in peace. The refugees should go back.
The Acting President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Bouteflika (spoke in Arabic ): ...
We are fully committed to the cause of the Palestinian people, and believe that current developments pose a grave threat to peace and security throughout the Middle East. The region will never regain peace and stability without a just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian problem, which lies at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is now obvious to all that a satisfactory solution is impossible unless credible and substantial pressure is applied to the Israeli occupying forces with a view to compelling them to put an end to their policies of provocation and aggression against the Palestinian people, to keep their promises and to respond favourably to all Arab peace initiatives.
The Acting President : On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Sarkozy (spoke in French ): ...
We have waited too long to re-establish peace in the Middle East by giving the Palestinian people the State to which they are entitled in the name of law and in the name of justice. And we have waited too long to guarantee the people of Israel the right to live in security, which the tragedies of history have made so necessary for them.
The President : I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden and President of the European Union, and inviting him to address the Assembly.
Mr. Reinfeldt (Sweden): ...
As a friend of the Palestinians, we expect them to stop all violent acts against Israel, to continue to build viable State institutions and to develop democracy and the rule of law. We will continue both to provide financial support to the Palestinian Authority and to assist in capacity-building on the ground. In that regard, the European Union fully supports the United States efforts to resume peace negotiations and to stand ready to actively contribute to their success. The future of both Israel and Palestine lies in that cooperation.
The President : I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Brown (United Kingdom): ...
So, too, must we unite against terror and injustice wherever they are to be found in our world. I believe that it shames us all that the people of Somalia and the Sudan are still subject to the most terrible of violence; that Israel and Palestine have still not found a way to live side by side in security and peace; ...
The meeting rose at 3.40 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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.