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Letter dated 5 August 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the
Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit herewith the statement that the Plurinational State of Bolivia delivered at the 7222nd meeting of the Security Council on 22 July 2014 (see annex).
I would appreciate it if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 36.
The events that have brought us to this Chamber are tragic.
The Charter upon which this Organization was founded states that the peoples
of the United Nations are determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which has brought untold sorrow to mankind.
The same Charter, which is quoted so eloquently in so many speeches, states that this Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
Yet, this meeting and the scourge afflicting the Palestinian people are clear proof that the international order cannot save Palestine from the untold sorrow brought about by Israeli aggression.
This meeting, this Council and the tragedy of Palestine are clear proof that this principle is a lie. What the Charter says is not true. In this Organization the Members are not equal.
I will not speak about my country, which is one of the 193 Members. I refer to the statement made on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, whereby 120 countries demanded that the Council stop the invasion of Gaza and put an end to the repeated Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian people. Many statements have been made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, which comprises more than two thirds of the membership of the Organization, calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
We are not equal, as the Charter claims, because only one of the five privileged members with the right to veto can paralyse any initiative for action. A single member has more power than two thirds of the Members of the United Nations. That same permanent member with the right to veto, which has justified those crimes with the magic words "right to self-defence", is, by its action or inaction, complicit in these atrocities. Of course, I am referring to the United States, the same Member State that has prevented Palestine from being recognized as a full member of the Organization.
However, I do not believe that these considerations, which are discussed in the grey corridors of international diplomacy, went through the minds of any of the eight members of the Abu Jarad family when an Israeli missile struck their house in northern Gaza on 14 July, killing all of them, including five children aged 15, 13 and 3 years and 12 and 6 months.
Just as we will never forget the atrocities the Nazis committed against the Jewish people, we cannot remain silent in the face of these tragic events. It appears that in this story Goliath uses attack planes and missile launchers, while David wears a scarf.
In this context, inspired by the words of poets and freedom fighters such as Neruda, Betto, Salman and others, I want to devote the four minutes that I have to the Palestinian people and to the Council.
Although there is little chance that my words will reach them, I want to apologize to the Palestinian people from the bottom of my heart.
I want to apologize for the more than 600 Palestinians — men, women, elderly persons, girls and boys — who lost their lives in the past few days. The international community, of which we are part, has failed them. We are failing them.
I want to apologize to the more than 3,500 Palestinian men, women, elderly persons and children who have been wounded and may be permanently disabled as a result of the Israeli aggression. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the nearly 100 schools and 18 medical facilities destroyed by the Israeli attack. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the 72,000 children who will need specialized psychological support. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the 1,500 homes that have been totally or partially destroyed by the occupying Power. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the 6,000 Palestinians detained by the occupying Power. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the illegal settlements. The international community has failed them.
I want to apologize for the inhumane wall being built to isolate them. The international community has failed them.
I now want to address the Council — its 15 members and the 5 that have a privilege that makes us unequal, the right to veto — but above all I want to address the Government of the United States.
We know very well that what the world is witnessing today is the result of the illegal and illegitimate Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
We have lost our innocence. We know that these supposed diplomatic efforts only give Israel more time to pursue its military objectives.
You have the power to stop this, but you do not do it. You will not impose sanctions against Israel. There will be no decisions to stop these atrocities.
As President Evo Morales has said, we must put an end to this genocide and prosecute those responsible.
We demand in the strongest terms that you put an end to the Israeli military aggression against Palestine.
We demand that you shoulder your responsibility and stop the building of that despicable wall.
We demand a halt to the illegal settlements.
We demand the release of Palestinian prisoners.
We demand compliance with the Geneva Conventions, human rights conventions and the Rome Statute.
We call for sanctions against Israel.
We call for an end to the aggression, certainly, but also to the occupation.
The Palestinians must once and for all have a free, sovereign and independent State.
I will conclude this statement by recalling the words of Nelson Mandela, that great revolutionary who took no half-measures but fought for the freedom of peoples. He said: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians".
We reaffirm our decision to support the Palestinian people unconditionally in their legitimate quest for dignity, justice and their inalienable right to self-determination in an independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.