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The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 10 (continued)
Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/56/1 and Corr.1 and Add.1)
Mr. Ryan (Ireland):
The review conducted by the Secretary-General of the state of the world’s affairs presents a very mixed picture, and the overall balance sheet is still disturbing. We share his disappointment at setbacks in a number of areas of conflict. Progress is being registered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and concerned countries in the region. However, fragility and uncertainty persists in these areas, and there are continuing difficulties in the implementation of established agreements and frameworks.
The Middle East has proved even more intractable over the past year, although we believe there is now a wider recognition all round of the essential ingredients that must underpin the peace process than there was earlier this year. We must all build on that. Ireland, through its membership in the Security Council, will continue to search for lasting solutions to these and other disputes.
Mr. Fonseca (Brazil) ( spoke in Spanish ):
Returning to the report of the Secretary-General, I would say that the same determination is necessary to find lasting solutions to the various conflicts that afflict the world, especially on the African continent and in the Middle East. We must be obsessive about finding solutions to these conflicts.
Mr. Sychov (Belarus) ( spoke in Russian ):
One source of problems in guaranteeing international peace and security is the very unsettling situation in the Middle East. Belarus is convinced that there is no alternative to establishing an independent Palestinian State through political negotiations based on strict respect for the Security Council’s resolutions and the decisions of other international forums. This is the only way to ensure respect for the inalienable right of the Palestinians to self-determination and to guarantee Israel’s security interests. It is regrettable that the Security Council was unable last year to achieve consensus on a possible United Nations presence in the region during these difficult times.
Sir Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom):
The United Kingdom will be contributing, together with our partners in the European Union, to the debate on terrorism which will start in the General Assembly on 1 October. We must transform our traditional methods of diplomacy to bring some good out of this evil. On the one hand, we must not be deflected from our attempts to resolve conflicts, defuse tensions and build peace in the troubled regions of the world, whether this be the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa or elsewhere. The terrorists will want all those efforts to fail. But we now have another urgent duty: to ensure that no one, whether States or individuals, harbours, supports, finances or encourages terrorism. The international community must unite as never before to take determined, collective action against the threat that terrorism and its supporters pose to global security. We will support action both in the Security Council and in the General Assembly to achieve those joint and comprehensive objectives.
Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan):
We note in the Secretary-General’s report the reference to both Kashmir and Palestine. They are two of the longest unresolved disputes of our time. We agree with his assessment, in paragraph 29 of the report, that
“The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians can be resolved only through a political settlement.”
We also agree with his observation that the tragic loss of life has underlined the urgency of reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions. His observations on Palestine are equally valid for Kashmir, where thousands of innocent lives have also been lost, necessitating an early solution of the problem in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council.
Mr. Nejad Hosseinian (Islamic Republic of Iran):
In the area of peacemaking, the efforts of the Secretary-General and his colleagues during the past year have also been commendable. It is regrettable that, despite his personal attention to the ongoing crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories and his two visits to the area, the continued aggressive policy of the Israelis did not allow for any lessening of the suffering of the Palestinians. The policy of wilfully killing defenceless civilians and their suffocation at the hands of the Israeli armed forces continues, as does the inaction of the Security Council, which is failing to live up to its responsibility in assigning a United Nations protection force to the area.
While the involvement of the Secretary-General in the Palestinian question is a positive development, we believe that, unless his efforts are effectively complemented by the Council and the major Powers, the realization of the basic rights of Palestinians, which is a prerequisite for the return of peace to the area, will remain elusive.
The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.