24 April 1997

Press Release



Following is the statement of the President of the General Assembly, Razali Ismail (Malaysia), to the tenth emergency special session this morning:

I thank you for your decision to ask me to preside.

This emergency special session of the General Assembly reflects the conviction of the membership that there exists an increasingly grave situation involving peace and security. In the past two months, the Security Council twice held extensive discussions, and the General Assembly once, on the illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the second time, the issue has been placed before the General Assembly. The discussions in the Security Council have proven to be inconclusive, since it has been unable to take action because of lack of unanimity of its permanent members. The convening of this session, which is being held in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 377 (V) of 3 November 1950, entitled "Uniting for Peace", at the request of a Member State and with the concurrence of a large majority of the Members, demonstrates clearly their gravest concern and awareness of the implications of the present situation.

The maintenance of international peace and security is certainly a matter of concern to all States, as well as people. A threat to peace and security in any part of the world has a direct bearing on universal peace and security. No nation or group of nations can claim immunity from such developments. It is, therefore, appropriate that the General Assembly, given that the Security Council had not been able to take action due to the lack of unanimity of its permanent members, be the universal assembly to try to address the issue effectively.

I have referred to the obligation placed upon this Organization to act in the face of this crisis. Permit me to recall here that there are certain obligations which affect us all: there is the obligation assumed by each Member under the Charter to ensure that international peace, security and justice shall not be endangered; and there is the obligation shared by all Members to respect the decisions of this Organization.

- 2 - Press Release GA/9237 24 April 1997

This emergency special session of the General Assembly underlines the resolve of Members to seek recourse in the General Assembly to resolve the issue with all peaceful means, fearful of grave consequences in the event the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved. It is not being conducted with rancour or acrimony, but is an effort to eliminate tension and to protect and save the peace process at this critical juncture. Our meeting underscores the important role of the General Assembly and the concomitant responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security.

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