UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
15 DECEMBER 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We meet today to consider the report of the Secretary-General contained in document (A/ES-10/361) on the implementation of General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 and the establishment of a register of the material and non-material damage caused by the separation wall inside the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and its suburbs.
The Arab-Israeli conflict and successive developments taking place in the Middle East represent a growing danger that threatens international peace and security. This conflict places before the world, historical responsibilities that will determine not only the future of peace in the region, but also the entire world.
Under these circumstances, we must not turn a blind eye to the deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions that plague the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, for they require us to take a cooperative stance and provide assistance. Such assistance is vital to meet the ever-increasing difficulties of day-to-day life.
It is imperative to accelerate steps towards arriving at solutions based on objective and practical ideas, such as those proposed by the Quartet, calling for the establishment of two States living side by side in security and peace.
The first step in the quest towards a solution involves building confidence and ridding oneself of fear, for it is fear that drives both sides to acts of violence and counter-violence. It is essential, therefore, for the international community to support and redouble efforts to help both sides overcome their fear and misgivings. Just as the General Assembly objected to the building of the separation wall, as recommended by the International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion delivered to the Assembly, it behooves us to be alert to any act that might add to the tension and cause the situation to deteriorate further, whatever its origin.
Finally, if dialogue between concerned parties is our main objective and the best approach to peaceful solutions, then barriers clearly do not facilitate dialogue, neither do they help to dispel fears or remove material and psychological obstacles. It is for this reason that we must all strive to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive political settlement for the conflict that is based on international legitimacy, for it is this that will bring well-being to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and pave the way to a better future for the Middle East and the coming generations.