9th plenary meeting
Friday, 24 September 2004, 10 a.m.
Mr. Ping …………………………………………………………….
The meeting was called to order at 10.20 a.m.
Address by Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.
The President (spoke in French ): …
The situation in the Middle East continues to keep the world on edge. We support the efforts of the Quartet to find a solution acceptable to all sides and we share the conviction that the road map is the only way to reach a solution for Palestine and Israel, two neighbouring States that will one day live in peace.
Address by The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly will now hear an address by the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was escorted to the rostrum.
The President (spoke in French ): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Gonsalves (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines): …
Three months have gone by since I wrote to the Secretary-General, and this massive human tragedy continues to unfold before our appalled eyes. I suggest that we cannot allow the bloodbath to continue. We must save those who can still be saved in what have become the killing fields of Africa. The genocide of yesterday in Rwanda stands as a monument of shame to the international community. As an international community we must today take the shame out of our eyes in Darfur with urgent practical measures.
A similar effort is required to address the harsh conditions of life of other peoples, including the heroic nation of Palestine, whose humanity is being daily assailed by outside forces.
The President (spoke in French ): I now call on His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa (Bahrain) (spoke in Arabic ): …
Israel is increasing its oppressive measures and practices in the occupied territories against the Palestinian people. It does not respect or comply with international law and international legality by taking areas of Palestinian land in its construction of the so-called barrier, which consolidates the occupation and the settlements, and extinguishes hopes for an independent Palestinian State — the legal and inalienable right of the Palestinian people.
The international community today must take a courageous stand in the face of these actions, in particular following the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice delivered on 9 July 2004, and General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004, which represent a triumph for international legality and a clear condemnation of the building of the separation wall, which contradicts the principles of international law. The international community must use that opinion to pressure Israel to end its occupation of all Palestinian and Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese Shaba’a Farms.
The Arab countries reaffirm their commitment to the Arab peace initiative agreed at the Beirut Summit in 2002, and reaffirmed by the most recent Arab Summit in Tunis in 2004, which calls for a complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab land and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the resolutions of international legality, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003).
We call once again on the Quartet to resume its efforts to promote the peace process, and we demand that the Government of Israel fulfil its obligations under the peace plan, as set out in the road map.
The Acting President : I now call on His Excellency Mr. George Yeo, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore.
Mr. Yeo (Singapore): …
There is in each and everyone of us a deep desire to be free, to experiment and to be better than others around us. Like all forms of energy, human energy must be channelled so that it is constructive and not destructive. That is the challenge of governance at all levels, from the village all the way to global institutions. With the world becoming a village because of the ease of travel and instant communication, the design of global institutions is very important. They help us solve problems which we cannot solve individually and set limits on acceptable behaviour.
The problem of Palestine, for example, cannot be solved without the participation of the larger global community. All of us are aware of the rights and wrongs, and sometimes particular issues are right or wrong, depending on our perspective. However, we should never lose hope. We should always look for new and creative ways to break old deadlocks. After all, it was only a few years ago that the prospects for peace seemed so much brighter.
The Acting President: I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Kamal Kharrazi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Kharrazi (Islamic Republic of Iran) (spoke in Farsi; English text provided by the delegation): …
In the Palestinian lands, the world is witnessing, with much regret and concern, the continued gross violation of human rights and the Israeli policy of occupation and repression against the oppressed Palestinian people.
A durable peace in Palestine will only be possible if it is based on justice and guarantees an end to the occupation of the Palestinian lands, restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, return of the people of the Palestinian diaspora to their homeland, participation of all in a democratic process and the establishment of a Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
We are of the view that the enlightened Palestinian people are capable of independently deciding their political and social affairs and we respect their free decisions on the future of Palestine.
The meeting rose at 9.10 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 C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.