Letter dated 28 September 2006 from the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit herewith the ministerial statement adopted at the thirtieth annual meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of the Group of 77, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September 2006 (see annex).
On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would appreciate it if the present letter and its annex were circulated as a document of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 13, 14, 18, 42, 51, 52, 55, 56, 112, 113 and 149.

(Signed) Dumisani S. Kumalo
Ambassador
Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations
Chairman of the Group of 77

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Annex to the letter dated 28 September 2006 from the
Permanent Representative of South Africa to the
United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Ministerial statement
1. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Group of 77 and China met in New York, at the United Nations Headquarters, on 22 September 2006 on the occasion of their 30th Annual Meeting.

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24. The Ministers condemned the Israeli aggression launched against Lebanon. They remained deeply concerned about the economic, humanitarian, social and environmental consequences of the Israeli aggression. They considered the systematic and widespread destruction of Lebanon’s towns, villages, cities, and national infrastructure; compounded with the destruction of the economy’s productive sectors, amounted to billions of dollars. The forgone gains and the opportunity cost in terms of development make this amount even higher. They, furthermore, called upon the international community to provide the necessary assistance to the Lebanese government and to the Lebanese people to help them achieve the early recovery and the subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction of Lebanon.   

25. The Ministers also called for the immediate Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 and the other Arab occupied territories. They reaffirmed their support for the Middle East peace process started in Madrid in 1991, and aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242(1967), 338(1973) and 425(1978) and the principle of land for peace. In this context, we support the peace initiative adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut in March 2002.

26. The Ministers condemned the ongoing and intensifying Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, which has resulted in the loss of civilian lives and the vast destruction of Palestinian properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands.  The Ministers reiterated their deep concern at the intensifying hardships being faced by the Palestinian people as the result of the Israeli aggression, as well as at the increasing financial and political isolation being imposed on the Palestinian Authority by some members of the international community in the aftermath of the Palestinian legislative elections held in January 2006. They called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to refrain from withholding tax revenue transfers due to the Palestinian Authority, which is deepening the financial crisis of the Authority, and they also called on Israel to repair the damages caused to the Palestinian properties and infrastructure. They called upon the international community to provide much needed assistance to the Palestinian people.

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Document symbol: A/61/486
Document Type: Declaration
Document Sources: General Assembly, Group of 77
Subject: Golan Heights, Incidents, Incursions, Peace process, Situation in Lebanon, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem
Publication Date: 28/09/2006