Tuesday, 28 September 1993

at 3 p.m.


President:  Mr INSANALLY



The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.


The PRESIDENT:  The Assembly will first hear an address by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, was escorted into the General Assembly Hall.

The PRESIDENT:  On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Mr. Robert Mugabe, and to invite him to address the Assembly.

President MUGABE:  …


The admission of new States to the community of nations upholds the principle of universality that we so much cherish.  In this connection, it is important for us to take note of and applaud the historic agreement that has been signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which heralds a period of peace after more than four decades of bitter and destructive fighting.  It is our hope that one day the State of Palestine will earn its deserved place as a Member of this Organization.  We would, at the same time, like to pay tribute to those countries and organizations that were instrumental in bringing the negotiations to a fruitful conclusion.

AGENDA ITEM 9 (continued)


Mr. MELESCANU (Romania) (interpretation from French):  …

The Romanian delegation would like to avail itself of this opportunity to reaffirm its great satisfaction over the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles on Palestinian self-rule in Gaza and Jericho, signed on 13 September 1993 in Washington, D.C.  In the view of the Romanian Government, their mutual recognition and the declaration of principles represent a triumph of the reason and political will of both the Israeli Government and the Palestine Liberation Organization, thus opening up new possibilities for peaceful coexistence and collaboration, not only between their two peoples, but among all the peoples in the region.  The lion's share of the credit certainly goes to the two parties directly involved, but we cannot overlook the contribution of the international community, of the United States Government, and of the Governments of other countries.  In this connection, I am very pleased to recall the constant efforts deployed by my country for peace and understanding between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Mr. DI TELLA (Argentina) (interpretation from Spanish):  …

Above and beyond these problems, this is also a time of hope and optimism; we are heartened by the expansion of democracy, the globalization of the concept of human rights, and the economic openness and reform in regions where state control once prevailed and where today the basis for freedom and the continual quest for peace is growing.

Perhaps there is no better symbol of this hope and optimism than the historic agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.  

The Arab-Israeli conflict has until now been one of the more disturbing issues in contemporary history and one of the greatest obstacles to peace and stability.  The consequences of this prolonged and painful confrontation have been felt everywhere; hence all humankind rejoices at the agreements that have been reached.

These agreements undoubtedly reflect the tenacious and intelligent diplomacy of the parties, the special contribution of Governments such as those of the United States, the Russian Federation and Norway and the support of the members of the Security Council; but, above all, they attest to the courage, intelligence and maturity of the peoples and leaders of Israel and Palestine.  Today we wish to pay a tribute to all of them.  

Since its origin, the conflict in the Middle East has been of particular concern to Argentina, inter alia, because the Arab and Jewish communities in our country have always coexisted peacefully.  That is why we have always hoped for peace and respected the need to avoid confrontation and achieve a just and lasting solution taking account of the interests of both parties.

The agreements reached can be considered as a breakthrough in that direction.  They open the door to a global settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that is why we rejoice at their attainment and firmly support them.  We call upon all States, particularly those which have interests or influence in the Middle East, to join resolutely in the support that the circumstances require.

Mr. PETERSEN (Denmark):  …

In the Middle East we are witnessing a historic breakthrough.  I pay tribute to the Israelis and the Palestinians for having taken this step towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution.  I commend Norway for its role in bringing about this agreement.

I also welcome the fact that Israel and Jordan have signed an agenda for further negotiations.  I hope that progress will soon be made in the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks of the peace process.

Ample support, both economic and political, is essential to keep momentum, and must be provided by the international community. Denmark, at an early stage, together with the other Nordic countries, decided to pledge a substantial amount.  We have also demonstrated our commitment to the developments in the Middle East region through the European Community, the major donor in this context.

Mr. SYLLA (Guinea) (interpretation from French):  …

In the Middle East, after a period of hatred, turbulence and hesitation, the parties to the conflict are moving progressively towards lasting peace.

The signing on 13 September in Washington of the agreement on autonomy for Jericho and Gaza, marking the mutual recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, resulted from the courage and political realism of the two parties.  Guinea, as a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, welcomes this happy turn of events.

For my country peaceful coexistence between the State of Israel and the Palestinian State, under the leadership of the PLO, must be a constant.  After Jericho and Gaza, the liberation of all the other territories would then promote the consolidation of relations between the two communities.

The march towards global peace in this very sensitive region is to be encouraged and supported by assistance from the international community, with a view to the socio-economic development of the Palestinian State.

Mr. KARGBO (Sierra Leone):  …

Sierra Leone has for many years supported a comprehensive solution to the Middle East conflict, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  We see the recent mutual recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel as an extremely positive step towards the full restoration of peace in the Middle East.

We also encourage all the parties to the ongoing negotiations concerning other facets of the Middle East problem to demonstrate the same spirit of accommodation in the interests of their own people, who for decades have known nothing but strife, conflict, suffering and hatred, and in the interests of peace and of mankind as a whole.

Mr. CARIAS ZAPATA (Honduras) (interpretation from Spanish):  …

It was with rekindled hope that the entire world learned of the outcome of the negotiations which, under the inspired mediation of the Government of Norway, led to the recently signed historic agreement on mutual recognition between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.  This is one more step towards the normalization of good-neighbourly relations in the Middle East with respect to the right to self-determination of peoples.

The Honduran Government, which has followed with interest and concern the fierce struggle that for decades has pitted Israelis and Arabs against each other, welcomes this positive development and hopes it will be accompanied by peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

Mr. DE MOURA (Angola) (spoke in Portuguese; English text furnished by the delegation):  …

With the signing of the peace accords in Washington between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel, a new era has opened up for the peace process in the Middle East.  My Government commends the signing of these accords and hopes that the international community will continue to work for the rights of all the people of that region, in particular so that the opportunity for the Palestinian people to live in peace and freedom will be an irreversible reality.

The PRESIDENT:  We have heard the last speaker in the general debate for this meeting.

The meeting rose at 9.20 p.m.

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