Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER
The General Assembly’s incoming President, in his first Headquarters press conference this afternoon, said the sixty-sixth session would focus on the priority theme of mediation.
Fielding several questions related to the Palestinians’ anticipated bid for statehood, he said he had not yet received such a request and pointed out that very serious negotiations regarding that possibility were ongoing in Cairo. While everyone knew the two available options for such recognition by the United Nations — either via the Security Council or the General Assembly — he could not predict which path the Palestinians might ultimately choose.
“They haven’t yet approached the United Nations,” he said. “When they are coming, we don’t know. Which way they are going, no idea,” he added.
Asked if he envisioned action during the Assembly’s general debate on the issue, he expressed doubt that that would happen given the expected presence of more than 85 Heads of State and Government and constraints imposed by the body’s procedural rules. He added that a draft resolution did not even exist at this point and that extensive negotiations on such a text would commence once the Palestinians decided their course of action.
Deflecting several questions directed to him in his national and personal capacity on the Palestinian issue — including whether the Arabs would be willing to make up for any potential loss of aid to the Palestinians by the United States as a result of such a bid — he underscored his position as the President of a body of 193 Member States. For his part, he believed there were no secrets at the United Nations and any text would be seen when it was done.
To a query on his possible intentions to hold a high-level meeting for the Arabs and Israelis and any other parties in the Middle East, he said there were presently no such plans. He added that his selection of mediation for the theme of the general debate was intended to foster a more active role by all United Nations bodies in the broader context of the conflict prevention and dispute resolution.
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For information media • not an official record