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Address by Mr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia…We cannot talk about leaving no one behind when we live in a world in which the people of the Western Sahara and Palestine have indeed been left behind…Similarly, the people of Palestine have a fundamental right to self-determination and independence. We must achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with the establishment of two States that coexist in an atmosphere of peace
and security.

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Address by His Excellency Mr. Faiez Mustafa Serraj, President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya…The issue of peace in the Middle East is extremely important. In the face of the many crises afflicting the region, we have spared no effort in supporting the Palestinian people and their right to establish an independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the Arab Peace Initiative on the settlement of the Palestinian question.

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Address by Mr. Michael Higgins, President of Ireland… For this reason, the Israel-Palestine conflict resonates deeply with the Irish people. From our own experiences, we have a deep sense of the centrality of national identity and a sense of belonging and how that persists through decades and centuries. Such a reality cannot be ignored, suppressed or circumvented. Peace processes have to find a way for different identities and narratives to coexist by creating a space where they no longer have to compete in a zero-sum game and by finding a way, through peace processes, to address historic and contemporary injustices. In the case of Israel and Palestine, we are more than ever convinced that the needs of both peoples can be fully achieved only through two independent, secure and sovereign States, coexisting side by side, in mutual recognition and peace.

Both peoples have so much to gain from this aspiration to creating a new and stable equilibrium. We do not say this lightly. We know from our own experience that it will be an immensely challenging task to achieve, requiring enormous courage and difficult compromises. No peace process is ever simple, linear or without cost. But the only way to achieve lasting peace is through negotiations between parties. Ireland and our European Union partners have made consistently clear that we will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including those with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. We, as an international community, must again ask the leaders on both sides of this conflict to sit down, face to face, without delay. We must restate that a negotiated peace agreement, based on two States, will command unprecedented support, goodwill and an international determination to assist and protect and defend that peace with all the means at our disposal.

In the absence of progress on the ground, we in this Hall have a collective responsibility to bring forward ideas drawing on our own experience to try to create and maintain momentum. On our own island, well before the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement, we established a permanent secretariat to sit in continuous session, and it still sits today. Such structures can allow for the continuity of even the smallest achievements, the transcendence, too, of what might appear to be impossible differences, and the emergence of original proposals.

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Address by Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali… The Malian people reaffirm their full support for to our brother Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for self-determination. The Government of Mali calls for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to achieve a solution where two States live side by side, as many have urged today, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions and within secure, internationally recognized borders.

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Address by Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait…The Palestinian question occupies a central and pivotal place in the Arab and Islamic worlds. If it continues to go unresolved, it will increase the tensions and instability in the region. It is therefore vital that we continue making every possible effort to relaunch serious negotiations within a specific time frame aimed at achieving a just and comprehensive peace that is based on the principle of a two-State solution, the terms of reference of the peace process, the resolutions of international legitimacy and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

It is also crucial to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the pre-1967 borders. Furthermore, all of Israel’s practices violating the sanctity of religious sites, and all of its settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories, must come to an end. At the same time, we emphasize that any settlement, deal or unilateral solution outside the framework of those terms of reference will only prolong the Palestinian question and exacerbate its consequences.