United Arab Emirates


Statement by H.E. Mr. Rashid Abdullah Al- Noaimi

Minister of Foreign Affairs Of The United Arab Emirates

Before the General Assembly Fifty- eighth session

New York, 26 September 2003

Mr. President,

On behalf of The United Arab Emirates„ I have the honor to extend to you and your country, Saint Lucia , our congratulations on your election to the presidency of the fifty-eighth sessions of the General assembly.

I also would like to thank your predecessor, his Excellency Mr. Jan Kavan, for his effective leadership of the previous session.

On this occasion, I would like to express our appreciation to Secretary-General, Kofi Annan for his wise leadership and perseverance in enhancing the role of the United Nations in maintaining peace, security and, stability in the world.

Mr. President,

Despite our hopes and high human aspirations we hoped to achieve with the entry of the new Millennium, there still are many regional and international issues that have not been resolved, thus constitute a main concern to us. They represent a serious threat to international peace and security, as well as to the stability, development and the prosperity of people, which derives its continuity from respecting and implementing the rule of law and international covenant.

The unfortunate events that our world is witnessing are the natural aftermath of the previous political era, which was characterized by conflicts, occupation, oppression, human rights violation and wars, which lead to a wide range of arm race, on the expenses of human, economic and environment development. In order to confront and contain these challenges, it is important to reform the United Nations and all its bodies, especially the Security Council, the General assembly and the ECOSOC as well as enhancing the cooperation between these international organizations and regional organizations.

Mr. President,

Maintaining stability and security in the Gulf area is an essential priority, not only to the people of the region, but also to the whole world. Accordingly, the United Arab Emirates, has adopted, within the framework of the Gulf Cooperating Council as well as bilateral, regional and international relations, a foreign policy based on peaceful co existence, trust building, good neighborliness, mutual respect, no interference in the internal affairs, no threats of the use of power, solving disputes and ending occupation through peaceful means. From its commitment to these doctrines and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Arab Emirates believes that the solution to end the occupations of its three islands, Greater Tanb, Smaller Tanb and Abu Moussa, by the Islamic Republic of Iran, lies within peaceful means that save the region from the atrocities of wars, from which its people suffered during the last three decades. Therefore, the United Arab Emirates reiterates its call to Iran to rethink its position and respond to the peaceful initiative that it proclaimed few years ago, which calls both countries to engage in serious bilateral negotiations, or go to the International Court of Justice, similar to other bilateral issues that were settled in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the rule of the International law. The question of the three occupied Islands, which belong to the United Arab Emirates, is still on the agenda of the Security Council since their occupation by Iran in 1971.

In this course, we reaffirm the complete sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, Greater Tanb, Smaller Tanb and Abu Moussa, and on their regional air space and water, the continental shelf and the economic region of the three islands, which are considered an undividable part of the regional sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE calls upon the Iranian government to deal with this sensitive important question in a positive spirit to end the occupation. We hope that the current bilateral communications and meetings between the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Iran will lead to a solution that will cement the good neighborly relations, enhance cooperation and mutual interests between the two countries, and strengthens the foundations of security, stability and prosperity in this important region.

Mr. President,

Since the last session of the General Assembly, the world had witnessed many changes in the political and security fields, which had a strong impact on our international relations, especially those, related to peace and security in the Arabic Gulf region, which lead to outcomes and developments that might bring down the foundations of peace, stability and development in the area and the world.

Mr. President,

The United Arab Emirates, which is deeply concerned about the continued suffering of the Iraqi people, and the deterioration of their humanitarian conditions, security, social, economic and environment, reaffirms that the restoration of security and stability in Iraq and its return to the international community, will not be achieved without the collective efforts of the regional and international community to help Iraqi people reform their constitutional and developmental institutions, and enable them to manage their internal affairs and relations with the countries of the world and neighboring countries, so they can play a responsible effective role in the region. Therefore, we reiterate our welcoming and support of the efforts made by the provisional Iraqi governing council and the interim Iraqi Administration, and hope that the United Nations will play a bigger role in sorting out the situation in Iraq and  in its reconstruction and maintaining its integrity and safety and the right of its people to self determination, election of its government, its political future and the exploitation of its natural resources.

Mr. President,

The United Arab Emirates, has been watching closely the dangerous developments in the occupied Palestinian territories. We condemn the policy of target killing, extra judiciary execution and closure, committed by Israel in violation of all relevant International and humanitarian laws. Therefore, we call upon the Quartet and the other effective countries, to revitalize the peace process, and compel Israel to implement the Road Map, which stipulates ending the Israeli occupation, the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2005, refraining from building illegal settlements, and the return of the refugees. We demand that Israel refrain from putting obstacles in the way of implementing the road map, such as the killing and destruction carried out by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinians and their properties, specially in the West Bank and Gaza strip. We also demand from Israel to lift the siege off president Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian people, dismantle the separation fence and release the prisoners in the Israeli prisons.

A fair and comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian question, requires a commitment of Israel to adhere to the international resolutions, which are based on the principles of Land for Peace, the Arab Peace initiative which was endorsed by Beirut Summit, which includes the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arabic lands it occupies since 1967, including Al Quds Al­Sharif, Syrian Golan and the Lebanese Shabaa Farms.

It is required that the Middle East zone, including the Arabic Gulf region, should be freed of weapons of mass destruction, and that Israel joins the Nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty, and subjects its nuclear facilities to the guards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pursuant to relevant United Nations resolutions.

Mr. President,

The United Arab Emirates, which condemns all kinds and forms of terrorism, calls for mobilizing all national, regional and international efforts to combat and eradicate these dangerous phenomena, which is used by radicals and outlaws as means to fulfill their destructive goals. In this respect, we express our deepest sorrow about the criminal attack committed against the United Nations head quarters, the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad and Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, which resulted in the killing of Imam Mohammed Baquer Alhakeem and a number of innocent victims. We also stand by the countries that were targets to terrorist criminal attacks, in particular the fraternal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We express our support for all measures it took to eradicate terrorist activities. In the mean time we call the international community to convene an international conference to tackle terrorism and uproot its causes and tools. We also reaffirm the importance of respecting human rights, transparency and openness based on mutual respect of the cultural heritage and the beliefs of people , so as to avoid creating fertile ground that breeds frustration and hatred from which the terrorists derive their reasons and motives.

Mr. President,

Despite the numerous international conferences, especially the Sustainable Development Summit and the Conference for the Financing of Development, which aimed at treating the unbalance in international economic relations and its effect on international economic development, the majority of the people in the world still live in unstable and inhuman conditions, characterized by increased poverty, diseases, and illiteracy due to the increasing economical gap between developed and developing countries resulting from the failure of the developed countries to implement the pledges they made according to the international resolutions.

From this perspective, the United Arab Emirates calls upon the international community, to fulfill its commitment to provide developmental assistance for the poor countries, in particular the least developed countries. The international financial institutions as well as the private sector should plan strategies geared towards providing financial and developmental resources to implement economic development programs in developing and poor countries, within a friendly environment frame work, ensure the access of these countries to new technologies, alleviate external debts and remove tariffs on international trade to help benefit all countries of the world.

In this occasion, we would like to point out the confidence given to the United Arab Emirates by the international community to host the annual meeting of the Breton Woods Institutes in Dubai, which concluded its work on 24th of this month. We are very pleased with the achievements of that meeting; particularly the special attention it gave to the question of development and cooperation for the purpose to alleviate the impact of poverty and debts around the world.

The great challenges facing the international community strengthen our conviction, more than any time, in the importance of adhering to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the international law, as our reference in solving disputes and differences.

We hope that the meetings and debates during this session will succeed in strengthening the role of the United Nations, as a multilateral organization, in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Peace and God's blessing be with you.