Auszüge aus der Debatte zum Nahost-Konflikt während der 73. Generalversammlung der UN

27. September 2018

MORNING SESSION

H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus

“Bearing in mind the ongoing unstable situation and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, the Sahel, the long-standing Israeli - Palestinian conflict and, of course, the still unresolved problem of the forcible division of my country, we should attach particular importance to the peace and security pillar reform. We fully concur with the notion of the primacy of diplomacy in peace- making and conflict-resolution and the supportive, yet catalytic, role of peace-keeping operations therein. We ought to admit, however, that the former is jeopardized without the latter and that in the absence of a negotiating process, the need for peace-keeping becomes much greater and indispensable. The situation in my country offers a meaningful example in this regard. Therefore, while we remain deeply committed to adopting necessary reforms in this pillar, we strongly believe that each peace-keeping operation should be evaluated on its own merit, based on actual needs and threats on the ground. The risks involved are far too grave to allow for any experimentations in this regard. Ladies and Gentlemen, My country, albeit being a member of the European Union, is however located at the epicenter of an area of extreme volatility and instability. Our quest is based in our vision and ambition to be a beacon of stability, predictability and creating synergies in promoting shared prosperity and stability for all. To this end, and being accepted by all as an honest broker with no hidden agenda, we have reinforced our historic close ties with the countries of our immediate region and, alongside Greece, we have established trilateral partnerships with neighboring countries, including Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.”

H.E. Mr. Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti

(Unofficial translation) “For what is the situation in the Middle East, the Republic of Haiti considers that the search for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be at the forefront of concerns. In this respect, for us the issue is well placed in the UN. The UN can assist in the restoration of confidence, which has unfortunately, over the years, it has been crumbling to allow a revival of peace process that eventually leads to the creation of a Palestinian state, viable, living in peace alongside the State of Israel, within the borders safe, internationally recognized and guaranteed.”

H.E. Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium

“So many years after the Oslo Agreements the Peace Process in the Middle East is still at a stand (…) obstacles and difficulties continue to be compounded and the hope for peace remains far. We reiterate our support for the two-state solution, living together side by side, in peace and security with Jerusalem as shared capital.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel Link

H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam

“In the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, conflicts or the threat of conflict are extant still, and immigration remains a pressing matter for many countries.”



EVENING SESSION



H.E. Mr. José Mário Vaz President of Guinea-Bissau

“Indeed, many conflicts persist around the world, and many people continue to suffer the destruction of war. Many deaths, including those of children, and millions of people who are forced to abandon their homes, their cities, in search of asylum, leaving part of their families and possessions acquired during a lifetime of work. We cannot remain indifferent to so much suffering and despair by thousands of people, including children, seeking protection and asylum, particularly in Europe. The situation in Palestine, as well as Yemen and Syria, continue to be a source of great concern for the international community”.

H.E. Mr. Azali Assoumani President of Comoros

(Unofficial translation) “The situation in the Middle East is extremely worrying. Yemen, Syria and Palestine More than ever, they need support of our nations. In this respect, I would like to express the deep concern of my Government as to the development of the random measures taken in recent months against the Palestinian people and of which the consequences not only significantly weaken the stability of the region but weaken also a collective effort aimed at a two-state solution. Therefore, Comoros reiterates its indefectible (absolute) support to the Palestinian people and remains convinced that any viable solution to this conflict must go through the creation of two states for Israeli and Palestinian, living side by side, safely, within secure borders, internationally recognized and based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine. However, we find that the international community has become, little by little, a spectator of this peace process. In the light of the recent events and positions, the Member States need to double their efforts in order to build a new mediation mechanism that would finally revive the peace process. In this regard, I welcome the adoption, in December 2017, of Resolution A / ES-10 / L.22 calling for respect for the status of Jerusalem, as well as Resolution A / ES-10 / L.23, adopted in June majority of Member States, requesting the Secretary-General to submit proposals on guarantee the security, protection and well-being of the Palestinian population, as well as recommendations on an international protection mechanism for Palestinian civilians.”.

H.E. Mr. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla. Vice-President of Indonesia

“The commitment and responsibility to peace must be replicated across all regions, including in the Middle East. Central to peace and stability in the Middle East is the long-standing question of Palestine. Our commitment to peace will be questioned if we cannot resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Setbacks continue to persist as we speak. Imminent threat to the status quo of Jerusalem... millions of Palestinian refugees are at stake... humanitarian situation is getting worst day by day. The current situation does not only harm the peace process. It destroys the hopes of the Palestinian people the hopes of all of us for an Independent Palestinian State. International community can no longer remain in a standstill. We must call for an immediate negotiation that can make the two-state solution a reality. Indonesia will continue to stand with the people of Palestine... until the day Palestine is truly independent.”

H.E. Mrs. Sheikh Hasina Prime Minister of Bangladesh

“We are shocked by the continued violation of the rights of the brotherly people of Palestine. This must come to an end. As the Chair of the QIC Council of Foreign Ministers, we shall continue to work with the international community for resolution of the Palestine question.”

H.E. Mr. Lyonpo Tshering Wangchuk Head of Government of Bhutan Mauritania (Unofficial translation) “The question of Palestine occupies one of the main interests of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Our country has a firm position on the matter. Every occasion we call on equitable and viable one and is based on relevant Arab and international terms of reference and in which will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with (alquds Sharif) Jerusalem as its capital”. H.E. Mr. Augustine Phillip Mahiga, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of United Republic of Tanzania “The Question of Palestine Madam President; Tanzania reiterates its position in resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine by supporting the two-state solution. We understand that Palestine has the right to enjoy its independence and peace, as is Israel in accordance with the United Nations Charter. It is our belief that it is within the creative and resourceful ability of Israel and the determination of the Palestinian people to reach a peaceful solution that will permit Israel and Palestine to co-exist in peace and security.”

H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti

“The Palestinian issue should continue to be mobilize the International community. There will be no alternative for the Two State Solution. Once more, the question of refugees, the Palestinian refugees must also call upon all our consciences of all of us.”

26. September 2018

MORNING SESSION

H.E. Mr. Hage Geingob, President of Namibia

“Namibia is a child of international solidarity, midwifed by the UN. We relied on the solidarity of the nations of the world to call on South Africa to give us our right to self-determination. Equally, we call on the implementation of the UN resolutions and decisions, which will lead to a positive, peaceful and permanent solution that meets the aspirations and will of the people of Western Sahara. In the same vein, we reaffirm our support for the people of the Occupied Territory of Palestine, in their pursuit of self-determination, justice, freedom and independence, through political, diplomatic, peaceful and non-violent means.”

H.E. Mr. Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon

“Security- Council Resolution 425 of 1978, which called Israel to withdraw its forces from all the Lebanese territories immediately, was only implemented 22 years later, under the pressure of the resistance of the Lebanese people. In contrast, we see that the General Assembly’s Resolution 181 of 1947, stipulating the division of Palestine, took a binding character although it is not binding, and it was immediately executed while resolution 194, also adopted by the General Assembly in 1948, calling for the return of the Palestinian Refugees to their home as soon as possible, remained a mere ink on paper for seventy years. History has taught us that oppression induces explosion, and the absence of justice and the double-standards create a feeling of grudge, and fuel all the tendencies of extremism, and the violence and terrorism they entail. Unfortunately, the international political approaches for the Middle East region still lack justice and use double standards, which makes our people question the concept of democracy in the States considered as pioneers in this respect. The Palestinian cause is the best reflection of this picture, for the absence of justice in addressing it triggered many wars in the Middle East and created a resistance that will only end by eliminating oppression and establishing justice. The world has voted lately, at the Security Council and the General Assembly, against the proclamation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel. Despite the results of the two votes which reflected the will of the international community, some embassies were transferred to it. Then the law on the “Jewish nation-State of Israel” was adopted, this displacing law which relies on the rejection of the other, expressly undermines all the endeavors of peace and the two-state project. And to complete the landscape, there came the decision to withhold the assistance for the UNRWA which by definition stands for the “United Nations Agency for the Relief and Work of the Refugees of Palestine in the Near East, in addition to ensuring assistance and protection for them pending a solution for their suffering.” Has their suffering ceased so that UNRWA’s role comes to an end? Or does the neutralization of its role pave the way to taking the status of refugee away from them and integrating them in the host countries to wipe away the Palestinian identity and impose settlement?"

H.E. Mr. Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour, President of Yemen (Unofficial Translation) “The suffering of the Palestinian people continue to exacerbate on daily bases due to the Israeli occupation policies against the Palestinian territory which constitutes the main causes of tensions in the Middle East. The Palestinian people are long overdue in their quest for a just solution that would ensure the establishment of their state and putting an end to their suffering. In this context, we urge the International Community to continue supporting UNRWA to be able to provide services to the Palestinian people.”

H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali (Unofficial Translation) “Similarly, Mali is following up with concern the situation in the Middle East, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories. The people of Mali reaffirm their support for the Palestinian people regarding their legitimate struggle for self-determination. The Government of Mali calls for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the two-State solution, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, in peace with secure and internationally recognized borders.”

H.E. Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola

“Despite the progress made so far, we need to acknowledge the old prevailing conflicts yet to be solved, such as the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East, the resolution of which will only be achieved through a solution based on two-States living side by side peacefully, as advocated by the United Nations and the overwhelming majority of its Member States.”

H.E. Mr. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba

“We reiterate our unrestricted support to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the basis of the creation of two States, allowing the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and to have an independent and sovereign State based upon the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We reject the unilateral action of the United States to establish their diplomatic representation in the city of Jerusalem, which heighten seven more the tensions in the region. We condemn the barbarities of the Israeli forces against civilian population in Gaza.”

H.E. Mr. Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia

"Too often we see thousands of civilians massacred by their very own regimes or in endless conflicts. As if we became immune to the breaching of the very norms of humanity and stopped counting the innocent lives in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Myanmar, South Sudan and elsewhere."

H.E. Mr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of Afghanistan

“The peaceful settlement of disputes and protection of oppressed peoples are core principles of the UN Charter, which benefit the promotion and preservation of international peace and security. As a war-ravaged country, we sympathize and feel for the people of Syria, Yemen and other victimized communities around the world, in the same manner that we stand for the basic rights to protection of the Rohingya population in Myanmar. Afghanistan stands in full support of all UN and other international efforts aimed at achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the question of Palestine, including a UN General Assembly call for an international protection mechanism for civilians.”



EVENING SESSION



H.E. Mr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

“In the spirit of leaving no one behind, our efforts to promote global partnership for peace and development would never be complete unless we address the plight of people living under occupation. It is most saddening that some of us continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the people of Palestine. It is high time the Security Council fulfilled its Charter obligations and duties by implementing all its Resolutions; including Resolution 181, 242, 338 and 2334.”

H.E. Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

“Given its extensive experience accumulated during the period of political transformation, Poland stands ready to get actively engaged in the international peace rebuilding and consolidation programmes in the Middle East. In all the places where, after the end of conflicts, it is necessary to restore stability and provide development opportunities.”

H.E. Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal

“In any case, stabilisation and peace in the Middle East will only be possible with the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Common sense demands the resumption of a credible negotiation process, addressing all the final status issues, including the question of Jerusalem, and leading to a practicable two-state solution based on coexistence by Israel and Palestine in peace and security.”

H.E. Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, President of Bolivia (Unofficial translation) “We would like to make use of this occasion to condemn the criminal Israeli occupation over the Palestinian territories. We also condemn the unilateral and illegal decision of the Government of the United States to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This decision threatens the chances to reach a just and lasting peace. At the same time, we reiterate our support for the two-state solution. With a free, independent and sovereign Palestinian State in the borders prior to the 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

H.E. Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros, President Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

“We would like to declare solidarity with the Arab people of Palestine. Justice must come to Palestine. There must be respect for the historical territory. This was affirmed in 1967 in the United Nations. We raise the flag of the Palestinian people with our own”.

H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait

“The Palestinian question is one of the most important and oldest issues listed on the agenda of the Security Council. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the issuance of resolution 56 in August 1948, being the first time the Council dealt with this protracted question. Although successive resolutions were issued by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, in addition to the multiple international and regional initiatives seeking to lay the foundations of peace in the Middle East, Israel persists in its intransigence, rejecting and Ignoring the resolutions of international legitimacy, and continues its expansionist policies through the establishment of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories. This constitutes a gross defiance and blatant rejection to implement resolutions of international legitimacy, the latest of which was resolution 2334 (2016) which demanded the cessation of all Israeli illegal settlement practices. Furthermore, Israel continues desecrating the sanctity of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. This is in addition to its abusive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, by detaining thousands of Palestinians in its prisons and detention centers, and its repeated military aggressions in the Gaza strip, during which it did not observe the basic principles for the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, including during foreign occupation, and did not adhere to the agreed upon international measures set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 concerning the protection of civilians in time of war. Out of keenness of the State of Kuwait on the full enforcement of Security Council resolutions, we presented a draft resolution to the Security Council last May, which demanded from Israel, the occupying power, to immediately cease the use of illegitimate force against civilians, and called for international protection to ensure the safety and security of the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied territories. Despite the non-adoption of the draft resolution, the State of Kuwait shall not spare any effort in support of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people. This shall continue until the end of the occupation and the attainment of a permanent, just, and comprehensive peace, in accordance with the initiative calling for land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the implementation of all resolutions relating to international legitimacy, calling for the two state solution, and the establishment of a Palestinian State within the borders of the 4th of June of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

H.E. Mr. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg (Unofficial translation) “The stalemate in the peace process between Israel and Palestine remains unresolved and the context has deteriorated since our last session of the General Assembly. We will not tire of recalling the principles of international law which must constitute the basis for peace. There can be no doubt about the right of existence of Israel and the right of Palestinians to a state, and the two-state solution is the only equitable and durable solution.”

H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

“For more than 25 years, we have been engaged in efforts to resolve conflicts around the world. From the first Oslo Accord in1993, to ongoing work in Colombia and the Philippines, and back to the Middle East. We have learned an important lesson from our efforts: negotiating a peace agreement is always difficult; but implementing the agreement is even harder. The majority of conflicts recur. In fact conflict recurrence is more common than the onset of ne conflicts. This means that the best way to prevent conflict is to ensure that peace is sustainable. Norway remains committed in Colombia, the Philippines and elsewhere, just as we remain committed to helping to achieve a negotiated two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.”



25. September 2018

MORNING SESSION



H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

“Palestinians and Israelis are still locked in endless conflict, with the two-state solution more and more distant.”

H.E. Mr. Michel Temer, President of Brazil

“In the different crises facing the Middle East, this has been the corner stone of the Brazilian position. We join the ongoing celebrations of Israel 70th anniversary and Brazil renews its support to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.”


H.E. Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

“We cannot allow the world leading sponsor of terrorism [Iran] to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons, we cannot allow a regime the chanced up to America and that threatened Israel with annihilation to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead head to any city on earth. Just can’t do it. This year we also took every significant step forward in the Middle East in recognition of every sovereign state to determine its own capital. I moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The United States is committed to peace and stability in the region including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

“Those who remain silent against the oppression of the Palestinians who reduced the humanitarian assistance to them are only increasing the courage of the oppressors. Even if the whole world turns its back we Turkey we will continue to be on the side of the oppressed Palestinians and will protect the historical and legal status of our first Qibla which is Jerusalem.”

H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France

“What can resolve the crises between Israel and Palestine? Well surely not unilateral initiatives nor trampling upon the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to legitimate peace nor underestimating Israelis fair right to security. There is no credible alternative to the two-state solution living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as capital. Israel is aware that France has unwavering friendship towards Israel and in the name of this friendship I call to an end for policies which undermine the very possibility of a peace agreement. Continuing along this path would be a mistake. Here I am ready and we should all stand ready to go beyond our historical positions to think out of the box with the real goal of this leading to positive change on the ground. The law of the strongest will only exacerbate tensions and violence as you’ve seen in today’s tensions I don’t believe in this law of the strongest.”

H.H. Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan

“We have a long way to go to deliver global opportunity and hope, but we can’t simply give up because the task is hard. All our countries benefit when we unite in common cause. I am compelled to talk about this today because of the critical role of collective action in ending the serious crises in my region, and especially the key crisis the long denial of a Palestinian state. Every UN resolution since the beginning of this crisis every resolution, whether from the General Assembly or the Security Council recognises the equal rights of the Palestinian people to a future of peace, dignity, and hope. This is the heart of the two-state settlement, the only path to a comprehensive, lasting peace. Only a two-state solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions can meet the needs of both sides: an end to conflict, a viable, independent, sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a secure Israel, fully part of its own region, recognized by Arab and Muslim states around the world. Arab and Muslim countries are committed to a comprehensive peace; the Arab Peace Initiative has been on offer for more than 16 years. Indeed, every major country in the world, the UN, the European Union, all have worked to help the parties reach a durable peace that can last. The US administration has long been committed to peace and has a leading role in our progress going forward. Yes, we have a long way to go, but we can’t give up because the task is hard. Because, what is the alternative? Can we afford to let one of the world’s most strategic regions be tied to an endless cycle of violence in its midst? How long must Jerusalem, a holy city to more than half the world’s people, face dangers to its multi-faith heritage and identity? How can we accept a status quo of continuing crisis and bigotry? Palestinian families displaced for generations, their children’s very identity denied. Israeli families, living in continuing national self-isolation; without the security of peaceful relationships worldwide. And what could possibly be the future of what some propose: a single, binational state, whose very foundation is a rejection of the equality of its own people? That’s the ugly, undemocratic reality of the one-state idea. It is by no means an alternative to a two-state peace settlement, it is an abandonment of peace, a new way to go AWOL from the work of reconciliation, and the opposite of what both sides need, and have sought for so long. My friends, There is no such thing as a unilateral agreement; it takes at least two parties to make an agreement. Helping the parties achieve that agreement, and work together to build a new future, deserves the strong, steady support of all our world. Our countries need to pull together to get this peace process back on track. That means utterly rejecting actions that jeopardise negotiations, whether by illegal encroachments, land confiscations, or threats to the welfare of innocents, especially children. We need to support full funding of UNRWA and other vital efforts to protect families, keep communities stable, and prepare young people for productive lives. It would be a terrible mistake to abandon youth to the forces of radicalism and despair. Such support is urgently needed to ensure UNRWA fulfills its role, in accord with its UN mandate. Above all, we need to safeguard the heritage and peace of Jerusalem, a holy city to billions of people around the world. The Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem is a duty that Jordan is proud to carry, and we will counter any attempts to change the holy city s historic Arab Christian and Muslim identity. But Jerusalem’s future is not Jordan’s concern alone; it is yours. There are global implications when religious worship is threatened and international law is undermined.”

H.H. Tamim bin Hamad Al -Thani, Amir of Qatar

“Only a little progress has been made on the lingering issues of the Middle East, especially the Palestinian cause, which is the last vestiges of a colonial past in our world. The political process, which began twenty- five years ago, presented an example of a departure from the United Nations terms of reference to frameworks outside the UN- some had perceived that as the best and fastest way in settling and finding solutions to it - supported by the Arab states in line with respecting the Palestinian decision, but that has resulted in further stalemate and complexity. Now we are witnessing attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause through the liquidation of issues relating to the permanent solution such as Jerusalem, refugees, sovereignty and borders. Just national issues can’t be solved by being subjected to the balance of power between the occupier and the occupied, but can only be solved in accordance with principles such as the right to self-determination and inadmissibility of annexation of territories of others by force,which have become part of the international legitimacy. The deterioration of the situations in the Palestinian territories, particularly the inhumane conditions in the Gaza strip, the suffocating siege it reels under, and the continued construction of settlements in the occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, portend grave consequences and lay a historic responsibility on the Security Council. We reaffirm the importance of negotiations and the resumption of their tracks, but that will require commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy, foremost of which is the two-state solution, and the Arab peace initiative, on the basis of East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, on 1967- borders. Moreover, there can be no solution to the Arab – Israeli conflict without a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause. We abide by this position, which is consistent with international legitimacy and dictated on us by the human conscience. But Israel rejects this just settlement. The State of Qatar will spare no effort to provide various forms of material and political support to the brotherly Palestinian people and to continue to work with all the International actors in the Middle East Peace process to clear the difficulties that obstruct the resumption of the peace negotiations, in accordance with the terms of reference and resolutions of international legitimacy.”

H.E. Mr. Hassan Rouhani, President of Islamic Republic of Iran

"The most pressing crisis in the Middle East, however, is the question of Palestine. The passage of time cannot and must not justify occupation. The innumerable crimes of Israel against the Palestinians would not have been possible without the material and military assistance and political and propaganda support of the United States. Israel, equipped with a nuclear arsenal and blatantly threatening others with nuclear annihilation, presents the most daunting threat to regional and global peace and stability. The abhorrent US decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the recent enactment of the racist Jewish-State law are violations of international law and norms, and unmistakable manifestations of Apartheid.”

H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

“Regrettably, many of the crises and threats to peace and security around the world which we debated last year as we did over several previous years remain unresolved. In some cases, matters got worse. The continuing plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the protracted Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen, and Syria, and the fight against international and local terrorism such as Boko Haram and Al- Shabaab come to mind.”

H.E. Mr. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

“We must act with the same urgency to resolve some of the world's most protracted and intractable disputes. The fact that the people of Palestine have endured occupation and suffering for nearly as long as the United Nations has existed, makes their plight no less pressing, nor their suffering any less acceptable.”



EVENING SESSION



H.E. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

“For how can we blame an Arab who questions the credibility of the United Nations and the values it proclaims, at a time when his region is threatened by the disintegration and collapse of the nation state, to give way to a wave of terrorism and sectarian conflicts that deplete the capacities of the Arab peoples? Or how can we blame an Arab who wonders why the Palestinian people were denied their legitimate rights to live in dignity and peace, in an independent state that reflects their national identity, hopes and aspirations? We cannot talk about the peaceful settlement of disputes as a founding principle of the United Nations and an indicator of its credibility, without citing the Palestinian cause. It stands as a perfect example of the failure of the international system to find a just solution to the conflict, based on international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions, that guarantees the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. The terms of reference of this just solution and the determinants of a final settlement are well known. There is no time to waste on such a debate. What is required is the political will to resume negotiations and achieve a settlement in accordance with these determinants. I repeat here what I have said in previous years on this platform, the Arabs are still stretching out their hands in peace. Our peoples deserve to turn this tragic page in history, and the Palestinian people deserve to exercise their legitimate rights.”

H.E. Mr. Alain Berset, President of Switzerland

“Crises are under way in many parts of the world. And more of them have been going on for a very long time. I am thinking in particular about the Middle East. Where reengaging in dialogue is the only option. Switzerland is working for a just and lasting peace between Israel’s and Palestinians based on negotiated two state solution and in compliance with International law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka

“The trends in international politics. I believe that the issues of the Palestinian people requires a greater attention from the United Nations and all world powers. Sri Lanka supports the freedom struggle of the Palestinian people. Sri Lanka has been always in support of their struggle.”

H.E. Mr. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of Gambia

“My government reaffirms its strong support for the two-state solution to establish peace between the Palestinians and their neighbors. Related to this, we pronounce our unconditional recognition of the One-China Policy. Similarly, we recognize the support provided by the Government and People of Bangladesh to address the plight of the Rohingya Muslims.”

H.E. Mr. Bakir Izetbegovic, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

“Take the Middle East, for example. The conflict in Syria has entered its eight year, and we are nowhere close to bringing it to a resolution. Some of the most egregious and sustained violations of intemational humanitarian law in modem times, including indiscriminate use of chemical weapons, have gone unabated. Civilian casualties are constantly on the rise; the humanitarian situation keeps deteriorating. The same applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has lasted for more than half a century, and which has brought about immense human suffering. Holding a region hostage, as individual national interest compromises the interests of civilians who are caught in the endless cycles of violence, is unacceptable. The national interest of any country cannot be justified when the most basic services and means to sustain life are lacking for a large segment of the population. Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to support multilateral efforts to find solutions that would bring sustained peace and stability to the Syrian people; that will meet the legitimate expectations of both the Israelis and Palestinians to have two democratic States, living side by side, within secure and recognized borders in line with international law. As much as finding such solutions is a political question, it is also a matter of our common humanity.”

H.E. Mr. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of Mozambique

“The rightful of self-determination of the Western Sahara and Palestine continues to remain concern for international community. We believe that the solution of the Palestinian problem based on the existence of two states side by side in light of the principles of international law namely those relevant to good neighbourness, peaceful existence, dialogue and coexistence.”

H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

“At the beginning of 2019, we will invite to Japan approximately ten elementary and junior high school teachers from the Gaza Strip. This will be the first such group and we will continue to invite teachers annually. Teachers who find themselves in Japan, a place so different for them both culturally and historically, will naturally put the situation in Gaza and the Middle East into a wider perspective, enabling them to see their own hometowns and region anew. Such an experience should somehow work in a unique way as a solace to them. It goes without saying that for peace, efforts must be made on both sides. But hopefully this program of ours will impart a means of hope to the teachers from Gaza and the children in their care. Once 20 years pass, there will be 200 teachers who will have experienced visiting Japan. The number of students taught by them will number in the thousands. I look forward to that day.”

H.E. Mr. Saad-Eddine El Othmani, Prime Minister of Morocco

(Unofficial translation) “The dangers that are threatening the Middle East requires achievement of a final and just solution to the Palestinian cause which is the root of the conflict in the region and the bases for its security and stability. In this context, the kingdom of Morocco calls for exerting all efforts to relaunch the political process based on international and bilateral references that would ensure the fulfillment of the Palestinians’ legitimate rights. Foremost of which is their right to establish an independent state on all the territory with holy Jerusalem as its capital. As we are fully aware of the significance of Jerusalem for the three monotheistic religions and for all humanities, the kingdom of Morocco lead by his highness King Mohammed VI, who is heading the Jerusalem committee, rejects any change in the historical, political and legal status of the city, and calls upon states to exert all possible efforts to preserve its status and protect the city from all the measures targeting it. Such measures aim to transform the conflict from a political to a religious one which our region would not be able to endure.”

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