Statement by H.E. Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., before the Resumed 52nd Session of the General Assembly, Following the Adoption of the Resolution Entitled "Participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations", 7 July 1998:

Mr. President,

Today is an important day for Palestine and the United Nations, which has dealt with the Question of Palestine since its inception. Today, the General Assembly decided to upgrade the Palestinian representation through the adoption, by an overwhelming majority, of the resolution entitled "Participation of Palestine in the work of the United Nations," in spite of pressures, campaigns, and even threats.

I would like to begin by expressing gratitude to our Arab family and to friendly states which have co-sponsored the draft resolution since last December, as well as to friendly Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement which decided, at the ministerial level, to support the Palestinian endeavor in this regard. Without your support, brothers and friends, we would not have been able today to succeed in our achievement.

I would also like to extend our thanks to the Member States of other groups, in particular members of the European Union, with whom we have worked and exerted efforts to reach an agreement on the text of the draft resolution, something which we believe has great political importance. Support by each Member State of the United Nations which supported this resolution today is something we highly appreciate and we thank you for it on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership. The overwhelming majority which voted in support of the resolution makes us feel proud, strengthens our convictions of the justice of our cause, and increases our confidence that right could be achieved in our contemporary world.

Mr. President,

I do not wish to enter into a discussion of some of the views raised today, which we obviously reject. However, I would like to note that it is astonishing when a party claims that a certain act constitutes a "unilateral action" at a time when 124 states supported this act. "Unilateral actions" are those illegal actions which violate international law, United Nations resolutions, and binding existing agreements, and not actions based on international legalities, even if those parties disagree with such actions. I have said that I do not wish to enter into a discussion of some views which we reject because the first and last answer to these, actually the decisive answer, is the overwhelming majority of Member States which supported the resolution today.

Mr. President,

A small victory was achieved for Palestine today and we thank you for that. However, we do want to say that it is our hope that our reliance on the resolution adopted today will not last for a long time, as we hope that the United Nations will accept Palestine as a member state in the near future, maybe, God willing, during the 53rd session of the General Assembly. That shall be the big victory.