Xth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly
Approximately 60 Speakers - All Express Opposition to Israeli Actions
Excerpts from Some Statements
Ambassador Razali Ismail, President of the General Assembly:
"This emergency special session of the General Assembly reflects the conviction of the membership that there exists an increasingly grave situation involving peace and security. In the past two months, the Security Council twice held extensive discussions, and the General Assembly once, on the illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the second time, the issue has been placed before the General Assembly. The discussions in the Security Council have proven to be inconclusive, since it has been unable to take action because of lack of unanimity of its permanent members. The convening of this session, which is being held in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 377 (V) of 3 November 1950, entitled "Uniting for Peace", at the request of a Member State and with the concurrence of a large majority of the Members, demonstrates clearly their gravest concern and awareness of the implications of the present situation.
"The maintenance of international peace and security is certainly a matter of concern to all states as well as people. A threat to peace and security in any part of the world has a direct bearing on universal peace and security. No nation or group of nations can claim immunity from such developments. It is therefore appropriate that the General Assembly, given that the Security Council had not been able to take action due to the lack of unanimity of its permanent members, be the universal assembly to try to address the issue effectively."
Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations (Translation from Arabic):
"Yes, Uniting for Peace. Uniting against the violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. Uniting to confront the arrogance of power and the mentality of occupation. Uniting to oppose misuse of the veto and attempts to neutralize the Security Council. Uniting in order to rescue the Middle East peace process. Yes, Uniting for a just solution to the question of Palestine and the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region."
"The current Israeli government has fervently pursued the continuation of settlement activities and the judaization of Occupied East Jerusalem."
"Three years since the peace process began, the Palestinian people look and see, along with the Arab people, that the promised benefits of peace have not been realized and that the commitments of the interim period have not been fulfilled and, worse, that the basis of the peace process itself is being destructed."
"Not only do all of Israel's policies and actions represent violations of international law, relevant Security Council resolutions and the existing agreements between the two sides, but indeed they also represent the practical abandonment of the peace process and a declaration of the resumption of occupation."
"It is our right and our duty to complain to the Security Council, and it the duty of the Security Council to respond. We will continue to do so as long as this situation continues, and we expect the Council to fulfill its responsibility in accordance with the Charter." "...The subject is of paramount importance and it does require all of this. It is the present and the future of our people; it is the present and the future of the whole region."
"We affirm that we are still committed to the peace process and the agreements reached between the parties within its framework. In any case, however, we will not accept Israel's continuation of its illegal actions under the cover of the peace process, and if Israel continues its settlement activities and the judaization of Jerusalem, we will have no other option but to continue with the state of political confrontation on this issue at all levels."
"The world, which is guilty because of its failure to halt Israeli actions, especially with regard to Jerusalem and colonial settlements, before the peace process, should not allow this to continue, at least not in the era of the peace process."
"There must be collective measures within the meaning of the General Assembly resolution 377 (V), which will at least guarantee the prohibition of assistance to those who violate international law, preventing them from receiving finances and rewards."
"All of this should lead to the immediate cessation of the construction in Jabal Abu Ghneim and of all other settlement activities. It is the continuation of this illegal construction that has brought us here today and our goal is to stop it. Our collective success in achieving this during the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly will be a success for justice and peace and an impetus to work for a better future in the Middle East."
Ambassador Mohammad Abulhasan, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of April (Translation from Arabic):
"Allow me to register, on behalf of the Arab Group at the United Nations, our deep thanks and gratitude to the Member States who promptly concurred with the request of the Arab Group to hold an Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly in accordance with the procedure of "Uniting for Peace". Without this support, the international community could not have been able to affirm its firm stance with regard to the threats facing the Middle East peace process, as a result of the policies of the Israeli government."
"... because the Arab states have settled for the ultimate and strategic choice of peace and have exerted all possible efforts for its success, we would like to stress that the Arab Nation is confronting these Israeli violations with full solidarity, supported by the States Members of the Organization of Islamic Conference and those of the Non-Aligned Movement." ... "The Arab leaders stressed, at their Summit, that any regression or violation of the commitments, undertakings and agreements upon which the peace process is based, in particular the principle of Land for Peace, would result in the collapse of the peace process, with all the dangers that entails, and a return to the cycle of violence and tension in the region forcing the Arab countries to reconsider the steps taken towards Israel within the framework of the peace process - a situation for which the government of Israel alone holds full responsibility."
Ambassador Bill Richardson, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
"Twice in the Security Council and once in this Assembly, I have made clear my Government's view of Israel's decision to begin construction at Har Homa/Jebel Abu Ghneim: it is unhelpful to the peace process. On those occasions, I voted against the resolutions tabled because the United States did not believe that they would have advanced the peace process. Today, as a co-sponsor of that process, the United States urges members of this Assembly to vote against the resolution before us "
"Finally, we believe this resolution presents a problem that goes beyond the threat it poses to the Middle East peace process, and that is the threat it poses to the orderly conduct of the business of the United Nations. We believe that this resolution clearly infringes on the authority of the Security Council. By moving in the direction of endorsement of collective action directed against one of its member states, it sets a dangerous precedent, which could in the future be turned against any member state."
Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia:
"The European Union has taken note with concern of the fact that Israel has effectively commenced construction activities in Jabal Abu Ghneim/Har Homa with a view to building a new settlement on the West Bank, within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, as unilaterally defined by Israel."
"The European Union disapproves of this fact since it constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and it prejudges the outcome of the final status negotiations. Works undertaken in Jabal Abu Ghneim/Har Homa should therefore be suspended."