Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman
Minister (Economic) and Charge d’Affaires
Of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations
at the Security Council Open Debate on the agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”
New York, 19 January 2011
Let me begin by thanking you for steering this very important open debate on the situation in the Middle East. I also would like to convey our appreciation to Under Secretary General, Mr. Lynn Pascoe for his comprehensive briefing this morning.
I also wish to state that the Bangladesh delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished representatives of Egypt and Tajikistan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, respectively. In addition, I wish to briefly make certain points that Bangladesh believes to be of importance.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question has always been a major concern for the international community and the United Nations. A durable and sustainable resolution of the Arab- Israeli conflict, including the issue of Palestine, which is the core of the long-lasting crisis, must, therefore, be our collective strategic objective. All Member States should pledge complete commitment to this objective and throw their full moral, diplomatic, political and economic support behind its early realization. Bangladesh is always ready to play a constructive role in this collective endeavor to achieve a just, lasting and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on two-States principle. Bangladesh unites with the international community in reaffirming its full support for the Palestinian people in their just and legitimate struggle for self-determination and freedom from continued occupation.
The people of Palestine are being denied of their fundamental rights to self-determination and to live freely in their own land, and displaced Palestinians have been denied of their rights to return home and live with dignity and safety. Unfortunately, it appears to be a collective failure on the part of the international community, more so on the people of Israel that suffered deprivation as they failed to rise to the occasion in guaranteeing the people of Palestine their fundamental rights to self-determination and a sovereign State of their own side by side with theirs. In order to achieve a lasting solution in the Middle East, it is very important to address the key issue, which is prolong and illegal occupation of the Arab territories by Israel.
We are, nevertheless, disheartened to see that although Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority had pledged in September to seek a framework agreement on permanent status within a year, that process had suffered a serious setback. This is because, regrettably, Israel did not renew a 10-month settlement moratorium, which did not include East Jerusalem, when it expired at the end of September and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to resume peace talks with Israel until it ends all settlement activity. My delegation believes that direct negotiations will only be successful if there is sustained regional and international support for the talks, the parallel process of Palestinian State-building and the pursuit of a just, lasting and comprehensive regional peace as envisaged in the Fourth Geneva Convention, the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, particularly UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and 425 (1978), the principle of “land-for-peace”, and the Madrid Conference Terms of Reference, which guarantee Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories back to June 4, 1967 line, the Road Map, the Arab Peace Initiative, which are the best guides for achieving a two-State solution.
In conclusion, let me reiterate Bangladesh’s long-standing position that the continued illegal occupation of Palestine over the past six decades is the root cause of violence, unrest and destabilization in the region. Let me also reiterate our full support for a lasting peace for all inhabitants of the region both Arabs and Israelis and our strong commitment for the realization of an independent, sovereign and viable State of Palestine with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, living side-by-side and in peace with all its neighbors.
I thank you, Mr. President.