H.E Dr. A.K Abdul Momen
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, 21 April 2011
I begin by thanking your country, Colombia and you personally for steering this very important open debate on the situation in the Middle East. I would also 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 and oppression.
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 commend the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and continued Palestinian State-building efforts. But we are worried due to carrying out of disproportionate military strikes, unabated atrocities causing civilian casualties and therefore, we call for maximum restraint and we appeal for paying respect to international humanitarian laws. We further regret the discontinuation of Israel’s 10-month moratorium on settlement activity and strongly reaffirm that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations. Let me also reiterate our support for concluding these negotiations by September 2011. It is our belief that further delay in the resumption of negotiations is detrimental to prospect for regional peace and security. We urge the parties and others concerned to undertake urgently the efforts to expedite Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, which is essential to avoid outcomes detrimental to the region.
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.
After years of deprivation and sufferings in this holy month, the people of Bani Israel got relieved of slavery from the clutches of Pharaoh, now may I expect a global commitment and meaningful action on this ground, for the people of Palestine to get relief from the Israeli occupation ending years of sufferings and
deprivation, attacks and counter-attacks, deaths and miseries, fear of uncertainty and tension for all the people of this region.
I thank you, Mr. President.