Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood
Charge d’ Affaires, a.i
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, 26 July 2011
I thank Germany for scheduling this very important open debate on the situation in the Middle East. Allow me to express our appreciation to Mr. Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany for chairing this debate. I also convey our thanks to UN Special Coordinator and SRSG, Mr. Robert Serry for his comprehensive briefing this morning.
Bangladesh delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished representatives of Egypt and Kazakhstan 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.
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 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.
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 express concern at the extensive destruction by the occupying Power, of properties, homes, economic institutions, agricultural lands and orchards, construction of the wall, confiscation of land and the continued imposition of checkpoints, contrary to international law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which have seriously hampered the already critical dire socio-economic situation being faced by the Palestinian population.
We commend President Mahmoud Abbas’ leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and continued Palestinian State-building efforts, especially in the areas of governance, rule of law and human rights, livelihoods and productive sectors, education and culture, health, social protection and water.
But we are worried due to the Israeli military operations and the continuing Israeli policy of closures and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including humanitarian
personnel as well as food, medical, fuel, and other essential supplies, in the Gaza Strip, which are causing civilian casualties and therefore call for maximum restraint paying respect for international humanitarian law. In this regard, it is very unfortunate that recently (on 19.07.11), a French civilian boat, “El Karama”, which was touring to provide humanitarian support was seized.
My delegation believes that the Fourth Geneva Convention, the relevant General Assembly resolutions, particularly 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, are the best guides for achieving a two-State solution.
The principled support of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination from all corners of the globe, both bilaterally and multilaterally, has been an essential pillar of Palestinian resilience over the decades. My delegation welcomes in this regard the Palestinian Authority’s plan, “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”, for constructing the institutions of a Palestinian State by September 2011.
Let’s turn to the situations in Lebanon and Occupied Syrian Golan. It is sad that Occupier State is violating Lebanon sovereignty and recurring breaches to Security Council Resolution 1701. It is also a concern that there have been various measures and actions to alter legal, physical and demographic status of the Occupied Syrian Golan.
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.