H.E Dr. Dipu Moni, MP
Hon‟ble Foreign Minister
of the People‟s Republic of Bangladesh
at the „Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Committee on Palestine‟
New York, UN Conference Room no 6 (NLB)
September 22, 2011
Honorable Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please accept our sincere appreciation for steering this very important meeting on Palestine. As an active member of the NAM Ministerial Committee on Palestine, my delegation would extend fullest cooperation to the Chair. Bangladesh has always been on the side of the Palestinian people. This is not a mere coincidence. It is our principled stance derived from our Constitution. I quote from Article 25 of our Constitution: “The state shall uphold the right of every people freely to determine and build up its own social, economic and political system by ways and means of its own free choice; and support oppressed peoples throughout the world waging a just struggle against imperialism, colonialism or racialism.”
Let me reiterate Bangladesh‟s 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. We believe that the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Security Council Resolutions, 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and 425 (1978), the principle of “land-for-peace”, and the Madrid Conference Terms of Reference, the Road Map, the Arab Peace Initiative, are the best guides for achieving a two-State solution.
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. We express our 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 are also 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. I therefore call for maximum restraint paying respect for international humanitarian law.
We commend President Mahmoud Abbas‟ leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and continued Palestinian institution-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. We call on the international community to acknowledge the progress achieved and to recognize independent, sovereign state of Palestine based on the borders of 4 June 1967.
NAM must urge the international community, especially the Quartet, to ease the financial burden of the Palestinian authority. There should be renewed commitments to increase financial assistance to Palestine.
The challenge today for the NAM Committee on Palestine and for the international community is to put the peace process back on track without further delay. While appreciating the role of the United States and other members of the Quartet in finding durable solution to the Palestinian struggle, we should also emphasize that the peace process must remain multilateral and inclusive. We should strongly support the role of the United Nations in resolving the Palestine issue in its totality.
The support for the Palestinian struggle is near universal. At the UN, an overwhelming majority of the member states have supported their cause, year after year. Bangladesh, along with most NAM member states, voted in favor of these resolutions. At the NAM Ministerial Meeting in Bali in May this year, we reiterated our unflinching support. Despite our broad support, a sovereign Palestinian state remains illusive as ever. It is perhaps time for all of us to ask why our collective will has failed to meet the demands of the ordinary Palestinian people.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.