Holy See on Israeli Action

«Failed Efforts Are Due to Insufficiently Courageous and Coherent Political Will»

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NEW YORK, JAN. 16, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, delivered today at the U.N. General Assembly 10th emergency special session on «Illegal Israeli Actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.»

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Mr. President,

At the very outset of this tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly on the dramatic situation in Gaza and some Israeli cities, my Delegation would like to express its solidarity with the civilians in those regions who bear the brunt of a cruel conflict.

My delegation takes this opportunity to wish the Secretary-General well in his mission to step up the pace of the joint diplomatic efforts and ensure that urgent humanitarian assistance reaches those in need.

The Holy See asks that Security Council resolution 1860, of January 8, which calls for an immediate and enduring ceasefire as well as for an unimpeded humanitarian assistance, be implemented fully. In the past few days we have witnessed a practical failure from all sides to respect the distinction of civilians from military targets. Within the context of this resolution, we call on all parties to fully abide by the requirements of international humanitarian law, in order to ensure the protection of the civilians.

The troubled history of some sixty years of coexistence of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples has witnessed a long succession of conflict, but also of dialogue, including the Madrid meetings, the Oslo Accords, the Wye Memorandum, the peace process of the Quartet, the road map and the Annapolis Conference with their two state solution. Unfortunately, however, the many efforts to establish peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples have so far failed.

My Delegation observes that so many failed efforts are due to insufficiently courageous and coherent political will for establishing peace, from every side, and ultimately an unwillingness to come together and forge a just and lasting peace.

The United Nations has the weighty task to get the parties to respect the ceasefire, pave the way to negotiations and agreements between them and ensure humanitarian assistance. In particular, this General Assembly can assist the parties in the conflict to discover new patterns for establishing peace, patterns based on mutual acceptance and cooperation amid diversity.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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