New York: The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani made an impassioned appeal to UN member states to listen to the voice of justice and respond to the legitimate request of the Palestinians for a full membership to the United Nations, like others to pave way for achieving peace in the region.
He was addressing the opening session of the 66th UN General Assembly yesterday.
The Emir reiterated the necessity for updating and developing the order of the UN to cope with the new world conditions and changes which are not linked by interests alone but also through principles of the civilised behaviour side by side with the unity of interests.
The Emir said it was a great pleasure to address the General Assembly of the United Nations this year as it is headed by a citizen Qatar, Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Nasr. “I take this opportunity to congratulate him on his election and I wish him success in his mission”.
The Emir also congratulated Ban Ki-moon for the trust that all Member States expressed in him by reappointing him Secretary-General of the United Nations for a second term.
“I come to you from a region abound with great expectations and navigating through strong currents, a region whose peoples are calling for reform so that they would achieve their goals and assume their responsibilities and take their place in the partnership of the future of mankind with all its challenges and prospects for humanity,” he said. “We have been aware of our role from the very beginning and we have acted within its boundaries,” he noted.
The Emir pointed out that Qatar has always championed the promotion of dialogue among cultures and civilizations, the strengthening and consolidating of relations among peoples. “We are for the consolidation of rapprochement among powers, on the basis of the principles of right and justice, within the framework of rightful cooperation governed by principles, laws and international charters and covenants that have been developed by humanity over the centuries to serve a better future of the world,” he said.
In reference to the Arab Spring, he said that it – with what it represents in the Arab and human history – has left everybody with heavy responsibilities to assume and with positions that they have to take.
“We were among those who have made their choice. On the one hand we have always had a clear policy with regard to the rules governing our Arab, regional and international relations; rules that are based on understanding, reconciliation and harmony among peoples and nations. On the other, we, as well as others, have been unable to tum a deaf ear or a blind eye to the calls of the wounded seeking help from near and far, against an entrenched oppression,’’ he said.
“For our part, we have exhausted each and every means until the only option left for us was to hear and sympathize, to see and help. We knew that was not a solution, but rather an emergency in the context of one of the most critical causes of the Arab world today, and by that I mean the cause of “change.”
“We know that our choices of principle are stable and strong. We also know that our subsequent response to the prevailing situations stems from urgency, and that it is a situation that needs to be settled on the basis of the rules and charters that govern international relations in modem times; a situation that should shift from the responsibility of individually-acting states to the responsibility of an international community acting in accordance with its charters,” he said.
The Emir recalled that Qatar has previously expressed its views at the UN that the system needs to evolve in line with situations that reflect the realities of a new world, “a world not linked with interests alone, a world where it is imperative to have an agreement that confirms the principles that govern civilised behaviour, while preserving the unity of interests.”
The Emir reiterated that the Palestinian cause is the crux of the Middle East problem, as is also the continued Israeli occupation of Arab territories in the West Bank and the Golan Heights, Shebaa farms in southern Lebanon, and the strangulating Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the brandished war on that region.
All peace efforts to reach just and durable peace in the region have stumbled over Israel’s obstinate position which is rooted in an arrogant feeling of military power that guarantees security, and over Israel’s insistence to play for time and to use the negotiations to impose the status quo by continuing Jewish settlement, he said.
“And as the Palestinian cause has, therefore, hit a cul de sac and the Palestinian people continued their suffering under occupation, and as their human rights continued to be violated, we urge all the members of the UN to listen to the voice of right and respond to the Palestinians’ legitimate request for a Palestinian state with full membership at the organisation, at equal footing with other world peoples in order to prepare the way for the realisation of peace in our region,” he said.
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