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Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

(New York, October 24, 2011)

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Néstor Osorio Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations 



Madam President,

On behalf of my Government I would like, firstly, to express our sympathy to the Government and people of Turkey for the tragedy that has cost so many lives. Also, we would like to express our condolences to Saudi Arabia on the death of Sultan Bin Abdel-Aziz.

I thank Mr. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, for his detailed report on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, which shows a convulsed and confrontational scene that is very worrying.

Madam President,

We have witnessed during the last months the renewed and persistent expression of the fair demand of peoples in defending their fundamental rights and freedoms which have long been ignored and violated. This clamor has been expanding throughout the region must result in the consolidation of democratic institutions.

We welcome the progress and reforms that are showing its results, as the case of Tunisia to the Constituent Assembly elections held this weekend. In the same way we appreciate the efforts made by the Egyptian government and people in searching an organized democratic transition.

The same can be said about the new Libya that begins to mold. Its people, owner of its destiny, have outlined with determination the path of freedom in the midst of pain and suffering. It's time for democracy in Libya; their time to rebuild its social basis has arrived, the opportunity to set the foundations for a stable and progressive future. We wish its people, the success in this achievement and we offer our cooperation and support where they deem appropriate.

We hope that in the case of Yemen, the resolution adopted last week by this Council contributes along with the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council to a national dialogue that not only is necessary but also urgent for the purpose of harmonious coexistence that will conduce to the strength the institutions in order to respond the just request of his people.

A concerning issue is also the serious situation in Syria and the continued use of violence. We make a call to end the violent repression and confrontation and that the reason and dialogue can prevail. The reforms must be implemented immediately to produce tangible results in a way that its people can profit from them as soon as possible.

Madam. President

Regarding the "Palestinian Question" for many years we have clearly expressed our view in pursuit of a comprehensive, structured and sustainable, solution based on the principles of the UN Charter and the high aims of the peace and the international security. We understand and support the aspirations of the Palestinian people to be recognised as a State. Therefore, we reiterate that we support the goal of creating a Palestinian state that can live in peace next to Israel, with defined, secure and internationally recognized boundaries. But this has to be the result of an agreement that ensure the coexistence between these two peoples. With this assertion we insist, once again, that negotiation is the only possible way to achieve this goal. The end of settlement activities will contribute to this end, which we have always condemned, as well as the restriction on the use of threatening language. We hope that the recent release of prisoners can help.

Madam. President

We support the Declaration of the Middle East Quartet of September 23 because we think it is a concrete proposal that can give results to the extent in which the parties accept the schedule that was presented here. We hope that at the meeting of October 26 the parties agree a viable agenda and clear negotiation terms.

In this initiative framework, the Colombian government has contributed to the dialogue invitation that emerged of the Quartet proposal through the direct action of the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maria Angela Holguin, together with the highest authorities of Israel and Palestine. These have been discrete good offices that pursuit to encourage the dialogue and understanding because we believe that the time has come to set a process in pursuit of peace.

Madam. President

The children and youth Palestinian deserve to grow with hope. The new generations of Israelis deserve to enjoy a peaceful relation with its Arab neighbours. We all must do our best efforts for this noble cause to be a reality and we all can find peace.

Thank you very much.


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