Statement by H.E. Dr. Riyad Mansour, Minister, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Quarterly Open Debate “The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question”, 29 April 2019

Mr. President,

I thank the German and French Presidencies of the Security Council for their skillful joint leadership over these past two months.

I also thank Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, for her briefing and able guidance of the Department. We also recognize the ongoing efforts of UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov and his team, as well as the vital role and support of UNRWA and the efforts of OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP and all UN Agencies on the ground, at this critical time.

Mr. President,

We meet at a moment of great uncertainty and volatility. The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is rapidly declining, despair is rising and a peace horizon is being nullified by an occupying Power that insists on imposing its illegal agenda at any cost.

The outlook has become even grimmer after an Israeli election further entrenching the extreme right that has come to rule Israel as a racist, apartheid State under Prime Minister Netanyahu. The absolute support given to Israel by a Permanent Member of this Council has only emboldened its flouting of the law, further fueling its human rights violations against our people and colonization of our land. [Read more…]

1 April 2019 – Israeli Crimes against the Palestinian People in Gaza

Excellency,

It is with deep regret that I must write to you again following the tragic loss of life among Palestinians as a result of the indiscriminate, unlawful force that continues to be used by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian civilian population being held captive under its illegal occupation and blockade.

Despite repeated warnings about Israel’s escalating aggression and threats, regrettably no meaningful action has been taken by the international community to avert the loss of life. Despite repeated appeals for protection of the Palestinian people, in accordance with international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and relevant United Nations resolutions, Palestinian families are again mourning the dead and tending with their meager resources to hundreds more wounded by the Israeli occupying forces, which have once again unleashed lethal force against peaceful civilian demonstrators.

This past weekend, 30 March, marked the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return, and the 43rd commemoration of Land Day by the Palestinian people. For the 52nd consecutive week, tens of thousands of Palestinians marched along the eastern border of Gaza persisting in their calls for an end to the inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza, an end to the illegal Israeli occupation and dispossession of our people, realization of the right of the Palestine refugees to return, and freedom for the Palestinian people. Regrettably, their pleas for an end to this cruel injustice have been to no avail. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, 18 October 2018

Mr. President,

We warmly congratulate the Plurinational State of Bolivia on its Presidency of the Security Council and express our appreciation to you for your skilled leadership of the Council.

I thank UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing to the Council today. I also extend our thanks to Mr. Hagai Elad, Executive Director of B’tselem, for his presentation, further exposing the dismal realities of the situation and sharing the serious concerns of civil society as they witness the distress of a people whose human rights are being so grossly violated and witness the destruction of the chances for peace and stability for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Mr. President,

Against this backdrop and in view of the many regrettable developments since our last debate, including escalating punitive measures against the Palestinian people and leadership, it is necessary to clarify certain matters.

Standing up for yourself and your rights should never be equated with disrespect of anyone or misconstrued as a provocation. It is, in fact, an utmost expression of respect for one’s rights and dignity, regardless of the consequences.

When the American patriot Patrick Henry declared “give me liberty or give me death”, he was not disrespecting or provoking anyone, but rather insisting on his right to live freely. It was considered an act of heroism, moral courage, and reverence for the liberty due to all humankind. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Delivered Before the United Nations General Assembly, 73rd Session on 27 September 2018

Jerusalem is not for sale and the Palestinian people’s rights are not up for bargaining

In the name of God, the most merciful and beneficent

Excellency, Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the United Nations General Assembly,

Excellency, Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In these days last year, I came before you appealing for freedom, independence and justice for my oppressed people, who are suffering under Israeli occupation for more than fifty-one years.

I return to you today as this colonial occupation continues to suffocate us and to undermine our serious efforts to build the institutions of our cherished State, which this august General Assembly recognized in the year 2012.

This year the Palestinian National Council, the parliament of the State of Palestine, convened and renewed the legitimacy of our national institutions through the election of a new leadership for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This Parliament undertook important decisions, which oblige me to review the agreements, political, economic and security alike, that have been reached with the Israeli Government, and to also review the future of the Palestinian National Authority, which has been rendered without authority. [Read more…]

Statement by Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, New York, 24 July 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I wish to congratulate the Russian Federation on their successful presidency of the Council and express appreciation to Sweden for their able leadership of the Council’s important agenda for this month. We also thank Special Coordinator and Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Nikolay Mladenov, for his briefing and efforts.

Mr. President,

During this month, the United States of America and the Republic of France proudly celebrated the anniversaries of their independence. The US declaration of independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The French declaration of human and citizen rights states that all men are born and remain free and equal in rights.

These truths and rights are universal and inalienable and must be recognized for every nation in the world with no exception. [Read more…]

Statement of Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, 9 July 2018

Mr. President,

I express our appreciation to Sweden for convening this important debate, in line with its principled defense of international law and the protection it avails, especially those most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants, among them children.

I thank the Secretary-General for his report on children and armed conflict, and also thank the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the Executive Director of UNICEF and the civil society representative for their briefings.

Since the Second World War, the protection of civilians has been considered an utmost priority, with various political commitments made and legal instruments adopted to ensure protection. It is thus difficult to explain the gap that persists more than 70 years later between the clear legal obligations of States as per those instruments and the failure to ensure accountability, which continues to render civilians, including children, extremely vulnerable in situations of armed conflict around the world.

As highlighted by the Secretary-General and the Presidency’s concept note, prevention, protection and accountability are indispensable for saving future generations from the scourge of war. The State of Palestine stresses the need to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, notably the principles of protection, precaution, distinction and proportionality, as well as for human rights and refugee law, as central to the protection of children and all civilians in armed conflict, including those suffering under foreign occupation. We must also underline the importance of international criminal law for holding perpetrators of crimes accountable, providing justice to victims and preventing recurrence of crimes. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, United Nations Security Council, The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, Vote on Draft Resolution on Protection of Palestinian Civilians, 1 June 2018

Mr. President,

We congratulate the Russian Federation on its Presidency of the Security Council and express our sincere thanks for your ready response to the request to convene today’s meeting.

We also wish to recognize Poland for its skilled leadership of the Security Council last month, including the meetings held to address the Palestine question and the important debates on international law and the protection of civilians, so relevant to the grave crises we face at this moment. We will never forget their gesture of asking for a moment of silence to honor the innocent Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

Mr. President,

We express our deep appreciation to the fraternal country of Kuwait for its tabling of the draft resolution just voted upon by the Security Council and for the Kuwaiti delegation’s tireless efforts to ensure the Council’s serious consideration of our repeated calls for international protection for the Palestinian people. We commend them for the comprehensive and transparent process undertaken to advance this issue, along with other Council members. We regret, however, the extreme mal-intent by one Council member aimed at undermining this process and undermining the Council’s credibility and authority.

We are grateful to all of the countries that voted in favor of the draft resolution, despite the veto cast today by the United States that has regrettably prevented adoption of the draft and despite the tensions and confusion caused. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Palestine Question, 15 May 2018

At the outset, I thank Poland, in its capacity as President of the Security Council, for convening this emergency meeting. We also express gratitude for the sympathy and condolences expressed by all members of the Security Council, including during the minute of silence honoring our martyrs.

We thank Council members for having understood the urgency to address the grave, deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in the Gaza Strip, due to the heinous, deliberate crimes committed by Israel against unarmed Palestinian civilians. In addition, we thank the fraternal State of Kuwait for its efforts as the only Arab member of the Security Council. We also thank Mr. Nickolay Mladenov for his briefing.

We are meeting today at a tragic and painful moment for the Palestinian people, with great sorrow and bitterness. We convey our sincerest condolences to the families of the martyrs, may they rest in peace. We wish a speedy recovery to all those who have been wounded as a result of the brutal Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, who expressed their resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip on the first evening of the sacred month of Ramadan. We condemn in the strongest terms the odious massacre committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip. We call for an immediate halt to the military aggression against our people and for a transparent, independent and internationally led investigation. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Dr. Riyad Mansour, Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, before the United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Question, 26 April 2018

Mr. President,

On behalf of the State of Palestine, I congratulate Peru on its Security Council Presidency and skilled leadership of the Council at this critical time.

Today, I must also express sincere condolences to the Council and foremost to the Cote d’Ivoire Mission, Government and people on the passing of our dear colleague, Ambassador Bernard Tanoh-Boutchoué, may he rest in eternal peace. He was truly a kind, genuine diplomat and will be very missed.

Mr. President,

We thank Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov for his briefing. We express appreciation for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General and Mr. Mladenov, including recent statements made in line with international law and relevant UN resolutions. While such statements should be considered standard, we are obliged to recognize them in view of the constant harassment and intimidation to which the UN and its representatives are exposed any time they risk taking a public, principled stand on our issue, as opposed to the artificial “balanced” stand that Israel, the occupying Power, bullies States into adopting, despite the absolute lack of symmetry in this abnormal, unjust situation. [Read more…]

Statement by H.E. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Delivered Before the United Nations Security Council on 20 February 2018

Excellency Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, President of the Security Council,

Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Excellencies Members of the Security Council,

Seventy years have passed since Palestine’s Nakba, from which 6 million Palestine refugees continue to suffer from the cruelty of exile and loss of human security. They continue to wander the world after the loss of their peaceful and stable lives in their homeland. They are part of the 13 million Palestinians, whose country has not yet been recognized as full Member State of the United Nations, despite the numerous resolutions reaffirming their right to self-determination and statehood on their national land.

We are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day. Our great people remain rooted in their land. The Palestinian people built their own cities and homeland and made contributions to humanity and civilization witnessed by the world. They established institutions, schools, hospitals, cultural organizations, theaters, libraries, newspapers, publishing houses, economic organizations, businesses and banks, with wide regional and international influence.

All of this existed before and after the Balfour Declaration issued by the British Government in 1917, a declaration by which those who did not own, giving to those who had no right. The British Government bears responsibility for the catastrophic consequences inflicted on the Palestinian people as a result.

Since then, and although our people remain under occupation, they continued their journey in building and developing their country with the establishment of their National Authority in 1994. Our national institutions are recognized by international organizations for their merit and work, which is based on the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and empowerment of women and youth in an environment of tolerance, coexistence of civilizations and non-discrimination. Moreover, we continue to strive to unite our people and land and to ensure one authority, one law, and one gun, and are determined to convene parliamentary and presidential elections. [Read more…]