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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Associated Countries – Cyprus, Malta and Turkey -, as well as the EFTA country of the European Economic Area – Iceland – align themselves with this statement.

Mr. President,

For more than half a century, the General Assembly has devoted continued and focused attention to the situation in the Middle East. Sadly, however, during this lengthy period, the Middle East has remained in a state of serious crisis. Just as half a century ago, the epicentre of the crisis remains the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The European Union outlined its view on the tragic events that continue to unfold in the occupied territories during the debate on the Question of Palestine. I, therefore, just want to underscore that the European Union strongly condemns the recent acts of terror and violence, which only serve to derail the process towards reconciliation. Only through a process of negotiations can we hope to achieve a peaceful and just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. President,

The European Union remains committed to continue the work within the Middle East Quartet on a concrete, three-phased road map towards a final Israeli-Palestinian settlement by June 2005. Peace in the Middle East must, however, be comprehensive and include a final Israeli peace settlement with Syria and Lebanon. A just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the conflict, including on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, must be based on UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 1397, the Madrid terms of reference, in particular the principle of land for peace, and the implementation of all existing agreements between the parties.

In March this year, Arab League Countries at their Summit in Beirut adopted the proposal by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah on an Arab Peace Initiative. The European Union warmly welcomes this initiative, which is an important factor in international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including on the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks. It offers Israel – for the first time ever – the prospect of full normalization with all Arab League countries after the conclusion of a comprehensive peace settlement.

Mr. President,

In May 2000 Israel unilaterally withdrew its forces from south Lebanon in line with Security Council resolution 425 from 1978. Even though the situation there has been characterised by a state of relative calm, serious violations of the ceasefire continue to occur. It is essential that the Lebanese government fulfils its responsibility under that resolution and reinstate its effective authority to all of southern Lebanon, including by deploying its forces along the Blue Line, in order to restore peace and security in the area. For its part, Israel must stop the repeated air and other violations of the Blue Line, which are unjustified and a cause of great concern to the civilian population. Furthermore, both parties must ensure the safety of the personnel of the United Nations Interim Force in Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) and their full freedom of movement in the discharge of UNIFIL’s mandate.

Mr. President,

Besides being actively engaged in the Middle East Peace Process through the Quartet, the European Union takes a strong interest in the development of the Mediterranean Region as a whole and in maintaining close and longstanding ties with its countries. Through the Barcelona Process the European Union aims to play its full part in ensuring peace, stability and security as well as a sustainable and balanced economic and social development in the Mediterranean region. At the Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers Conference in Valencia in April this year the parties reconfirmed their commitment to the Barcelona Process and its relevance as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries.

Mr. President,

I would like to conclude by reiterating the commitment of the European Union to continue – in close cooperation with the other members of the Quartet and all parties concerned – to assist in finding a final, just and comprehensive settlement to the Middle East conflict. We urge all parties concerned to work with the Middle East Quartet with the view to achieving this objective.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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