ZENIT News Agency, The World Seen from Rome
Vatican to U.N. on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
"Address the Problem of the Fundamental Injustice"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address delivered Thursday
by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the
United Nations, before the Fourth Committee on Agenda Item 83: "United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East."
* * *
Having carefully reviewed the report of the commissioner-general of the U.N.
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA),
my delegation would like to commend the work of UNRWA in meeting new challenges
even given the violence and military activity in the area.
Many of the issues raised in the commissioner-general's report are symptoms
of a much larger issue which, as we all know, has festered far too long in
the region. Each year at this meeting we recite the seemingly endless list
of difficulties and differences separating Israelis and Palestinians, but
they are differences which make it all the more urgent for states to address
the problem of the fundamental injustice at the heart of this question.
To make a litany of symptoms without addressing the root cause is hardly
helpful to either party. Each is forced to live under the horrible tensions
of potential explosive acts of terror or military incursions that result
in death, casualties and the destruction of infrastructures.
The centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the persistent instability
in the Middle East cannot be ignored. This is why my delegation remains convinced
of the two state solution as the basis for the resolution of the crisis,
which would permit Israelis to live in security in their own land and Palestinians
to live safely in a viable state of their own. This can only be achieved
if the international community, and in particular the Quartet, shoulders
the burden of reactivating genuine negotiations with all dispatch.
It is a sad fact that the international community has failed to engage the
Israelis and Palestinians in significant and substantive dialogue along with
dispute resolution in order to bring stability and peace to both. It falls
squarely upon the international community to use its good offices to facilitate
with all speed a rapprochement between the two sides. Evidently, those brokering
the negotiations will have to maintain a balanced approach, avoiding the
imposition of preconditions on either side.
Solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the key to a series of questions
affecting the whole Middle East, without going into the consequences for
the wider world.
In the hope that the many problems of the region will finally be resolved
by negotiation and dialogue, my delegation further underlines that a lasting
solution must include the status of the holy city of Jerusalem. In light
too of the numerous incidents of violence and challenges to free movement
posed by the security wall, the Holy See renews its support for "internationally
guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience
of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the
Holy Places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities" (A/RES/ES-10/2).
Finally, we repeat our call to the international community to facilitate
significant negotiations between the conflicting parties. Only with a just
and lasting peace -- not imposed, but secured through negotiation and reasonable
compromise -- will the legitimate aspirations of all the peoples of the Holy
Land be fulfilled.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[Original text: English]