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Explanation of vote (unofficial transcript) by

Permanent Representative of Indonesia

After the vote on resolution A/ES-10/L.21/Rev.1 {General Assembly Resolution Supporting the Immediate Ceasefire according to Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009)}

16 January 2009

Mr. President, the Palestinian cause is an Indonesian cause as well.

In fact, for many Indonesians, myself included, to be “Indonesian is to be Palestinian”.

Therefore, it is with extremely heavy heart, today, probably for the first time, Indonesia has not been able to join the consensus; has not been able to support a resolution of the General Assembly, our universal General Assembly which has historically always supported the Palestinian cause, with Indonesia always, never fail to either co-sponsor, to initiate, and of course, to support the Palestinian cause.

It becomes even more galling for us to find ourselves in a situation of not being able to support this resolution because Indonesia has been one of the main proponents for the convening of this emergency special session.

And, therefore, we feel it incumbent for us in some way to explain why we find ourselves in this situation of not being able to support the resolution that has been adopted, and therefore to most clearly express our support to our Palestinian brothers.

Mr. President,

There are moments when we here working with the nations in the General Assembly have to put our conscience above anything else. We have seen your draft resolution, Mr. President. We said so in the first day of our debate that we need more than simply re-affirmation of existing Security Council resolutions, but rather that we must build on Security Council resolution. However, out of our greatest respect to the Presidency of the General Assembly, we resist the temptation to add to the resolution in a way that would be happier for us to be able to support.

Out of our respect to the Presidency, out of our wish to have a consensus.

However at the late hour, Mr. President, we were presented with certain amendments, which I fully understand has been worked extremely diligently by our friends, our brothers with the European Union. But with the greatest humility, and with the greatest conscience, Mr. President, my delegation would have tremendous difficulty explaining not to ourselves here, or to our colleagues in this room, but to explain to our people back home - how is it that we are not able, as a General Assembly, not the Security Council, as a General Assembly of some 190 member states, to explicitly say to Israel, the occupying power, “enough is enough, end your violence and out of Gaza now”.

That is why, we have problem Mr. President, by this amendment to your text which, in the preambular paragraph 3 of the new text, we find ourselves in General Assembly incapable of even identifying who the main perpetrator of this whole situation is, namely Israel.

Of course, every life lost is one life too many. I am not saying one civilian life is more important than another civilian life. That goes without saying. We condemn; we are, we feel, saddened for every civilian life lost, whether that would be Palestinian or it would be Israeli.

But to suggest that there is some kind of parity; that we find difficult to accept, with the greatest humility. I know that we in this General Assembly always find or seek to find balance, seek to find compromise, but there are moments, and this is the moment, Mr. President, that we find unable to have that kind of conscience. We feel it tonight was the time when we have to say it loud and clear. This is not the Security Council, this is the General Assembly of the United Nations. And we are compelled, as a democratic nation, we are accountable to our public back home, not simply in this room, we can say that we are not able to support this resolution, not because we are not in support of Palestine. On contrary, we are so full 110 per cent in support of Palestine that we feel that this resolution does not go enough in condemning Israel, in demanding that Israel to immediately withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territory.

That is why, Mr. President, I would like to make it absolutely clear, that in fact by abstaining today, we are showing more than ever before that our solidarity is 110 percent total with the Palestinian people, with the suffering and that we demand, not a day too soon that the Israelis withdraw from the Gaza strip and end the carnage now.

I thank you Sir.


Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
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