H.E. Ambassador Desra Percaya
Permanent Representative of the
Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
Security Council Open Debate
on the Agenda Item
“The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”
New York, 23 July 2013
The delegation of Indonesia is pleased to participate in this open debate.
In this regard, I would first like to thank the United States, as the President of the Council for the month of July, for convening this meeting.
My delegation is also grateful to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Robert Serry, for his comprehensive briefing.
In making these remarks, we would also like to associate with the statements delivered by the Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Representative of Djibouti on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.
The Middle East region continues to undergo great instability, with tragic human consequences, a dire humanitarian situation and an uncertain conclusion.
Indonesia remains deeply committed to, and concerned about the prospects of peace in the Middle East. The question of Palestine, which is a key concern for my country, has dragged on both as fact and as an agenda item in this Council for far too long.
We are deeply appalled that Israeli policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has continued with little regard for the need to create conditions conducive to peace and resolution.
In this regard, it remains our concern that nothing poses such an obvious obstacle to progress as the construction of illegal settlements, which constitute a strong symbol of Israel’s lack of commitment to meeting the Palestinians on a productive playing field.
Similarly, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel has continued with such policies and practices as the construction of the separation wall, home demolitions, residency revocations, and closure of Palestinian institutions.
In Gaza, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Israel’s blockade, which is now five years long, is asphyxiating the economy as it frustrates the movement of people and goods, thereby enhancing unemployment and the shrinking of private sector businesses.
Indonesia has always been deeply supportive of the two-State solution based on the conviction that an independent State of Palestine with rights and responsibilities which are coterminous with those of other States will contribute to the attainment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and not detract from it. We believe that peace, on the basis of the 1967 borders, and with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, is the irreducible minimum basis for negotiations.
In that regard, my delegation welcomes the ongoing efforts being made by the United States, including through Secretary Kerry’s visits to the region in the past three months. We further welcome the plans for resumption of direct talks soon, and look forward to that historic process.
In order to give these initiatives a good chance of success, Indonesia urges Israel to halt any conduct that might impair the efforts.
Towards this end, my delegation would like to underline that Israel must be prevailed upon to recognize the futility of ignoring the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians with regard to the core issues: illegal settlements, the status of Jerusalem, refugees, security, and permanent borders.
If true progress is ever to be made on the Middle East file, it is essential that Israel act as a responsible partner and member of the international community. It is critical that Israel abandon the impunity by which she has ignored and defied UN resolutions and international law for over 60 years. To put it simply, no nation should be immune from the consequences of violating international law, and Israel should not.
Indonesia therefore welcomes the European Union’s new guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the occupied territories for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU. Under the new guidelines, the EU will not recognize any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process.In accordance with our belief that violation of international law should not be rewarded, we support this approach, and commend it to other members of the international community.
Permit me now to turn to Syria.
As my delegation observed during our last debate, the catastrophe in Syria has regrettably continued to evolve, with no response from the international community, including this Council. As members of this Council know only too well, however, the situation on the ground has become so dire that it now threatens the stability of the region. In Syria, we have on our hands a grave humanitarian crisis, with particular reference to refugees and displaced persons, which calls for immediate attention.
On the question of refugees, it is self-evident that the spillover of over 1.7 million, including 71,000 Palestinian Refugees, to neighboring countries is an issue of great concern for those governments. These refugees require further assistance through international relief organizations, and we should see to it that they receive the help they need.
Without doubt, a part of the response to the situation in Syria is political, and in that regard, Indonesia reiterates its call for a political process, in accordance with the aspirations of the Syrian people, that will lead to a permanent solution to the conflict. In that connection, members of this Council must put their differences aside in fulfillment of their mandate, and commence earnest measures to bring the violence to an end.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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