H.E. Dr. 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, 20 January 2014
Allow me to begin by expressing our sincere thanks to His Excellency Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, for convening this Open Debate. My appreciation also goes to the UN Secretary-General, for his comprehensive briefing.
I wish to associate my statement with the statements to be delivered later by the distinguished representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Djibouti on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, respectively.
We gather today at a time that trepidation remains persistent in the Middle East and the sounds of weapons are far from silent, but there is genuine hope in the hearts of all men and women who care about Palestine and about peace that remarkable progress can be made in 2014.
We are pleased to recall that you assured us last week at the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People that the Palestinian Question remains not only a priority for the Council, but also its greatest test. It is the strong belief of Indonesia that the ability of the Council to pass this test and bring about a permanent solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will not only elevate its stature, but also set a positive example for all other challenges it confronts. The questions are whether the Council has the political will and courage.
The pursuit of peace is now even more important following the overwhelming decision of the General Assembly last year to designate 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. On this subject, Indonesia welcomes the continuous efforts of the US Secretary of State to convince relevant parties to move forward toward a firm and lasting resolution.
Other issues concerning the Palestinian people that Indonesia would like to highlight today are social and humanitarian issues. We note with dismay, continued Israeli practices that contravene her responsibilities as the Occupying Power.
Israel remains persistent in her violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. While we welcome the 104 prisoners that Israel recently set free, it is deeply perturbing to know that she still detain hundreds of Palestinian children, including those below 16 years of age. Indonesia is also saddened to learn that thousands of Palestinians are still languishing in Israeli prisons, suffering in poor conditions and lacking in education and medical facilities.
Indonesia is appalled to learn of Israeli policies involving the destruction of wells and water infrastructure during military operations, thereby denying many Palestinians access to clean water. We also demand that Israel take necessary measures to prevent Israeli settlers from attacking Palestinians, and from desecrating religious sites in the City of Al-Quds.
Indonesia remains steadfast in her belief that Israeli occupation of Palestine is itself a violation of international law and international human rights law. Accordingly, we join other States to demand that Israel make the best use of the remaining three-month period of negotiation to rectify its illegal actions and start respecting the will of the international community.
Indonesia reiterates its support of the Road Map of the Quartet and the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace,and under the parameters established in the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Road Map of the Quartet, the Arab Peace Initiative, the three phases of the Madrid Roadmap and the principle of land for peace.
We believe that the establishment of an independent state of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only way to set things right for Palestinian people.
Towards that end, we again call upon Israel to resist the constant temptation to ignore the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians concerning the core issues of settlements, the status of Jerusalem, refugees, security, and permanent borders.
Disappointingly, Israel continues to ignore the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice as well as the resolution of the General Assembly, in its illegal construction of the separation wall in the West Bank, including in and around Occupied Jerusalem. Israel has no right to separate Palestinians from Palestinians, and Palestinians from their land. Their illegal settlement policy remains the biggest obstruction to peace in the Middle East.
Indonesia's support for the Palestinian people is unwavering. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Indonesia will host the "Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development" or CEAPAD, later this year. This conference, which was initiated last year by the Government of Japan, will reinforce various existing initiatives that are aimed at bolstering Palestinian development.
I would like now to turn to the issue of Syria
For more than two years, an extreme humanitarian tragedy has unfolded in Syria. Death, destruction, displacement, and misery persist, despite the strong words and appeals that have been spoken at various Security Council meetings.
It is time for members of this Council to set aside their political differences and work together earnestly in the cause of peace. The Council must underline its relevance by using use its authority to enforce peace, partly by ensuring that its decisions are implemented by concerned parties.
Indonesia reiterates that the conflict in Syria must stop immediately. All parties must cease acts of violence and hostility, uphold international humanitarian law, and ensure unfettered and safe humanitarian access for those in need.
Accordingly Mr. President, Indonesia welcomes the Geneva Conference II on Syria, which is scheduled to take place within a few days. Our fervent hope is that all parties in the Syrian conflict will heed the appeal of the international community, and participate in it with all good faith.
An inclusive political process that reflects the wishes of all Syrians, we believe, is the only way possible to wage peace.
I thank you.
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