In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on your election to the Presidency of he Thirty-Ninth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I should also like to congratulate your friendly country on the prominent international role which it plays. I am confident that your excellent qualifications will facilitate your effective contribution to the success of our deliberations, and to the realization of positive results.
On behalf of my government, may I also take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation for the able and objective manner with which His Excellency Mr. Jorge Illueca, the President of the Thirty-Eighth Session of the General Assembly, and President of the Republic of Panama conducted the work of the last General Assembly. I should also like to mention here that President Illueca, as the first Head of State to preside over a General Assembly during his term of office, has helped to reinforce, through his prominent position and great competence, an enhanced public awareness of the increasing importance of the United Nations in the relations between States, and in the life of the peoples of the world.
I should like to express appreciation, furthermore, for the great efforts exerted by His Excellency Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in the various fields and activities which involve the United Nations. With commendable dedication and perseverance, he has guided this organization in its endeavors through difficult circumstances and events, in a manner which deserves our appreciation, good wishes, and full support for his constructive efforts.
It gives me great satisfaction, furthermore, to express the happiness of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia upon the admission of a sister state, Brunei Darussalam, to the United Nations. We are confident that its wise leadership and ancient history will enable it to make an effective contribution to the work of this world body.
The capacity of the United Nations to continue to serve as a safety valve trusted and respected for the preservation of international peace and security on the one hand, and for the establishment of a just basis for cooperation amongst states in the political, economic and social fields on the other hand, depends to a great extent on its ability to perform its role not only in confronting problems that endanger international peace and security, but also on its ability to forge effective solutions for such problems.
However, if we review the events of the past twelve months, it becomes evident that we have returned to the General Assembly of the United Nations after a year in which there has been no sign of a breakthrough in the resolution of international and regional conflicts, which threaten peace and security in one region or another. Still, peoples who have been robbed of their rights and oppressed survive through deprivation, injustice and in the grip of aggression and expansionism. The world has not witnessed any progress towards the resolution of the problems posed by the inequitable economic, financial and trade relations between states.
Numerous countries are moreover now afflicted by critical social problems such as drug addiction, which, in certain areas, have reached epidemic proportions. It might become difficult to contain such problems within the geographic confines of specific states. Thus concerted action on the part of the international community in confronting and overcoming such problems is called for to eradicate their roots for the purpose of securing the protection, safety and vitality of societies.
The lack of progress in the efforts to find solutions for the core problems which threaten peace and stability, and to address effectively their underlying roots from their human dimensions, on a just and balanced basis, will hinder our capability to ease for contemporary and coming generations, their increasing fear toward a present and future charged with crises and disputes.
Nevertheless, this discouraging spectacle of the last twelve months, which is still with us, must further compel us to do everything possible to unravel the intricacies of these problems whether political, economic or social, and to find solutions for them.
The role of this organization should not be limited to simply stating the prevalence of international problems and crises but rather to articulating practical suggestions which will enable the international community to confront imminent dangers and forge solutions based on justice and objectivity.
The non-acceptance of the superiority of law and the absence of moral inhibition in the actions of certain states, as well as the lack of preventive measures, are among the basic factors that incite the continued behavior of such states to be premised upon aggression and expansion, and to be dependent upon the instruments of force for resolving problems. There can be no alternative for us then, if we are anxious for the establishment of peace and security in the world, but to adopt moral and legal principles as our guide through the intricacies and complexities of modern international relations. In this regard, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by adhering to Islam as its creed and conviction and to the Qur'an as its constitution and guide, has established firm foundations for its dealings with other states. Because Islam is a creed that promotes freedom, stands in the way of aggression and exploitation, opposes injustice in all its forms and strives for equity and fairness, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deals with others on the basis of equality, refrains from interfering in the internal affairs of others, and respects the principles of national sovereignty.
In the international arena of the United Nations, we comply with its Charter, support its efforts and stand up against any action that attempts to weaken it or to replace the authority of international law with the instruments of force and the means of terror. The conduct of relations by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, and shall continue to reflect its sense of belonging to the whole international community as one family, as well as its belief in the principles of peace based upon right and justice.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, like other members of the international community, formulates its international stands and crystallizes its foreign relations through its adherence and commitment to international bodies and organizations. In this context, the Kingdom feels proud of its membership in the Council of Arab Gulf States, which was established in conformity with Charters and resolutions of the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as in accordance with the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Charter of the United Nations. The membership of the Kingdom in the Council is not a mere political commitment or temporary attachment. It is the reality of our destiny, that reflects our common hopes and aspirations for a future premised upon stability, prosperity and progress. The Council has taken, as pointed out by His Excellency Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Kuwait, in his speech yesterday, effective and constructive steps towards the attainment of political, economic, security, social and cultural cooperation among its member states. The Council has therefore demonstrated that it is a positive factor for stability in the region and a deterrent to foreign interference, especially in problems that are the core concern of the Gulf States themselves.
The prestige of the United Nations which embodies the hopes and aspirations of nations and peoples for peace, as well as the confidence entrusted to it by the international community, and its capacity to carry out its responsibilities, depends on its ability to find effective solutions for the problems that confront member states on the one hand, and for the problems that threaten international peace and security on the other.
Some of the problems with which the United Nations is concerned now, and which it has been addressing for a long time, and for which it has been unable to find basic solutions, are becoming increasingly serious and dangerous. This is but the result of a fundamental disregard of the basic reasons underlying these problems. The problem of Palestine, Jerusalem, and the Middle East, which confront us and are under our consideration here, are the most prominent examples of such approaches.
The problem of Palestine constitutes the most serious example of international political injustice and reflects a clear reality of the extent of Israel's recklessness toward high human principles and norms as well as its flagrant defiance of the resolutions adopted by the international community as represented in the United Nations, together with its determination in applying aggressive policies and racist practices.
Undoubtedly, Israel is exerting every effort to create the impression that the problem of Palestine has reached such a zenith of complexity that finding a solution for it has been rendered impossible. It moreover tries to create the impression that the Middle East is predicated by crises and conflicts, aiming by all such claims to consecrate instability in the area and incite disputes and trouble, spreading fear and despair in the hearts of people. It thereby seeks to frustrate efforts aimed at securing a stable peace in the region so that it may carry out its aggressive, expansionist designs without restraint or control.
The logic and the reality of the situation refute these Israeli claims. The Zionist presence in the region is the reason why this region suffers from crises and conflicts. The claim that the Palestine problem has become so complicated that it is incapable of solution is therefore a false, baseless and refutable claim. The truth at the core of this problem is clear, and is not shrouded with any ambiguity whatsoever. The numerous resolutions adopted by the United Nations which condemn the aggressive acts of Israel and confirm the rights of the Palestinian people in their homeland, as well as the Arab character of Jerusalem, do not need further reiteration here.
In actuality, the real entanglement and basic obstacle lies in the recklessness of Israel towards all the resolutions adopted by the United Nations, its stand as an impediment to efforts by the United Nations to deal with these problems, its total rejection of any genuine and real momentum toward peace based upon right and justice, as well as its lack of seriousness toward all initiatives aimed at establishing peace in the region. While the irrelevance of the Camp David Accords as a framework for a just and complete peace in the Middle East has been proven, Israel claims that signature of these Accords as well as withdrawal from Sinai prove its inclination toward peace. In reality, however, its ratification of the Accords was a pretext for it to be able to annex the West Bank and Gaza, Jerusalem and the Golan; to expel the legitimate population of these areas and to allow Israelis to occupy and establish settlements there. It considers these agreements to be an alternative for any other peaceful solution to the problem of the Arab lands that it still occupies, and therein practices the ugliest forms of oppression and terror, denying not only the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people but also the Palestinian existence as a totality. Consequently, the Zionist aggression against the Arab States is still continuing, despite the false claim that Israel will respond to the just demands if it deems that the security it asks for has been realized. The reality of the situation testifies differently. Israel still demonstrates through both its conduct of affairs and its aggressive practices that it is seeking land and not peace. That is why we are witness to the full-scale Israeli effort to stockpile its arsenals with the most destructive and devastating weaponry. The extended interpretation of its security claim beyond the Arab fold proves furthermore that it is the Arabs and not Israel who are in need of security. Israel has been the aggressor all the time and has possessed all the devastating weapons not possessed by any Arab State, while Israel's security is being assured by East and West alike.
On their part, the Arabs have proven that they are seekers of a peace based on justice, not a peace imposed by force and oppression. The Twelfth Arab Summit Conference at Fez has demonstrated the definitive Arab momentum toward peace. The Arab States have articulated their understanding of the peace process in the Fez resolutions, which are based on international legitimacy and conform, furthermore, to the international will reflected in the resolutions of the United Nations. This deep conviction of the Arabs in the necessity of establishing a just and permanent peace in the region should not become a reason for their paying a high price for believing in justice, right and peace.
The Arab States have carried out their historic responsibility and have given all that they can to establish peace and stability in the region, affirming thereby their genuine belief in peace as a stance. The Fez resolutions once again demonstrate the Arab consensus for a peace based on justice. These resolutions have taken into account the present situational reality in the region and contain the basic principles that can act as on objective point of departure for the establishment of a just and durable peace. Foremost among those principles is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent state on their land, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative.
The land of Palestine lies in the midst of a great ocean of hundreds of millions of people, deep in the geographical heartland of a vast Arab and Muslim world, facts which Israel continues to defy by its aggression. Nobody has ventured so far in imposing such a heavy burden upon the international community, in breaking international laws and conventions and in defying international will, as the Israelis have done. As a matter of fact, Israel constitutes a political, economic and moral burden on the states which back and support it.
We believe that what we need now is to make a determined effort towards taking the necessary effective actions and measures for applying and carrying out what has already been adopted by resolutions, as well as to make a definitive formulation on the way in which the initiative for peace can be launched.
Consequently, it is imperative to address the basic components of a just solution for the problem of Palestine, foremost amongst which is the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, a people tyrannized in their own country, displaced from their homeland, and deprived of their natural rights, rights which all nations of the world enjoy: as well as the withdrawal by Israel from all occupied lands, especially Jerusalem.
In this connection, I should like to reiterate the warning given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by all Muslim countries, and by all peace-loving states in the world, against the gravity of Israel's schemes to alter the physical character of Jerusalem, and to violate the security of sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as of other Muslim and Christian shrines in Palestine. There exists a definitive momentum toward peace in the Arab and Muslim world. The great fear is that the failure of this Organization in handling this permanent problem as well as the persistence of Israeli extremism, and it perseverance in violating the sanctity of the holy shrines in Palestine, will force the Arab and Islamic nations to mobilize all their capabilities to confront this Israeli extremism resulting in a high price, the effects of which will not be limited to the Middle East.
The situation in Lebanon is still fully charged by inflammable risks on the threshold of explosion at any time. The continuation of the Israeli military presence in Lebanon and the persistence of Israel in fermenting disputes and frictions amongst different Lebanese factions, as well as its interference in internal Lebanese affairs are a further proof of its expansionist intentions and aggressive designs.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its sister Arab States have exerted great efforts to cooperate with the Lebanese government, and to support its endeavors to return conditions to normal. We will continue to spare no effort in this direction, but such efforts will not be fruitful and bring about genuine peace in Lebanon unless the Israeli invasion and occupation is ended in all its forms and manifestations.
The prevention of Israel from interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon, as well as the total unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Lebanese territory, are two necessary prerequisites for the normalization of conditions in Lebanon and for the rededication of efforts aimed at the realization of a just and total peace in the Middle East region.
The war between Iraq and Iran has entered has entered its fifth year, and still continues to rage. The toll it has exacted from both the Iraqi and the Iranian peoples has been heavy in all areas. It is a meaningless and totally unjustifiable war. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Non-Aligned Movement, and this World Organization have all called for and worked toward an end to this tragedy between the two neighboring countries. Furthermore, the Council of the Arab Gulf States, as stated yesterday by His Excellency Shaikh Ahmad bin Saif Al-Thani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, has exerted extensive efforts in this direction. We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have supported and contributed to all these efforts. Iraq has announced its readiness to accept a cessation to the war. We are still waiting for Iran to respond to that call as well. This war can have no victors, given the damage it has inflicted upon both countries. The positive stand displayed by Iraq should be matched by Iran, and an end brought to this bloodshed between two neighboring Islamic countries. As their immediate neighbor, who perceives the gravity of events taking place, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is concerned for the security and stability of these two countries.
I should recall here the complaint lodged by the Arab Gulf States of which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a member, over the attacks upon shipping in our territorial waters, and in adjacent water lanes some three months ago. I should like to thank, on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the thirteen states in the Security Council which understood the facts of the matter and appreciated the truth. Guided by their realization of the interest that all parties, including those in the area, have in warding off aggression, they voted in favor of the draft resolution before the Council. This important stand taken by the Security Council has strengthened our hope that the Council will pursue its efforts, and that the Secretary-General will continue his good offices to bring about the cessation of the Iraq-Iran war, as well as its possible repercussions upon the region and the world at large.
Amongst the major problems confronting our international community which requires urgent and effective solution is the situation in Afghanistan and the continuing Soviet military occupation of that country. The Soviet presence there has entered its fifth year. Afghani mujaheddin are waging a fierce war in defense of their religion, fatherland and right. We reiterate our appeal to the Soviet Union, a superpower with the corresponding great obligation toward peace and security in the world, to withdraw from Afghanistan and let the Afghani people determine their own destiny and choose the system that they desire for themselves.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to the stand taken by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which has called, inter alia, for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and the granting to the Afghani people of the right to self-determination; this stand being in support of the Islamic people of Afghanistan, their jihad, and their right to liberate their country. We furthermore support the efforts exerted by the United Nations Secretary-General in this regard and draw attention to the fact that any such efforts would take into consideration the rights and demands of the Afghani mujaheddin.
We also wish to express our appreciation once again to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its great humanitarian role in providing shelter for more than three and a half million Afghanis. These represent a considerable economic and social burden, which Pakistan continues to bear generously and graciously. Such a noble stand by Pakistan should not expose it to aggression and violation of its territorial integrity by the puppet government in Kabul.
South Africa - that natural ally of Israel, by virtue of the similarity of their circumstances and interests - still practices the most repugnant form of discrimination, despite repeated world-wide condemnation and rejection, and in spite of the international community's call on the South African government to desist from such policies. We reiterate our denunciation and condemnation of this racist policy, and support all the steps taken by the United Nations. South Africa has rejected all humanitarian considerations, as well as appeals made by numerous countries of the world, and has ignored historical realities, being induced by the lure of short-term gain which will lead it to the inevitable and tragic consequences that have befallen every society founded on profound structural contradiction.
The persistence by South Africa in rejecting solutions to the problem of Namibia, thereby denying all Namibian rights, is not a constructive factor in helping it to perceive the consequences of negating the rights of the people of Namibia in their own territory. The moral of the lesson of Rhodesia has not yet been grasped by the forces of expansionism and conquest despite the short time which ahs elapsed since the fall of racist Rhodesia. Namibia must recover its rights in their entirety. It is inevitable that all African citizens will live freely in their own land. We support the rights of the people of Namibia and stand behind the United Nations Organization and the OAU in their efforts to stamp out racist practices and the alien occupation in Namibia.
Disarmament has become a vital issue today for the security, safety and progress of the world. The arms race and the gigantic sums being spent to finance it have resulted in increasing tension in the world. This situation has forced many countries, especially the developing ones, to earmark a substantial part of their limited resources to defense, at the expense of their progress and social and economic development. In this context, I should like to express our appreciation for the initiatives and resolutions the United Nations has attempted to implement over the years. At the same time, we hope that the efforts by our International Organization, to which the whole world looks up, will achieve some progress that can protect humanity from the imminent dangers, and safeguard the developing countries form being drawn into the conflicts and hazards of competitive influences which threaten all humanity. As a counterpart, among the subjects that our World Organization can take decisive action on is to embargo the armament of Israel, South Africa, and other States possessing devastating weaponry, especially because these further complicate global disarmament.
Today, as throughout history, economic problems are one of the major causes of international tension, whereas they could also be one of the major factors for the generation of mutual understanding and cooperation. In spite of the increasing signs of economic recovery amongst the major industrialized States, the world still faces a decline in international trade especially in the trade of developing countries. The rate of unemployment is still high in the industrialized countries, while the exchange rates of the major foreign currencies as well as the cost of borrowing them are marked by sharp and frequent fluctuations. Moreover, the foreign trade balance and the balance of payments of many industrialized countries continue to face serious inconsistencies whilst the protectionist trend in the developed states is still on the rise.
The great discrepancy between the states of the world with regard to the size and kind of natural and material resources they possess renders cooperation between the peoples of the developed and developing countries an imperative requirement. This discrepancy should promote understanding, encourage dialogue, and strengthen solidarity among the states of the world rather than be the pretext for consecrating the imbalance and widening the gap between rich and poor states.
As a developing country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognizes from its own realities what difficulties developing nations go through in order to attain the standards of living they strive for. The Kingdom, being aware of its responsibilities as a member of the world community, is anxious to strengthen the bonds of cooperation among states and is eager to participate effectively in solving the developmental problems confronting the developing countries of the world. Accordingly, as soon as it had the financial means, it sought to invest a worthwhile portion of those means in supporting efforts aimed at reinforcing the developmental drive in developing countries. It has become our established and traditional policy to fulfill our commitments in this field.
In this context, the Kingdom reaffirms its belief in the necessity of positive action to achieve the objectives of total development and genuine progress and prosperity for all the peoples of the world. To realize this goal, it is necessary for development assistance to both continue and increase, which in turn requires genuine cooperative efforts to strengthen existing developmental organizations, their resources and their capability to carry out a more effective and realistic role in meeting the demands of this critical phase. Total development is the basic prerequisite without which we cannot hope for a continuously developing world in which nations can exchange benefits and compliment each other's needs.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that it will only be possible to secure the requisite financial resources to effect the necessary economic changes and to realize a reasonable standard of development in the developing countries, generally, during this decade, when the industrialized countries in both the eastern and western blocs shoulder their full responsibilities and meet the financial obligations they are committed to by the international development strategy, and the targets of official development assistance defined therein. It is not possible anymore to accept the excuses given by industrialized states with regard to either the size or terms of their assistance or with regard to their international responsibility towards the economic difficulties faced by developing countries.
The increasing trade protection tendencies in the industrialized countries represent a regrettable trend which has been proven both useless worldwide and destructive to the foundations of international trade. From this perspective, we repeat our call to the industrialized countries to the necessity for abolishing the protectionist measures they have taken, and to confirm their commitment to the letter and spirit of the free international trading system. We further call upon them to address problems through existing international channels and according to valid international agreements and covenants.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has pledged its full support for the efforts being exerted to develop and strengthen economic cooperation among developing countries, as well as its support for the strategy of collective self-reliance. I wish to reiterate and confirm our continued support for these efforts. We consider them an integral and complementary part of the efforts being exerted to promote wider international economic cooperation. From this stance, we welcome efforts to strengthen trade cooperation among developing countries and to establish a comprehensive system of trade preferences among developing countries, wishing such efforts success.
The complete interdependence between the problems and interest of world trade, commodities, finance and development, requires them to be handled in a comprehensive and complimentary manner. This is because focusing upon one factor alone will lead to a temporary solution in favor of that one factor over the others and thus to the dead end which all previous attempts led. Consequently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the idea of comprehensive global economic negotiations, and finds no other sound alternative for solving international economic problems in a fair manner that will prove stable and durable.
The consciousness of a people is one of the strongest movers of the events of history. We are living at the present in an age where the most detailed economic data reaches the furthest corners of the globe to reveal the full picture of what is taking place. Consequently the importance of interdependence has become obvious and clear. It has also become evident how important serious collective effort is to the improvement of international economic conditions, together with the necessity of extensive economic cooperation for the solution of international economic problems. The developing countries have demonstrated their genuine desire for sincere cooperation to promote the welfare of the international community, through their great flexibility and definite inclination towards practicality and objectivity in making their demands in the field of international economic cooperation for development. They have been long awaiting a response from the industrialized countries to this positive stance. The world community is called upon today to reinforce confidence in the institutions and mechanism of international economic cooperation, especially in the programs of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
I avail myself of this opportunity to call upon industrialized countries not to lose a golden opportunity in establishing the foundations for fruitful cooperation between themselves and the developing countries; and to be forthcoming without further delay in reviving a serious dialogue and starting a new round of global economic negotiations, in a spirit of mutual confidence and sincere cooperation, for the welfare of the international community. At the same time, we call upon the developing countries to maintain the momentum in a realistic and flexible manner. I want to reiterate our firm belief that the difficulties which face our efforts in activating international economic cooperation and in building a new international economic order based on justice, should not under any condition become a reason for despair. On the contrary, it should motivate us to continue our efforts for the well-being of humanity.,
In reviewing present international conditions, we find that international problems have but increased in depth and gravity. This confirms to us that the role of the United Nations acquires greater importance whenever the possibilities and opportunities for interaction and cooperation between states grow. Peace based on justice and not peace based upon the balance of terror is the objective of this international organization. Indeed it is the only path to security and stability. The consciousness of injustice amongst peoples deprived of self-determination is the most explosive time bomb threatening the world.
All of us, I am sure, hope that this Session will provide an excellent opportunity for the peoples of the world to find solutions for their regional and global problems, with wisdom and a sense of collective responsibility. Certainly, it is in our common interest to strive for the superiority of law and justice over oppression, and for freedom over subjugation, such that peace will prevail and nations will realize their dreams in progress and prosperity.
Thank you very much.