Permanent Mission to UN

Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Ambassador Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, before the Security Council, under Agenda item: "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question." New York, 3 May 2002.

Mr. President:

First of all, may I say how very pleased my delegation is to see you, Mr. President, presiding over the work of the Security Council. We wish you every success. Likewise, I wish to congratulate Ambassador Lavrov and his entire team for the excellent manner in which he guided the work of this body during April.

Once again the Security Council is not fulfilling its responsibilities and is showing its inability to act in the face of the extremely grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is beyond question that the situation in Jenin and Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the fact-finding team demanded a resolution such as that initially presented by Syria and Tunisia in document S/2002/478, of 30 April. That draft resolution correctly invoked Chapter VII of the Charter. It described the situation as a grave threat to international peace and security, demanded that Israel cooperate without further delay with the fact-finding team, and expressed the Council’s intention to adopt adequate measures if the resolution was not implemented. Following long hours of consultations behind closed doors, yesterday, in the early hours in the morning, many of us came to this Chamber in order to witness the formal adoption of a draft resolution that was more moderate than the original draft, but which, in the final analysis, represented the least that the Council could do in the face of such grave circumstances.

In the end, the draft resolution was not put to the vote for reasons that are well known. We all knew in advance, however, what would have happened if such a vote had taken place. Even if a majority had voted in favour of the text, the draft resolution could not have been adopted because the United States had explicitly indicated to Council members that it would once again exercise its power of veto — for the twenty-fifth time on the question of Palestine since 1973.

The position of the United States is absurd. It was that country that introduced resolution 1405 (2002) to the Council — which supported the sending of a fact-finding team to Jenin — yet that same country was prepared to veto and obstruct a text aimed precisely at demanding the full implementation of that resolution.

What happened did not surprise us, however. The United States was never truly interested in sending a fact?finding team to Jenin. It presented resolution 1405 (2002) solely in order to prevent the Council from taking the measures that were really necessary in the face of the killing and destruction caused by the Sharon Government’s troops in Jenin. That is why that resolution was limited to support for an initiative of the Secretary-General, thereby covering up the Council’s inaction. Other motives behind the introduction of that resolution were the desires to obstruct the draft that had been prepared on that occasion by the Arab Group and to divert attention from the proposal of the Secretary-General then under consideration to send a multinational force to the occupied territories.

With or without an investigation, the truth cannot be concealed. The actions committed in Jenin will go down in history as another dark chapter in the terrible saga of the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. The events surrounding the fact-finding team and the continuing siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem — among many other reprehensible actions — are the results of the fact that the Government of Israel has for so long been allowed to act with impunity, while the Council has been unable to do anything to stop it. That is the result of the inertia with which the Security Council has responded to the flagrant violations of its ownresolutions.

It is the result of Israel’s certainty that nothing can happen here as long as it has — as it does now — the full support of a permanent member, which, with its threat or use of the veto, prevents the Council from acting.

We reiterate our view that the United States must immediately suspend its financial support for military purposes — support that clearly demonstrates its complicity — and its military supplies to Israel, including aircraft, helicopters and missiles, that are used against civilians. Furthermore, it must condemn Israeli State terrorism if it truly wants a global war to be waged on terrorism, wherever and however it manifests itself.

The Security Council must seriously consider the proposal to establish a multinational force in the occupied territories, as proposed by the Secretary-General, who, throughout this process, has displayed great flexibility and perseverance. It is simply unacceptable that this body should continue to turn its back on the suffering of the Palestinian people, trying to make us believe that nothing can be done and resigning itself to the current situation or adopting timid resolutions that say little and are complied with even less.

Cuba also believes that, in the face of the inaction, ineffectiveness and discredit of the Security Council, the General Assembly must take action by resuming its tenth emergency special session in order to help the heroic Palestinian people, to stop the criminal actions and to save the credibility of the United Nations.

Thank you very much

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