YB Dato’ Sri Reezal Merican, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Malaysia, delivered a statement on the issue of Palestine during the Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 22 October 2015.
The Open Debate, which is held every quarterly at the UN, was chaired by His Excellency José Manuel García-Margallo Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, as the current President of the Security Council. Also in attendance at the meeting were the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, New Zealand, Venezuela, and Palestine.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson briefed the meeting by addressing the escalating violence in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel since early October, which had killed 47 Palestinians and 7 Israelis, and injured over 5,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis. He called on both sides to stop the violence, reduce the tensions and incitement, and start creating a political horizon that could lead to lasting peace and security.
In his statement, YB Dato’ Sri Reezal conveyed Malaysia’s increasing scepticism on the long-standing insistence by the international community that the best way to achieve the two-state solution is only through direct bilateral negotiations between Palestine and Israel. According to him, the approach has failed for the past 20 years since the Oslo Accords and the possibility of achieving the two-state solution based on direct bilateral negotiations appears more remote than ever, particularly due to the continuing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall by Israel.
YB Dato’ Sri Reezal recalled the creation of the State of Israel through the UN via a General Assembly resolution – a path that is now being denied to Palestine. He warned that the continuing occupation of Palestine and the systematic oppression suffered by its people serve as a powerful unifying factor that have inflamed radicalism and extremism globally.
YB Dato’ Sri Reezal then urged the international community to take bold actions to salvage the two-state solution and to be prepared to look beyond the Security Council for a solution to the conflict if the Council continues to remain paralysed, rendering itself irrelevant on the issue of the Middle East Peace Process.
His speech was quoted by the delegation of Chad during the Open Debate. The reference by the delegation from Chad bolsters what Malaysia has been stating at the Security Council regarding the plight of the Palestinian people.
In total, 54 countries participated in the Open Debate. Malaysia’s statement was well-received by a number of delegations, including Palestine, New Zealand, Spain, Egypt, Thailand and Chad.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
24 OCTOBER 2015