Guyana calls for ceasefire, peaceful end of Israeli occupation in Palestine
Statement delivered by Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Permanent Representative of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana to the United Nations, during the joint debate in the UN General Assembly on the Agenda Item 37 – The Situation in the Middle East and Agenda Item 38 – Question of Palestine (Thursday March 20, 2021, New York):
Mr. President, Excellencies
The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana is deeply concerned about the escalation of tension and violence between Israel and Palestine, which has resulted in the loss of numerous lives, serious injuries, destruction of property, the displacement of persons, and a serious setback to the Middle East peace process.
We extend our condolences to the families of the Palestinians and Israelis who have lost their lives.
We condemn all acts of violence and find repugnant the invasion of the Al-Aqsa mosque and attacks on medical facilities and media houses. We implore all parties to behave responsibly, exercise maximum restraint and to cease all actions that are in contravention of international law, including international humanitarian law. There must be a ceasefire.
Mr. President, Excellencies
The recent events underscore the urgency of achieving an end to the Israeli occupation, and to have a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement. The prolonged occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, has led to extremely difficult economic and social conditions for the Palestinian People.
The Government of Guyana firmly believes that the various resolutions adopted by both the General Assembly and the Security Council in relation to the Palestinian question as well as the accords reached directly between Israel and Palestine provide an adequate framework for the two sides to strive for agreement. We, therefore, call upon the parties to avoid further confrontation and return to the negotiating table with a genuine view to finding a peaceful solution.
Guyana stresses that constructive dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities is pivotal to advancing the peace process and to the realization of the two-State solution as the legitimate end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We further reaffirm our recognition of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign State based on its pre-1967 borders and underscore the urgency of having an independent State of Palestine peacefully co-existing alongside the State of Israel.
We encourage all concerned parties, both within and outside the region, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to do their utmost to secure a reconciliation between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Today’s debate offers us all an opportunity to renew our efforts in this regard.
As a member of the United Nations and of its Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Guyana will continue to support the cause of peace and justice for the Palestinian people, and the Middle East as a whole.
I thank you.