1990 Speech

King Fahd's statement to 40th UN General Assembly, 1985
Statement of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia to the Commemorative Fortieth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations delivered on his behalf by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Delegation of Saudi Arabia to the Commemorative Fortieth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, 17 Muharram 1406 (1 October 1985)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate: Prayer and Peace on His most honorable messenger.

Mr. President:
In the name of His Majesty, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, the King of Saudi Arabia, and on behalf of His Majesty, I have the pleasure to begin my statement before you by congratulating Your Excellency on your election to the Presidency of the Fortieth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. This confidence entrusted by this august assembly in electing you to this high elevated post, is in appreciation for your personal qualities on the one hand, and on the other, the recognition of the important role that your friendly country of Spain undertakes in strengthening the bonds of international understanding, and in laying the foundations of cooperation amongst nations. On this occasion, I should also like to convey my greetings to the President of the General Assembly of the previous session, and to praise his wisdom and good administration. It also gives me pleasure to express appreciation for the efforts of His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar for his continuous endeavors to enhance the opportunities for peace, and lessen the sources of tension that prevail in various parts of the world.


Mr. President:
Our meeting today when our Organization celebrates the fortieth year since it was founded, provides an important occasion, and is a good opportunity to evaluate the role of the Organization and its achievements. While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is proud of the fact that it was one of the original signatories of the San Francisco Charter, its faith in the importance of this Organization and the objectives it strives to achieve has never been shaken since that time. But our interest in this occasion is not confined to that alone. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which adheres to the religion of Islam, plays a significant international role because it follows a foreign policy which conforms with the basic principles on which this Organization is based, and the noble objectives for which the United Nations Charter was formulated, these being in accordance with Islamic Law in matters pertaining to the conduct of inter-state relations. The eternal message of Islam unites and does not divide, establishes justice and does not inflict injustice, equalizes and does not discriminate. It urges for work and cooperation amongst the believers in God everywhere to spread these sublime principles and to realize security and prosperity for humanity as a whole.

Based on these considerations we would like to confirm our earnestness to work for the support of the United Nations Organization and its specialized agencies, considering it to be a viable framework for cooperation between countries and peoples, an important forum for dialogue and understanding, and an effective means to solve disputes and diffuse crises. We deplore all the trends that hamper its activities and condemn strongly states that continually violate its resolutions and disregard what this Organization represents in terms of the collective will of the world community.

The world in which we live is overloaded with conflicts, restlessness and troubles. There are complex political problems waiting for solutions, and acute economic crises that threaten security and stability. It is not at all fair to place the burden of responsibility for all this on the shoulders of this Organization alone. In as much as a social community is affected by the behavior and conduct of its members, the success or failure of this international organization is tied to the stance of its member states and the degree of their commitment to implement its resolutions, as well as their beliefs in its principles and objectives and their devotion to fulfilling their commitments.

Mr. President:
There are special responsibilities that are borne by the great powers in this context. The fact that they are great powers has enabled them to possess an abundant measure of power and influence. It is the duty of those states to find the common ground for fair and just international cooperation, and to safeguard the interests of small states and to respect their independence.

We call upon the great powers and particularly the powers that are permanent members of the Security Council to live up to the serious responsibilities that they shoulder.

We, from this platform, express our satisfaction with the stand that the United States has taken in supporting the people of Afghanistan in their right for self-determination. We also express our satisfaction for the stand that the Soviet Union has taken in supporting the Palestinian people in their right for self-determination. Nevertheless the support of the Soviet Union for the Arab cause and their support for the Arab right in Palestine does not justify a free hand in Afghanistan, its occupation militarily and the deprivation of the Afghani people from their independence and dignity. Similarly, the opposition of the United States of America to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and its call to grant the right of self-determination to the Afghani people does not justify its unlimited and unconditional support for Israel, and its lack of support for the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own destiny, by themselves, and to establish their own state on their own land. The United States should support right, justice and international legitimacy.

Mr. President:
If the main objective of the United Nations and the principle on which the philosophy of the Charter was established is to realize international security and stability, the fact is that since 1947 Israel has been working actively to destroy that objective in the Middle East, where peace has not prevailed and security has not taken root. Israel was created in the Middle East by an act of aggression against Palestine and the Palestinian people. His late Majesty King [then Prince] Faisal bin Abdulaziz made an appeal to the representatives of the states that gathered on the 26th of November 1947, three days before the partition resolution, in which he declared this platform: "In your hands falls the responsibility of realizing peace and security in the Middle East and in your hands lies also the capacity to fuel conflict and bloodshed."

This message with all the elements of perception and responsibility that it contains is the basis on which the policy of His Majesty King Fahd bin Abdulaziz and his government is conducted, as a course that never changes for the rights of the Palestinian people. And until the aspirations of these people are realized, His Majesty King Fahd bin Abdulaziz will continue to call for justice and fairness and work towards realizing this, since in the consideration of His Majesty, the problem of the Palestinian people constitutes one of the most dangerous problems for international peace and security. It is truly regrettable that the United Nations Organization did not heed the warnings of His Majesty King Abdulaziz, and its attempts over thirty-eight years of searching for a just solution to the Palestinian problem has resulted in nothing. This Organization has adopted tens of resolutions which deal with flagrant Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, some of which have been adopted by the Security Council and by the General Assembly since the 11th of December 1948, when the resolution was taken for the return of the displaced people of Palestine to their homeland, if they wished to do so, or to compensate those who did not wish to return. That was followed by tens of resolutions taken by this Organization on this matter that are so numerous that it would be unnecessary to cite them. But as long as these resolutions are devoid of penalties, Israel will continue to ignore them and even to declare its determination to challenge them. Israel has been encouraged in its excesses and disregard for United Nations resolutions by the failure of the Security Council to adopt any resolution deterring Israel due to the exercise of the veto. Thus any resolution taken by the General Assembly condemning Israeli practices will find no positive response or heeding from Israel, which was brought into existence by this Organization; indeed it has even started to attack the United Nations itself and to accuse it of bias.

The credibility of this Organization is liable to be shaken should it continue to be satisfied with adopting resolutions and recommendations. The United Nations has urged and condemned sufficiently enough and yet a comprehensive and just settlement of this problem has not been realized. We should ask ourselves hereafter what choice is left to the United Nations except to move this consensus ahead from the level of condemnation to the level of concrete action to attain that settlement? This Organization has no alternative but to regain its credibility and to affirm that credibility by giving its resolutions a character of seriousness, for there is no seriousness without implementation.
Mr. President:
The problems that our region is facing and the complications that appear on its ground are in reality, and in the last analysis, but repercussions of the Zionist aggression against Palestine, and an actual result of the accumulative developments of the Palestine problem. The wars, political and military conflicts through which the area has lived during the last thirty-eight years, are but one effect of the non-solution of the basic problem and a result of Israeli aggression in the area. The perpetration of Israeli occupation of Arab territories is but a living proof of its designs for expansion, its flagrant defiance of the resolutions of the United Nations, its continuous disregard of World public opinion, and of every law and convention.

What Lebanon suffers today of painful circumstances and sad situations is in reality but one of the serious complications of this problem.

Mr. President:
From all of this, it is clearly evident that establishment of peace in the Middle East requires the solution of the main problem, which is the problem of Palestine, by the recognition of the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, on their territory, and in their homeland. This requires the pursuit of firm and resolute steps in order to avoid the complications that are created by reluctance and hesitation which hinder the efforts being exerted to realize peace.

Israel's defiance and its continuous attempts to hinder peace efforts to gain time in order to realize its objectives and designs, cannot but provide the opportunity for increased disturbances and cannot but lead to complications that will increase the difficulties of solving the problem, as well as multiply the factors that lead to inflammations and explosions in the area.

Thus, we call upon the big powers, to whom the Zionist entity owes the means of its existence and the continuation of its viability to refrain from giving economic, political and military assistance which enables Israel to continue its aggressive policy in the Middle East, and to play a role that complies with the principles of right and justice and the rights of peoples to self-determination, or otherwise they will lose their credibility and effectiveness in influencing events in the Middle East. It is needless for me to reiterate the obvious fact that no solution will succeed unless it includes the principal and genuine party to the conflict.

On this basis, the proposition of any means or the taking of any step for solving the problem of Palestine necessitates that the Palestine Liberation Organization - being the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people - should be one of the parties in the discussion and one of the participants in the dialogue. If peace is to be permanent, it should emanate from the area of the conflict, and it should be based on a justice that will recover the rights of its legitimate owners. The Arab states have shouldered their historic responsibilities, and contributed all that is within their capabilities for the purpose of establishing peace and stability in the region, and have defined their understanding of the peace process in the 'Fez' resolutions, which reflect the Arab consensus on peace based on justice and international legitimacy, and conforms to the international will represented by the resolutions of the United Nations. But peace according to the creed of our people does not mean surrender and acceptance of the status quo, for we are a people that seeks justice and upholds rights while rejecting oppression and refusing submission.

Mr. President:
There is no alternative to Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, because occupation is against all international laws, principles and the objectives of the United Nations, as well as against peace and security in the area and in the world at large. It is called for as a primary step on the path to solving the basic problem with whose solution peace in the area is tied; it is also a necessary approach from the overall perspective tha requires a clear insight into the problem and into the elements of a solution.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia together with the great majority of the world community demands withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and considers Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] foremost amongst these.

Mr. President:
It is regrettable that the use of force has regained a position of prominence in modern international relations.

What is taking place in Afghanistan is a serious indicator of what would happen in the world, and in the third world in particular, should this trend continue without a firm stand by the world community. For otherwise, who would defend the peoples of the third world against direct occupation comparable to what the sister state of Afghanistan has experienced? The Soviet presence in Afghanistan has entered its sixth year and the Afghan mujahideen continue to wage a valiant war defending their religion, country, and rights. The Organization of the Islamic Conference has exerted intensive efforts to help eliminate the symptoms of oppression and occupation to which the people of Afghanistan have been subjected, in order to secure its will and realize its rights to freedom and independence. The United Nations has also exerted worthy efforts to find a solution for this problem.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while it supports all these efforts, would like to draw attention to the fact that any efforts exerted in this context should take into consideration the rights of the Afghan mujahideen and their demands, and while it salutes those mujahideen it fully supports the demands of the Afghan people for withdrawal of foreign troops from their land, and the establishment of a government of their choice that will maintain their neutrality and preserve their religion.

Mr. President:
The war that is taking place between Iraq and Iran, which we are following with deep concern and sorrow, adds a new dimension to the tense situation in the Middle East region, over and beyond the resulting bloodshed, destruction and ruin in the two brotherly nations who are bound to each other, and to us, by the closest links and the strongest of ties. The Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Cooperation Council  of the Arab Gulf States, as well as the Movement of the Non-Aligned Countries, together with this International Organization, have called and worked for putting an end to this tragedy of bloodshed. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has supported and participated in all these efforts. If there has been any positive stand taken so far, thankfully it has been the stand demonstrated by what Iraq has shown of total readiness to forget the past and to resort to solving its problems with Iran by peaceful means.

It is high time that Iran responds to this positive stand on the part of Iraq by an equivalent stand.

It is high time for the fighters of both sides to lay down their arms, stop the bloodshed, resort to reason and wisdom rather than the means of war and destruction, and direct all efforts to construction rather than destruction, to progress rather than regression, and to raising rather than demolishing.

Mr. President:
Amongst the positive achievements which we are proud of within the context of political developments that our area has witnessed, is the establishment of the Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf States, as a model of what regional cooperation should be about as well as a pillar for strengthening the League of Arab States.  At the same time, this Council is in conformity with the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Charter of the United Nations, besides being a positive factor for stability in the region.

Mr. President:
The policies and conditions that South Africa is imposing in Namibia, and within South Africa itself, is another indication being witnessed by the world of the use of force, terror and discrimination to subjugate peoples and to defeat their will.

Recent events witnessed in South Africa draw attention to the gravity of what is taking place. The situation will become increasingly explosive for so long as the racist regime there continues in its violence through the system of discrimination and apartheid which is inevitably destined to fail.

In this context, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirms its total support for the people of Namibia in their struggle for self-determination and independence, and its support for all the steps taken by this Organization and the Organization of African Unity aimed at putting an end to racist practices and foreign occupation.

Mr. President:
The experiences of the United Nations during the last forty years have proven the necessity of reforming the world economic order, and the importance of urgently implementing the decisions taken by both the sixth and seventh special sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, pertaining to the new world economic order and to international economic cooperation, as well as the viability of starting a new round of comprehensive global economic negotiations to achieve this. This experience has also proved, at the same time, the futility of excessive claims and extreme positions, and the necessity of reaching a reasonable compromise between the wide-ranging aspirations and limited possibilities.

Mr. President:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has endeavored to contribute positively to the work of our Organization, and has called under all circumstances for cooperation and the avoidance of confrontation in international economic relations, when it attempted through its contacts with the industrial countries to enhance interest in the problems of development, and developing countries, whilst at the same time urging developing countries to articulate their demands in the spirit of realism and rationality. From this platform, I should like to call upon the international community to address the issue of international economic cooperation and the establishment of an international economic order in a spirit of positivism and realism, that respects the legitimate interests of all member states and gives the developmental dimension its due place in international economic relations, without infringing upon the authority of the international specialized agencies who, event though they cannot meet the full aspirations of the international community, have proved beyond any doubt their ability and efficacy to address the difficulties that this community faces, within the limited means provided by their resources and mandates.

Mr. President:
The economic situation in a great number of developing countries, especially on the African continent, is a very serious situation that requires from us commensurate and urgent concern. The sufferings of the African peoples and their pains have reached limits of which humanity should be ashamed. I am sure that our Organization will not, God willing, disappoint the hopes of those peoples and seek to address the situation in Africa in accordance with the extreme concern and urgency that it demands.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recognized that seriousness of the economic conditions in the African continent, and has for some time taken the initiative to assist the African countries that have suffered from drought, within the framework of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and has contributed one hundred million dollars to the program approved by this Organization, part of which was earmarked for immediate emergency assistance and the greater part of which was assigned to projects for well drilling and for providing water.

Recently, the Kingdom increased its contributions to this program with an additional contribution of thirty million dollars. It also responded to the efforts of the World Bank and supported its special program to assist African countries suffering from drought by a contribution of a hundred million dollars from the Saudi Development Fund. At the same time it has recognized the importance of continued public participation in alleviating the pain of the African people suffering from drought, by forming popular committees in various parts of the Kingdom to collect contributions in cash and kind for the benefit of the drought victims.

Mr. President:
The African Summit Conference has considered the serious economic conditions prevailing on the African Continent and has taken resolutions and recommendations that are being presented to the General Assembly at its present session. I would like to express the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts of the African leaders, and for their desire to have their resolutions and recommendations taken with seriousness, care and concern that corresponds with the magnitude of the problem from which Africa is suffering. I would also like to note the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the United Nations in mobilizing the international efforts exerted in this respect.

Mr. President:
The concern of the world community for the problems of the African Continent is an urgent duty that should be accorded the attention it deserves, but it should not detract at the same time from the sufferings of a great number of the other least developed countries, and their need for increased assistance in their efforts for economic and social development. I would like to declare from this platform, our continued support for the programs of the United Nations that are concerned with the least developed of the developing countries.

Mr. President:
The gravity of the economic conditions in many parts of the world characterized by widespread unemployment, decline in world trading conditions, increasing trends of economic protectionism, and the turbulent monetary and financial conditions in many countries of the world which threaten the very core of the international monetary system, are matters that require stronger economic cooperation and regained confidence in the international economic system and its institutions. I hope that this session will provide the political will, climate and favorable conditions to begin a new page in the history of our Organization, and to work in unison in the service of the human objectives for which it was established.

Mr. President:
The passage of forty years since the establishment of the United Nations Organization is an important occasion that requires us to think quickly about a serious and responsible action to consecrate the commitment to the basic principles of our Organization, and to enhance its noble objectives and aims. It is a valuable opportunity for all members of the international community to join together in building a world based on good intentions, and adherence to principles and morals, rather that preferring use of force and oppression, so that peace will prevail and the policies of conflict and war will disappear, such that disputes will be solved amicably and relationships will be conducted in a constructive and useful manner, in order to harness the human and material potentiality of this world to enhance the life of Man, rather than being wasted on the arms race and on instruments of death and destruction, so that justice can prevail and relations between states will be based on equality, brotherhood and cooperation. We are instructed by God Almighty in the Holy Qur'an:

"Help ye one another,
In righteousness and piety,
But help ye not one another
In sin and rancour:
Fear God, for God
Is strict in punishment."