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        General Assembly
1 November 2000

Third Committee
Summary record of the 43rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 1 November 2000, at 3 p.m.

Ms. Gittens-Joseph ..................................................(Trinidad and Tobago)
Mr. Alaei (Vice-Chairman) ..................................... (Islamic Republic of Iran)


Agenda item 107: Advancement of women (continued)

Agenda item 110: Promotion and protection of the rights of children (continued)

Agenda item 114: Human rights questions

(a) Implementation of human rights instruments (continued)

(b) Human rights questions including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives

(d) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (continued)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.


18. Mr. Hynes (Canada) ...


34. ... In the Middle East, humanitarian principles and human rights were chronic casualties of the prevailing crisis in the region. Canada urged both parties to cease the violence immediately and resume negotiations. It welcomed the commitments made at Sharm el-Sheikh and called on the parties to respect them. The success of those political efforts would hinge on the ability of all concerned to put the safety, security and human rights of people first, and in so doing, to help bring calm, tolerance and stability to the region.


29. Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan) ...


31. Most serious violations of human rights occurred under foreign occupation and situations of armed conflict. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories was a matter of grave concern to his delegation. It therefore called upon all concerned to exercise restraint. The primary responsibility for improving the situation rested with the Israeli authorities. The disproportionate use of force must be stopped and an independent international inquiry must be conducted to determine the responsibility for the setback in the peace process. A permanent and comprehensive solution to the Question of Palestine should provide for the establishment of a State for the Palestinian people on the basis of their inalienable right to self-determination.


40. Ms. Al-Juburi (Iraq), ...With regard to the accusation by the United States representative that Iraq was trying to take advantage of the current tension in the Middle East to provoke a war, he reiterated that Iraq’s position had always been one of total support for the Palestinian people and could not be attributed to the tragic events which that people was currently experiencing. The United States seemed to be saying that defending the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their territory from Zionist occupation was a hostile act as far as, human rights were concerned. The current balance of power in the world would not last for ever and the day would come when the United States was judged for the crimes that it had committed in the area of human rights.


43. Mr. Shahub (Saudi Arabia), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, expressed surprise at the accusations which the representative of Canada had made against his country and its judicial system without making any effort to understand its culture and history. His country’s judicial system was based on the Shariah and its Constitution on the Koran. The Canadian delegation and others which made a habit of attacking Islam did not understand the essence of the religion that united millions of people. Canada had taken a selective approach to human rights; it was up to each sovereign State to decide whether or not to apply the death penalty, and that did not violate international law. His delegation categorically rejected the statement by the representative of Canada and the criticisms of its judicial system and urged that representative of Canada to visit Saudi Arabia’s web site to find out what really went on in the country. That representative of Canada would have been better advised to raise the issue of the murders being committed against the Palestinian people, which could be seen every day on television.


The meeting rose at 5.25 p.m.

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