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SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 25th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 3 October 2006, at 10 a.m.
President: Mr. DE ALBA (Mexico)
later: Mr. LOULICHKI (Morocco)
later: Mr. DE ALBA (Mexico)
15 MARCH 2006 ENTITLED “HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL” (continued)
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND ORGANIZATION OF WORK (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
Progress reports of the Working Group on the implementation of paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 60/251
16. Mr. KHAN (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said that the Working Group on the review of mandates and the Working Group on the universal periodic review mechanism should work at the same pace. In view of the fact that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 had been extended under Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1993/2 until the end of the Israeli occupation, all thematic special procedures should focus on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. OHCHR should allocate resources to the special procedures in a transparent and balanced manner, and measures should be taken to improve the transparency and professionalism of the work of the Office’s Special Procedures Branch. Staff of that unit should be appointed on a long-term basis and be representative of all geographical regions, cultures, civilizations and legal systems.
28. Mr. ATTAR (Saudi Arabia), speaking on behalf of the Group of Asian States, ...
29. The special procedures must adhere to the highest standards of independence, impartiality, objectivity and expertise. The review should establish a clear relationship between the special procedures and the Council in order to avoid the overlapping of their mandates with those of the treaty bodies, and mandates should be created only by decision of the Council. The thematic mandates should reflect a balance between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, and OHCHR should furnish resources to all mandate-holders transparently and impartially. The nomination of experts should take into account the notion of equitable geographical distribution, and the Working Group might consider reducing the number of mandates in order to enhance the system’s effectiveness. It should be noted in that connection that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 had been established until such time as the occupation ended.
44. Mr. SHA Zukang (China), speaking on behalf of the Group of Like-Minded Countries, ...
45. The continuation of country-specific mandates would be a reminder of why the Commission had become discredited, and the Council would lose its credibility if it repeated the Commission’s mistakes. However, the Group of Like-Minded Countries strongly supported the Council’s decision that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 did not constitute a country-specific mandate, for the Group believed that foreign occupation represented the worst form of human rights violation.
64. Mr. CHERIF (Tunisia) ...
65. He recalled that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 had been extended until the end of that occupation; his delegation welcomed the role played by OHCHR in that area and, in particular, the ways in which the Office assisted the work of the special procedures. However, the Office should take steps to ensure greater transparency in all its activities.
81. Mr. ABU-KOASH (Observer for Palestine) thanked all delegations that had expressed support for extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 until the end of the Israeli occupation. That mandate must not be considered as falling to a country rapporteur, but rather as a mandate related to an occupation, which, as the representative of China had stated, constituted the worst form of human rights violation.