Question of Palestine home
18 April 2000
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 55th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 18 April 2000, at 10 a.m.
QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING:
The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.
Draft resolution on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and west Bakaa
(Qatar) introduced the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, highlighting the main provisions.
(Secretary of the Commission) said that the representative of Indonesia and the observer for Palestine had become sponsors of the draft resolution.
(Observer for Israel) said that the draft resolution demonstrated that the Commission lived in an ivory tower, detached from reality since it failed to reflect changes in evolving situations in its draft resolutions. Were it aware of the facts, it would not express “deep regret” at his country’s alleged “failure to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978)” (second preambular paragraph) or call upon it to “withdraw from Lebanese territories” (para. 2). The Commission was surely aware that his Government had informed the Secretary-General the previous day of its decision to withdraw its forces from Lebanon by July 2000, in full accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). The Government of Lebanon, instead of involving itself in futile propaganda exercises, should sit down to peace negotiations with Israel. The Commission, for its part, should “wake up” and reflect the true situation in the Middle East in its resolutions. He thus urged members to vote against the draft resolution, in the interests of peace between Israel and Lebanon.
(Observer for Lebanon) said that the previous speaker had not spoken any sense. It was not true that the international community lived in an “ivory tower”. The true situation was that, as a direct result of Israeli occupation, Lebanese civilians were being subjected to human rights violations on a daily basis. Security Council resolution 425 had been adopted in 1978 and, at long last, Israel was expressing a desire to implement it. The precise nature of the “withdrawal”, however, was unclear. Experience had shown that the promises of the Israeli Government could not always be believed; actions would speak louder than words.
34. The draft resolution was quite to the point, since it referred to ongoing human rights violations. Only the previous day, the Israeli Supreme Court had ordered the release of certain Lebanese detainees, but the Government had insisted on keeping them incarcerated for bargaining purposes. Nor had the situation in southern Lebanon and west Bakaa changed. His delegation thus urged the Commission to vote in favour of the draft resolution.
(Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) said that the draft resolution had no financial implications.
At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a vote was taken by roll-call on the draft resolution
37. Chile, having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.
Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Venezuela, Zambia.
United States of America.
The draft resolution was adopted by 51 votes to 1, with 1 abstention
The meeting rose at 1.25 p.m.