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Summary record of the 33rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 4 November 2002, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Wenaweser .............................................. (Liechtenstein)
Agenda item 109: Human rights questions (continued)
(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/57/36, A/57/446)
1. Mr. Vieira de Mello (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) ...
14. The tragic situation confronting the inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel was a matter of deep concern. That protracted conflict had already claimed countless innocent lives, and human rights and dignity had rarely been as little respected as they were today. The two parties must be encouraged to pursue a human rights-based path to peace, since neither could expect to triumph through violence or repression.
28. Mr. Jakubowski (Poland), presenting an overview of the work of the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on Human Rights, including the problems encountered and the progress accomplished, said that the length of the debates on the worsening human rights situation of the Palestinians and the discontinuation of additional meetings had caused difficulties during the session. Although the expanded Bureau had managed to devise a number of measures to enable the Commission to complete its agenda, there had been a significant cost in terms of participation and the quality of the debate. He hoped that that situation would not constitute a precedent.
37. Ms. Hasmy (Malaysia) endorsed the statements made by the High Commissioner that placed the human person at the centre of human rights issues and said it was essential to maintain a dialogue among civilizations. His delegation hoped that the High Commissioner would pay special attention to the flagrant violations by Israel of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. It was gratified that he planned to send a mission to the occupied Palestinian territories and establish an appropriate international presence to monitor the human rights situation in the region. It also hoped that the High Commissioner would finally manage to persuade Israel to implement the decisions concerning it without delay, and thanked him for raising the issue in his statement.
38. Mr. Vieira de Mello (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), responding to the questions put to him by the representative of Denmark on behalf of the European Union, ...
46. Lastly, he thanked the representative of Malaysia for raising the situation in the Middle East. He would do everything within his power to ensure that in future hopes for peace would not be disappointed. He had recently met with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and would spare no effort to bring peace to the region, improve the human rights situation and support the plan drawn up by the Quartet.
49. Mr. Roshdy (Egypt), referring to paragraph 26 of the report of the High Commissioner (A/57/36), asked what had become of the “visiting mission” which was to go to the occupied Palestinian territories.
57. Mr. Vieira de Mello (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), ...
58. In response to the representative of Egypt, he said that it had not been possible to send a “visiting mission” to the Middle East, to the occupied territories in particular, for reasons that were well known. He remained at the disposal of the two parties and the Commission on Human Rights, from which he awaited guidance and instructions.
The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.
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Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.