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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/HRC/S-6/2
31 March 2008

Original: ENGLISH

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Sixth special session
23-24 January 2008


REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ON ITS
SIXTH SPECIAL SESSION'

Vice-President and Rapporteur: Mr. Alejandro Artucio (Uruguay)

/...

I. Resolution adopted by the Council at its sixth special session

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the principles and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Affirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recognizing that the Israeli military attacks and incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly the recent ones in the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Nablus, constitute grave violations of the human and humanitarian rights of the Palestinian civilians therein, exacerbate the severe humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and undermine international efforts, including the Annapolis Conference and the Paris Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State, aimed at invigorating the peace process and establishing a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian State by the end of 2008,

Recognizing also that the Israeli siege imposed on the occupied Gaza Strip, including the closure of the border crossings and the cutting of the supply of fuel, food and medicine, constitutes collective punishment of the Palestinian civilians and leads to disastrous humanitarian and environmental consequences,

1. Expresses grave concern at the repeated Israeli military attacks carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, which have resulted in loss of life and injuries among Palestinian civilians, including women and children;

2. Calls for urgent international action to put an immediate end to the grave violations committed by the occupying Power, Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the series of incessant and repeated Israeli military attacks and incursions therein and the siege of the occupied Gaza Strip;

3. Demands that the occupying Power, Israel, lift immediately the siege it has imposed on the occupied Gaza Strip, restore continued supply of fuel, food and medicine and reopen the border crossings;

4. Calls for immediate protection of the Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in compliance with human rights law and international humanitarian law;

5. Urges all parties concerned to respect the rules of human rights law and international humanitarian law and to refrain from violence against the civilian population;

6. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Council, at its next session, on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

2nd meeting
24 January 2008


Resolution adopted by a recorded vote of 30 to 1, with 15 abstentions; see chapter II. The voting was as follows:

In favour: Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Zambia.

Against: Canada.

Abstaining : Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
II. Organization of work of the sixth special session


1. Pursuant to paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, and in accordance with rule 6 of the Council’s rules of procedure as contained in Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, the Council shall hold special sessions, when needed, at the request of a member of the Council with the support of one third of the membership of the Council.

2. By letter dated 18 January 2008, addressed to the President of the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/S-6/1), the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, as Chairman of the Group of Arab States, and the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, as Coordinator of the Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, requested the convening of a special session of the Human Rights Council on 23 January 2008 to consider and take action on human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent ones in occupied Gaza and the West Bank town of Nablus.

3. The letter, received by the President on the same day, was accompanied by signatures in support of the above-mentioned request from the following 21 States members of the Council: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uruguay. The Philippines and Senegal subsequently signed the request.

4. As more than one third of the membership of the Council supported the above-mentioned request, the special session of the Council was convened on 23 January 2008.

A. Opening and duration of the session

5. The Council held its sixth special session at the United Nations Office at Geneva on 23 and 24 January 2008. It held two meetings (see A/HRC/S-6/SR.1-2) 1 during the session.

6. The sixth special session was opened by the President of the Council, Mr. Doru Romulus Costea.

B. Attendance

7. The special session was attended by representatives of States members of the Council, observers for non-member States of the Council, observers for non-member States of the United Nations and other observers, as well as observers for United Nations entities, specialized agencies and related organizations, intergovernmental organizations and other entities, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

C. Officers

8. At its first organizational meeting of the second cycle of the Human Rights Council, on 19 June 2007 (A/HRC/OM/1/1), the Council elected the following officers, who also served as officers for the sixth special session:

President: Mr. Doru Romulus Costea (Romania)

Vice-Presidents: Mr. Mohamed-Siad Doualeh (Djibouti)
Mr. Boudewijn van Eenennaam (Netherlands)

Mr. Dayan Jayatilleka (Sri Lanka)
Vice-President and Rapporteur: Mr. Alejandro Artucio (Uruguay)

D. Organization of work

9. Pursuant to paragraph 124 of the annex to Council resolution 5/1, open-ended informative consultations were held on 21 January 2008 in preparation for the sixth special session.

10. At its 1st meeting, on 23 January 2008, the Council considered the organization of its work, including speaking-time limits, which would be five minutes for statements by States members of the Council and concerned countries, and three minutes for statements by observers for non-member States of the Council and other observers, including United Nations entities, specialized agencies and related organizations, intergovernmental organizations and other entities, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations. The list of speakers would be drawn up in chronological order of registration and the order of speakers would be concerned countries, if any, followed by States members of the Council, observers for non-member States of the Council, and other observers.

11. The special session was conducted in accordance with the relevant provisions contained in Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007.

E. Resolution and documentation

12. The resolution adopted by the Council at its sixth special session is reproduced in chapter I of the present report.

13. The list of documents issued for the sixth special session is contained in the annex of the present report.

F. Statements

14. At the 1st meeting, on 23 January 2008, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Louise Arbour, made a statement.

15. At the same meeting, the representative of Palestine, as a concerned country, made a statement.

16. At the same meeting, and at the 2nd meeting, on 24 January, statements were made by the following:

(a) Representatives of States members of the Council: Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Egypt (also on behalf of the Group of African States), India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia (on behalf of the European Union and Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic 2 (on behalf of the Group of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference) and Zambia;

(b) Observers for non-member States: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Norway, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Yemen;

(c) Observers for intergovernmental organizations: League of Arab States and Organization of the Islamic Conference;

(d) Observers for non-governmental organizations: B’nai B’rith International (also on behalf of the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations), Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (also on behalf of the Europe Third World Centre, the International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), North-South XXI, Union of Arab Jurists, United Nations Watch, World Union for Progressive Judaism and World Vision International.

17. At the 2nd meeting, on 24 January, statements in the exercise of the right of reply were made by the representatives of Cuba and Egypt.

G. Action on draft resolution A/HRC/S-6/L.1

18. At the 2nd meeting, on 24 January, the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, on behalf of the Group of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, introduced draft resolution A/HRC/S-6/L.1, sponsored by Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference) and the Syrian Arab Republic (on behalf of the Group of Arab States). Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Venezuela (the Bolivarian Republic of) subsequently joined the sponsors.

19. A statement was made by the representative of Palestine, as a concerned country.

20. Statements in explanation of vote before the vote on the draft resolution were made by the representatives of Slovenia (on behalf of States members of the European Union that are members of the Council), Guatemala, Japan, the Russian Federation and Cameroon.

21. At the request of the representative of Slovenia (on behalf of States members of the European Union that are members of the Council), a roll-call vote was taken on the draft resolution, which was adopted by 30 votes to 1, with 15 abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour: Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Zambia.
Against: Canada.

Abstaining : Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

22. Statements in explanation of vote after the vote were made by the representatives of Ghana, Brazil, China and Switzerland.

23. For the text of the resolution as adopted, see chapter I, resolution S-6/1.

III. REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE SIXTH SPECIAL SESSION
OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

24. At the 2nd meeting, on 24 January 2008, the draft report was adopted ad referendum and the Rapporteur was entrusted with its finalization.


ANNEX
List of documents issued for the sixth special session of the Council
Documents issued in the general series
Symbol
A/HRC/S-6/1 Letter dated 18 January 2008 from the Permanent Representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and of Pakistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the President of the Human Rights Council
A/HRC/S-6/SR.1-2 Summary records of meetings held by the Human Rights Council at its sixth special session


Documents issued in the limited series
Symbol
A/HRC/S-6/L.1 Human rights violations emanating from Israeli military attacks and incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip
A/HRC/S-6/L.2 Draft report of the sixth special session
Documents issued in the Government series
Symbol
A/HRC/S-6/G/1 Note verbale dated 22 January 2008 from the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the secretariat of the Human Rights Council


Documents issued in the non-governmental organizations series
Symbol
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/1 Written statement submitted by the World Union for Progressive Judaism, a non-governmental organization on the Roster
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/2 Written statement submitted by the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/3 Written statement submitted by World Vision International (WVI), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/4 Joint written statement submitted by Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, and Defence for Children International (DCI), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/5 Written statement submitted by the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/6 Written statement submitted by North South XXI, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
A/HRC/S-6/NGO/7 Written statement submitted by the Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

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