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UNITED
NATIONS
E

Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2002/SR.47
24 April 2002

Original: English

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-eighth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 47th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,

on Friday, 19 April 2002, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson : Mr. JAKUBOWSKI (Poland)

CONTENTS


ADVISORY SERVICES AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING:

(a) QUESTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CYPRUS (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING:

(a) QUESTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CYPRUS (agenda item 9) ( continued ) (E/CN.4/2002/L.15, L.20, L.22/Rev.1, L.23, L.24, L.25/Rev. 1, L.26 and L.88)

Draft resolution on the human rights situation of Lebanese detainees in Israel (E/CN.4/2002/L.15)

5. Mr. ATTAR (Saudi Arabia), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, said that it called on the Government of Israel to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, release the Lebanese citizens detained in Israel, allow visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to those detainees and provide to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) accurate maps of the minefields laid in Lebanese territory.

6. Mr. LEBAKINE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the representatives of Pakistan and Togo had become sponsors of the draft resolution, which had no programme budget implications.

7. Mr. NASR (Observer for Lebanon) said it was important that the Commission should remind States guilty of human rights violations of their duty to comply with the wishes of the international community. The draft resolution called on Israel to release Lebanese citizens transferred to and detained in Israel after the 20-year Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory. They were not allowed visits by humanitarian organizations and were being held without trial or else they were not released at the end of their sentences. They were also subjected to torture, certain forms of which were admissible under Israeli law. He believed Israel was holding those detainees to be used as bargaining chips in the future.
8. Although Israel had withdrawn from Lebanese territory in May 2000, it had withdrawn only to the United Nations blue line, not to internationally recognized boundaries. Hundreds of thousands of landmines had been laid in Lebanese territory, causing suffering and hardship to the civilian population. Israel had provided only incomplete maps of the minefields to the Lebanese authorities and the international forces assisting in mine clearance. The draft resolution called on Israel to provide accurate maps of all mined areas, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1391 (2002) (para. 11). Given the humanitarian concerns underlying the draft resolution, he hoped that it would be adopted, by consensus.

9. Mr. LEVY (Observer for Israel) said that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon unilaterally in May 2000 because it had been unable to reach an agreement on the matter with the Government of Lebanon. Israel had no incentive to comply with Security Council resolutions if the other parties concerned did not meet their obligations. With regard to the issue of landmines, Israel had handed over to UNIFIL maps of the landmines laid in southern Lebanon, confirmation of which had been signed by a senior officer of UNIFIL and circulated in an official document at the previous session of the Commission. The Lebanese Government had failed in its responsibility to maintain those minefields and could not therefore ask the Commission to condemn Israel.

10. The Lebanese Government had likewise never fulfilled its responsibility to exert its authority over and maintain security in southern Lebanon. It continued to allow terrorist groups such as Hezbollah to operate freely and to attack Israel on an almost daily basis. Any elements of the draft resolution concerning Israeli actions must be put in a proper context: response to attacks in the face of the Lebanese Government’s failure to meet its responsibilities.

11. As for detainees, he said the only detainees were in fact three Israeli soldiers and one civilian kidnapped by Hezbollah in October 2000. The three soldiers were believed to have died of wounds sustained during their kidnapping and their bodies were being held by Hezbollah; the civilian was still being held in Lebanon.

12. Those facts, many of them confirmed by organs and officials of the United Nations, were ignored by the draft resolution. A vote for it would further distort reality and make no contribution to peace in the region.

13. Mr. ARENALES FORNO (Guatemala), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that Israel had withdrawn from southern Lebanon in May 2000 but the Government of Lebanon had not recognized the right of Israel to exist within internationally recognized and safe borders, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Neither had the Government of Lebanon prevented terrorist organizations from attacking Israel from its territory.

14. Under normal circumstances, his Government would have been concerned about the situation of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel, but it believed that to demand that those prisoners be allowed to return to Lebanon, from which they could once again attack Israel, would violate Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence. For those reasons, and considering that, in any case, such issues should be dealt with within the framework of a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, his delegation would vote against the draft resolution.

15. At the request of the representatives of Canada and Guatemala, a recorded vote was taken on the draft resolution.

In favour: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia.

Against: Guatemala, Peru.

Abstaining : Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

16. The draft resolution was adopted by 34 votes to 2, with 17 abstentions.


The meeting rose at 1 p.m.

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