Question of Palestine home
23 December 1994
Wednesday, 23 November 1994,
at 3 p.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 40TH MEETING
AGENDA ITEM 100: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS (continued)
(b) HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS, INCLUDING ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (continued)
(c) HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS AND REPORTS OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS AND REPRESENTATIVES (continued)
(d) COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE VIENNA DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION (continued)
(Lebanon) said that the past 40 years of ideological confrontation had precluded any meaningful debate of human rights issues, human rights being those which human beings enjoy simply because they are human beings and not because they are members of a particular nation or State. Respect for human identity was the most universal value to which societies aspired.
99. The 1993 World Conference on Human Rights was the symbol of the emerging interest in human rights. Lebanon strongly supported the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and was particularly pleased with the provisions relating to human rights education. Furthermore, it welcomed the adoption of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/51 proclaiming a decade for human rights education, and it looked forward to its implementation.
100. Although the violence had ended in other parts of his country, in southern Lebanon the situation was still deplorable and the continuing acts of aggression and the arbitrary practices of the Israeli occupation forces were flagrant violations of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Israel maintained its occupation of southern Lebanon in defiance of Security Council resolution
, and its numerous violations had been the subject of repeated complaints by Lebanon to the Security Council. Israeli policy was a factor in the imperilled security of the region. The civilian population of southern Lebanon and the adjacent areas was subjected to constant shelling, curfews, arrests and expulsions. Israeli troops opened fire without provocation on entire villages, sealing them off and thus preventing any emergency food and medical supplies from reaching them. They transferred, detained and tortured hundreds of prisoners and barred representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International from visiting prisons and detention camps set up by Israel inside Lebanon. The Commission on Human Rights had adopted many resolutions on the issue of human rights in southern Lebanon, thus demonstrating that Israel was clearly violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and the fourth Hague Convention of 1907. Despite repeated demands by the Lebanese Government and human rights groups, Israel refused to release its prisoners, compelling his Government to reiterate its demand. Israel did not even reply to the Economic and Social Council’s request to report to it on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon. Its occupation had never been lifted since 1978, and the casualty list was growing.
101. Lebanon, as one of the founding members of the United Nations and a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was fully committed to the objectives of the Madrid Peace Conference on the Middle East and to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.
102. His delegation expressed appreciation to all the United Nations agencies involved in the human rights campaign, and reiterated his country’s support. It also thanked the High Commissioner for Human Rights for his informative and important statement and wished him success in his endeavours.
The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m