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9 April 2002
Press Release

The three members of the Visiting Mission mandated by the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on Human Rights, High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Felipe Gonzalez Marquez, and Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, met today to consult among themselves and to plan their visit. During their meeting, at around 2 p.m. today, they received a communication from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN Office in Geneva informing them that their request for the cooperation of the Government of Israel has been forwarded to Jerusalem and that careful consideration will be given to this request in the light of the unfolding situation, and bearing in mind other important impending visits.

The Mission informed the Bureau of the Commission at around 2.45 p.m. today. The Bureau, through its Chair, re-emphasized the importance and urgency of the Mission.

The members of the Visiting Mission wrote to the Permanent Representative of Israel this afternoon.

They stated: "We are confident that the Israeli authorities would share our hope that whatever can be done to protect human life and safety should be done as a matter of the utmost urgency."

The members of the Mission are of the view that their mission should be seen in tandem with the peace-making efforts currently underway, notably the mission being undertaken by US Secretary of State Colin Powell. It is very much their hope that a cessation of hostilities and movement on the Tenet and Mitchell plans will go hand-in-hand with measures to protect human rights – in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as in Israel.

In preparation for a visit to the area, the members of the Mission will continue to brief themselves and stand in readiness to undertake the Mission rapidly upon communication from the Israeli authorities of their willingness to cooperate with the Mission.

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Related documents:
- UNCHR adopts resolution
- E/CN.4/RES/2002/1
- High Commissioner's statement
- UNCHR press release (dated 08.04.02)
- UNHCHR statement
- UNHCHR status report
- UNCHR press release (dated 17.04.02)

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