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Source: Human Rights Council
27 March 2015

Human Rights Council adopts ten texts, extends mandates on Syria, Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Myanmar

MORNING

27 March 2015 

Council to Hold a Special Session on 1 April in Light of the Terrorist Attacks and Human Rights Abuses Committed by the Terrorist Group Boko Haram
 

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 10 resolutions, in which it extended the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Iran, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Myanmar. 

The Council also adopted texts on freedom of religion or belief, investments in the rights of the child, human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

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The Council also adopted texts on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, by a vote of 29 in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions; on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, by a vote of 45 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstentions; on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 45 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstentions; and on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions.

Latvia on behalf of the European Union, Uruguay on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation introduced texts.

Lebanon introduced oral amendments.

Syria, Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Myanmar, and the State of Palestine spoke as concerned countries. Israel, also a concerned country, did not take the floor. 

India, Qatar on behalf of the Arab Group, Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States, Latvia on behalf of the European Union, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Indonesia, and India spoke in general comments.

Speaking in explanations of the vote before or after the vote were Russia, Pakistan also on behalf of Bangladesh, United States, South Africa, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Algeria, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, Japan, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Paraguay, and Ghana.

The next meeting of the Council will be at 1 p.m. today, 27 March, when it will continue to take action on remaining draft resolutions and decisions before it closes its twenty-eighth session. 

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Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories


Action on Resolution on Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan


In a resolution (
A/HRC/28/L.3) on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council decided, inter alia, that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel rescind forthwith its decision; calls upon Israel to desist from its continuous building of settlements; calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and to desist from its repressive measures against them; calls upon Israel to release immediately the Syrian detainees in Israeli prisons, some of whom have been detained for more than 28 years, and to treat them in conformity with international humanitarian law; and requests the Secretary-General to disseminate the present resolution as widely as possible and to report on this matter to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-first session. 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour
 (29): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam. 

Against
 (1): United States of America

Abstentions
 (17): Albania, Botswana, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom.


Pakistan
, introducing draft resolution L.3 on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, said human rights violations continued by Israel against Syrian civilians living under illegal occupation. In light of the prolonged occupation of the Golan Heights and of continued human rights violations by Israel, Pakistan hoped the resolution would be adopted by consensus. 

Syria
, speaking as the concerned country, said the situation continued to justify this appeal to Israel to end its occupation of the Syrian Golan, and end measures which worsened the human rights situation of civilians. Israel continued to undergo arbitrary detention of Syrian civilians and impose its nationality on Syrian citizens. It continued to deny the right to food and development of the people living under occupation, and stole their resources in violation of its international obligations. Countries needed to reaffirm the non-selectivity of the Council and support this draft resolution. 

United States
, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the only way to solve the conflict between Palestine and Israel was to create two States. It was thus troubling that one-sided resolutions were put forth in the Council. The two-State solution was the surest way to protect and promote the human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. The United States was the largest single donor of humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees. Standalone resolutions on Israel were worrying as only Israel received such treatment. Since the Council continuously singled out Israel, United States requested that the resolution on the human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan be put to vote.

Action on Resolution on the Right of the Palestinian People to Self-determination


In a resolution (
A/HRC/28/L.32) on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 45 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention, the Council reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and the right to their independent State of Palestine; also reaffirms its support for the solution of two States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security; notes that the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory undermines the possibility of the Palestinian people realizing their right to self-determination and is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and stresses in this regard the need for respect for and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; confirms that the right of the Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be used in the interest of their national development, the well-being of the Palestinian people and as part of the realization of their right to self-determination; and urges all Member States and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self- determination. 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour
 (45): Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against
 (1): United States of America

Abstentions
 (1): Ghana


Pakistan
, introducing draft resolution L.32 on the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, said the draft recalled the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and expressed support for a two-State solution. It contained facts recognized and acknowledged by the international community. 

Saudi Arabia
, in a general comment, said that it supported the Palestinian cause and Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Saudi Arabia thus encouraged the international community, and in particular those countries that supported Israel, to convince Israel to stop human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, to evacuate them, and to recognize Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Those States should not remain locked in their current positions, and should consider other options and vote in favour of the draft resolution.

State of Palestine
, speaking as the concerned country, said self-determination was a precept that was part of international law, including the United Nations Charter, the two Covenants and the Vienna Declaration. The State of Palestine was committed to cooperate with Israel to work on a joint draft resolution on the right to self-determination of Palestinians. The State of Palestine expressed concern about the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent declaration that he would not support the creation of a State of Palestine. Israel had to cease its activities and colonization of the occupied territories. Palestinians had made mistakes, the State of Palestine acknowledged, and these mistakes needed to be addressed. But Israel also had to be held accountable for grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Foreign occupation was the first and foremost of the violations by Israel. The recent aggression of Gaza led to the death of more than 500 children. Israel had detained a 14 year-old child because he threw stones at Israel. The State of Palestine urged all members of the Council to vote in favour of resolutions under this agenda item. 

Action on Resolution on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the Occupied Syrian Golan


In a resolution (
A/HRC/28/L.33) on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 45 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstentions, the Council reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development; and demands that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all settlement activities in all the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. The Council expresses its grave concern at, and calls for the cessation of the operation by Israel of a tramway linking the settlements with West Jerusalem; and the expropriation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes, demolition orders, forced evictions and “relocation” plans by Israel in areas identified for the expansion and construction of settlements, and other practices aimed at the forcible transfer of the Palestinian civilian population, including Bedouin communities and herders. The Council requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report detailing the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent fact-finding mission on the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian People throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-first session. 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour
 (45): Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Viet Nam.

Against
 (1): United States of America

Abstentions
 (1): Paraguay


Pakistan
, introducing resolution L.33 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that Israel continued the construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which violated the Geneva Conventions and the decisions of the International Court of Justice, which had ruled that the separation wall was illegal. The resolution reaffirmed that the settlements were illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development, and it demanded that Israel immediately withdraw from the occupied territories, stop the construction of settlements, and provide effective remedy to victims.

Saudi Arabia
, in a general comment, condemned the continuation of Israel’s occupation and construction of illegal settlements. Israel expelled the local population in order to build colonies, which violated the Geneva Conventions and the decision of the International Court of Justice. The occupying power continued with its policies, which was a serious violation of human rights. In order to establish just peace, Israel had to withdraw from all the occupied territories, including the Syrian Golan. 

Paraguay
, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that Paraguay firmly believed that dialogue and direct negotiation between the two parties was the only way to reach sustainable peace. It called upon the parties to undertake the peace negotiations followed up by the international community. The solution had to be in conformity with international law, with the two States living side by side in peace and with security of their borders. This draft resolution did not contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict and Paraguay would therefore oppose it.

Latvia
, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the European Union thanked Palestine for its efforts. However the European Union did not agree with some of the legal terms used in the draft resolution, including forced displacement, forced transfer, and pre-emptory norms. The European Union’s position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including on the violence in 2014 in and around Gaza Strip, was set out in the January 15 United Nations Security Council statement by the European Union. Therefore a separate resolution on the human rights situation should not be seen as judging the ongoing negotiations. The European Union urged all parties to participate in the commission of inquiry activities on the Gaza strip. The European Union supported L.33 and the Member States of the European Union would vote in favour of this draft resolution. 

Action on Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem


In a resolution (
A/HRC/28/L.34) on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions, the Council stresses the need for Israel, the occupying Power, to withdraw from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, so as to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its universally recognized right to self-determination; demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease immediately its imposition of prolonged closures and economic and movement restrictions, including those amounting to a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which severely restricts the freedom of movement of Palestinians within, into and out of Gaza and their access to basic utilities; stresses the need for the unhindered passage of ambulances at checkpoints, especially in times of conflict; expresses grave concern at the confiscation and damage by Israel of fishing nets in the Gaza Strip for which there is no discernible security justification. 

The Council condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip; it also condemns the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury. The Council further expresses deep concern at the conditions of the Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including minors, in Israeli jails and detention centres; demands that Israel cease its policy of transferring prisoners from the Occupied Palestinian Territory into the territory of Israel; and deplores Israel’s resumption of the policy of punitive home demolitions and the ongoing policy of revoking the residency permits of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem through various discriminatory laws. The Council deplores the persistent non-cooperation of Israel with special procedures mandate holders and other United Nations mechanisms; requests the Office of the High Commissioner to further strengthen the presence of its office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by, inter alia, deploying the necessary personnel and expertise; and requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-first session.


The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour
 (43): Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Viet Nam. 

Against
 (1): United States of America.

Abstentions
 (3): Botswana, Paraguay, and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Pakistan
, introducing draft resolution L.34 on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, said the draft urged Israel to cease human rights violations against Palestinians, including in the Gaza Strip, and to comply with its international obligations. Pakistan expressed concern about the dire humanitarian and human rights situations in the occupied territories, and hoped this would lead all Member States to vote in favour of this resolution. 

Saudi Arabia
, in a general comment, said that Israeli crimes had not spared civilians in Gaza, including children, women and the elderly. The hands of Israeli leaders were covered with the blood of innocent people, and the international community should force Israel to respect the rights of the Palestinian people. Peace could only be achieved with the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories. Saudi Arabia urged all peace-loving countries to vote in favour of this resolution. 

Paraguay
, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that direct negotiations between parties was the only way to reach sustainable peace, and called on the parties and the international community to renew efforts for negotiations. Paraguay supported the two-State solution and it condemned every abuse of international human rights law, noting that it was indispensable for all parties to respect that law. The proposed resolution would not help in finding a sustainable peace solution and Paraguay would thus abstain from voting.

Argentina
, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and to an independent Palestinian State within the 1967 borders and in accordance with the peace negotiations. Argentina recognized Palestine. It was in favour of Israel’s right to live in security within its borders, but also of peoples’ right to self-determination. If a people was subjected to a foreign occupation then they had no right to self-determination. Argentina supported this resolution and hoped it would lead to an independent Palestinian State.

Ghana
, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that a mistake had been made in its voting decisions on two items, namely L.32 and L.34. The President of the Human Rights Council said that this would be reflected in the records of the meeting. 

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For use of the information media; not an official record


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