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        General Assembly
28 September 2001

Original: English

Official Records
Fifty-sixth Session
Supplement No. 36 (A/56/36)

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights

Supplement No. 36 (A/56/36)


II. Human rights dialogue

3. The General Assembly, by its resolution 48/141, entrusted the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with the responsibility for engaging in dialogue with all Governments in order to secure respect for all human rights. In carrying out this mandate, I have developed close cooperation with several Governments. I have submitted separate reports to the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly on the situation of human rights in East Timor (E/CN.4/2001/37 and Corr.1) and in Sierra Leone (E/CN.4/2001/35). In this context, I would also like to draw the attention of the Assembly to my report on the human rights situation in Colombia (E/CN.4/2001/15) and the report on my visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan, from 8 to 16 November 2000 (E/CN.4/2001/114), which I presented at the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Human Rights.


III. The challenges ahead


A. World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and its follow-up


43. Concerning the Middle East, the World Conference called for the end of violence and the swift resumption of peace negotiations, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law and respect for the principle of self-determination and the end of all suffering, thus allowing Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace process and to develop and prosper in security and freedom.

44. Expressing concern about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation, the World Conference, in its Declaration, recognized the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State. It also recognized the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, and called upon all States to support the peace process and bring it to an early conclusion.

45. The Conference also recalled that the Holocaust must never be forgotten.

46. The difficult negotiations on Middle East issues have reaffirmed the main conclusion that I drew from this process, which is that the only path to lasting peace and stability is through peaceful negotiation, calling for courage and responsibility on the part of the leadership of both sides. This conclusion was valid during the World Conference, and remains valid and even more urgent as each day passes now that the Conference is over.


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