UNISPAL Home

Press Release
UNITED NATIONS

HR/CN/05/10
17 March 2005

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS HEARS FROM 11 DIGNITARIES

Representatives of Moldova, Paraguay, Israel, Gabon, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Russian Federation, Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Uzbekistan and United States Take the Floor


The Commission on Human Rights this morning continued with its high-level segment, hearing addresses from representatives of Moldova, Paraguay, Israel, Gabon, the Russian Federation, Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Uzbekistan and the United States, as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

...

Aaron Leshno Yaar, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Israel, said a window of opportunity had opened for Israelis, Palestinians and all people of good faith interested in seeing improvements in the Middle East. That could mean the first step towards the Roadmap, the internationally recognized plan for the end of violence, renewing dialogue and cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians leading towards the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security.

...

Paula Dobriansky, Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs of the United States, said all democratic governments on every continent, and all those who aspired to liberty, shared the belief in freedom. Democracy was on the march, as demonstrated by the recent Rose revolution in Georgia and the Orange revolution in Ukraine, and by the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and the Palestinians in their recent elections. The people of Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries had raised their voices for democracy, free and fair elections, and the rights enjoyed by many throughout the world, as well.

...

Statements

AARON LESHNO YAAR, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Israel and Head of the United Nations and International Organizations Division, recalled that last year, the Commission had included a rejection of anti-Semitism within a few of its resolutions. That had been an important step to counter this severe threat. Events of the past year had emphasized the connection between the horrors of the Holocaust and the founding of the United Nations. Similarly, the Berlin Declaration against anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of 29 April 2004 had included a series of binding commitments for Members States to take action through the collection of data on anti-Semitic incidents and the promotion of educational initiatives to counteract anti-Jewish sentiment, prejudice and bigotry. The Commission should take upon itself the messages of those events and make their words and lessons part of its dialogue.

Recent events in the Middle East had offered some real hope for progress. A window of opportunity had opened for Israelis, Palestinians and all people of good faith interested in seeing improvements in the region. That could mean the first steps towards the Roadmap, the internationally recognized plan for the end of violence, renewing dialogue and cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians leading towards the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security. In recent months, Israel had initiated a significant number of steps to improve the situation for Israelis and Palestinians alike. At this unique and sensitive time in relations between Israel and Palestinians, it was crucial that the international community act responsibly by encouraging and strengthening that positive process, to ensure that the reality in the region was reflected in the work of the Commission.

Israel, as a homeland to survivors of persecution, had an inherent deep respect for human rights. In Hebrew, the term for human rights was "z'chuyot Adam", literally “the rights of Adam”. The reference to Adam was significant – a reminder that all had a common ancestor. According to Jewish tradition, the fact that all mankind were descended from a single individual came to remind the human beings of a lesson that should lie at the heart of the Commission’s deliberations: "we are all brothers and sisters; we must all be treated equally, for all of us, irrespective of race, religion or gender, are created in the divine image".

...

PAULA DOBRIANSKY, Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs of the United States, recalled United States President Bush’s statement, in his inaugural address, about the importance of ensuring human freedom, and stressed that there was an unmistakable link between human rights and democracy and peace. That quest for liberty was shared by people everywhere, and formed the bedrock on which the United Nations and its Commission on Human Rights were originally founded. All democratic governments on every continent, and all those who aspired to liberty, shared the belief in freedom. Democracy was on the march, as demonstrated by the recent Rose revolution in Georgia and the Orange revolution in Ukraine, and by the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and the Palestinians in their recent elections. The people of Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries had raised their voices for democracy, free and fair elections, and the rights enjoyed by many throughout the world, as well.

...
*****

For use of the information media; not an official record
______________________________________________________________________
For information media - not an official record