Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

18 June 2002

[Geneva press release]


The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories will visit Egypt, Jordan and Syria from 23 June to 6 July 2002.

The Committee plans to hold hearings in Cairo between 24 and 27 June; in Amman from 29 June to 1 July, and in Damascus from 4 to 5 July.

Since its establishment in December 1968, the panel has repeatedly been denied cooperation by the Government of Israel or access to the occupied territories. The Committee has nonetheless benefited from the cooperation and information provided by representatives from the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The information gathered during these hearings, from witnesses having first-hand and recent experience of the human rights situation in the occupied territories, and from Governmental representatives, is taken into account in the Special Committee's reports to the General Assembly. Information appearing in the Israeli press and the Arab press published in the occupied territories is also made available to the Committee. The Committee formulates conclusions containing its evaluation of the situation as well as recommendations.

The Special Committee was established by General Assembly resolution 2443 (XXIII). It is composed of three Member States: Sri Lanka (Chairman), Senegal and Malaysia. Sri Lanka is currently represented by C Mahendran, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York. Senegal is represented by Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Malaysia is represented by Hasmy Agam, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York.

The Special Committee's mandate was renewed for an additional year on 10 December 2001 by General Assembly resolution 56/59. The findings of the Special Committee are contained in its report to the General Assembly (document A/56/491 of 22 October 2001).

The territories to be considered as occupied territories for the purposes of the Special Committee's mandate currently are the occupied Syrian Arab Golan, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.

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