Press Release

Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Third Committee
24th & 25th Meetings (AM & PM)
26 October 2004


Also Says International Community Must Not Abandon Resolve
To Confront Terrorism within Framework of Existing Rights, International Law



The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to continue its consideration of human rights questions.  This morning, it was expected to conclude its general discussion of the implementation of human rights instruments, including follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.  For additional background information on these matters, please see Press Release GA/SHC/3791 of 25 October.

Also today the Committee was expected to begin consideration of “human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, “human rights situations and the reports of special rapporteurs and representatives” and “report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”.

In regard of these issues, the Committee had before it a large number of reports, including the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (document A/59/36), presented today by High Commissioner Louise Arbour. Please see the following introductory statement for a summary of her report and recommendations.

Also before the Committee were the reports of many of the special mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights, including those of the Special Rapporteurs and Independent experts on the situation worldwide regarding:  extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/59/319); the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance (document A/59/366); the human rights of migrants (document A/59/377); the right to food (document A/59/385); human rights defenders (document A/59/401); the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (document A/59/316); advisory services and technical assistance in Burundi (document A/59/352); the situation of human rights in Afghanistan (document A/59/370); the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/59/378); the situation of human rights in the Sudan (document A/59/413); the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (document A/59/422); the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine (document A/59/256); and the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/59/311).  Each of these reports is expected to be presented by the relevant Special Rapporteur or Independent expert during forthcoming meetings.


Dialogue with High Commissioner for Human Rights


OMAR KADIRI (Morocco) ...


He expressed satisfaction with the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families and expressed concern over the continued violation of the rights of Palestinian people, as a result of illegal Israeli practices.  The international community should call upon Israel to bring the situation to an end and to comply with international standards and norms.


Introduction of Reports


MU’TAZ HYASSAT (Jordan) said his delegation was deeply concerned about the dire situation in the occupied Palestinian territories caused by the violations of human rights and international law by the Israeli Government.  The obligation of Israel to abide by international humanitarian law and human rights law in the Palestinian territories had been well established in numerous decisions by international, interregional and regional human rights bodies and courts.  Israel’s argument that its actions were to be measured only against the rules of international humanitarian law was unacceptable.  The International court of Justice had reemphasized this conclusion in its advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Jordan called on the Israeli Government to fulfil its obligations with respect to the Palestinian people in accordance with international law, he said. Bringing an end to such violations would create the right conditions for the parties concerned to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in accordance with the Road Map and other relevant United Nations resolutions and agreements.


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For information media - not an official record