Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1998/SR.9
24 March 1998

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-fourth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 9th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Friday, 20 March 1998, at 10.00 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. SELEBI (South Africa)

later: Mr. HYNES (Lebanon)
(Vice­Chairman)

later: Mr. SELEBI (South Africa)
(Chairman)

CONTENTS
/…

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE (continued)

THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (continued)

STATEMENT BY THE HEAD OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS DEPARTMENT AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF SAUDI ARABIA

/...



The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

15. Mr. Hynes (Canada), Vice­Chairman, took the Chair.

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE (agenda item 4) (continued) (E/CN.4/1998/4 and Corr.1, 7, 8, 17­20, 112, 116, 124, 125, 128, 133, 134, 136, 137 and 141; E/CN.4/1998/NGO/61)

16. Mr. MAHCHOU (Arab Lawyers' Union) said that the Middle East was passing through a very dangerous period, particularly in Palestine. The peace process was in its death throes, and that had had a negative effect on both the Arab­Israel dialogue and the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The Israeli Government continued utterly to deny the “land for peace” agreement, putting into action a plan that was aimed at ending the peace process.

17. The number of murders that had recently taken place in Hebron showed that no one could guarantee that the Palestinians in the occupied territories would be protected from Israeli settlers. The standard of living of the Palestinians had dropped sharply, and their right to economic, social and cultural development was being violated, leading to extremism.

18. Mr. HALINEN (Special Rapporteur) said that debate on agenda item 4 had been more substantive than the previous year, many of the comments being constructive. The comprehensive approach to human rights that he had long advocated had received greater support and the Chairman and the Bureau had taken firm action to improve the Commission's working methods.

19. Bitterness and accusations had also been heard in the debate, notably from the representative of Israel, who had called his report (E/CN.4/1998/17) “one­sided”. There was no truth in that allegation but, if there were, it would be due to the lack of cooperation by the Government of Israel. He received extensive information throughout the year, using Palestinian, Israeli and international sources. No participant in the debate had put forward any corrections to statements of fact contained in the report. Neither the Ambassador nor other representative of the Government of Israel had acceded to his requests for meetings, even though cooperation would clearly be in the interests not only of human rights but of that Government itself.

20. The allegation had been made by the Israeli delegation that “much” of the report went beyond his mandate, but he had consistently asked for a wider mandate similar to that of other country rapporteurs. He made no apology for referring to the emergency session of the General Assembly on the Middle East. As for references to the peace process, he wished to make it clear that he did not have any hidden agenda and had no intention of inserting himself into the peace process. All he wanted was to ensure consideration of the role of human rights in the context of the peace process, first and foremost between the countries themselves but also facilitated, as appropriate, by outside partners. He would continue to raise the issue, but as a catalyst only.

21. The Commission was not unaccustomed to attempts by a Government to discredit a special rapporteur's report; indeed, it was only to be expected from a Government that had refused to cooperate with the rapporteur assigned to it. His own such experience had served only to increase his desire for cooperation, to which his mandate was not, and need not be, an obstacle.

22. The representative of Israel had asked for facts, the whole facts and nothing but the facts. That was an admirable sentiment and he urged the representative to share facts with him in advance and let him take them into account in drafting his reports, as the Palestinian Authority and others in the international community did. That would be in the interests of Israel, of the Palestinian people and of human rights.

THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF­DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (agenda item 7) (continued) (E/CN.4/1998/30, 31, and 125; E/CN.4/1998/NGO/30 and 65)

/…

STATEMENT BY THE HEAD OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS DEPARTMENT AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF SAUDI ARABIA

44. Prince Torki Ben Mohammed Ben Saoud AL­KABEER (Saudi Arabia) …

/…

48. International peace and security were closely linked with human rights and with self­determination. In that context, he called for an end to the Israeli occupation of territories in the Middle East. Israel ignored all the resolutions adopted by international bodies, including the Commission. The key to the problem was conciliation, particularly religious conciliation, to which Islam attached great importance.

/…

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter