|HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON FOLLOW-UP TO ITS DECISIONS ON THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY AND LEBANON|
Council Also Decides to Undertake Preparations for the Durban Review Conference against Racism
8 December 2006
The Human Rights Council this morning adopted four resolutions and one decision dealing with the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory; preparations for the Durban Review Conference; regional cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Asian and Pacific region; the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon; and implementation of General Assembly resolution 60/251 with reference to the Council's agenda, annual programme of work, methods of work and rules of procedure, as well as conference facilities and financial support for the Council.
In a resolution on Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Follow-up on the Human Rights Council resolution S-1/1, adopted by a vote of 34 in favour, 1 against, and 12 abstentions, the Council called for the speedy implementation of its resolution S-1/1, including the dispatch of the urgent fact-finding mission; and decided to report on the implementation of this resolution at its next session.
Speaking this morning were the representatives of Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference), Algeria (on behalf of the African Group), Israel, Palestine, Finland (on behalf of the European Union), Canada, Japan, Peru, Switzerland, Argentina, Philippines, Chile, China, United Kingdom, Lebanon and the Russian Federation.
Action on Resolution on Follow-Up to Resolution S-1/1
In a resolution (A/HRC/2/L.13) on Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Follow-up on the Human Rights Council resolution S-1/1, adopted with 34 in favour, 1 against (Canada), and 12 abstentions, the Council calls for the speedy implementation of its resolution S-1/1, including the dispatching of the urgent fact-finding mission; and decides to report on the implementation of this resolution at its next session.
The result of the vote was as follows:
In favour (34): Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Zambia.
Against (1): Canada.
Abstentions (12): Cameroon, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
FAISAL NIAZ TIRMIZI (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, introducing draft resolution A/HRC/2/L.13, said there had been two draft resolutions on the violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the second session of the Human Rights Council. The Council had postponed consideration of the procedural text to the third session. The Council had decided to dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission to the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 in resolution S-1/1. It had been five months since resolution S-1/1 had been adopted, and nothing had happened. The violations of the human rights of the Palestinians continued unabated. The text called for the speedy implementation of resolution S-1/1. The text was purely procedural in that regard. The lack of implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions was a matter for concern. It was hoped the text would be adopted by consensus.
IDRISS JAZAIRY (Algeria), in a general comment, said that the Human Rights Council could not remain silent before the flouting of the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Council during its first session with reference to the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The resolution on the occupied Palestinian territory had remained a dead letter until today. The occupying Power had continued to deny access to the Special Rapporteur to the territories. They were looking forward to the report of the fact-finding mission being led by Desmond Tutu.
ITZHAK LEVANON (Israel), speaking as a concerned country, asked about the real purpose of draft resolution A/HRC/2/L.13 tabled before the Council, and how that draft resolution would help the Council to effectively carry out its function. He was concerned by such actions that the Council was taking against his country. The criticism against his country had continued in the Council in similar way that it had in Commission. Meanwhile, the rockets being fired by the Palestinians had continued to fall in Israel, making civilian victims. What was the intention of the Council in singling out Israel in its draft resolution? He regretted the Council's continued commitment to such resolutions, which was only leading it on downward spiral to its ruin.
MOHAMMAD ABU-KOASH (Palestine), speaking as a concerned country, said that Israel had placed itself above international law and the decisions of the Council, and that was why it had not implemented resolution S-1/1, and had obstructed the fact-finding mission headed by the Special Rapporteur on Palestine. The authority of the new body was being challenged by a non-complying occupying Power. Their contradiction between their advocacy of human rights and their stance on the Israeli violations thereof was similar to the contradiction between words and action in the final lines of the play "Waiting for Godot". The Council should move and act, and stop the daily killing that was taking place daily in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Palestine was waiting for a brave Israeli General de Gaulle in order to obtain its independence, as had happened in Algeria.
VESA HIMANEN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, in an explanation of vote after the vote, said they welcomed the ceasefire and called upon the parties to return to the negotiating table. Civilians on all sides should be protected. They fully supported the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, in keeping the Human Rights Council informed of the situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory. The European Union was of the view that all States were duty-bound to cooperate with special procedures. Hence, they had cast an abstention vote.
PAUL MEYER (Canada), in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that Canada was committed to promoting the human rights and fundamental rights of all peoples in the region, as well as respect for the rule of law. The recent escalation of violence, the loss of human life and the suffering of victims were of serious concern to Canada. Canada reiterated that the Palestinian Authority should take concrete measures to address Israel’s security concerns and eliminate attacks against Israel. Israel, for its part, should assume its responsibility to exercise utmost caution to prevent civilian causalities as it exercised its right to defend itself against terrorism. Canada would continue to support constructive resolutions, which presented a balanced perspective. At the special session of the Council, Canada had explained that it could not support the resolution that was adopted at that time because it did not go far enough to represent a balanced approach to the human rights situation in Gaza. Canada had therefore voted against the follow-up resolution adopted today.
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