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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1996/SR.58
29 April 1996

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-second session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 58th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Tuesday, 23 April 1996, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson : Mr. VERGNE SABOIA (Brazil)

CONTENTS

...

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES, ...

...


This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.

In the absence of Mr. Vergne Saboia (Brazil), Mr. Vassylenko (Ukraine), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 6.05 p.m.

...

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES, INCLUDING:

...

Draft resolution on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa (E/CN.4/1996/L.78)

78. Mr. BEBARS (Egypt), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of the sponsors, said that it drew attention in an objective way to the persistent practices of the Israeli occupation forces in southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa which constituted a violation of the principles of international law on the protection of human rights as well as a grave violation of the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law. It called upon Israel to put an immediate end to such practices and to implement Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 509 (1982). It also requested the Government of Israel, as the occupying power of territories in southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

79. In view of the difficult situation in Lebanon and its dire need for support from the international community, in particular after the ferocious bombing of southern Lebanon, the expulsion of over half a million people from their homes and the horrendous massacre of refugees, the sponsors hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.

80. Mr. TORELLA di ROMAGNANO (Italy), speaking in explanation of position on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union was seriously concerned by the aggravation of the situation in Lebanon and northern Israel and renewed its appeal for an immediate cease-fire. Only a political solution could put an end to the current crisis and permit a resumption of the peace process. The Union, which deeply deplored the suffering inflicted on the civilian populations of both Israel and Lebanon, in particular by the tragedy at Cana, called upon all parties, whether directly or indirectly involved in the current conflict, to help bring about an immediate halt to hostilities and acts of violence with the aim of allowing peace negotiations to resume.

81. The Union reaffirmed its support for all the parties involved in peace negotiations and confirmed its willingness to contribute actively to the search in progress for an immediate halt to hostilities and a lasting peace in the region. In that regard, it supported the action undertaken by the Presidency, the Troika and its member States, notably France. It supported all the efforts, notably those of the United States of America, currently being undertaken with the same purpose.

82. The aim of those efforts must be to obtain the elaboration of a lasting agreement between the parties which would not prejudice a global agreement between Israel and Lebanon in the context of the peace process. That agreement must contribute towards guaranteeing Israel's security and preserving Lebanon's sovereignty in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), to which the Union remained committed.

83. The Union expressed its support for the continuing efforts of UNIFIL, in highly adverse circumstances, to try to alleviate the effects of the current violence and ensure the safety of the civilian population.

84. Lebanon, which had been courageously engaged in reconstruction, must be able to find once again the peace to which, like its neighbours, it had a right. The Union would continue to provide assistance to enable Lebanon to take its rightful place in peace and prosperity in the Middle East. In that regard, the Union would pursue its support for Lebanon's reconstruction and development, particularly in the field of energy.

85. The Union was ready to increase significantly the substantial humanitarian contribution which it was already making, by means of national contributions, to relieve the suffering of the civilian population and in particular the refugees in southern Lebanon. In that context, it appealed for free and secure circulation on the coastal road south of Beirut with the sole purpose of guaranteeing access for humanitarian assistance to the populations of Saida, Tyre and Nabatiyeh.

86. The Union reaffirmed its commitment to pursue diplomatic efforts in the region and expressed its willingness to participate in proposals aimed at promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

87. Mr. EL KHAZEN (Observer for Lebanon) said that the second week of Israel's aggression against his country had been particularly bloody. Israeli aircraft had destroyed a three-storey building, killing 18 inhabitants, while the heavy shelling of the UNIFIL centre at Cana, where hundreds of civilians had taken refuge, had resulted in the massacre of over a hundred people and injuries to many others, including three Fijian United Nations peace-keepers. Moreover, the shelling by the Israeli Navy of the coastal road had prevented ambulances from transporting the wounded to hospitals in Beirut, although the hospitals in the south were overwhelmed.

88. The Israelis had deliberately perpetrated that atrocious crime, since they knew the exact location of the UNIFIL centre. The regrets expressed by the Prime Minister of Israel were designed to absorb and deflect some of the world-wide horror and revulsion at that carnage. The attack had been aimed not at Hezbollah but at the people of Lebanon. The purpose of Israel's attacks was twofold: to destroy the revival of Lebanese economic activities and to boost the re-election chances of the Israeli Government. He wondered how those Governments which had participated in the Sharm-el-Sheikh conference on international terrorism viewed Israel's violation of Lebanese airspace to bomb the civilian population and its blockade of Lebanese ports to prevent the delivery of vitally needed humanitarian aid.

89. Israel's belief that its occupation of southern Lebanon provided it with a security or buffer zone was clearly misguided. Its best chances of achieving security resided in implementing Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and withdrawing immediately and unconditionally from all the occupied territories.

90. His Government had always been in favour of a just and durable peace, but peace could not be achieved by carnage and destruction. Whatever the military aggression against it, Lebanon would not cede an inch of its territory.

91. He hoped that the Commission, which was responsible for the protection of human rights, would adopt the draft resolution by consensus.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.

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