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1. Ms. Pillay (High Commissioner for Human Rights), introducing her annual report (A/64/36), said that it was important to implement the Member State commitments to combat racial discrimination reaffirmed in the outcome document adopted by consensus at the Durban Review Conference. To follow up on the Conference, a special task force had been charged with mainstreaming the anti-racism agenda into all of the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other United Nations entities. She looked forward to the endorsement of the outcome document and allocation by the General Assembly of the necessary resources for the follow-up programme of work.
26. Ms. Rasheed (Palestine) said that while there had been countless United Nations reports and resolutions on actions committed against the Palestinian people by Israel in violation of international law, as well as appeals launched by the High Commissioner and other high-ranking officials, there had been no real implementation. She asked what the international community should do to ensure that the Goldstone Report, which documented the tragic consequences of the savage military aggression launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008 would not suffer the same fate, and to put an end to the culture of impunity prevailing in Israel.
31. Ms. Gendi (Egypt) ...
32. Following upon the question posed by the representative of Palestine, she requested additional information on the fact-finding mission in Gaza and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories and on the support by the Office of the High Commissioner to the Goldstone Report.
47. Ms. Pillay (High Commissioner for Human Rights) thanked delegations for their comments and suggestions, ...
67. In response to the representatives of Palestine, Egypt, the Syrian Arab Republic and Sweden regarding the lack of references in her report to the Goldstone report, she said that the Human Rights Council had adopted resolution A/HRC/RES/S-12/1 on the matter, which would be examined by the General Assembly, and that she had not wanted to encroach on its mandate. The report of the fact-finding mission had made important recommendations aimed at ending the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict and proposed reparations for the victims, as well as provisions to prevent new violations. On many occasions she had said that she hoped that the perpetrators would be held responsible for their actions and that she supported the recommendations of the fact-finding mission, while stating that accountability must not be overshadowed in the name of the peace process and that the two could not be disassociated. She welcomed the fact that the Human Rights Council had adopted the report’s recommendations and waited with interest for the parties concerned and the competent United Nations bodies to follow it up. All other parties must carry out, without delay, credible, independent and transparent investigations into alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian international law, in accordance with international rules. For the sake of impartiality, she would like to see questions of accountability addressed in all situations where serious conflicts were ongoing and civilians were in danger.
68. In response to the question by the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic concerning how her Office could protect human rights in territories under foreign occupation, she said that she was fully aware of the special vulnerability of peoples living under occupation. She stressed the comprehensive application of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, refugee law and international criminal law. The Office of the High Commissioner maintained a presence in those territories, where it offered assistance, notably in the occupied Palestinian territory, and it would continue to work to protect vulnerable persons.
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.