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        General Assembly
30 January 2008

Original: French

Sixty-second session
Official Records

Third Committee

Summary record of the 35th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 5 November 2007, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Wolfe ....................................................................................... (Jamaica)


Agenda item 65: Report of the Human Rights Council

The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.

Agenda item 65: Report of the Human Rights Council (A/62/53)

1. The Chairman , before giving the floor to the President of the Human Rights Council, informed the Committee that he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly (to be issued as document A/C.3/62/1/Add.1) stating that the General Assembly had decided that, for its sixty-second session, agenda item 65, entitled “Report of the Human Rights Council”, would be allocated to the Third Committee.

2. Mr. Costea (President of the Human Rights Council), ...


3. He welcomed the fact that, in order to deal with serious human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Darfur, the Council had adopted an approach which involved several special rapporteurs searching for the best ways to improve the situation. He also welcomed the holding of a special session on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.


10. Ms. Vaz Patto (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union; the candidate countries Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ...


13. The European Union was deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, but it doubted that the numerous unbalanced resolutions which had been adopted would help to improve conditions on the ground.


15. Although tangible results had been obtained during the institution-building phase, the final compromise did not reflect all the objectives of the European Union, or of other stakeholders. It should be noted that, in contradiction to the principle of non-selectivity, the agenda included one item devoted solely to the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and another covering all other cases. While it was right and proper that the Council should address the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it should do so under one agenda item covering all situations. ...


94. Mr. McNee (Canada) ...


96. On the other hand, Canada remained concerned about a number of matters. The efforts during the institution-building phase to weaken the human rights system had not, in fact, succeeded, but the disproportionate focus on Arab-Israeli issues, and the one-sided nature of the associated resolutions, undermined the Council’s credibility. It was for that reason that Canada had not been able to agree to an institution-building package that had included an agenda with a separate item on one — and only one — specific situation. That had been a historic opportunity for Council members to put into practice the principles which the General Assembly had set out for the new body. Major progress had been made in institution-building and tremendous effort invested to give the Council the tools it would need, but in the final hours of the fifth session, agreement on a package had been declared when in fact it did not yet exist, doing a disservice to the Council and to the causes it espoused.


The meeting rose at 6.10 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.

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