A month ago, on 2 April 2014, the State of Palestine deposited with the Secretary-General its instruments of accession to a number of international treaties. These include seven of the nine core human rights treaties plus one of the substantive protocols, as follows:
· The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
· The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
· The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
· The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
· The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
· The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
· The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
· The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict (CRC-OPAC)
Five of these treaties are set to enter into force today (namely CAT, CERD, CEDAW, CRPD and CRC); the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC-OPAC) will enter into force on 7 May; and the two Covenants (ICESCR and ICCPR) will come into force on 2 July. As of these dates, the State of Palestine will be formally bound by these treaties under international law.
This accession to seven core human rights treaties and a key protocol is a significant step towards enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights in Palestine. it is notable in a region with a high number of reservations to human rights treaties, that Palestine is acceding to eight human rights treaties without making a single reservation.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights commends the commitment of the State of Palestine to be bound by the international human rights standards contained in these treaties and to engage with the associated human rights treaty bodies which monitor their implementation. Her Office stands ready to assist the State of Palestine, at its request, to support implementation of its treaty obligations.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights works for the promotion and protection of universally recognized human rights norms, including through promoting both the universal ratification and implementation of the international human rights treaties. The Office, in partnership with the Government of the State of Palestine and a broad range of stakeholders, has steadily worked towards ensuring integration of human rights into the Palestinian institutions and the planning and funding framework. In early 2014 a significant milestone was reached when the Guidance Document on Integrating Human Rights into Palestinian National Development Plans was endorsed in a signing ceremony in Ramallah.