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Source: Human Rights Council
3 March 2008


UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONTINUES
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
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Human Rights Council
AFTERNOON
3 March 2008



The Human Rights Council this afternoon continued with its high-level segment, hearing statements from the Alliance of Civilizations, Croatia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the African Union, India, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, France, Japan, Portugal and Bolivia.


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High-Level Segment


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JULIA JOINER, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, ...

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... Regarding the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Council was urged to step up measures to decisively address the weaknesses inherent in the implementation and monitoring of decisions. ...


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RAMA YADE, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France, noted that expectations were high on the Human Rights Council, as it had to live up to its challenges. At a time when Darfur and the Middle East were heating up, it was human lives that were at stake. The Human Rights Council was not just another forum or an instrument of good conscience; the world was expecting it to be the best. When establishing this Council, the universality of human rights and freedom had been a point of reference. The Council had to ask itself if it had been up to the task before it; it owed that to the victims of human rights violations, who often suffered in a deafening silence, under the leaden yoke of repression and abuses. However, it was not yet time for the Human Rights Council to be judged for it was still too young: it was still in the process of perfecting itself. The Special Sessions on Darfur and Myanmar had showed its ability to react. However, complete cooperation was needed from those Governments regarding the fight against impunity, access for humanitarian help and in fulfilling the recommendations of the Special Procedures. But the Council had not seen an end to realities on the ground overtaking its efforts. In particular recent developments in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories had elicited concern among the international community. It was not acceptable for Israelis to die from rocket attacks but it was also not correct for Palestinians to die from Israeli military incursions into Gaza. The role of the Council was to bring calm.

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