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SUB-COMMISSION ON THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 5th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Thursday, 1 August 2002, at 10 p.m.
Chairperson: Mr. PINHEIRO
later: Ms. ZERROUGUI
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION UNDER COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION 8 (XXIII) (continued)
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION UNDER COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION 8 (XXIII) (agenda item 2) (continued) (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/NGO/3, 7 and 19)
2. Mr. ALFONSO MARTÍNEZ said that, in future, everything possible should be done to avoid such incidents, which threatened to damage relations between the Sub-Commission and NGOs, and that the role of United Nations security personnel was especially important in that regard. Concerning agenda item 2, he said that the Sub-Commission should not remain silent on the issue of the senseless spiral of violence in the Middle East, the basic cause of which was the denial by Israel, supported by the United States of America, of the recognized right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The violence would continue unabated for as long as the Palestinians were denied that right and until Israel was compelled to respect international humanitarian law.
4. Mr. PARK said that, despite the progression of freedom and democracy, force often prevailed over law and morality, expediency over principle, and narrow national interests over universal values. Over the past year many innocent people throughout the world had lost their lives. In Israel and Palestine alone 2,000 civilians had been killed or wounded since the resumption of hostilities and, once again, it had to be asked whether it was right to combat terrorism by military means in disregard of humanitarian law and human rights standards. Above all it was important to stress the inherent value of human life and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, which defined the limits of permissible military and political conduct. The 1949 Geneva Conventions, in particular, clearly required all parties involved in armed conflict always to distinguish between civilians and direct participants in hostilities.
13. Mr. EIDE ...
16. Violence only led to more violence, and counter-terrorism measures that violated human rights were likely to fuel further violence, as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clearly showed. Despite the slight hopes raised in that tragic conflict by the Oslo Accords, a new spiral of violence appeared to have been orchestrated by Mr. Sharon and other Israeli leaders opposed to the Accords. The policy of confrontation favoured by Israel, through which it deliberately provoked Palestinian extremists, was designed to facilitate its territorial expansion. Mr. Sharon had been very successful in provoking counter-violence and, on the pretext of combating terrorism, had acted with utter disregard for international humanitarian and human rights law.
48. Mr. KIRKYANCHAREN (Movement against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples), welcoming the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was seen as a major concern by the Commission on Human Rights and by the Sub-Commission, said that it was regrettable that the steps and initiatives taken by the Commission at its previous session had achieved nothing. Given the obvious inability of the United Nations to resolve the conflict, which had been demonstrated by the failure to implement several crucial Security Council resolutions, it would be useful for the Sub-Commission to analyse the reasons for that failure, in accordance with its role as “think tank”, and to come up with new ideas and realistic proposals. It should begin that task immediately, by setting up a working group, with a view to starting work over the following months.