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        General Assembly
7 January 2011

Original: English

Sixty-fifth session
Official Records

Third Committee
Summary record of the 39th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 2 November 2010, at 3 p.m.

Chair: Mr. Tommo Monthe .................................................................... (Cameroon)
later: Ms. Ploder ..................................................................................... (Austria)


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

Agenda item 63: Report of the Human Rights Council (A/65/53 and Add.1, and Corr.1, and A/65/333)


15. Mr. Ali (Sudan) ...


19. His delegation valued the Council’s efforts to promote the human rights of the Palestinian people and its adoption of the Goldstone report. It stressed the importance of punishing the perpetrators of the crimes committed against children, women and the elderly in Gaza, which had become an enormous prison.


22. Mr. Apakan (Turkey) said that the report of the Human Rights Council contained two important resolutions; in particular, resolution 15/1 on follow-up to the report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the May 2010 incident when Israeli forces attacked the humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza in international waters.

23. Based on testimonies and other information gathered, the report considered that the attack constituted a grave violation of human rights law and international law. It also enumerated a series of violations of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law and reaffirmed the illegality of the blockade on Gaza. In the view of Turkey, the report gave a fair account of the events based on solid facts and legal documents, and the vast majority of the international community endorsed its findings and conclusions.

24. Turkey called on Israel to acknowledge its mistakes and to act accordingly. It expected a formal apology and compensation for the wounded and for the families of the deceased. It had not submitted a separate resolution on the issue to the General Assembly. However, it could review its position, in consultation with other relevant groups and countries, depending on the Israeli attitude in the coming weeks.

25. The Turkish Commission of Investigation had also carried out an objective study and examined the legal implications of the attack. The resulting interim report had been presented to the panel of inquiry established by the Secretary-General.

26. Turkey also welcomed resolution 15/6 on follow-up to the report of the United Nations Committee of independent experts in international humanitarian and human rights law established pursuant to Council resolution 13/9 concerning the fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict (the Goldstone report) and would follow up on the implementation of its recommendations.

27. Fighting impunity and establishing accountability had always been one of the objectives of the United Nations. The resolutions mentioned clearly addressed that objective. As long as justice has not been done, peace would always remain elusive.


38. Ms. Alsaleh (Syrian Arab Republic) said that her delegation affirmed its determination to cooperate constructively with the Council to ensure that all human rights were addressed fairly and with the same degree of attention accorded to each. Forty-three years after its monstrous occupation of the Syrian Golan, Israel still refused to comply with United Nations resolutions, including those of the Human Rights Council. As the occupying Power, Israel also obstructed the work of the Council and of fact-finding missions seeking to provide recommendations on protection of Palestinian civilians from its attacks; perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity continued to boast openly of their crimes committed with impunity. United Nations bodies should therefore take additional measures to investigate and prosecute Israelis responsible for committing crimes which had been documented and corroborated in the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The objectivity of the report of the Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission on the Israeli attack on the freedom flotilla headed for Gaza on a humanitarian mission must also be commended.

39. Her delegation rejected all proposals calling for changes in the agenda of the Council or for restricting victims’ opportunities to disclose human rights abuses that some States sought to cover up. The Council needed to implement its resolutions urgently, particularly those relating to the human rights situation in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, as the only platform that gave voice to the victims of human rights abuse without double standards or politicization in a unique and long-standing situation in which racial discrimination and human rights abuse had been legitimized.


44. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that the initial findings of the Goldstone report had clearly confirmed that Israel had committed serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law against the Palestinian people. In view of those violations and the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza, which had brought further hardship to the population, the General Assembly had adopted resolution 64/254, calling on Israel and the Palestinian side to conduct independent and credible investigations based on international standards into the findings of that Goldstone report. A committee of independent experts had been convened by the Human Rights Council to assess any domestic legal or other proceedings by both parties. That Committee had confirmed that while the Palestinian Authority had established an independent investigation commission, which had carried out a careful and detailed inquiry, Israel had not. The Committee had concluded in its report (A/HRC/15/50) that Israel’s lack of cooperation had hampered its assessment of Israel’s response to the call to conduct independent and credible investigations into those serious violations. Palestine called on the international community to compel Israel to carry out the investigations in conformity with international standards.

45. With regard to the report prepared by the international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance (A/HRC/15/21), her delegation supported its conclusions and called for serious follow-up by the international community, including the Security Council, to hold the perpetrators to account and to ensure that justice was done. She expressed her deepest condolences to the Government of Turkey for the loss of Turkish civilians on that humanitarian mission.

46. Both reports confirmed the trend that Israel flouted international law and treated the international community with disdain, without any consequences. She called on all Member States to fight that impunity and to adhere to the founding principles of the United Nations.


50. Ms. Ploder (Austria), Vice-Chair, took the Chair.

51. Ms. Furman (Israel) said that her delegation was dismayed and disappointed at the report of the Human Rights Council and the resolutions therein. The political nature of the Council had been demonstrated again by the resolution adopted just two days after the incident of 31 May involving vessels bound for the Gaza Strip, despite a lack of information about what had occurred. The report on the matter displayed the same wilful ignorance, bias and disregard for impartiality, truth or promoting human rights. Israel was continuing to investigate the events concerning the flotilla and would share its findings with the Secretary-General’s panel of inquiry.

52. Half of the country-specific resolutions contained in the report of the Human Rights Council concerned Israel, further demonstrating its bias and lack of impartiality. By singling out Israel in that way the Human Rights Council had clearly violated General Assembly resolution 60/251 and basic notions of fairness and impartiality, undermining its credibility and legitimacy.

53. Israel was a democracy committed to the rule of law and human rights, with an internationally respected, independent judiciary and a pluralist and active civil society. It had engaged candidly and professionally in dialogue with various United Nations mechanisms, including the universal periodic review. However, it could not accept a partisan report that perpetuated a politicized agenda.


60. Mr. Sammis (United States of America) ...


61. However, it remained disappointed with the Council’s unbalanced and one-sided approach to the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was especially evident in its handling of the mandate and report of Justice Richard Goldstone. Its continuing bias was further evident in its hasty resolution establishing a fact-finding mission with a flawed mandate to investigate the tragic incident aboard Gaza-bound ships in May 2010 and its resolution following up on the mission’s report.


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