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        Economic and Social Council
15 March 1994

Original: ENGLISH


Fiftieth session

(First Part)*

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Monday, 7 March 1994, at 7 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. ENDO (Japan)

later: Mr. URRUTIA (Peru)



Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories, …


*The summary record of the second part of the meeting appears as document E/CN.4/1994/SR.60/Add.1.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva. Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.

The meeting was called to order at 7.25 p.m.



28. Mr. KHOURY (Syrian Arab Republic) said that, in its resolution 1993/67 of 10 March 1993, which had been adopted by a majority, with the one traditional exception, the Commission had condemned the ongoing violations by Israel of human rights in southern Lebanon, had called on Israel to put an immediate end to those practices, to withdraw immediately, fully and unconditionally from all Lebanese territory in implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), to respect Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, particularly the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. It had further demanded that the Government of Israel should permit the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit the detention centres at Khiyam and Marjayoun; and had requested the Secretary-General to inform the Government of Israel of its resolution and call upon it to provide information on the extent of its compliance therewith. As usual, Israel had paid no heed to the letter of the Secretary-General, and had instead persisted in its acts of oppression and denial of human values. The statement made by the observer for Lebanon on 24 February 1994 showed that Israel continued to violate human rights. In July 1993 Israel had launched a major military offensive against southern Lebanon, which had claimed hundreds of victims, and in which thousands had been forced to flee following the destruction of their homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship. More than 200 prisoners were still detained in the two camps and were denied visits by the ICRC.

29. As the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1994/54) stated, Israel had expansionist aims, and its purpose was to bring about the permanent de facto economic, social and military separation of southern Lebanon from the remainder of the country. Lebanese resistance to the occupation was a the Commission would condemn the ongoing violations of human rights in southern Lebanon, urging Israel to desist therefrom in implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), to abide by the fourth Geneva Convention, and to release all those detained in prisons and detention centres.

30. His delegation also indignantly condemned the recent savage killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli extremists in Hebron. The expansionist policies of the Israeli Government, and its procrastination in the negotiations over the past two years, had led to increased violence in the occupied territories, and was directly or indirectly responsible for religious extremism. Condemnation of such acts was not enough: only an end to the occupation and the realization of the right of Palestinians to self-determination could put an end to the cycle of violence and achieve a just and global peace in the region.

31. The Syrian Arab Republic had historically enjoyed good relations with Cyprus, and supported the mission of good offices of the Secretary-General. The mission was aimed at settling the conflict in the island in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions, so as to guarantee the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and neutrality of Cyprus. Such a settlement would guarantee respect for the human rights of both communities.

32. In conclusion, commenting on the statement by the representative of the European Union on 2 March 1994, in which reference had been made to the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, he reaffirmed that his country had always honoured its commitments to international human rights conventions, and always responded to allegations by communicating with the Centre for Human Rights. It invariably respected international criteria concerning human rights.


62. Mr. SHARFELDDIN (International Organisation for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) said that the massacre of Palestinian worshippers at the Hebron mosque had received wide international condemnation. However, such condemnation had not in the past caused Israel to alter its treatment of Palestinians or its policies towards their rights, including the right to life and security, or to comply with Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to comply with the terms of the fourth Geneva Convention.

63. After the massacre, instead of rounding up suspects, Israel had imposed a curfew on Hebron and provided army protection to settlers who decided to go into Hebron fully armed. The Israeli army added 19 to the toll of Palestinians killed on that same day.

64. The Israeli authorities clearly made a sharp distinction between protecting Israelis and protecting Palestinians, although both were entitled to equal protection. Twenty thousand Palestinians remained in preventive detention to guard against future acts of violence, while only five settlers were so detained. The Israeli Government, moreover, was legally responsible for the massacre, since the army unit guarding the mosque had allowed the murderer to enter and failed to respond to cries for help while the massacre was being committed.

65. Israel had confirmed by its policies and behaviour that it could not be trusted to give the Palestinians the protection to which they were entitled and was in fact an active player against whom protection should be provided. The Security Council, which had been so resolute and active against Iraq, had allowed the situation to deteriorate by its acquiescence in continued Israeli violations. His organization called on the Council to take resolute action to demonstrate that all peoples were entitled equally to their human rights. Failure by the Security Council to ensure protection for the Palestinians would jeopardize the road to peace. The occupation must end and the settlements be removed in order to prevent still more massacres.

66. Ms. PARK (Canada) said that human rights violations were a challenge faced by all countries, including her own. It was with a certain sense of humility, therefore, that her delegation approached the current debate; but it also did so with a clear sense of responsibility. The United Nations, and the Commission, had to keep faith with the citizens of all countries, the promotion and protection of whose human rights and freedoms were pledged under the Charter of the United Nations.

67. The situations in South Africa and the Middle East gave some grounds for encouragement; however, some situations elsewhere, although of profound concern to the international community, were being ignored. …


82. Mr. KOVALEV (Russian Federation) …


89. His delegation had already voiced its views about the prospects for a peaceful solution to the situation in the Middle East, based on the Declaration of Principles signed by Israel and the PLO. But the tragedy in Hebron had again raised the level of confrontation. The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs had proposed the convening of a special session of the Security Council. His delegation called for restraint by both parties. Russia believed that the Middle East's future lay not in war and terrorism but in peaceful coexistence between Israel and its Arab neighbours, including the Palestinian people.


102. Mr. SUK JO LEE (Republic of Korea) noted that the current session of the Committee was the first since the World Conference on Human Rights, one of the most meaningful results of which had been the establishment of the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights. His delegation had been impressed by the High Commissioner's statement to the Commission, and was confident that he would be able to respond more effectively to the continuing grave violations of human rights throughout the world.

103. To maintain the momentum generated by the World Conference, the Commission should take the necessary follow-up measures in a systematic, non-confrontational and productive way.

104. In 1993 there had been a major breakthrough in efforts to solve the perennial human rights violations in South Africa and in the occupied Arab territories. His Government remained concerned, however, at the scale of violence engaged in by some groups which did not want to join in the goal of a democratic, non-racial and unified South Africa. Still more did it deplore the killing of Palestinians in Hebron on 25 February; such an unforgivable act of violence in no way helped the Middle East peace process. His Government urged the parties involved to show restraint.


110. Mr. VIGNY (Observer for Switzerland) …


117. With regard to Cyprus, his delegation hoped that the human rights of the entire population, including refugees, would be restored, in accordance with Commission resolution 1987/50, and that cases of disappearances would be reviewed. It also noted that Israel had still not provided the Secretary-General with the relevant information on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon.


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