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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/SHC/3722
12 November 2002



Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Third Committee
45th and 46th Meetings (AM & PM)

DELEGATES IN THIRD COMMITTEE URGED TO CREATE ‘HUMAN RIGHTS CULTURE’,
ENSURING RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD, HOUSING, DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL SERVICES

Draft Resolution Approved on Trafficking
In Women, Children; Human Rights Discussion Concludes


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to continue its joint consideration of human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs.

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Statements on Human Rights

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NADYA RASHEED, Observer for Palestine, said the Palestinian people had been, and continued to be, denied the most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, both individually and collectively.  For nearly 35 years, the Palestinian people had been subjected to the Israeli occupation of their land and the denial of their natural and inalienable rights, in flagrant violation of international legitimacy, international law and international humanitarian law.  In this connection, she thanked the Special Rapporteur for his report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.  Throughout the period covered by the report, the Israeli occupying forces had waged a large-scale military assault against the Palestinian people, unprecedented in its scope and intensity.  As a result, the Palestinian people had not only suffered extensive loss of life and injury, but also the vast destruction of homes, properties, institutions and vital infrastructure. 

During the reporting period of the Special Rapporteur, over 700,000 people had not been able to leave their homes to work, buy food, go to the doctor and go to school, she said.  Furthermore, Palestinians had been continuously subjected to humiliation and harassment by the Israeli occupying forces at roadblocks and checkpoints.  The Special Rapporteur’s stated, in the addendum to his report, that the seriousness of the situation had been understated in his initial report, and corroborated the urgent need to end all Israeli human rights violations against the Palestinians.  What was the international community waiting for?

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Statements on Human Rights Questions

NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) ...

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Another issue of concern for Tunisia was the human rights situation of peoples living under foreign occupation or domination, he said.  Therefore, the social, economic and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian occupied territories was particularly troubling.  The international conscience was duty bound to denounce Israeli abuses in those territories and to ensure that the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, as well as international human rights instruments, were implemented.

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OMAR KADIRI (Morocco) ...

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... Finally, he drew attention to the grave and persistent human rights violations that were occurring in the Palestinian occupied territories.  The international community should assume its responsibility and ensure adherence to relevant Security Council resolutions on that issue.

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Rights of Reply

The representative of Israel, in right of reply, said the incessant ritual of repeating insidious and slanderous accusations as truths did not make them living truths.  Just two days ago, an Israeli mother and her two children had been murdered.  The perpetrators had been identified as members of a branch of the Fatah sect headed by Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.  Following that incident, Arafat had this time condemned the killing and had gone further by saying the Palestinian Authority would investigate the repugnant crime.  Israel was patiently waiting to learn the outcome of the investigation.

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For information media - not an official record