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Le droit du peuple Palestinien à l’autodétermination – Débat de 3éme commission de l'AG – Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
2 November 2009




General Assembly
GA/SHC/3963

        Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Third Committee
36th & 37th Meetings (AM & PM)

THIRD COMMITTEE SPEAKERS SAY DURBAN REVIEW CONFERENCE START OF NEW ERA


IN FIGHT AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Committee Hears from Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Racism;
Progress Reports from Working Groups on Mercenaries, Right to Development


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take up the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the right of peoples to self-determination.

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Self-Determination

The Secretary-General’s report on the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/64/360) discussed the Human Rights Council’s consideration of that question, `mostly relating to the situation in Palestine.  The subject was taken up under the item on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, within the context of its consideration of the question of human rights and unilateral coercive measures, and at its special session devoted to the January aggressions in Gaza.  Under its separate examination of the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, Olivier de Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, introduced a combined report on behalf of nine special procedures mandate holders.

The report says the Council adopted a resolution establishing a fact-finding mission, which then led to the creation of the Goldstone Report.  In addition, it adopted a resolution reaffirming the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and considered a report on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding people’s rights to self-determination.

The report also described the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concerning the right to self-determination, which revolved mainly around the rights of indigenous peoples.  The Human Rights Committee addressed issues relating to the right of self-determination of indigenous peoples in its concluding observations on Panama and Sweden.  The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights address the same issue in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia and Paraguay.

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Introductory Statement by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms. KANG ...

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Turning to the report of the Secretary-General’s report on the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/64/360), she said it outlined development emanating from the Human Rights Council’s consideration of that issue at its ninth special session, as well as its ninth, tenth and eleventh regular sessions.  It took a special focus on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  The report outlined the main conclusions and recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission to Beit Hanoun (contained in document A/HCR/9/26).  It also contained a summary of recent concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights based on their consideration of periodic reports submitted by States parties to the two Covenants.

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Statements

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GUI MING LIU ( China) ...

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As for the right to self-determination, she voiced China’s support for the Palestinian people, and expressed hope that the international community could play a more active role in finding a comprehensive and just solution to the question, and in achieving lasting peace and stability in the Middle East at an early date.

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CLAUDIA PEREZ ALVAREZ ( Cuba) ...

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....  While foreign occupation continued, it was impossible to speak of the protection of human rights.  Thus, Cuba called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and the Syrian Golan.   ...

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NAZER SHAWISH (Libya), ...

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She stressed that the right to self-determination was enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as the international human rights covenants.  It should be extended to people suffering from foreign occupation.  Further, compensation was needed.  Libya remained concerned at the offences against the Palestinian people, which continued despite United Nations resolutions and Human Rights Council resolution 10/20, which confirmed their right to self-determination.  ...

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AMJAD HUSSAIN B. SIAL ( Pakistan) ...

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Having gained independence through the exercise of the right to self-determination, Pakistan had extended political, moral and diplomatic support to the exercise of that right by all other peoples who were entitled to that right.  The free exercise of that right, however, had been denied in some parts of the world, such as Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine.  ...

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Mr. ATTIYA ( Egypt) said the international community was still unable to realize full respect of the principle of equal rights and duties, particularly the right to self-determination.  Indeed, international action had not yet risen to the level of implementing the pledges taken in the international human rights covenants.  That inalienable right was not a donation from the international community, but an acknowledgement of the right of people under foreign occupation to resist that occupation and be free from colonization.  It was no less sacred than the right to self-defence against those seeking to impose illegal situations on the ground through economic or military might, in flagrant contradiction of their own claims to be proponents of democracy and freedom.  Indeed, depriving the Palestinian people of their inalienable right to self-determination and an independent State was a stark example.   Israel continued to blow its own horn that it was the only democracy in the Middle East, even while it occupied other lands by force and committed incessant human rights violations.

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He said the report of the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries raised concerns about the role of some private security companies in exacerbating conflicts.   Egypt welcomed the drafting of guidelines and specific standards towards developing a regulatory mechanism for those companies.  Efforts should be consolidated, in the meantime, to enhance the national capacities of States emerging from conflicts to develop their security sectors based on the principle of national ownership.  The international community must divest itself from selectivity, politicization and double standards when dealing with human rights, starting with the right to self-determination.

He said the success of the Human Rights Council was uncertain, pending its ability to address the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Having carefully considered the Secretary-General’s report on realizing the right to self-determination, Egypt looked forward to the inclusion next year of specific recommendations on how the Council could deal with Israel’s human rights violations.  That was particularly necessary in light of the findings by Judge Goldstone, which identified gross violations in Gaza that amounted to war crimes.  In addition, the continuing policies of settlement expansion, confiscation and razing of lands, closure of crossings and the negative ramifications of the “Separation Wall” were all detrimental to the contiguity of the Palestinian lands and to confidence-building measures.  The role of the United Nations should be invigorated to ensure respect for Palestinian human rights.  ...

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NADYA RASHEED, Observer Mission of Palestine, said the right to self-determination had been withheld from the people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by the occupying Power, Israel.  The enjoyment of that right was essential for the achievement of a comprehensive, permanent and lasting peace.  In addition to the denial of their right to self-determination, they were also denied other rights, such as the rights to life, liberty, the security of persons, freedom of movement, livelihood, education, property, development and others.  The brutal machinery of the Israeli occupation had produced illegal settlements, closures, checkpoints, home demolitions, land confiscation, destruction of civilian infrastructure, wanton killings by illegal settlers and occupying forces.  It had also produced a two-year siege on more than 1.4 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

She said an obvious manifestation of the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination was Israel’s measures to create new facts on the ground.  Israel had been carrying out a massive colonization campaign in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem.  It did that through illegal construction and expansion of settlements, and through its unlawful Wall, which was intricately linked to the settlements and intended to protect them.  Settlement was especially intense in and around occupied East Jerusalem, which was at the heart of the Palestinian Territory.  The Palestinian position had not changed; without a settlement freeze and the eventual dismantlement of settlements, there would be no Palestinian State to negotiate and no two-State solution, to speak of.  She informed the Committee that a resolution would be submitted on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which she hoped States would adopt by consensus, thus, sending a strong message to affirm that right.

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FARHAD MAMDOUHI ( Iran) ...

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He said special attention must be given to the precarious situation of people living under prolonged occupation and who were suffering from racism daily.  Complementary standards were also needed to address the grievances of the Palestinian people, which were of deep concern to Iran.  The international community should continue to be seized of the issue.

MOHAMMAD ALMUTAIRI ( Kuwait) ...

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In the elimination of racial discrimination, Kuwait had acceded to a number of human rights conventions, including the Slavery Convention and the Convention on the Elimination of Human Trafficking, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Genocide, and the Convention against Torture, among others.  Its accession to those Conventions resulted from its profound belief in human rights and their application.  The United Nations had condemned occupation and the discrimination resulting from it.  It had also declared the right of peoples to end such discrimination.  On that basis, the Government of Kuwait condemned the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel.  The separation wall being built by Israel was just one of the manifestations of that discrimination and intolerance.  It also incited hatred.  The Goldstone Report confirmed that Israel had breached the human rights of the Palestinian people and had committed war crimes.  For its part, Kuwait sought cooperation in building a society in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was fully implemented.

Mr. MAMDOUHI ( Iran) spoke a second time to address the issue of self-determination.  He said the right of people to self-determination was an inalienable right and was embodied in article 1 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  For the Palestinian people, the right to self-determination was fundamental to the realization of all other rights, and its denial had caused much suffering and instability in the world.  Their right to self-determination had been thwarted for 60 years by the Israeli regime.  The international community was well aware that, since occupation, the United Nations had conferred rights on people of Palestine, while resolutions adopted by United Nations human rights machinery had, for decades, consistently affirmed those rights.

He noted that, in January, the Human Rights Council decided to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate rights violations in January, particularly in Gaza.  The resulting Goldstone Report authenticated the occurrence of serious violations, and confirmed that war crimes and crimes against humanity had, indeed, been committed by the Zionist regime.  The Special Rapporteur further stipulated that the overall situation had continued to deteriorate, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international human rights law, with implications under international criminal law.  Due to the blockade, many basic necessities were not reaching the population and building materials to repair houses were disallowed entirely.  The United Nations system was challenged to render protection to Gaza’s civilians.

He noted that the Zionist regime severely impeded the Palestinian people’s rights to self-determination through the building of the wall.  Its refusal to withdraw from Palestinian Territory and its continued settlements made a mockery of justice and human rights.  The regime was obliged to return the Palestinian people’s ancestral lands, and non-cooperation by the occupying Power must be responded to with concrete measures.  Restoring the right to self-determination to the people of Palestine would allow them to pursue economic, social and cultural development, to oversee the return of refugees and to establish an independent Palestinian State.

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A.K. ABDUL MOMEN (Bangladesh), welcoming the Secretary-General’s report and aligning his delegation with the statement made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said little progress had been made in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  People were being victimized by “hate crimes”, which might be stray incidents, but should not be taken lightly.  The elements of racism were deeply entrenched both in the human mindset and in society.  Relevant national strategies, therefore, must be developed through a proper understanding of the roots of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  To that end, he welcomed the Outcome Document of the Durban Review Conference.  That Conference had provided a unique opportunity to rebuild a strong international consensus in the struggle against racism.

He noted that racism, nevertheless, continued to persist in every society, with people falling victim to human rights violations simply because of their racial and ethnic identity.  That discrimination remained at the root of innumerable conflicts and human tragedies, including war, genocide, ethnic cleansing and slavery.  Moreover, the concept of racism had, at times, been manipulated into a term of political abuse.  Some people had established intellectual justifications for, and political legitimization of, racism and xenophobia.   Bangladesh hoped that the conscious segments of the world’s population would reject those justifications.  Moreover, it believed that new, innovative ways to address emerging forms of racism were needed.

He went on to say that racism was conditioned by economic imperatives and cut across other development issues.  Thus, efforts to eliminate racism should be undertaken in conjunction with poverty eradication and human development.  Countries, particularly the most affluent, were introducing a barrage of restrictive polices and practices targeting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.  Some even used discriminatory acts as part of their counter-terrorism policies, and Bangladesh urged them to rethink those policies.  Moreover, it strongly advocated the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogues to promote reciprocal understanding among various religions, beliefs and cultures.  Those convictions found due reflection in its annual flagship General Assembly resolution on the “Culture of Peace”.

ASIF GARAYEV ( Azerbaijan) took note of the Secretary-General’s report on self-determination and took note, as well, of the work of the working group on mercenaries as a means of violation human rights and impeding the rights of people to self-determination.  Being from a country that had suffered from mercenary aggression, he attached significant importance to international efforts to eradicate mercenary and related activities.

He noted that the International Court of Justice had declared that the right of people to self-determination was an essential component of contemporary international law, and imposed certain obligations on members of the international community.  That right had been significant for Azerbaijan in the wake of the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.  But, it now faced the consequences of that right being misinterpreted, and that right being misapplied, to justify the use of force and attempts at unilateral secession or to incorporate parts of its territory into that of another State.  It had led to large-scale military actions and violations of international law.  As his Government understood it, the realization of self-determination represented a legitimate process carried out within the limits of international law.  It provided for the independence of colonial territories, and could also be applied in the case of foreign occupation.  But, international law was ambiguous in that it did not provide for the right to cessation.  For, the territorial integrity of States would be of little value if the right to cessation was recognized, and international law did not create grounds or conditions for legitimizing cessation.

He said there was evidence in Armenia of rights violations against Azerbaijan, specifically in terms of ethnic cleansing.  Through its speculations on the right to self-determination, Armenia was making revisionist claims that were contrary to international law.  All its actions were aimed at tearing up Azerbaijan’s territory, accompanied by violations of the prohibition on the use of force.  Azerbaijan asked that Armenia put an end to its aggression, and to conduct an unconditional withdrawal from Azerbaijan and to facilitate the return of displaced persons to their homes.  Taking steps to undermine international law could lead to instability.

TIBOR SHALEV-SCHLOSSER ( Israel) said the Israeli people ... Turning to self-determination, he said Israel recognized the aspirations of the Palestinian people in relation to that right.  But it could only be realized through the establishment of two States.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had confirmed this in a speech on 14 June 2009.  At the same time, the Palestinian people must recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist.  He, thus, called on his Palestinian colleague to refrain from repeating condemnations as part of its rhetoric.  It was hoped the two sides could soon return to the negotiating table.

Regarding the support by Iran for the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, he pointed to the denial of that right to the Jewish people and his President’s repeated call for the destruction of Israel, a fellow Member State.   Israel hoped that the Palestinian people had better friends than that one.

Mr. HARIPRASAD (India), ...

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He expressed support for the rights of Palestinian people to self-determination and said India remained committed to doing all it could to assist them in building their capacity and institutions.  The solution to the question of Palestine should be based on United Nations resolutions, the Arab peace plan, and the Quartet Road Map.  The right to self-determination was sacrosanct and fundamental in the lives of Non-Self-Governing Territories and trust colonies, but it could not be used for subversive political agendas, and could not be extended to component parts of groups within independent sovereign States.

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HARIF WALABI ( Syria), ...

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Noting that the situation in the Middle East was deteriorating at a serious pace, she said murders targeting the Palestinian people occurred on a daily basis.  Foreign settlers were also being allowed to settle the illegally constructed settlements, which were aimed at changing the demographic fabric of the Palestinian Territories.  There was a desperate need for concerted efforts by the international community to express further determination to end those serious manifestations of racism.  The occupying Power should be forced to respect all human rights in the Occupied Territories.

She went to say that the Syrian Government had, last year, ratified the international convention on the use of mercenaries.  Regarding the right of peoples to self-determination, her delegation was deeply concerned over Israeli violations, which were mentioned in a number of reports of Special Rapporteurs and fact-finding missions, including on the mission on Beit Hanoun and in the Goldstone Report.  Stressing that the occupying Power did not uphold its obligations, including the right of peoples to self-determination, she recalled the repeated affirmations of that right by the United Nations and said it was regrettable that the United Nations was unable to stop the violation of that sacred right.

Rights of Reply

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Also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Iran said he was responding to the “regime of the occupied territories”.

Interrupting, the delegate of Israel asked why he was referring to Israel this way.  Could he explain what regime he was talking about?

The CHAIR asked if Israel was taking the floor on a point of order, and when he said it was not a point of order he gave the floor to Iran.

Iran’s representative said he rejected as baseless the comments by the “regime of the occupied territories” against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its officials.  His Government, along with other States, had always condemned incidences of waging war against any country or the destruction of any entity, as well as genocide against any race or ethnic group.  Indeed, the actions of the Israeli regime could never be justified, including the genocide committed by the occupying Power in its recent 22-day campaign against Gaza, which resulted in the brutal massacre of many innocent women and children.  The long-lasting occupation and brutality against Palestinian people and the violations of their basic human rights on a daily basis did not establish any kind of legitimacy or any basis to claim a right to self-determination.

Responding to Armenia, the representative of Azerbaijan said Armenia bore the primary responsibility for the events in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which survived only through Armenia’s military and other support.  The right to self-determination represented a legitimate process within identified limits.  The critical factor in addressing self-determination with respect to the conflict in Azerbaijan and Armenia were the acts that violated international law, such as the rule prohibiting the use of force.  Moreover, Armenia’s revisionist claims were contrary to international law.  Regarding increased membership in the United Nations after its establishment, Armenia had no moral or legal rights on which to compare its situation to that expansion.

He further noted that the report by the Secretary-General addressed the use of mercenaries in violating human rights, and stated that there were unquestionable facts establishing the use of such mercenaries against Azerbaijan.  He reminded the Committee that the referendum referred to by the Armenian delegation had not been recognized as legal by the international community.  His delegation viewed Armenia’s statements to be propaganda and an open challenge to a settlement of the conflict between the two countries.  Rather than putting an end to the protracted conflict, Armenia made bellicose statements that indicated it was far from engaging in the search to peace.

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The representative of Israel, in exercise of his right of reply, said the observer for Palestine had advised against rhetoric.  And yet, his statement was filled with rhetoric.  It was also totally one-sided.  He had not heard mention of the long struggle of the Palestinian people to destroy Israel through terror, the pullout of Israel from Gaza in 2005, and the taking of control of Gaza by Hamas, a terror organization that launched missiles into Israeli cities.  He had bashed the Israeli Foreign Minister and misquoted him deliberately.  That was exactly the kind of rhetoric to avoid if the two were to achieve peace.  In response to the representative of Syria, its own citizens could stand to enjoy more freedom.  It could well extend civil rights to Palestinians that lived in Syria today, but did not.  As for the representative of Iran, he had failed to mention the name of the State of Israel, which was a Member of the United Nations.  That refusal confirmed Iran’s denial of right to self-determination of the Jewish people of Israel.  It was a pity that the representative of Palestine did not distance himself from Iran’s support.

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The representative of the Observer Mission for Palestine said he wanted to respond to what had just been said by the Israeli delegate, particularly about the misquotation of his Foreign Minister.  What he had said in his statement was not unfounded, but rather a well-documented reality.  It had been documented by such Israelis as Uri Davis in his book Israel:  An Apartheid State.  There had also been world leaders like former United States President Jimmy Carter who, after years of efforts to end the racism in the region, had broken their silence.  Many other groups had realized that racism and discrimination was at the heart of the suffering of the Palestinian people.  That was also documented in the report of the Goldstone fact-finding mission.  The Palestinian struggle was a long one, but it had international law on its side.  Meanwhile, Israel had the distinction of being the most frequent violator of international and United Nations resolutions.  It remained the only occupation on the face of the earth.  He himself had not alluded to the internal Israeli situation, such as the arming of settlers who harmed and tortured Palestinian people on a daily basis or the Israeli mafia.  Regarding the pull-out from Gaza, he said it amounted to a big lie, even if it was not recognized as such, since food and fuel and other basic necessities were still not allowed to enter Gaza.

The representative of Syria said she categorically rejected allegations made by a State who questioned Syria’s treatment of human rights, even as that State was occupying the territory of another State, and which practised racism, killed citizens and deprived people of their economic, social and cultural rights.  In contrast, Syria had never occupied another country or launched aggression against its neighbours.  She highlighted the report by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which noted that her country was home to 500,000 Palestinian refugees, and had adopted rules treating them on an equal basis with Syrian citizens, while protecting their Palestinian citizenship until they were able to return to their country.  Her country welcomed refugees and protected their rights, whether Iraqi or Palestinian.

The representative of Iran, exercising his right of reply, said the issue was not in the name of the regime that was occupying the Palestinian Territories.  The main point was that it was trying to distort facts, spread disinformation and was raising irrelevant issues to evade its main dilemma:  its lack of legitimacy emanating from more than 60 years of occupation of Palestinian Territories.

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