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Source: Human Rights Council
3 March 2008
UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL OPENS SEVENTH
REGULAR SESSION
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Human Rights Council
MORNING
3 March 2008





Opening Statements


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MICHELINE CALMY-REY, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, ...

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.... The Council had to pay particular attention to Darfur, as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Switzerland called for an end to the Israeli military actions as well as the rocket attacks by Palestinians. Civilians in the Gaza strip were suffering from these conditions.

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High-Level Segment

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FELIPE PEREZ ROQUE, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, ...

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Mr. Roque said that the Council had now to show that it was up to its task. To cause the Human Rights Council to fail would be an enormous responsibility and the countries responsible for its failure would have to bear it for the rest of the history. The Council had to exist and had to act. While some were defending suffocation and abduction, clandestine flights and confinement in concentration camps; while the Palestinian people were struggling for their freedom; this Council had to live and act. The United States, responsible for the most grievous crimes and human rights violations, had not been able to manipulate or control the Human Rights Council. Cuba, David, had won the battle against Goliath, the giant with its nuclear weapons.

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MOFID SHEHAB, Minister of Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils of Egypt, stated that in carrying out its responsibility the Council would hopefully do away with its shortcomings and politicization of the past Commission and contribute effectively to the United Nations system in the area of human rights. It was hoped that the Council would treat human rights and fundamental freedoms for all equally without distinction or discrimination. The Gaza Strip had seen a new Israeli aggression in recent days, which Egypt strongly condemned. This constituted a grave violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people and a breach of the principle of proportionality. The international community must recognize that the present situation was a dire consequence of the continued Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and of the Council's failure to implement its own resolutions on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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ABDELWAHED RADI,
Minister of Justice of Morocco, said that this session of the Council was being held at a time marked by the tragic development of human rights violations occurring right before their eyes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and with the eruption of acts of intolerance, religious intolerance and xenophobia. In effect, as the Council was inaugurating its seventh session, Israel was launching its war machine against the Gaza Strip, causing the death of innocent victims, particularly among women and children. Morocco had condemned those atrocious acts and had called upon the international community to intervene immediately to put a stop to those abuses. ...

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