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La Haut-Commissaire aux droits de l'homme tient le Conseil informé sur des situations particulièrement préoccupantes – Communiqué de presse du CDH Français
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Source: Human Rights Council
4 June 2009



HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ON SITUATIONS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN
Council Hears Statements from Concerned Countries; Starts General Debate on High Commissioner’s Update; Minister of Justice of Kenya Addresses Council
4 June 2009

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay this afternoon updated the Human Rights Council on human rights themes and situations of particular concern, especially the condition of civilians in armed conflict. After hearing from a series of concerned countries, the Council started its general debate on the update of the High Commissioner.

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Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights

NAVI PILLAY,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said she appreciated this opportunity to present some updates on human rights themes and on situations of particular concern. The successful conclusion of the Durban Review Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance offered a crucial example of what could be achieved when States moved as one on a common and urgent human rights challenge, such as condemning racism in all its manifestations. One of the themes that emerged as a priority in the Durban debate was the human rights of migrants. Respect for the human rights of migrants was to be addressed in the context of all current international challenges, including the economic and financial crises; climate change; human trafficking; and counter-terrorism, and must be protected in countries of origin, transit and destination. States should ratify the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and uphold their obligations to protect and promote the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, of all individuals under their jurisdiction.

As this Council highlighted at its ninth session in September 2008, the condition of civilians in armed conflict continued to cause grave alarm. Their suffering had been a tragic feature of confrontations in many countries and regions of the world. A neglect of basic human rights, as well as discriminatory practices, was often to be found at the roots of such conflicts. With respect to Afghanistan, there was concern over the continuing high rate of civilian casualties in the context of the deteriorating security situation. The Government of Afghanistan and all States involved in this conflict should take all measures to protect civilians, and to ensure the independent investigation of all civilian casualties, as well as justice and remedies for the victims.

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Statements by Concerned Countries


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AHARON LESHNO-YAAR (Israel), speaking as a concerned country, said the Council was created to promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner, a lesson that was so easily forgotten in the face of the policiticisation of human rights. The High Commissioner expressed concern regarding allegations of violations of international law during Operation Cast Lead. Israel had embarked on an investigation of events arising from the Operation. Israel had shared the first conclusions of the investigation with the High Commissioner on 4 May and looked forward to updating the High Commissioner with any further results of these investigations. The High Commissioner also expressed concern that freedom of movement had been severely hampered. Any travel restrictions were due to imperative security concerns only, and could be relaxed if the security environment so permitted. Israel recognised that it must act more vigorously to help the Palestinians rapidly develop their economy. The High Commissioner's statement held that there were severe restrictions on the import of goods into the Gaza Strip, and that an unjustifiable nearly total prohibition of exports was preventing economic recovery. Gaza was still controlled by Hamas. Humanitarian aid was flowing from Israel to the Gaza Strip more readily every day - nevertheless, Israel was not the only gateway for humanitarian goods, and the keys of access to the Gaza Strip did not lie solely in the hands of Israel.

IBRAHIM KHRAISHI (
Palestine), speaking as a concerned country, said that Israel had just done what it reminded the Council not to do, which was to have a political agenda behind human rights discussion. The limits imposed by the occupying power had had a negative impact on economic recovery. Under discussion were the implications of the application of international humanitarian law. This was the major concern in Palestine. Israel declined to bear its obligations under international humanitarian law. It continued to refer to the occupied Palestinian territories as disputed territories, which was unacceptable as also the United Nations had stated. It was an occupied territory since the invasion in 1967 and a result of war. Since the territories came under the rule of Israel, the occupying power, the Geneva Conventions became applicable. Palestine thanked the High Commissioner for following-up on a fact finding mission that would investigate all violations of human rights, including in East Jerusalem. Palestine reiterated its commitment and total support for this mission in its investigation of all the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that Israel, the occupying power, was committing against the Palestinian people in all parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

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General Debate on Update by the High Commissioner

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ZAMIR AKRAM (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the interaction with the High Commissioner had always been guided by an objective, impartial and frank dialogue. The Organization of the Islamic Conference welcomed her concerns on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as the call to all parties including the international community to extend full support and cooperation with the fact-finding mission. It may, however, be recognized that it was not a situation of armed conflict but a situation that resulted from a blatant act of repression and foreign occupation. ...

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC09073E


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