Press Release

4 October 2000

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has received a request from the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations in Geneva, on behalf of the Council of Arab Permanent Members of the League of Arab States, to convene a Special Session of the Commission on Human Rights to discuss the recent violence in the Occupied Territories and Israel. The 53 Member States of the Commission on Human Rights must decide by 6 p.m. on 10 October 2000 on whether or not to hold a Special Session.

The High Commissioner said, "I have been following recent events in the Occupied Territories and Israel with growing concern. I would like to express my sadness at the loss of every human life, in particular that of children. I condemn the ongoing violence and urge its immediate end. I call upon all parties concerned to respect and comply with relevant international human rights standards and humanitarian law."

The High Commissioner also endorsed recent calls for an international investigation to determine responsibility and accountability for the injuries, loss of lives and other human rights violations in the context of the aforementioned violence.

The High Commissioner noted that a number of special mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights are also closely monitoring the situation.

"I urge the Government of Israel to facilitate the visit of any of the special mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights to the affected areas that wish to do so," she said.

"Respect for basic human rights, in particular the right to life, must be inviolable at all times. This imperative must be upheld equally during times of armed conflict and of peace," Mrs. Robinson said.
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For information media - not an official record