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Source: United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Human Rights Council
11 September 2013



HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL OPENS TWENTY-FOURTH SESSION, HEARS UPDATE FROM HIGH COMMISSIONER ON THE ACTIVITIES OF HER OFFICE
Also Hears Addresses from Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Honduras and Prime Minister of Thailand
9 September 2013

The Human Rights Council this morning opened its twenty-fourth regular session, hearing an update from the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of her Office, followed by a general debate.  The Council also heard statements from the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Honduras and the Prime Minister of Thailand.

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Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting an update on the activities of her Office, said with regards to Syria that the international community was very late to take serious joint action to halt the downward spiral that had gripped Syria.  This appalling situation cried out for international action, yet a military response or the continued supply of arms risked igniting a regional conflagration, possibly resulting in more deaths and even more widespread misery.  The High Commissioner also referred to Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka, among others.  Reference was also made to issues concerning the Roma in European countries, migrants and refugees, discrimination, the economic crisis and food security, among others.

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In the general debate that followed the update by the High Commissioner, speakers expressed concern about the situation in Syria, with strong condemnation of the chemical attack of 21 August as well as condemnation for all acts of violence and the violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by all parties.  Speakers also referred to the situation in Egypt, and condemned the outbreak of violence.  Concerns were also expressed with regards to violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people, as well as with regards to situations in Bahrain, Myanmar, Central African Republic and South Sudan, among others.  ...

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Statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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... There was concern about Israel’s continued policy of forced evictions and demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and of the possible excessive use of force by Israeli security forces against Palestinian civilians during recent search and arrest operations in refugee camps in the West Bank.

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General Debate on the Update on the Activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

...  The Organization of Islamic Cooperation urged Israel to ease what it considered to be a policy of repression of the human rights of Palestinian people.

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Qatar  ... The forced eviction of Palestinians in the occupied territories was a flagrant violation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.  ...

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Kuwait
 noted that the Office was under increasing pressure to promote and protect human rights around the world.  Concern was expressed regarding the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people.  Kuwait looked to the international community to put an end to this humanitarian tragedy by implementing all United Nations resolutions.  ...

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Malaysia said that ... The Palestinians had long suffered from the repression and atrocities perpetrated by Israel and impunity should not be allowed to continue.  ...

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For use of the information media; not an official record


HRC13/095E 


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