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        General Assembly
29 September 2016

Original: English

Seventy-first sessin
Agenda 5
Election of the officers of the Main Committee

Note verbale dated 21 September 2016 from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretary-General and has the honour to submit the following observations, to be circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 5, entitled “Election of the officers of the Main Committees”.

It is unfortunate to see the representative of an occupying regime that has no respect for the rule of law take the chairmanship of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, which is the main platform for developing the rules of international law. Such an important committee should not be chaired by the representative of a regime which is the symbol of defiance to international law and the rule of law. Election as the Chair of the Sixth Committee does not change Israel’s long record of terrorism and violation of international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law, from its very inception to date.

This regime was built on the basis of intimidation and occupation. Even more ironic is the fact that the Israeli regime has been routinely denounced by the United Nations for its blatant atrocities, including its half-a-century occupation and its settlement expansion activities in the West Bank, inflicting precarious living conditions upon displaced civilians, claiming thousands of lives during decades, depriving a nation of their land and their right to self-determination in manifest contravention of the Charter of the United Nations and other international instruments.

All of these criminal actions have been substantiated by numerous official reports by United Nations bodies, enumerating in detail such violations. Here are just a few examples:

• The Israeli regime has imposed a brutal blockade against hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the occupied territories and persists in the continuous contravention of United Nations resolutions by planning and constructing Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the occupied Golan. The International Court of Justice, in its 2004 Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, approved the application of article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied territories and 150 States supported General Assembly resolution ES-10/15, dated 2 August 2004, demanding that Israel “comply with its legal obligations as mentioned in the advisory opinion”,

• The 2009 Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories dated 5 October 2015, the 2016 report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and the 2016 report of the Secretary-General on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan are only part of the ample evidence proving the innumerable crimes committed by the Israeli regime in the occupied territories. All these reports contain various obligations, violated systematically and on a routine basis by the regime, including those embodied in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and The Hague Regulations of 1907.

These examples are testimony to the illegitimacy of the chairmanship by the Israeli regime of the Sixth Committee. The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the Sixth Committee and looks forward to participating actively in its deliberations despite its principled view as to the illegitimacy of the chairing person. Moreover, the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the work of the Sixth Committee does not, in any way, imply, nor is it indicative of, legitimacy or recognition of any kind for the Israeli regime.


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