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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
18 October 2006


General Assembly
GA/SHC/3857

          Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly
Third Committee
21st & 22nd Meetings (AM & PM)


HIGH COMMISSIONER LINKS POVERTY, UNDERDEVELOPMENT TO DENIAL OF ECONOMIC, POLITICAL,

SOCIAL RIGHTS, AS THIRD COMMITTEE CONTINUES HUMAN RIGHTS DEBATE

Stresses Importance of Creating
Sound Legal Foundation for Economic, Social Cultural Rights

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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to continue its general discussion of human rights questions, including comprehensive implementation of, and follow-up to, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.  For additional background, please see press release GA/SHC/3856 of 17 October.

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In the report of the Special Rapporteur, John Dugard, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (document A/61/470), the central feature is the conflict in, and the siege of, Gaza.  The report says that Israel had violated the prohibition on the indiscriminate use of military power against civilians and civilian objects, in a case of collective punishment of an occupied people in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  It is difficult to resist the conclusion that those responsible for this action are guilty of serious war crimes, the report says.  The situation in the West Bank has also deteriorated substantially; the Wall under construction in the Palestinian territory was no longer justified solely as a security measure by Israel but was now portrayed by the new Government of Israel as a political measure designed to annex Palestinian land.

The report says the occupation of the Palestinian Territory is responsible for most human rights violations, implemented in an unnecessarily harsh fashion by the Israeli authorities.  The humanitarian situation in both the West Bank and Gaza was appalling, with at least four out of 10 Palestinians living under the official poverty line of less than $2.10 a day and unemployment standing at least at 40 per cent.  The report also states that, although Palestinians have a high regard for United Nations workers on the ground, they have serious misgivings about the role of the United Nations in New York and Geneva.

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Statements

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FAWZI BIN ABDUL MAJEED SHOBOKSHI ( Saudi Arabia) ...

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He appealed to all States to work towards peace, justice and equality.  In that context, the international community had a collective responsibility to stop all violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  ...

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For information media • not an official record

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