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        General Assembly
3 November 2010

Official Records

General Assembly
Sixty-fifth session

43rd plenary meeting
Wednesday, 3 November 2010, 3 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Deiss ...................................................................... (Switzerland)


Mr. Apakan (Turkey): ...


We welcome the Human Rights Council report contained in document A/65/53 and its addendum. The report and addendum contain many important resolutions and decisions. However, I wish to draw attention to one in particular. Resolution 15/1 concerns the follow-up to the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the 31 May incident. The resolution endorses the report (A/HRC/15/21) of the mission, which was tasked to investigate violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law resulting from the Israeli attack in international waters on the international humanitarian convoy to Gaza. During the attack, Israeli forces killed nine civilians and wounded many others.

The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission consisted of highly reputable international legal personalities and issued its report after having interviewed 112 witnesses, representing over 20 nationalities, in Geneva, London, Istanbul and Amman. The findings and conclusions of the report therefore reflect a meticulous study and analysis of the situation. It also contains compelling legal arguments based on international law, including international human rights law and humanitarian law.

Among other things, the Mission concluded that

The report further stated,
The Mission also concluded that the following crimes had been committed: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment and the wilful causing of great suffering or serious injury to body or health. In addition, the report went on to enumerate a series of violations by Israel of its obligations under international human rights law. It also reaffirmed the illegality of the blockade on Gaza. We note that the vast majority of the international community supports the findings and conclusions of the report, which gives a fair account of the events based on solid facts and legal documents.

Meanwhile, our commitment to the Panel of Inquiry established by the Secretary-General in accordance with the Security Council’s presidential statement of 1 June (S/PRST/2010/9) continues. On 1 September, we submitted our interim report to the Panel of Inquiry, with substantive attachments including autopsy reports and witness accounts. Our interim report resulted from an objective study carried out by the Turkish Commission of Investigation by inspecting three of the convoy’s ships, taking verbal and written testimonies from many witnesses and analysing the legal implications of the attack.

After having received the Turkish interim report, the Panel submitted its first progress report to the Secretary-General in mid-September. However, Israel has yet to present its own report to the Panel. We call on Israel to acknowledge its mistakes and to act accordingly. Had the Israelis met our expectations of a formal apology and compensation for the wounded and the families of the deceased, we would not be at this stage. The sooner the Israelis act responsibly, the faster relations will normalize.

Until then, we will continue to closely follow developments in this matter. Depending on Israel’s attitude in the coming weeks, we can revisit our position, in consultation with other relevant groups and countries, on how to pursue this issue in the General Assembly. Moreover, if Israel does not implement the conclusions and recommendations of the report before March 2011, the issue will inevitably become one of the major agenda items of the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council. In that respect, we also expect the High Commissioner for Human Rights to reflect steps taken by Israel to that end, if any, in its report to the sixteenth session in March 2011.

We also welcome Human Rights Council resolutions 15/6 and 13/9, with regard to the report of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. We will continue to follow up the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report.

In conclusion, I wish to refer to the significance of fighting impunity and establishing accountability in the context of this Organization. If we are to speak about justice, we need to end impunity and ensure accountability. Otherwise, we cannot speak about peace and stability, let alone credibility.


Mr. Mohamed (Maldives): ...


In pursuit of our priority to promote gender equality, the Maldives worked closely with Mexico and Colombia to establish a new United Nations human rights mechanism designed to monitor, modify and eliminate national laws that discriminate against women. We also endorsed the follow-up to the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza flotilla attack, voted in favour of continued United Nations engagement with the human rights situation in the Sudan and co-sponsored various resolutions that we believe will bolster our own national efforts to strengthen institutions that protect the basic tenets of our democracy and the social rights of our people.


Mr. Dabbashi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic): ...


The international community is encountering enormous challenges in on the area of human rights, particularly in areas of conflict. However, the violations of human rights that the Palestinian people are suffering under the Zionist occupation are unique and require constant monitoring by the Human Rights Council, in order that an end can be put to the killing of Palestinian civilians, to detentions, even of women and children, to the destruction of houses and the razing of agricultural land and to the expulsion of Palestinians from their own land.

More important, an end should be put to the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are being perpetrated in the Gaza Strip and the other Palestinian occupied territories. Those responsible for such acts should be brought to justice so that similar acts can no longer be repeated. There should also be constant monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Goldstone report (A/HRC/12/48) and other reports dealing with investigations into Zionist crimes committed against the Palestinian people. We also look forward to the implementation of the Council’s decisions and recommendations, which are included in the report of the Human Rights Council before us (A/65/53 and A/65/53/Add.1) and in previous reports.


This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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