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Réfugiés Palestiniens/Violations des droits de l’homme dans les TPO – Débat de la Troisième Commission de l’AG – Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
2 November 2010




General Assembly
GA/SHC/3991

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

Sixty-fifth General Assembly
Third Committee
38th & 39th Meetings (AM & PM)


VOLUNTARY REFUGEE RETURNS WORST IN TWO DECADES; WORLD FACES QUASI-PERMANENT
 
REFUGEE SITUATIONS IN AREAS OF NEVER-ENDING CONFLICT, THIRD COMMITTEE TOLD
 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Addresses Committee;
Human Rights Council President Says Upcoming Review Should Be Pragmatic, Realistic


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to discuss questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions, and the report of the Human Rights Council.

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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Questions and Answers

The High Commissioner then fielded comments and questions from the delegates.

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Responding to the statement of support from Syria, he thanked the Government for its positive attitude, particularly considering the number of Palestinian refugees and the outflow of Iraqi refugees that had found an open door in Syria.  These refugees had the capacity to live in towns and share the houses of the Syrian community, which was appreciated.  He also underlined the positive attitude of avoiding “refoulement” and having a flexible approach.

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Human Rights Council

In the afternoon session, the Committee heard a statement by SIHASAK PHUANGKETKEOW ( Thailand), President of the Human Rights Council. ...

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Statements

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Mr. OMER ( Sudan) ...

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... Sudan expressed support for the Palestinian people and supported the promotion of their human rights.

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ERTUĞRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) recalled the incident of 31 May in which a humanitarian convoy was attacked by Israeli forces on the high seas.  Nine civilians had been killed and many others sustained serious injuries.  An international and independent fact-finding mission was dispatched by the Human Rights Council to investigate.  It interviewed 112 witnesses from more than 20 nationalities in a number of cities, which formed the basis of a report that contained compelling legal analysis and conclusions.  It stated that the conduct of Israelis involved in the incident had been disproportionate, unnecessarily violent and unjustifiable on any grounds.  International law and human rights law had been gravely violated.

The same report spoke of wilful killing and torture, he said.  It identified violations of Israel’s obligations under human rights law and the illegality of the Gaza blockade.  It was based on solid facts and legal documents and the vast majority of the international community stood behind it.  Turkey expected a formal apology and compensation for the incident.  No draft resolution concerning the incident had been submitted, but Turkey could revisit its position in the coming weeks, in consultation with others.  The Secretary-General’s panel of inquiry has meanwhile been continuing its work; it had received a report from a Turkish commission of investigation that has inspected three ships in the convoy and heard a number of witnesses.  Fighting impunity had always been an objective of the United Nations.  “Justice is needed. So long as justice is not done, peace will be elusive,” he said.

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LARISA BELSKAYA (Belarus) said that the Government had studied the Human Rights Council report and welcomed the Council’s work, as well as cooperation based on dialogue.  She welcomed the Council’s holding of special sessions on Haiti and Palestine, which showed its expert potential and flexibility to deal with various important human rights matters. ...

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PABLO BERTI ( Cuba) ...   Cuba had a positive view of the work of the Council; it had consolidated effective practices for a truly universal review of the human rights situation around the world, and demonstrated an ability to deal with emergency situations, such as the grave violations against the Palestinian people perpetrated by Israel.

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MONIA ALSALEH (Syria), welcoming cooperation with the Human Rights Council, referred to the report’s mention of human rights issues in the occupied Golan and occupied Palestine.  Despite two fact-finding missions regarding the Gaza conflict and the flotilla incident, Israel still refused to abide by any resolutions or to implement them.  Despite calls not to impede fact-finding missions, to redress the situations of survivors and to protect people from attacks, Israel continued impeding the work of fact-finding missions.  Perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity were boasting of their crimes with impunity, and international public opinion questioned the fact that they enjoyed impunity and were not being tried.

She called upon United Nations organs, including the Council, to shoulder their responsibility and take measures to achieve accountability with regard to Israeli violations, which had been documented in the Goldstone Report.  Israeli officials should be pursued and punished for crimes in Gaza, to administer justice and prevent impunity.  Syria referred positively to the report of fact-finding mission of the Council regarding Israeli aggression on the flotilla that was heading to Gaza on a humanitarian mission, and looked forward to the findings.  She rejected all proposals calling for changing the agenda of the Council and any proposals that limited the opportunity for victims to reveal the violation of human rights that some States were trying to cover up.

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NADYA RASHEED, Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine, fully supporting the Council, said the Goldstone Report and that of the Fact-finding Mission into the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance to Occupied Gaza were “significant” steps towards ending a culture of impunity that prevailed in her region.  The Goldstone Report confirmed that Israel had committed serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law against Palestinians during its military operations between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009.  Nearly two years after that event, Gazans continued to live in ruins.  A committee of independent experts, commissioned by the Council, confirmed that the Palestinian Authority had established an independent, impartial commission to investigate the events, and that Israel had not.

She urged the international community to compel Israel to conduct an independent, credible investigation into those serious violations, in line with international standards.  The report of the Fact-finding Mission into Israeli attacks on the flotilla concluded that Israeli forces violated international law during the interception of the “ Gaza freedom flotilla” and detention of peace activists.  It also concluded that Israel’s use of force was disproportionate, that the blockade of Gaza was unlawful, and that Israel’s interception must be considered illegal.  She supported all such conclusions, saying that the trend clearly presented in both reports had been seen in numerous others by independent fact-finding missions and special rapporteurs alike.  Israel had systematically breached international law and could no longer continue to be treated as a State existing above the law.  She called on all States to join in the fight against impunity.

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NOA FURMAN ( Israel) said today’s report and the series of resolutions it contained showed how far the Council had strayed from its founding principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity.  “Any objective and impartial examination of the Council’s recent report confirms its bias and obsession with Israel.  My delegation notes that half of the report’s country-specific resolutions not dealing with technical assistance are targeted exclusively at Israel,” she said. 

That blatant misuse and exploitation of Council proceedings and distortion of its mandate fundamentally undermined its legitimacy and prevented it from addressing many serious human rights violations in the world.  Israel was a democracy committed to the rule of law and human rights, with an internationally respected judiciary and a pluralist and active civil society.  It was also committed to engaging in candid and professional dialogue in United Nations fora, including before the Council’s Universal Periodic Review.  But it could not accept a partisan report that perpetuated a politicized agenda.  That approach should deeply concern anyone committed to promoting a responsible and universal human rights agenda.

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JOHN SAMMIS ( United States) said the strengths and weaknesses of the Human Rights Council were reflected in the report of the Council.  The United States was proud of many of the Council’s resolutions, including those on violence against Afghan school children, trafficking in persons, protection of human rights defenders, protection of human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS.  It was especially proud of the Council’s renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert for Sudan, and new resolutions on Kyrgyzstan and Guinea.  But the Council’s unbalanced and one-sided approach to the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories was disappointing.  That approach was evident in the handling of the Goldstone mandate and report, and in the Council’s hasty establishment of a fact-finding mission with a flawed mandate to investigate the tragic incident aboard the Gaza-bound ships in late May.

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For information media • not an official record

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