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Institutions du Conseil des droits de l'homme/Agenda sur la Palestine - débat et vote de la 3ème comission de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) (16 novembre 2007) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
16 November 2007

General Assembly

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

Sixty-second General Assembly
Third Committee
47th Meeting (AM)



Draft Resolution on Report
Of Human Rights Council Approved by Overwhelming Majority



The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take action on a number of draft resolutions.

They included texts entitled Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/62/L.32 and amendments contained in document A/C.3/62/L.84, and programme budget implications contained in document A/C.3/62/L.60), Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.56), Globalization and its impact on the full employment of all human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.31), Human rights and cultural diversity (document A/C.3/62/L.39), Human rights in the administration of justice (document A/C.3/62/L.45), Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (document A/C.3/62/L.46), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (document A/C.3/62/L.36/Rev.1).  (For more information on these drafts, please see press release GA/SHC/3905, dated 14 November 2007, and press release GA/SHC/3906, dated 15 November 2007).



The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/62/L.32).


The representative of Australia said the package was unbalanced.  Furthermore, his delegation was concerned about the last-minute removal of Belarus and Cuba, which warranted more scrutiny.  Also, an agenda item on Palestine institutionalized an excessive focus on one region alone.  Australia’s longstanding view was that singling out only one country was unhelpful, and his delegation would vote against “L.32”.  ...


The representative of Canada said his delegation had made a general statement last week on the report and now wanted to explain its vote on the institution-building package.  His country’s position at the fifth session was clear and had not changed.  The agenda item on Palestine and other occupied Arab territories was not consistent with the principles on which the Council was founded.  While not perfect, there were many positive elements in the package, but Canada did not and could not endorse something that included an item so contradictory to the founding principles.  The package failed to treat all mandates equally.  While all other mandates had limited terms, the mandate on Palestine did not.  In stark contrast, country mandates for situations which warranted continued scrutiny had not been renewed.  Canada rejected the manner in which the institution-building package was pushed through at the fifth session, where procedural manoeuvring had taken precedence.  Agreement was declared when it did not exist.  In the rush to come to a conclusion, Canada was denied its right to call for a vote on the substance of the package to explain their disagreement with its flawed elements.  This did a disservice to the Council and the causes it espoused.  That body had to do better than flout basic procedural principles.  His delegation would vote against the resolution.


The representative of Cuba recalled that his country had been part of the consensus that had adopted the institution-building package and the code of conduct.  The Council should now begin its work along a path of dialogue and cooperation, avoiding the selectivity and double standards that had harmed the credibility of the Commission on Human Rights, where there had been an anti-Cuba mandate.  The institution-building package had not gone as far as Cuba had hoped, and some special mandates remained.  The right to development should have been assigned priority on the Council’s agenda.  But, there were good sides to the institution-building package, and it was a matter of elementary justice for attention to be given to the just cause of the Palestinian people.

The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, said that, in voting for the amended resolution, Member States of the European Union were enabling the Council to address human rights issues in a timely manner, wherever they occurred.  The European Union would have liked to have retained all special procedures mandates; it also saw no need for the code of conduct.  The Occupied Palestinian Territory should not have become a separate agenda item; other ways existed to address that situation.  Some attempts to reinterpret the institution-building package were a matter of concern.  By voting for the amended resolution, the European Union was endorsing its acceptance of an agreed set of compromises.

The representative of the Netherlands said her country had voted “yes” on the institution-building package in a spirit of compromise and cooperation, although it had concerns that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory had been singled out, and that special mandates for Belarus and Cuba had been discontinued.  ...


The representative of Iran said his delegation had voted in favour of the package and wished to express satisfaction that it had been adopted by a very strong majority.  ... His delegation also stressed that the mandate of the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory would be valid until the end of the occupation.

The representative of the United Kingdom said his delegation aligned itself with the statement made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union.  His country was a committed member of the Human Rights Council, which had a vital role to play in protection of human rights for people everywhere.  The United Kingdom had worked actively with all partners towards the adoption of the package, and valued its provisions vis-à-vis the contribution of special rapporteurs, whose expertise was enriching.  His delegation was pleased with the provisions on the agenda to address violations at every session, and also welcomed the Universal Periodic Review -- an important innovation.  The United Kingdom looked forward to its own review, but was disappointed by certain elements, including the loss of two special rapporteurs on situations of concern.  His delegation was also concerned by the standing agenda item on Palestine, which was unnecessary.  The practice of “singling out one” risked undermining the Human Rights Council’s own principles.  The United Kingdom was committed to the full implementation of the package despite elements in it that it could not support.  As an expression of its commitment, his country had voted in favour of the institution-building package today.


The representative of France said ...   France regretted that the agenda was imbalanced by the singling out of Palestine, which was contrary to non-selectivity.  ...


The representative of Syria said her delegation had voted in favour of “L.32”, convinced that it had been adopted in a balanced, just and fair manner in Geneva.  Syria was committed to the success of the Human Rights Council, pursuant to the principles that all situations be dealt with objectively.  Her delegation would like to affirm that the Council should follow all human rights situations, including the right to self-determination.  She also expressed thanks to the Human Rights Council for giving all due attention to the human rights situation in Palestine and especially in the Golan.


The Chairman ... then opened the floor for general statements.

The representative of Palestine said her delegation had expressed its views on the institution-building package during debate on the item.  It had to be clear to the majority of Member States that Israel was not being singled out, but that it had singled itself out as an extraordinary violator of the human rights of the Palestinian people.  Focused attention was required on the issue to bring an end to such systematic violations, she said.


Vote on Report of Human Rights Council

The draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/62/L.32) was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Equatorial Guinea, Nauru, Swaziland.

Absent:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dominica, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

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For information media • not an official record

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