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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1993/SR.29
26 February 1993

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Forty-ninth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 29th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Friday, 19 February 1993, at 3 p.m.


Chairman:
Mr. ENNACEUR
(Tunisia)


CONTENTS

Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine (continued)

The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation (continued)

Question of the human rights of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment, in particular:

(a) Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(b) Status of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

(c) Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances;

(d) Question of a draft optional protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (continued)



The meeting was called to order at 3.40 p.m.

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE (agenda item 4) (continued) (E/CN.4/1993/L.2, 4 and 7)

Draft resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/CN.4/1993/L.2)

1. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the delegations of Sri Lanka and the observers for Madagascar, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe had become sponsors of the draft resolution.

2. Mr. MASRI (Syrian Arab Republic), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, said that the text was similar to that of the resolution adopted by the Commission at its previous session. The situation in the occupied Syrian Golan was deteriorating greatly. Israel was continuing to impose repressive measures on the population of the territory and to resort to illegal measures. It insisted on defying the will of the international community, which had resulted in the adoption of resolutions by the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission. In that connection, he recalled that, in resolution 497 (1981), the Security Council had decided that Israel's decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and that Israel should rescind its decision forthwith.

3. He drew attention to two changes to be made to the draft resolution. In the second line of operative paragraph 4, the word "of" should be replaced by the word "on", while operative paragraph 5 should end with the words "referred to above", the words "in paragraph 4 of the present resolution" being deleted.

4. The CHAIRMAN said that the delegations of the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States of America had requested a roll-call vote.

5. Mr. SCHIFTER (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that the Commission would once again go through the ritual of voting on resolutions dealing with the Arab-Israeli dispute. With minor changes, the same texts were placed before the Commission year after year. The resolutions were adopted over the opposition of the United States and then filed away. The harsh language used prevented the Commission from playing a useful role in the resolution of the dispute and was therefore counterproductive.

6. The United States was doing its utmost to bring the parties together, an objective to which President Clinton was deeply committed. At the current time the Secretary of State was visiting the region in order to prepare a continuation of the United States efforts at peacemaking. His Government would continue to pursue those efforts and appealed to all those who shared its interest in the cause of peace, objectivity and fairness to vote "no" on draft resolutions E/CN.4/1993/L.2, 4 and 5.

7. With regard to draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.7, his Government's position on the issue of settlements had been made clear time and again. The United States had played a constructive role in bringing about a fundamental change in Israel's settlement policy. However, the text in question ignored the fact and was precisely that adopted by the Commission at its previous session. For that reason, and given Israel's change of policy in the matter, his delegation would vote against that text also.

8. The United Kingdom having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.

In favour: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Gabon, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

9. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.2 was adopted by 29 votes to 1, with 17 abstentions.

Draft resolution on the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine (E/CN.4/1993/L.4)

10. Mr. GEGHMAN (Observer for Yemen), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho and the Republic of Korea and the observers for Jordan, Oman, Senegal, Somalia and Viet Nam, said that it was based essentially on the resolution adopted on the same question by the Commission at its previous session, a few new points having been included to reflect the flagrant violations of human rights that had occurred since that session. In part A, for example, a new paragraph referring to the appointment of a special rapporteur had been added, because of Israel's continued refusal to end its violations of the principles and bases of international law. The paragraph represented an attempt to oblige Israel to comply with its international commitments and to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.

11. He urged the Commission to adopt the draft by consensus so as to demonstrate its concern that the resolution should be implemented and its firm commitment to the defence of human rights.

12. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the financial implications of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 would amount to US$ 95,000.

13. The CHAIRMAN said that, at the request of the delegation of the United States of America, separate roll-call votes would be taken on parts A and B of the draft resolution.

Part A of the draft resolution

14. Lesotho, having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.

In favour: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia.

Against : Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Abstaining: Argentina, Costa Rica, Gabon, Republic of Korea, Uruguay.

15. Part A of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 was adopted by 26 votes to 16, with 5 abstentions.

Part B of the draft resolution

16. The Republic of Korea, having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.

In favour: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

17. Part B of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 was adopted by 27 votes to 1, with 19 abstentions.

Draft resolution on Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories (E/CN.4/1993/L.7)

18. Mr. LARSEN (Observer for Denmark), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Australia, Mauritania and the Russian Federation and the observers for Liechtenstein, Malta, New Zealand and Senegal, said that its main purpose was to reaffirm the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and the illegality of the installation of Israeli civilians in the occupied territories. Despite the announcement by the Israeli Government of a partial freeze on settlements, construction of new units was still going on.

19. In view of the large number of sponsors from all regional groups, it might reasonably be hoped that the resolution could be adopted by consensus.

20. At the request of the representative of the United States of America, the vote was taken by roll-call.

21. Bulgaria, having been drawn by lot by the Chairman, was called upon to vote first.

In favour: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: None.

22. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.7 was adopted by 46 votes to one.

23. Mr. BERTHET (Uruguay), speaking in explanation of vote, stressed the importance that his delegation attached to respect for the rules of international law, a prerequisite for peaceful coexistence and the only guarantee of the right to sovereignty and self-determination. Its votes on draft resolutions E/CN.4/1993/L.2, L.4 and L.7 should not be construed as indicating any position on the Arab-Israeli conflict. His Government, which supported the peace process initiated at Madrid, was against the inclusion of any word or expression that was not conducive to a constructive dialogue.

24. Mr. FLINTERMAN (Netherlands) said that his delegation continued to be seriously concerned about the human rights situation in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem. Although the peace process under way gave cause for hope, it had yet to be translated into an improvement in the human rights situation in the occupied territories.

25. His delegation had reservations about important elements of both parts of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4. It was unable to support paragraphs which prejudged the settlement of political questions that must be tackled in the peace negotiations, nor could it approve paragraphs not conducive to the peace process.

26. Mr. PAZ (Argentina) said that the texts of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.2 and of part B of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 were still unbalanced. No reference had been made to the peace process initiated at Madrid and continued in Washington.

27. Mr. MORLAND (United Kingdom) said that although deeply concerned about human rights violations in all the occupied territories, his delegation had not supported either part of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4, because the spirit of the texts and the repeated use of excessive language were not helpful. Furthermore, there was an absence of any reference to the peace process, which his Government fully supported. Three years previously, his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution on the same subject and therefore regretted that the sponsors of the draft resolution continued to use language that was hardly constructive.

28. Part A of the draft resolution, in particular, contained new elements that further impeded a common understanding. His delegation could see no need for another monitoring mechanism in addition to the Special Committee, which had been reporting on Israeli practices affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs in the occupied territories since 1968. Moreover, it took exception to the use of such expressions as "perpetration of crimes of torture" , "concentration camps" and "practices of annexation" and could not accept references to "Palestinian citizens", since it did not recognize Palestinian statehood. His delegation also had doubts about references in the current context to article 90 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.

29. Mr. ALAEE (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 and would have joined its sponsors, had it not been for certain provisions, particularly operative paragraph 7 of part A and operative paragraph 6 of part B.

30. Mr. RHENAN-SEGURA (Costa Rica) said that, unlike its attitude in previous years, his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.2 in the hope that it would lead to positive change, since it was most concerned about recent serious events in that part of the world.

31. His delegation had abstained on draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4. Although it supported parts of the contents of the text, it regarded the wording to be inappropriate and not conducive to promoting a dialogue.

32. It had voted in favour of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.7, because the provisions of the Geneva Conventions were not being complied with in the occupied territories; that constituted a serious impediment to the negotiation process. International standards and human rights must be respected in all parts of the world.

33. Mrs. DI FELICE (Venezuela) said that her delegation had voted in favour of draft resolutions E/CN.4/1993/L.2 and L.4, because it shared their basic goals, although it would have preferred a more balanced wording in certain paragraphs. Moreover, it had reservations about the appropriateness of appointing a special rapporteur, whose work might duplicate that of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

34. Mr. PARK (Republic of Korea) said that his delegation supported the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to self-determination and to national independence, and it therefore regretted that it had had to abstain on part A of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 because the unbalanced language used in certain of its passages would not be helpful in creating the stable environment required for progress in the current Middle East peace process. All violence in the Israeli occupied territories should be avoided and deplored.

35. Mr. GARRETÓN (Chile) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolutions E/CN.4/1993/L.2 and L.4, although it regretted that no mention had been made of the peace process initiated at Madrid, the greatest hope for achieving peaceful coexistence, which was the best guarantee for human rights in the region.

36. Mr. ITO (Japan) said that his delegation had abstained on draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.2 and part B of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.4 and had voted against part A of that draft resolution, because those texts contained certain expressions that it regarded as unacceptable.

37. Mr. GUBARTALLA (Sudan) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.7, although it fell short of the standards and objectives required to deal with the abhorrent and gross human rights violations in the occupied territories, including Palestine, and the Israeli settlement policy. It was to be hoped that that resolution would serve as a basis for serious and proportionate action against Israeli violations in the future.

/...

The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.

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