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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
31 October 2007


General Assembly
GA/SHC/3898

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


Sixty-second General Assembly
Third Committee
32nd & 33rd Meetings (AM & PM)


MORE VITAL THAN EVER TO MOVE AWAY FROM SELECTIVITY AND PARTIAL

APPROACHES TO HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES, THIRD COMMITTEE TOLD
 
Regrettable That Certain Countries Continue
To Name, Blame Others Rather Than Promote Human Rights


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to continue its general discussion of human rights.  For more background information, please see press release GA/SHC/3893, GA/SHC/3894, GA/SHC/3895, GA/SHC/3896 and GA/SHC/3897.

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Statements

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MAHMOUD KHANI ( Iran) ...

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Turning to the issue of human rights, he said it was regrettable that certain countries continued to name and blame others rather than constructively promote human rights.  The appalling situations in Guantanamo Bay, rendition and secret detention centres in Europe, violations of the rights of refugees and the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people were just a few examples of the gross human rights injustices committed by “the self-proclaimed champions of human rights”.  ...

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SALAH HAMDAN DAHAM AL-SAIF ( Kuwait) ...

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He also welcomed the report of John Dugard, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and noted that it clearly stated that Israel’s violations of human rights did not respect Security Council resolutions.  Mr. Dugard had correctly stated that the Israeli side claimed it was protecting itself against terrorism, yet a number of people were classified as terrorists when they were fighting for self-determination.  His country supported the Special Rapporteur’s proposal to seek an opinion from the International Court of Justice on the long-term effects of Israeli occupation, he said.

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FEDA ABDELHADY-NASSER, Observer for Palestine, thanked Mr. Dugard, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, for his report, which had starkly conveyed the situation vis-à-vis the human rights of an entire people who continued to be systematically and gravely violated by Israel, the occupying power.  The Palestinian people’s existence as an occupied and stateless people did not negate their entitlement to enjoy human rights, she noted, and listed a number of charters and conventions which reaffirmed all people’s human rights under law.

Time limits prevented an exhaustive exposé of Israel’s violations, she said.  In many cases, however, Israel’s practices amounted to war crimes against the Palestinian people.  Extrajudicial killings, expansion of colonial settlements, destruction of homes as well as obstruction of access to medical care and education were but a few of the violations.  All those violations were being committed with utter disrespect for the law and United Nations resolutions, and all before the eyes of the international community.  If Israel was never held accountable for these crimes, it would continue to act with impunity in its trampling of the law.  All efforts should be exerted to end the grave violations of human rights of the Palestinian people.

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Right of Reply

The representative of Israel, addressing Kuwait and the situation of Palestinians there, said that Palestinians were persecuted in that country after the first Gulf war, and asked if that was consistent with concerns raised by the Observer for Palestine.  The Palestinian Observer continued to use the same old pattern of never looking into their own mirror, but blaming Israel for situations that both would like to change, he said.  He expected that the Palestinians would recognize Israel’s right to live in peace and security, and said he hoped that the current talks between the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would lead to peace soon.

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The Observer for Palestine said that several erroneous arguments had been made by the Israeli delegation.  No argument could justify the war crimes and gross human rights violations that Israel had committed as the occupying power.  The question was whether that country was willing to recognize its oppression of the Palestinian people.  It was customary for the Israeli side to bring up terrorism; however, the crushing acts of terrorism that Israel had committed against the Palestinian people were too evident to be disputed.  It was hoped that Israel would adhere to the recommendations made by John Dugard, the Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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For information media • not an official record

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