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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2005/SR.38
18 April 2005

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Sixty-first session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 38th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Thursday, 7 April 2005, at 3 p.m.

Chairperson : Mr. WIBISONO ................... (Indonesia)

later: Mr. OULD MOHAMED LEMINE ...............(Mauritania)

CONTENTS

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS (continued)

THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION

TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (continued)


INTEGRATION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND THE GENDER PERSPECTIVE:
(a) VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS (agenda item 4) ( continued)

1. The CHAIRPERSON informed the Commission that no written proposals had been tabled under agenda item 4.

THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION

TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (agenda item 5) ( continued) (E/CN.4/2005/L.5 and L.6)

Draft resolution concerning the situation in occupied Palestine (E/CN.4/2005/L.5)

2. Ms. AL-HAJJAJI (Observer for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), introducing draft resolution E/CN.4/2005/L.5 on behalf of its sponsors, said that Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Guinea, Indonesia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain and Sweden had joined the sponsors.

3. The draft resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine had traditionally secured strong support among the members of the Commission. She hoped it would be adopted without a vote at the current session since she failed to see how any member could object to the exercise of the right of self-determination. The text was finely balanced and had been carefully drafted to secure unanimous support.

4. The sponsors had decided to revise the draft resolution by deleting the eighth and ninth preambular paragraphs and operative paragraphs 4 to 7. Paragraph 3 had been revised to read: “ Urges all Member States and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination,”.

5. Mr. EVANON (Observer for Israel) said that Israel had stated unambiguously on many occasions that it supported the right of peoples, including the Palestinians, to self-determination. In a few months’ time, Israel would withdraw unilaterally from Gaza, which would be handed over to the Palestinian Authority. Other positive steps had been taken recently in Sharm el-Sheikh. Sadly, the draft resolution ignored the seeds of peace that had recently been sown. Israel’s repeated statements seemed to fall on deaf ears. He called on the Commission to support the current negotiations, which he hoped would lead to a two-State solution that would allow Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace.

6. Mr. ABU-KOASH (Observer for Palestine) said he had hoped that the observer for Israel would support the draft resolution, since he claimed to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The text of the draft resolution was based on wording accepted by the Israeli Government itself and by the Security Council. He assured the delegation of Israel that the positive developments at Sharm el-Sheikh would be mentioned in other resolutions.

7. The CHAIRPERSON announced that the draft resolution had no programme budget implications.

8. At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on the draft resolution .

In favour : Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: Burkina Faso, Costa Rica.

9. The draft resolution, as orally revised, was adopted by 49 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions .

...

20. Mr. BOSCHWITZ (United States of America) said that the United States had voted against the draft resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine because it was, as in the past, unbalanced notwithstanding the amendments which had been a step in the right direction. The draft resolution failed to take fully into account the dramatic progress that had been made in the past six months in the West Bank and Gaza, which had provided new opportunities to achieve the goal of two States living side by side in peace and security. Both sides must break with the past and set out on a new path. Free elections had resulted in a new leadership of the Palestinian Authority committed to ending violence. Israel had undertaken to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank and to support the Palestinian Authority’s political, economic and security reform efforts. The Commission had been given the opportunity to advance those efforts to build a new foundation for peace based on mutual security, democracy and human rights. Regrettably, the draft resolution had failed to seize that opportunity.

21. The United States remained committed to providing the leadership and support that was required to end the tragic conflict.

22. Mr. VARELA QUIROS (Costa Rica) said that, although Costa Rica supported the right of self-determination, particularly of the Palestinian people, it had abstained from voting on the draft resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine because of its lack of balance in failing to take into account the major progress that had been made at Sharm el-Sheikh. He hoped that the dialogue begun on that occasion would lead to a settlement of the conflict so that Palestine could become a sovereign, independent State living peacefully alongside Israel within safe borders.

23. Mr. PIRA (Guatemala) reiterated his support for the two-State solution whereby Israel and Palestine, having both exercised their right of self-determination, would live as neighbours in peace and security. He had therefore voted in favour of the draft resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine. The new opportunities for peace in the Middle East afforded by the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement between the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the Palestinian Authority should be taken into account at the current session of the Commission.

...

INTEGRATION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND THE GENDER PERSPECTIVE:

(a) VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

(agenda item 12) (continued ) (E/CN.4/2005/63 and 68, E/CN.4/2005/69-E/CN.6/2005/6, E/CN.4/2005/70-E/CN.6/2005/7, E/CN.4/2005/71 and Add.1, 72 and Corr.1 and Add.1-5, and 133; E/CN.4/2005/NGO/12, 17, 28, 49-50, 72, 88, 91, 116, 118, 125, 141, 146, 187, 197, 205, 224, 228, 245, 250, 268, 273, 285, 318 and 336)


30. Ms. CERVANTES (Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America)


...

33. Palestinian women facing Israeli oppression; Iraqi women suffering the consequences of war and subsequent occupation; Latin American women mobilizing against neo-liberalism; indigenous women defending their age-old culture; and Cuban women leading their people’s resistance to the United States embargo were united in their struggle for true independence, socio-economic empowerment, equal opportunities, solidarity and justice.

...

101. Ms. SABA (International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations) welcomed the work of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, but considered that the Commission must adopt a more proactive approach to addressing the issue of discrimination against women. Discrimination and violations of women’s rights were of particular concern in conflict areas and disputed territories such as Palestine and Kashmir. ...

...


The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.

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