25 November 2008
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3942

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

Sixty-third General Assembly

Third Committee

48th Meeting (PM)


RIGHTS OF DISABLED, HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL REPORT, ELIMINATING RACISM AMONG ISSUES,


AS THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES SIX MORE DRAFT RESOLUTIONS

 


Also Recommends General Assembly Adoption of Texts on Religious Intolerance,

Protecting Human Rights while Countering Terrorism, Rights of the Child Committee


The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today, in its final day of action on draft resolutions, approved six additional drafts –- on topics ranging from the elimination of racism, the elimination of all forms of intolerance based on religion or belief, and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.


Among the three drafts approved today by recorded vote was a draft resolution on the elimination of racism and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, approvedby a vote of 130 in favour to 11 against, with 35 abstentions (for details, see Annex IV).


Deliberations over that draft exposed longstanding concerns held by some Member States over the Durban World Conference, held in 2001, and its Declaration and Programme of Action.  The representative of the United States said that, while her Government agreed with many of the provisions of the draft, the United States could not vote in its favour, due to the significant attention and praise that the text devoted to the Durban Declaration.  The Durban Conference had led to declarations containing hateful language and had singled out one country for censure and abuse.  Early indications were that its follow-up Review Conference would lead to a similar state of affairs.  The representative of Israel, who claimed that the Conference had demonized her country, said that not only would Israel not support the draft resolution, it would also not participate in another “carnival of hatred” at the Durban Review.


A draft resolution that would have the General Assembly take note of the report of the Human Rights Council for the period from 10 September 2007 to 24 September 2008 was also approved today, by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 5 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States), with 55 abstentions (see Annex III).  Prior to the draft’s approval, its main sponsor, Cuba, introduced an oral revision that would have the Committee acknowledge the recommendations of the Council, as opposed to endorsing them.  In doing so, he noted that Member States should reserve the right to examine the Council’s individual recommendations, to see if they were sufficiently valid and whether the Committee should lend its support.


Many delegates who abstained from voting expressed their view that the report of the Human Rights Council, as a whole, should not be addressed within the Third Committee, and should, instead, be sent directly to the General Assembly.  As the representative of New Zealand, speaking also on behalf of Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, explained, a decision of the General Committee had provided that the Third Committee consider and take action on the recommendations included in the Council’s report.  The draft approved today would undermine that agreement through the action on the report as a whole, and through the ambiguity on which recommendations were being acted on.  In the future, the Committee should act separately on issues as varied as indigenous persons, the institution-building package, optional protocols and others.


The Committee also failed to reach consensus on the draft resolution on the implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, which was traditionally approved without a vote.  By the terms of that text, the General Assembly would, among other things, urge States to undertake all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities, especially in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.


On behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the representative of Uganda introduced an amendment that would highlight that conditions of peace and security were indispensable for the full protection of persons with disabilities, in particular during armed conflict and foreign occupation.  Some delegates, including the representatives of Israel and the United States, expressed regret over the inclusion of such highly politicized language in the draft, especially as the overall issue was addressed in other parts of the text.  The amendment was approved by a recorded vote, and the draft, as amended, was then approved by a vote of 176 in favour to none against, with no abstentions (see Annex II).


Among the three drafts approved by consensus today was the draft resolution on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, which, according to the draft’s main sponsor, Mexico, focused on the need to ensure that measures to combat terrorism were being undertaken in accordance with States’ human rights obligations.  A proposed amendment to the text –- which would have had the Assembly express serious concern at the suffering of the victims of counter-terrorism measures that violated human rights -- was withdrawn by the representative of South Africa.


Speaking in explanation of action, she said she did not share the view of the sponsors of the draft that there was no suffering caused by counter-terrorism measures and that the impacts of such measures were a mere inconvenience.  Despite serious concerns regarding the draft, including its narrow definition of victims of counter-terrorism, she said South Africa joined consensus in the hope that future sponsors would strive to make the text ever more compatible with the spirit of promotion and protection of human rights, while countering terrorism.


Also approved by consensus was the draft resolution on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief.  By the terms of that text, the General Assembly would stress that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion applied equally to all people and would recognize, with deep concern, the overall rise in instances of intolerance and violence directed against members of many religious communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia.


Speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the representative of Uganda said terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.  At the same time, she noted that, despite intense negotiations, the draft failed to include a clear pronouncement on the recent and deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and prophets in the media and by political parties.  However, in light of the importance of the draft, the member States of the Organization had chosen not to block its approval by consensus.


The Committee also approved, without a vote, the draft resolution on the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which would have the General Assembly authorize the Committee, as an exceptional and temporary measure between October 2009 and October 2011, to meet in parallel chambers for 10 working days of each of its three regular sessions, and for five working days of its presessional meetings.


As explained by the representative of New Zealand, speaking on behalf of the draft’s sponsors, the draft was largely procedural in nature and was aimed at helping the Committee reduce its backlog of reports.  While many delegations expressed concern over the impact of parallel meetings on the quality of the Committee’s analysis of reports, only the United States chose to disassociate itself from consensus, due to the draft’s cost implications.


Also speaking today in connection with the various drafts were the representatives of Egypt, Philippines, Costa Rica, France (on behalf of the European Union), Canada, Andorra, Colombia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Chile, United Republic of Tanzania, Russian Federation, Mauritius, United Kingdom, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Uruguay, Sudan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Antigua and Barbuda, Japan, Guinea, Syria and Venezuela.


The representatives of Cuba and the United Kingdom also spoke in the right of reply.


The Committee will meet again at 11 a.m. Wednesday, 26 November, to conclude its 2008 session.


Background


The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take up six outstanding draft resolutions and to conclude its work for the current session.  Among the drafts expected to be acted upon by the Committee, were draft resolutions on:  the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1); the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/63/L.57* - A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1) and its related programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.77); and global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/63/L.51/Rev.1)and related programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.70).


In addition, the Committee was also expected to consider drafts on:  the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (document A/C.3/63/L.34/Rev.1); the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document A/C.3/63/L.39/Rev.1) and its proposed amendment (document A/C.3/63/78); and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (document A/C.3/63/L.46/Rev.1) and its related programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.61*).


The final two texts before the Committee were on programme planning (document A/C.3/63/L.79) and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/63/L.76).


(For further details, see Press Releases GA/SHC/3939, GA/SHC/3940 and GA/SHC/3941.)


Action on Draft Resolutions


Before beginning consideration of the draft resolution on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1), the representative of Egypt, on a point of order, noted that one of the documents expected to be considered today, on programme planning, was not available at the present time.  She asked whether that document, A/C.3/63/L.79, was still expected to be considered in the current meeting.  The Secretary informed the Committee that the document would be available at the time of action.


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution, which contained no programme budget implications.  The representative of the Philippines, the main sponsor of the draft, said the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons continued to provide a useful guide to ensure that persons with disabilities were included in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.  The resolution would help the international community effectively address the reality of the situation.  Several rounds of informal consultations had been held on the draft, and the language of the text came as close as possible to meeting the various, and sometimes opposing, concerns of delegations.  He expressed hope that the draft would be adopted by consensus.


The representative of Uganda, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), introduced an amendment to the draft, which would insert a new preambular paragraph 4 that would bear in mind that conditions of peace and security were indispensable for the full protection of persons with disabilities, in particular during armed conflicts and foreign occupation.  Similar language was already a part of other international human rights texts on the matter, and its subject had been highlighted in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The amendment was a compromise text that addressed the need for peace and security to ensure the security of persons living with disabilities, especially in situations of armed conflict and foreign occupation.


The representative of the Philippines respectfully requested the withdrawal of the amendment and asked for the text of the draft to be maintained, as it appeared in document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1.  The representative of Uganda declined to withdraw the text, and the delegate from the Philippines, subsequently, called for a recorded vote on the proposed amendment.


In explanation of vote, before the vote, the representative of the Philippines said his delegation fully supported the need to create conditions to ensure peace and stability for the protection of those with disabilities.  In the interest of maintaining impartiality as the main facilitator of negotiations, the Philippines would abstain from voting.


The representative of Costa Rica expressed deep regret over the request for a vote.  Costa Rica stood in favour of the proposed amendment, since its language reflected what was already contained in the Convention.  Costa Rica was also in favour of the resolution as a whole, since it too contained important provisions.  In particular, he noted that the Convention was the only instrument on disabilities that had a binding legal nature, and it was, therefore, the main standard for the promotion and protection of human rights for those with disabilities.  It was also the most powerful tool for the economic and social development of persons living with disabilities, and it should be the basis for the updating of the World Programme.  He also, in closing, expressed disagreement over the contents of document A/63/183, presented by the Secretariat on the matter, since the document moved away from already established criteria in the area. 


The representative of France thanked the Philippines for its efforts to build consensus on the text and expressed regret over the current situation.  The draft resolution before the Committee had traditionally been adopted by consensus, and the current session’s informal consultations had allowed for a text that was the “best possible” compromise.  The European Union supported the text as it had been tabled, and he expressed surprise over the amendment, especially considering the fact that the content of the proposed amendment already appeared in other parts of the L.3/Rev.1 text.  The European Union would vote against the proposed amendment, though he noted that the no-vote did not have any particular significance regarding the European Union’s position on the subject, and had more to do with the manner in which the amendment had been proposed and its duplication in terms of content.


The representative of Mexico said he would abstain from the vote as a show of support for the work that had been done by the Philippine delegation on the text.  Mexico had “proposed” the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which might make it peculiar that he was abstaining from a vote on a draft resolution addressing that very document.  But it seemed that the paragraph being proposed was “not in context” with the rest of the preamble and the rest of the text.  In abstaining, he was, in essence, voting in favour of the integrity of the original text.


The representative of Canada said she supported the efforts of the Chair during negotiations and could not accept the amendment being put forward on foreign occupation.  The amendment had not been accepted by delegations during the informals, and its presence would distract from the purpose of the resolution.  The draft addressed the rights of persons with disabilities throughout the world.  The amendment would politicize a text that had been adopted by consensus in previous years, and which her country had co-sponsored in the past.  She would vote no.


The representative of the United States said his country supported the draft and appreciated the work of the delegation of the Philippines in leading negotiations on that text.  He would vote no on the proposed amendment.  He expressed regret that it had been tabled at the last minute, saying it would add highly politicized language and legal imprecision to the text.


The representative of New Zealand said the issue of persons with disabilities was an area where States should, and could, find common ground.  She regretted that negotiations had been difficult.  She said she would engage actively next year to try to avoid obstacles that had fallen unnecessarily in the way of broad support for the text this year.  She would abstain from voting on the amendment, to support the integrity of the text.


The Committee then approved the oral amendment by a vote of 67 in favour to 41 against, with 52 abstentions (See Annex I).


The representative of Andorra said he would withdraw co-sponsorship of the resolution, because he did not agree with the amendment just agreed to.  The representatives of Colombia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also asked that their co-sponsorship be withdrawn, for similar reasons.


The representative of the Philippines expressed regret that a vote had been held on part of a text that had enjoyed consensus since 1982.  He hoped it would not deter the search for consensus in subsequent discussion on the text.  Noting that the focus of the resolution was to help ensure inclusion of disabled persons in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, he also expressed hope that delegations would not withdraw their co-sponsorship.


The representative of France said he regretted the vote, and added that his country’s negative vote had no relation to the European Union’s position on the substance of the amendment.  He further added that he would vote in favour of the resolution as a whole.


The representative of the Republic of Korea said she regretted that the resolution could not be adopted by consensus.  She had joined the list of co-sponsors on the understanding that it would be a consensus text.  She, thus, would like to withdraw her country’s co-sponsorship.


The Chair then invited the Committee to take action on the resolution as a whole, as amended, leading it to be approved by a vote of 176 in favour to none against, with no abstentions (Annex II).


The representative of Israel, speaking in explanation of vote, thanked the delegation of the Philippines for its efforts to build consensus on the draft, and he expressed regret over the inclusion of political elements in the text of the draft. 


The representative of Chile expressed regret over the low number of co-sponsors of the draft and urged delegations, in the future, to work further to move towards consensus on matters of international importance. 


The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, whose vote on the proposed amendment had not been recorded, said her delegation had meant to abstain from voting. 


Before concluding its consideration of agenda item 55, Social Development, the Committee, in accordance with General Assembly decision 55/488, then took note of document A/63/172, entitled Note by the Secretary-General on the implementation of the International Plan of Action for the United Nations Literacy Decade.


The Chair then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council for the period from 10 September 2007 to 24 September 2008 (document A/C.3/63/L.57* - A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1) and drew the Committee’s attention to its related programme budget implications, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.77.


The representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft, said the resolution was of enormous importance for the Non-Aligned Movement, and it attempted to validate the work done by the Council over the previous period.  However, the support of the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement for the work of the Council should not, in the future, stand in the way of the examination of the Council’s individual recommendations, to scrutinize whether they are sufficiently valid or whether the Committee should give its support to them.  As such, he made an oral revision, to the second paragraph of the draft contained in document A/C.3/63/L.57*, to change the word “endorses” to “acknowledges”, so that the text would read:  “acknowledges the recommendations contained therein”.


The Secretary informed the Committee that his understanding of the oral revision was that the revision had been made to document A/C.3/63/L.57* and not A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1.  Further, the operational meaning of that revision would be that the Committee would no longer be expressing its support for the recommendations of the Council.  Were that the case, the document containing the programme budget implications related to the Council’s report and recommendations would be withdrawn.


The representative of Cuba, clarifying his statement, said that document A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1 had been withdrawn, and the revisions had been made to A/C.3/63/L.57*.  In addition, it was his impression that the Committee, by the terms of the revised draft, would be acknowledging the recommendations of the Council and would allow the General Assembly to give its view on the matter. 


Following that clarification, the representative of the Russian Federation asked to join the co-sponsors of the draft.


The representative of Israel then requested a recorded vote.


The representative of Mauritius, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said the Group attached great importance to the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review, and the central role that they hoped it would play in bringing about the realization of human rights for all.  It was the collective responsibility of all States to ensure the success of the Council in strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world for those that could not fight for themselves.  The Third Committee had a role to play in ensuring that States could fulfil that responsibility.  In addition, the Group had welcomed the Committee’s decision to welcome the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and did not believe that approval of the draft resolution concerning the Optional Protocol constituted an overlap with this draft.  It was his hope that by adopting the present resolution, the Assembly would send a clear message of support to the Council in ending human rights violations around the world.


In answer to the Secretary of the Committee, the representative of Mauritius reaffirmed his intention to withdraw resolution L.57/Rev.1, in favour of draft resolution L.57*.


As the Chair invited the Committee to take action on draft resolution L.57*, the representative of Israel asked to take the floor.  She said regretted what she viewed as the Council’s obsession with Israel.  The Council was incapable of addressing serious human rights situations; when Israel could not be blamed, the Council remained silent.  Even the Secretary-General had expressed disappointment that the Council had frequently chosen to single Israel out.  The Council had adopted seven resolutions condemning Israel, and each pronouncement had lacked objectivity.  It had recently convened a one-sided special session on Israel, bringing the total to four, which was more than the number of special sessions on other topics combined.  Moreover, the report of the Council’s fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun had prejudged Israel’s actions, had discarded fairness and equality to skew the outcome of the report, and was unacceptable to Israel.  She called for a vote on the draft and said she would vote against it.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he would abstain from the vote on L.57*.  First, he reiterated the European Union’s belief in the Council as an important pillar of the United Nations, which would soon make progress in the area of human rights, with the aid of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  He then said he had problems with the draft, which he wished to express without prejudice to the position of the European Union on the report’s contents and recommendations.  He first noted that certain elements of the draft would introduce budget implications.  He said the co-sponsors were in the habit of organizing meetings on the text on the sidelines of Third Committee meetings, and that those meetings had not been open and transparent.  A few weeks ago, the General Committee had decided that the Plenary examine the substance of the report, while the Third Committee would consider its recommendations.  To address the entire report, as per the language of the draft resolution presently before the Committee, would go against that decision. 


Further, he said that it was not the usual practice of the Third Committee to examine a report’s recommendations in one go.  For instance, in 2006, two separate draft resolutions were submitted on enforced disappearances and on indigenous people, which, he pointed out, had not suffered the same fate.  By considering all the recommendations in one go, it would force States to take an overall position on them all, which would introduce complications.  This year, the Committee had approved the draft relating to the Optional Protocol; incidentally, it had been adopted by consensus on different terms from that being proposed in document L.57*.  Finally, he was not certain that a draft resolution was necessary to implement the recommendations in that report.  Last year, the Committee Chair had chosen to take note of the report orally.  He said he would abstain from the vote, and added that the European Union was supportive of the Human Rights Council and that the “no” vote should not be interpreted as a lack of support for the report and its recommendations.


The representative of New Zealand, speaking also on behalf of Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, said those States were strong supporters of the Council and had actively contributed to its work.  This year, however, they would not be able to vote in favour of L.57*, as orally revised, and would in fact abstain from the vote.  She said those States were supportive of the need to implement the Council’s recommendations, and took the opportunity to reiterate their position that they had no objection, in substance, to the implementation of  recommendations contained in decisions 9/103, and resolutions 9/18 and 8/2.  They would abstain, however, because they saw the draft as inconsistent with the General Committee’s decision of 29 October. 


She said the decision of the General Committee had provided that the Third Committee consider and take action on the report’s recommendations.  The States she was speaking on behalf of welcomed that decision.  The resolution today would undermine that agreement through its action on the report as a whole, and through its ambiguity on which recommendations were being acted on.  For instance, the Committee had taken action on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights last week; under rule 123, it should not act on a proposal twice in the same session, and indeed, that recommendation should have been explicitly excluded from the draft, rather than combining recommendations on different subjects in one paragraph.  In the future, the Committee should take action in a manner consistent with agreements made with the General Committee.  It should act separately on issues as varied as indigenous persons, the institution-building package, Optional Protocols and others.  She hoped that today’s action would not set a precedent for future dealings on Human Rights Council recommendations.


The representative of the United States noted that the Third Committee had already taken action on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights through resolution A/C.3/63/L.47, and it was the understanding of the United States that nothing in A/C.3/63/L.57* would refer to, or be applicable to, the adoption of the Optional Protocol.  In general, the United States remained concerned over the overall trajectory of the Human Rights Council, as it repeatedly failed to address some of the most pressing human rights situations of today’s world, such as the situations in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Cuba.  The Council should be focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, not its restriction.  She also expressed concern over restrictions on the participations of non-governmental organizations in the Universal Periodic Review, since those organizations could play a critical role. 


Continuing, she expressed concern over the Council’s actions in regard to Israel, in that they lacked fairness.  Israel was a diverse, open, free and democratic society.  The United States believed that the Council should discuss issues honestly, and should draw attention to the most serious human rights situations throughout the world and focus on the very real implications of Government misconduct.  The United States looked forward to working with the General Assembly to make the Council more accountable to the world’s most vulnerable people.  While maintaining hope that the Council would be reformed, for now, the United States would vote no on the resolution.


The representative of Costa Rica rejected any attempt to diminish the status of the Council in the world of human rights.  In his opinion, the Third Committee did not have the mandate to address the report of the Council as a whole.  The report should, instead, go to the General Assembly, and the Council’s recommendations should go to the Third Committee.  As such, Costa Rica would abstain from voting. 


The representative of the United Kingdom aligned herself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union.  As it was her understanding that the programme budget implications related to the resolution, as orally revised, would be withdrawn, she expressed hope that the costs related to the draft would be absorbed through other parts of the budget.  She also informed delegates that the United Kingdom would abstain from voting.


The representative of Mexico said his delegation would be obliged to abstain from voting and expressed regret over that situation.  However, the draft, as orally revised, was ambiguous regarding the recommendations of the Council -- which his delegation fully supported -- and was inconsistent with the decision taken by the Bureau on 29 October.


The draft was then approved by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 5 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States), with 55 abstentions (Annex III).


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, as a demonstration of its support for the Council and its Universal Periodic Review mechanism.  At the same time, he reaffirmed his delegation’s rejection of the resolution on the human rights situation in his own country, as the consideration of such resolutions in the Third Committee would only serve to weaken the Council.


The representative of Uruguay said her delegation fully supported the work of the Council and continued to work actively in its favour.  In the future, however, the Council’s report should be submitted directly to the General Assembly Plenary.  Uruguay had decided to abstain from voting, since “taking note” of the report was not part of the compromise reached in the General Committee, which stated that the Committee should consider the recommendations and not the report.  At the same time, Uruguay believed that it was not procedurally correct to consider all the recommendations of the Council in one paragraph, especially considering the fact that a draft on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights had already been approved by the Committee. 


In a general statement, the representative of Sudan said it would have been better if the language of the draft had been stronger, since the Council required the support of Member States.  The Council and its Universal Periodic Review mechanism could offer a more balanced approach to human rights, one that would see the review of the human rights situations in all countries.  In particular, he drew attention to the human rights situation in the United States and its violations of such rights. 


The representative of Nigeria reiterated his delegation’s support for the Human Rights Council and its review mechanism.  In particular, Nigeria valued the individual recommendations in the Council’s report and regretted the withdrawal of the A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1 version of the draft.  That text endorsed the recommendations of the Council, which included the creation of an Office of the President of the Council.  He also expressed regret over the withdrawal of the programme budget implications and expressed hope that some of the recommendations contained in the report would be taken up by the Committee at a later date. 


The representative of Zimbabwe said she believed that the Human Rights Council was the way forward for dealing with human rights issues.  It was unacceptable for the United States to have expressed such an obsession with her country.  It was patronizing and disrespectful of the United States to disregard regional processes and to use its power to force a decision on Zimbabwe.  She awaited the day that the United States would become a member of the Council, so that it could be submitted for review.


The Chair then announced that the representative of Cuba had requested a chance to exercise his right of reply, and proceeded to give that delegate the floor.


The representative of Cuba said that when the Non-Aligned Movement submitted a draft on the Human Rights Council earlier, the United States had made a statement, to which he wished to make a reply.  He said he agreed with the United States when it said that the Human Rights Council report did not reflect egregious human rights situations in the world.  The United States practised torture in a part of Cuba that it was occupying illegally, at its concentration camp at Guantanamo.  It was also committing similar atrocities in other countries, for instance in Abu Ghraib prison.  That country was responsible for killing and assassinating “thousands” of people, institutionalized torture and had nothing to contribute to the Committee.  It did not have the moral fibre to submit itself to the Human Rights Council, and because of its poor human rights record, it was not in a position to dictate human rights lessons to others.


With that, the Committee concluded its consideration of item 58 as a whole, upon which it moved to take action on the draft text on global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/63/L.51/Rev.1) and its related programme budget implications, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.70.


Its main sponsor, the representative of Antigua and Barbuda, read out several oral revisions to the text, contained in a list that was then distributed to the room.


The representative of Israel requested a recorded vote on the draft.

In explanation of vote, the representative of France said that the European Union was fully committed to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and he noted that it had participated actively in the first Durban Conference and the creation of its Programme of Action.  In addition, the European Union had already agreed to a Review Conference on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and had participated actively in the activities of the Preparatory Committee.  He stressed the importance of defending existing international standards on fundamental freedoms and human rights, particularly the freedom of expression and opinion, and the need to continue efforts towards the full implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. 


He thanked delegations involved in the drafting of the text for their efforts to accommodate the concerns of regional groups and other delegations.  Perhaps, with a bit more time, it would have been possible to develop a text that would have drawn all delegations closer to consensus.  However, there continued to be a number of problems with some paragraphs in the current version of the draft that the European Union could not fully support, such as references to the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Norms and Standards in an operative paragraph of the revised version of the text. 


The representative of Israel said her delegation strongly supported the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  Seven years ago, Israel joined many nations gathered in Durban, with high expectations in regard to the potential of the Conference.  However, those hopes were quickly dashed as the Conference deviated from its original purpose and was “hijacked”, with a view to demonizing Israel.  When the Assembly called for a Review Conference on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, Israel had reserved judgment in the hopes that the follow-up Conference would take a different approach.  However, Israel now believed that the Review Conference would follow the same line as its predecessor, and as noted by her Government, it would not participate in another “carnival of hatred”.  She called on other Member States to reconsider their participation in the Conference as well.  As in past years, Israel had called for a vote on the resolution, but at the same time, it remained open to discussing the issue in a genuine debate, and on a fair and equal basis.


Before acting on the draft, the Secretary informed the Committee that the Secretariat reserved the right to revise the programme budget implications related to the draft, in view of the revisions introduced by the main sponsor of the draft. 


The Committee then approved the draft, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 11 against, with 35 abstentions (see Annex IV).


The representative of the United States said her Government was firmly opposed to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and as such, she expressed regret over having to vote against the resolution.  It was especially regrettable since the United States agreed with many of the provisions of the draft.  The United States had long been a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and its record on combating racism demonstrated its commitment to that Convention.  However, the draft resolution devoted significant attention and praise to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.  The position of the United States on that matter was well-known, and at the time of its adoption, high-level officials in the Government had reacted against declarations containing hateful language or ones that singled out only one country in the world for censure and abuse. 


The work of the Preparatory Committee on the Review Conference gave no indication that the follow-up Conference would be any different than the initial one, he said.  As well, some of the Durban follow-up activities undertaken duplicated the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and other international bodies.  The United States could not support the continuation of such duplicative work.  The Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should also not be called upon to act as a preparatory committee for the Review Conference, as those bodies should focus on the work for which they were created, namely, addressing pressing human rights situations across the world. 


The representative of Japan said her delegation had abstained from voting due to concerns over the programme budget implications related to the draft, which might impair the normal function of the United Nations system.  Efforts to minimize the financial implications of the resolution were warmly welcomed, and she expressed hope that the Secretariat would continue to use the resources of the United Nations as effectively as possible.


The representative of New Zealand, also speaking on behalf of Norway, said the two countries had voted in favour of the draft.  Their concerns had been largely accommodated in the revised text, though not all of their concerns had received such favourable treatment.  Nevertheless, in the interest of consensus, they had voted in favour.  In particular, they did not support paragraph 36, since it might be seen as prejudicial to the outcome of upcoming sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards.


The Committee then took note of the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on its seventy-second session (document A/63/18) and the report of the Human Rights Council on the preparations for the review conference on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (documents A/63/112 and Add.1), and concluded its consideration of that agenda item.


Moving on, the Committee turned to the draft resolution on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief in document A/C.3/63/L.34/Rev.1).  Its main sponsor, the representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, called attention to additional modifications made to L.34/Rev.1, which were being circulated in the room and which she proceeded to read aloud.


She thanked all delegations that had taken part in the negotiations on the text.  Adoption of the resolution by consensus would reaffirm the world’s desire to rid itself of intolerance and to help promote freedom of religion and belief.


Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of Uganda, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, underlined a number of important points, including that the Islamic Conference opposed all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief; it condemned all acts of violence falsely claimed by perpetrators in the name of religion and reaffirmed that terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group; the Organization of the Islamic Conference had consistently supported the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the issue; and it had no fundamental problems with the general thrust of the resolution.


Despite intense negotiations, differences on three important issues remained unresolved, she said, including a clear pronouncement on the recent and deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and prophets in the media and by political parties; respect for and protection of all religions and beliefs; and respect for national laws and religious norms in terms of the right to change one’s religion.  In addition, it was the understanding of the Organization that welcoming the work of the Special Rapporteur in the resolution did not preclude the possibility of disagreeing with her conclusions and recommendations, nor did it set new standards for the prerogative of States’ responses to requests for visits by the Special Rapporteur.


People were not inherently vulnerable, though some individuals were made vulnerable due to the social context in which they lived, she said.  As such, Uganda’s understanding was that the reference to vulnerable individuals in the text was strictly confined, in view of the limited scope of the resolution, to certain groups.  It was also the understanding of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that the freedom to adopt a religion or belief and the freedom to manifest that religion or belief were applicable both to the individual as well as the religious community to which the individual belongs.  Defamation of religions was a serious threat to that freedom, as it could lead to the illicit restriction of the freedom of religion and could also lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights.  Despite divergence on those issues, the Organization of the Islamic Conference had decided not to block the adoption of the draft by consensus, believing that resolutions on such a level ought to be adopted by consensus.  It was hoped that, in the future, the co-sponsors would be more ready to address the Organization’s concerns.


The representative of Guinea said he would like to withdraw his country’s co-sponsorship of the draft.


The Committee approved the draft as orally revised and without a vote.


Next, it took up the draft text on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document A/C.3/63/L.39/Rev.1) and its proposed amendment, contained in document A/C.3/63/78.


The representative of Mexico, it main sponsor, said the text, as it stood, had been the result of broad consultations.  But, to further accommodate the views of delegations, he made several oral amendments to the text, which were being circulated in the room.  Thanking delegations for their flexibility, he said the text had focused on the need ensure that measures to combat terrorism were being undertaken in accordance with States’ human rights obligations.  He expressed hope that the draft would meet with unanimous support.


The main sponsor of the proposed amendment contained in document L.78, the representative of South Africa, said she would withdraw her proposal in light of the changes just read by the representative of Mexico.  In explanation of action, she said that her country held the position that all resolutions and decisions relating to human rights should strive to reflect the importance of the prevention of violations; where prevention failed, the need for adequate protection for victims; and the importance of remedies for victims.  It was important that the current text held fast to that position.


She noted that the text had referenced several key issues, such as the Security Council’s targeted sanctions.  That issue belonged elsewhere in the system, unless given a specific human rights context.  Indeed, it would be unfortunate if the draft were to encourage the consideration of the war on terror in the context of the Third Committee.  She did not share the view of sponsors that there was no suffering caused by counter-terrorism measures, and that the impacts of such measures were a mere inconvenience.  She also thought that the definition of victims of counter-terrorism should not be so narrowly defined as it was in the text.


She said that, in a bid to work with co-sponsors in a constructive manner, South Africa had participated in good faith in the negotiations and in bilateral discussions on the text.  The amendments that her country had proposed, as contained in document L.78, had been made in line with all international efforts undertaken so far in the field of human rights and counter-terrorism activities.  Despite its serious concerns regarding the draft, South Africa joined the consensus in the hope that future sponsors would strive to make the text ever more compatible with spirit of promotion and protection of human rights, while countering terrorism.


The Committee then approved the text as orally revised and without a vote.


Speaking in explanation after action, the representative of Cuba referred to paragraph 18 of the text, which she said should be “more balanced”.  In addition, she said she understood that paragraph 19 should be read in connection with paragraph 18, which referred to the obligations of Member States regarding measures taken by the Security Council to counter terrorism.


The representative of Syria said she had joined the consensus, although she had reservations with paragraph 11, which referred to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto, to which her country was not party.  Syria would continue to cooperate in the area, in accordance with national laws and Syria’s international commitments.


Before moving to take action on the draft resolution on the Committee on the Rights of the Child (document A/C.3/63/L.46/Rev.1), the Secretary informed the Committee that the Secretariat reserved the right to amend the related programme budgetary implications as contained in document A/C.3/63/L.61*, in line with revisions.


The representative of New Zealand, speaking on behalf of the draft’s sponsors, said the draft was largely procedural and was aimed at introducing temporary measures to help reduce the backlog in the Committee’s reports.  The resolution asked for a longer-term solution to deal with the backlog.  An amendment to operative paragraph 2, distributed in hard copy to the members of the Committee, would have the General Assembly decide to authorize the Committee to meet in parallel chambers for 10 working days of each of its three regular sessions, as opposed to four, and for five working days between October 2009 and October 2010, as opposed to January 2011.  Adopting the draft without a vote would demonstrate strong and enduring commitment of Member States to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Committee.

The representative of Chile said her delegation was convinced that the Committee on the Rights of the Child needed the time to look at each submitted report in-depth.  The Committee had been conceived as a body that could provide a diverse and comprehensive analysis.  Operative paragraph 4 was, therefore, fundamental to dealing with issues regarding delays in the adoption of reports.


While joining consensus on the draft, the representative of Mexico said that authorizing the Committee to work in parallel chambers limited the discussions on country reports and, in particular, minimized the geographic representation of those analysing the reports.  It was necessary to note, therefore, that the authorization to meet in parallel chambers was exceptional and temporary.  A longer-term solution to the problem should be found and should avoid such parallel meetings. 


The Committee then approved the draft, as orally revised, without a vote.


The representative of Cuba, speaking after action, said that Cuba considered the idea of working in two chambers as an exceptional and temporary measure.  In principle, such actions were not appropriate, as they affected the analysis of reports, specifically in regard to fair geographic distribution.  While Cuba joined the consensus, he noted that the resolution had been presented under the assumption that it would be submitted to a vote.  For more than 10 years, the omnibus resolution on the rights of the child had dealt with matters relating to that issue.  The adoption of the current draft, L.46/Rev.1, was an exceptional initiative on the issue, and in the future, Member States should continue to support and negotiate the omnibus resolution on the rights of the child.


The representative of the United States disassociated his delegation from consensus because of the cost implications of the draft.  The cost implications of additional meetings authorized in the current draft would be similar to extending the meetings of the Committee and would result in an additional cost of $4 million to $5 million over the next several years.  He expressed hope that, by the time the reporting backlog was eliminated, another source of funding would be found. 


The representative of Venezuela said she welcomed the approval of the draft by consensus.  But, she stressed that the practice of parallel chambers should be undertaken on an exceptional basis, and that it should not prejudice the work and recommendations of the experts.  Likewise, she would appeal for the delays in the Committee’s work to be dealt with and, in that regard, that States should explore alternative working methods to solve the problem in a permanent way.


The representative of Japan said she had great respect for the Committee and was aware of the urgent need to deal with its backlog.  That issue must be discussed within the context of overall reform of human rights treaty bodies, all of whom had similar problems.  A long-term solution should be carefully considered in future years.  The Committee on the Rights of the Child played an important role in promoting child rights, but the draft implied certain programme budget implications.  She noted that the United Nations regular budget was not an unlimited source of funds.  She expressed concern that such programme budget implications impaired the functioning of the United Nations system.


She went on to say that the promotion of child rights was a fundamental goal of her country, and for that reason she had joined consensus.  However, the Committee on the Rights of the Child should continue to enhance its working methods, and that should be a common effort among all human rights treaty bodies.


Following that action, and in connection with that agenda item, the Committee took note of several documents, including a report of the Committee on the Protection of All Migrant Workers (document A/63/48); the Secretary-General’s report on the status of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery (document A/63/137); and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Chairpersons of human rights treaty bodies on their twentieth meeting (document A/63/280).


In addition, the Committee took note of reports of the Secretary-General on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights (document A/63/259); on the protection of migrants (document A/63/287); as well as notes by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document A/63/223); interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (document A/63/263); report of the Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations (document A/63/270); and report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers (document A/63/271).


It also took note reports of the independent expert on human rights and extreme poverty (document A/63/274); the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living (document A/63/275); the representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons (document A/63/286); the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (document A/63/288); and the independent expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights (document A/63/289).


Other documents taken note of by the Committee were notes by the Secretary-General transmitting the reports of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the composition of the staff at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (document A/63/290); report of Special Rapporteur on the right to education (document A/63/292); and report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/63/213).


It also took note of information on the work of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee relating to the right to development (document A/63/318); and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (document A/63/326).


Then, returning briefly to the agenda item on indigenous issues, the Committee decided to take note of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations (document A/63/188).


At this juncture, the Chair moved to suspend the meeting, to be resumed tomorrow morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when it would take action on the draft decision on Programme Planning (document A/C.3/63/L.79) and conclude its session for the year.


Right of Reply


The representative of United Kingdom said her Government had no doubt over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, and that its position was underpinned by the principle of self-determination as contained in the United Nations Charter.  There would be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless the islanders so wished.  At present, they had no wish to lose British sovereignty or to become independent.


ANNEX I


Vote on Oral Amendment/Disabled Persons Action Programme


The oral amendment, which adds a new preambular paragraph to the draft resolution on implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons: realizing the Millennium Development Goals to persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 67 in favour to 41 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chad, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Angola, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu.


Absent:  Bahamas, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX II


Vote on Disabled Persons World Programme of Action


The draft resolution on implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons: realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to none against, with no abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  None.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu.


ANNEX III


Vote on Report of Human Rights Council


The draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/63/L.57) was approved by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 5 against, with 55 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Elimination of Racism


The draft resolution on global efforts for the total elimination of racism racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the comprehensive implementation of and follow up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/63/L.51/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 11 against, with 35 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


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For information media • not an official record