Summary record of the 32nd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 31 October 2008, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Majoor ……………………………………………………. (Netherlands)
later: Ms. Seanedzu (Vice-Chairman) ……………………………………….. (Ghana)
later: Mr. Majoor (Chairman) ……………………………………………… (Netherlands)
Agenda item 58: Report of the Human Rights Council
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 58: Report of the Human Rights Council (A/63/53 and Add.1; A/C.3/63/1/Add.1)
1. Mr. Uhomoibhi (Nigeria), President of the Human Rights Council, introduced the annual report of the Council (A/63/53 and Add.1). …
4. Review of the Council’s special procedures had likewise continued; 24 country and thematic mandates had been reviewed. A number of mandate-holders had been appointed or had their mandates renewed. Due consideration had been given to regional and gender balance in appointing them. In accordance with its mandate to deal with events constituting serious human rights violations, the Council’s fifth and sixth special sessions had been devoted respectively to the situation of human rights in Myanmar and human rights violations emanating from Israeli military attacks and incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The Council had interacted with a wide range of stakeholders in recognition of the crucial contribution their views made to enriching its work.
5. He drew attention to two important texts arising out of the Council’s ninth session, which required the urgent attention of the General Assembly. Resolution 9/18, on follow-up to resolution S-3/1: human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the shelling of Beit Hanoun, recommended that the report of the high-level fact-finding mission on Beit Hanoun should be considered by the General Assembly with the participation of the members of the mission. …
29. Mr. Saeed (Sudan) … welcomed the Council resolution on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory endorsing the recommendations of the high-level fact-finding mission on Beit Hanoun, which was delayed owing to the non-cooperation of Israel.
36. Mr. Hagen (United States of America) said that his Government’s concerns about the Council had become even more pronounced over the past year. The Council’s numerous actions during the reporting period had been contrary to its mandate; its positive actions had been outweighed by its negative actions and inaction. That situation eroded the Organization’s pre-eminent role in promoting the equal and inalienable rights of all persons. The Council had continued to take frequent, disproportionate and biased actions against Israel. Furthermore, his Government was deeply disappointed at the Council’s treatment of the freedoms of expression and religion, actions which were entirely inconsistent with the Universal Declaration and the Charter. Some of the Council’s resolutions could be interpreted in such a way as to justify restrictions on those very freedoms.
54. Mr. Shalev-Schlosser (Israel) welcomed the efforts of the President of the Human Rights Council to lead its deliberations in an objective manner. However, he wished to know what action had been undertaken or planned to ensure a balanced approach to all countries. Israel had been singled out by a specific item on the Council’s agenda. He further asked when the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories would be reviewed, as was usual for all mandates, and as had been requested by the current mandate-holder. Lastly, he wished to know what was being done to ensure that the Durban Review Conference, to be held in Geneva in April 2009, would not serve as a platform for anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism.
The meeting rose at 5.35 p.m.
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