1 May 2009


Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review, Brazil, Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza

Concerning the fact-finding mission to Gaza, the mission, which was established by the Special Session of the Human Rights Council in January, would convene in Geneva from 4 to 8 May to hold a wide range of discussions. The members of the fact-finding mission were Christine Chinkin, of the London School of Economics and Political Science at the University of London; Hina Jilani, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders and current advocate in the Supreme Court of Pakistan; and Retired Col. Desmond Travers of Ireland, who was a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations; and Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, who was the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, who would lead the mission. The mission would meet with concerned countries in Geneva, civil society representatives and UN agencies. This was the first time they were meeting collectively, rather than in a virtual meeting. A press encounter would be held towards the end of next week. The mission planned to leave for the region from Geneva. He would provide journalists with more details as soon as he had them.

Responding to a question, Mr. Gomez mentioned that Justice Richard Goldstone had previously stated at his press conference in early April upon his appointment that he was hopeful the mission would be able to conduct its work freely based on the positive signals he had thus far received from the concerned parties.