Secretary-General

SG/SM/14497
HR/14


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


SECRETARY-GENERAL CITES SEXUAL-ORIENTATION BIAS, WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT

AMONG CHALLENGES REQUIRING HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL'S ATTENTION

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, 10 September:

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I also remain concerned about the unfulfilled human rights of the Palestinian people, in particular the right to self-determination.  A sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires a negotiated agreement that ends the 1967 occupation and results in an independent, sovereign, democratic and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.  This objective must be supported by developments on the ground, including respect for human rights and international law, and concerted efforts to build the foundations of a future Palestinian State.

The situation in Gaza remains tense and troubling with indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes and incursions.  Serious human rights, humanitarian and socioeconomic problems only add to the immense human suffering.  I urge Israel to lift its harsh restrictions in order to ease the plight of civilians and bring an end to the closure.  Keeping a large and dense population in unremitting poverty is in nobody’s interest except that of the most extreme radicals in the region.

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For information media • not an official record