Cablegate: Un General Assembly: Human Rights
DE RUCNDT #1019 3191427
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151427Z NOV 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3095
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1012
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0382
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1104
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0228
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2938
UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001019
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNGA PHUM BM CU KN SY CH
SUBJECT: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: HUMAN RIGHTS
1. (U) Speaking Oct. 31 in the annual debate on promotion and
protection of human rights in the UN General Assembly's Third
Committee, Ambassador Khalilzad emphasized the value the
United States places on human rights, described the important
role these rights play in building societies, cited examples
of progress in human rights (Indonesia, Sierra Leone,
Guatemala, Morocco and Lebanon) and addressed situations of
human rights violations (Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Burma,
Belarus, Iran and Syria). He noted U.S. concern for the
situation of human rights in Russia and China. (Full text of
Ambassador Khalilzad's statement is available
press releases/20071031 278.html).
2. (U) Several delegations responded to the U.S. statement.
Iran's representative regretted that the Third Committee is
frequently misused to name and blame, which he said divides
the group into two blocs, the claimants vs. the defendants.
He noted that no country has a perfect record and pointed to
Guantanamo, secret detention centers, mistreatment of
migrants in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and the
inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people, which, he
alleged, is supported by Europe and the United States.
3. (U) The Cuban delegate boasted of Cuba's successes in the
area of human rights and said the same countries that
criticize Cuba commit numerous violations of human rights,
singling out the United States for what she said was torture
of prisoners by U.S. soldiers in Guantanamo and Iraq, sexual
abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, police violence, the death
penalty for minors, election fraud, "people-hunting" on the
Mexican border, and violations of civil and political rights
of American citizens, including wiretapping and banning
travel to Cuba.
4. (U) North Korea's delegate said the U.S. invasion and
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan were the cause of "more
than a million" deaths and an increase in sectarian violence.
He called for "non-selectivity" in addressing human rights,
stating that issues such as the unlawful acts of Israel in
the Occupied Territories and the CIA's alleged overseas
secret prisons are ignored, while developing countries are
the target of accusations. "The United States is the number
one invader and killer of other nations" said the North
Korean, and "must clean its untidy house inside and out."
5. (U) Syria's delegate said the "American sermon" was an
attempt to divide the Third Committee into good vs. bad. He
argued that the vote against the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba
in this year's General Assembly showed the isolation of the
American position when it comes to human rights. He said
U.S. human rights violations include the Guantanamo prison,
secret extrajudicial executions, targeted killings, use of
biological weapons in Vietnam, racial discrimination, and
even movies that promote violence around the world.
6. (U) China said the United States had turned a blind eye to
China's progress in human rights, but had failed to examine
its own human rights record, citing the September 16
Blackwater security incident in Iraq. He stated that the
United States has increased its monitoring and control of the
Internet and suppressed anti-war expression and gatherings.
He alleged that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in the
United States, as are violations of the human rights of
Native Americans and ethnic groups. He called on the United
States to remember its own "bad and sad" human rights record.