Search

 

Cablegate: Eu/Us Cooperation in the Unga and On..

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 001793

SIPDIS

IO FOR LAGON; DRL FOR KOZAK; GENEVA FOR DELAURENTIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2014
TAGS: PREL ECON PHUM KDEM AORC NL CH UN
SUBJECT: EU/US COOPERATION IN THE UNGA AND ON...

18800

2004-07-16

04THEHAGUE1793

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL

04STATE153876

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 001793

SIPDIS

IO FOR LAGON; DRL FOR KOZAK; GENEVA FOR DELAURENTIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2014
TAGS: PREL ECON PHUM KDEM AORC NL CH UN
SUBJECT: EU/US COOPERATION IN THE UNGA AND ON HUMAN RIGHTS

REF: A. STATE 153876

B. THE HAGUE 1737

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY ANDREW SCHOFER, POLCOUNS, FOR REASONS 1.4
AND D

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Dutch are deeply committed to the Transatlantic
Dialogue, a successful EU Presidency, and leadership during the UN Gene
Assembly that values USG input if not always agreeing with it. In
discussions with DRL PDAS Kozak and IO DAS Lagon on July12 - 13, Dutch
interlocutors acknowledged Chinese backsliding on human rights in the l
six months but did not expect this to influence EU thinking on lifting
China Arms Embargo. Dutch MFA and NGO officials remain terribly
troubled by Abu Ghraib and welcomed USG clarification regarding the
status of Guantanamo prisoners. The Dutch agreed to collaborate on a
US-EU package of agreed language to settle references to contentious
issues in Third Committee resolutions. USDel signaled new flexibility
UN Commission on Human Rights elections, prompting the Dutch to agree t
restart WEOG negotiations. Sudan, Chechnya, Iran, Burma, Turkmenistan,
and Zimbabwe seem likely subjects for Third Committee resolutions, whil
Belarus and Uzbekistan are not. End summary.

2. (U) China, Guantanamo, human rights and a range of United Nations
issues were the agenda in The Hague, June 12 - 13, for DRL PDAS Michael
Kozak's and IO DAS Mark Lagon's meetings with Dutch MFA officials. MFA
interlocutors included Special Ambassador for Human Rights Piet de Kler
Deputy Political Director Hermann Schaper, Human Rights Director Adanna
Adema, and Director of the UN Department Karel van Kesteren. The DCM
hosted an NGO reception and Lagon briefed a large group of university
students on U.S. Human Rights concerns and multilateral issues generall

CHINA ARMS EMBARGO AND BACKSLIDING ON HUMAN RIGHTS

3. (C) Amb. de Klerk will travel to China soon to review the human rig
situation. Schaper reminded USDel that the EU's embargo was a specific
response keyed to Tiananmen Square. It was not intended as retaliation
for human rights issues generally and was not imposed for military
considerations, although both concerns now prompt the USG push for
maintaining the ban. He admitted Chinese backsliding over the last six
months caused concern but stressed that this in itself was not a
sufficient argument for maintaining the embargo.

4. (C) The Dutch said that the next senior EU discussion of China in
September would focus on the last couple of years of Chinese actions.
EU will examine whether their China dialogue has made a difference on t
ground. The Dutch shared elements from the EU decision matrix:

a. The EU does not want the embargo to stand in the way of overall bett
relations.

b. Human rights is but one issue here; the question is more than is t
glass half full or half empty. There are more glasses on the table.
There has been recent backsliding, but overall the situation has improv
over the last 15 years. The embargo was a response to Tiananmen Square

c. The EU does not expect to export its best weapons to China should t
ban be lifted, and it does not want European weapons to be used or
deployed against U.S. forces.

d. What effect would lifting have on the US presidential elections; an
would it lead to Euro-bashing that would embarrass the Dutch EU
Presidency, for example.

5. (C) PDAS Kozak disputed the Dutch assertions regarding China's
improved human rights record and shared recent examples of China's
unfulfilled commitments. A dialogue without results was pointless, he
stressed. Regarding Tiananmen, Chinese restraint from running people o
with tanks in recent years could not justify lifting. He suggested the
should take a closer look at the status of those who were punished for
Tiananmen, if resolution of that issue is the threshold for lifting.

6. (SBU) USDel and NGO reps, meeting later at the DCM's residence,
brainstormed ideas for trying to use public opinion to deflect what loo
like a pending EU decision to lift the ban. One idea that resonated wa
to hold a European NGO forum on the Chinese human rights situation earl
in the fall.

GUANTANAMO AND OTHER DETAINEES IN THE WAR ON TERROR

7. (C) Dutch MFA officials and NGO reps remained terribly troubled b
what happened at Abu Ghraib and were clearly hungry for the latest
information on the status of all detainees (ref b). Discussions of the
new Cuba resolution in ECOSOC (ref b) led to thinking about how to a
discussion of how improve Dutch and EU public opinion, including
development of new public affairs products or informal visits to
Guantanamo by an EU or EU Presidency rep. USDel did not commit to thes
proposals but promised to study options.

THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

8. (U) UN Priorities for 59 UNGA
The USG's UNGA priorities paper has inspired the EU to devise a concise
working paper of their own, the Dutch told us. They promised to study
UNGA priorities (septel) and offered to review the EU list with us late
in the week as well (septel).

9. (C) Working together at the UNGA - Third Committee

USDel committed to sending the EU a draft package of agreed language to
settle references in resolutions to contentious issues in the Third
Committee, including how to refer to the International Criminal Court,
death penalty, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, among
others. The Dutch agreed to vet our draft at the EU's September COHUM
(working group on human rights) and to arrange a bilateral meeting, if
needed, to work out problems. This might be in Brussels on or about
October 1, or in Warsaw around the same time.

10. (C) Country specific issues included:

- Sudan: We agreed to wait to see what the Security Council would do
before considering Third Committee action to follow on the UNCHR
resolution. (Sudan is discussed in more detail below).

- Burma: We agreed there is a need to have Third Committee action.

- Turkmenistan: The EU wondered if it made sense to table another
resolution this year. Not doing so might send the wrong signal. On th
other hand, we are trying to streamline the UN agenda. The EU suggeste
we could run one last resolution and announce that henceforth we would
focus on action in the UNCHR.

- Zimbabwe: USDel offered to support any British action in New York if
they want to have a resolution there.

- Belarus and Uzbekistan: We agreed that there is no need for Third
Committee action since rapporteurs have been already been assigned.

UN REFORM

11. (C) Reformed and better UN

Geopolitical reality and strategic practicality inspire the Netherlands
devotion to the multilateral system with an active, constructive, and
reformed UN at the center, Schaper said. The upcoming review of the
Millennium Development Goals is a natural deadline for UN reforms. DAS
Lagon assured him that the US is as committed to building up the UN as
have been to reforming it, however we cannot single-handedly reach the
goal of a UN living up to its original purposes.

12. (C) The Dutch do not want UN reform to stall over Security Council
enlargement. They favor, eventually, one EU seat. The MFA working lev
however, opposes Germany's SC seat bid, but publicly the MFA has had to
along for now. On voting, the Dutch have proposed to SYG Annan a votin
weight system as follows: 1/3 based on being a member of the UN; 1/3
based on population; and 1/3 based on the total amount of assessed and
voluntary contributions to the UN.

13. (U) Community of Democracies/Democracy Caucus

In courting the wary Dutch to become involved, we reassured them that t
Democracy Caucus (DC) would augment, not compete, with traditional,
long-standing groups. Admitting the idea has theoretical merit, the Du
remained curious about how the Caucus would admit borderline members.
noted that UN PermRep Danforth cited the DC in his confirmation hearing
and thought it a useful tool not limited to use in human rights but als
good for development issues, UN reform, and so on.

UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND ACTION FOR COUNTRY SPECIFIC CONCERNS

14. (C) UNCHR Elections

We signaled U.S. readiness to restart negotiations over an agreed WEOG
slate for UNCHR elections, with new flexibility on forgoing membership
two years, rather than one, out of 21. Van Kesteren, co-chair (with th
Canadians) of earlier negotiations on this issue, agreed to explore
restarting negotiations based on this welcome information. He added th
the U.S. might end up having to relinquish three years to get a deal.
added that, after the Security Council, membership on the UNCHR was a
valuable prize for many states. DAS Lagon reported the French seemed
prepared to work it out so WEOG could focus on substance and discourage
the current practice of vote trading with undesirable countries from ot
regions. Finally, van Kesteren fingered Austria as a problem country t
insisted on maintaining their position based on the established pattern
Commission membership.

15. (C) Sudan

The Dutch felt the time was ripe for a SC resolution on Sudan. There w
serious problems with both sides and sanctions might be appropriate. I
reviewing the earlier, troublesome Geneva negotiations on the Sudan
resolution and what to do in the Third Committee, the Dutch predicted N
York discussions would again be a triangle between the U.S., EU and
African Union (AU). USDel urged the EU to avoid surprises like the dea
it cut with the AU behind our backs on the last day of talks in Geneva.
We agreed it would be useful to try to split the AU members by peeling
South Africa and other AU members chafing under the AU's lowest common
denominator protection of Sudan. There was consensus not to let
discussion of the genocide question delay or thwart more immediate
action.

16. (SBU) NGOs suggested that finding a political solution should be m
higher on the agenda. The rep from Doctors Without Borders complained
that the NGOs are under new threats because both government and rebels
object to their perceived sharing of information from the field with th
outside world. PDAS Kozak regretted that information sharing caused
problems, and said it is important for the GOS to know we are collectin
facts so as to hold them accountable.

17. (SBU) Chechnya

NGOs believed the international community has increasingly abandoned
Chechnya and that the situation has become more criminalized in the las
four years. Dutch MFA officials had earlier admitted that the EU has a
bloody nose on this intractable issue. PDAS Kozak reassured NGOs tha
we raise Chechnya with the Russians all the time and have not let
terrorism get in the way of promoting human rights.

18. (C) Iran

The Dutch reported a meeting the EU had in Teheran three weeks ago wher
academics and officials discussed police, prisons, and the legal system
Discussions were much more uni sono than half a year ago since
opposition parliamentarians were absent. There are serious questions n
whether to continue the dialogue and there will be a decision by early
October, they told us. The Dutch reminded USDel that they see the
non-proliferation issue as part of a broader relationship with Iran tha
includes expanding business opportunities.

MEETING WITH UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

19. (U) DAS Lagon had a cordial dialogue with 25 student leaders from
Dutch universities who asked about the U.S.'s lack of participation wit
the ICC, its support of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its
perceived unilateral approach to the war in Iraq, and its treatment of
human rights in the broader war on terrorism. Praising the EU's cultur
of dialogue as a model for other nations, Lagon cautioned that American
realpolitik is a reaction to a belief that the rest of the world has a
less mature approach to international relations. Lagon warned that tha
an extended process of seeking consensus often delayed urgent action.
Rejecting allegations of U.S. unilateralism, Lagon described America's
involvement in many multilateral efforts. Public diplomacy could rever
impressions of American unilateralism and build greater consensus for U
actions. He suggested exchange programs, greater awareness by American
politicians of their global audiences, and discussions such as the one
was currently having were important elements in such a strategy.

COMMENT

20. (C) Commitment to the Transatlantic Dialogue underlies much of the
Dutch UN agenda during their EU Presidency. Their exchanges with the
USDel were productive, showed flexibility and receptiveness to US ideas
and a drive to find consensus while doing their duty for national and E
positions. Their promise to work more closely on the Sudan human right
resolutions in New York was welcome and signaled good intentions on the
wider range of issues. On the other hand, their narrowing of the China
arms embargo debate to Tiananmen Square left us little room to argue th
larger human rights and military points of the issue. Immediately on
Guantanamo and longer term in general, the Dutch public remains recepti
to fresh public diplomacy efforts providing information they can use to
justify alignment with U.S. positions.
RUSSEL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>