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Cablegate: Human Rights Council Passes Lebanon Resolution At

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DE RUEHGV #1954/01 2241146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121146Z AUG 06
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0666
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1556
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHZJ/HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0478
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 1394
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0954
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0190
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 0154
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0056
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0519
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0385
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0205
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 4684
RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 0298
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0124
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0528
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 2355
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0284
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS 0213
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0696
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 4214
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 0373
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0540
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0662
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3472
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0462
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 1193
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0059

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 GENEVA 001954

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/RHS, DRL/MLA, L/HRR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM UNHRC
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL PASSES LEBANON RESOLUTION AT
SPECIAL SESSION

GENEVA 00001954 001.2 OF 006


Summary
--------

1. In its second special session the Human Rights Council
(HRC) passed August 11 by a vote of 27-11-8 with one absent a
resolution condemning Israel for its actions in Lebanon. The
resolution did not included any reference to Hizballah or its
actions. The resolution sponsors, primarily from the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab
League, refused to negotiate the text, only considering
amendments shortly before the vote. In general statements
and explanations of vote states, including a number of
supporters of the resolution, noted the lack of balance in
the text. They stressed the loss of life and extent of the
destruction in Lebanon as the reason behind their yes votes.
Canada called for the vote objecting to unbalanced text and
the inclusion of international humanitarian language that it
considers beyond the HRC's mandate. The European Union (EU),
after difficult discussions and approaches in Paris by the
United States and EU partners, succeeded in maintaining unity
to vote against the resolution. A number of states expressed
concern that the sponsors' refusal to hold consultations on
the text set a bad precedent for the future of the Council.
The majority called for swift action in the UN Security
Council to end the violence in Lebanon. Ambassador's
Tichenor's statement may be found on Mission Geneva's
website. Resolution text at para 7. End summary.

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Israel: Again Subject of Special Session
----------------------------------------

2. The second special session of the HRC in five weeks was
called at the request of the OIC and Arab League with the
support of China, Russia and Cuba. Argentina, Brazil, India,
Mali, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Uruguay signed on to the
request after it was submitted to the HRC president. This
session, as was the first special session (July 5-6), was
called to condemn Israeli actions. U.S. efforts (reftels) to
stop or postpone the session due to concerns regarding its
possible negative impact on UN Security Council deliberations
received tacit support from a number of delegations, but not
enough to succeed in blocking the session. Once it became
clear that the session would be held, delegations turned to
the text of the resolution, which was not officially tabled
until the evening of August 9 virtually guaranteeing
insufficient time for negotiations. Pakistani Permanent
Representative Masood Khan coordinated OIC and Arab League
actions, with the Egyptian delegation acting behind the
scenes. The unbalanced text, which focused solely condemning
Israeli actions, immediately drew criticism from Western
Human Rights Group (WHRG) members as well as a number of
others across regional groups. Efforts by various states,
including Switzerland,to engage the sponsors were rejected.
Moderate OIC members told USDel that the OIC would not
consider changes to the text that made reference to
Hizballah, its actions or blamed it for the current conflict.


General Statements And EOP's

GENEVA 00001954 002.2 OF 006


----------------------------

3. HRC President Mexican PermRep Luis Alfonso de Alba,
opened the session by reminded member states of the Council's
mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all in a
fair and equal manner. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Louise Arbour called on all parties needed to comply with
their obligations under international human rights and
humanitarian law and for an immediate cessation of
hostilities. Arbour said the most basic human right -- the
right to life -- was being denied to the civilians caught up
in the current crisis. She also said that advance warnings
of attack did not relieve parties from their obligations
under international humanitarian law regarding the protection
of civilians, and suggested that war crimes and crimes
against humanity may have been committed.

4. As expected the resolution's sponsors delivered harsh,
often emotional, statements accusing Israel of deliberately
targeting civilians and violating international humanitarian
law and human rights law. They all called on the
international community to take action to stop the violence
and aid the Lebanese people. While Syria, Libya, Iran and
others said the U.S. shared responsibility for the conflict
in Lebanon, only Cuba dedicated a fair share of its statement
to blaming the United States. Common themes among other
speakers were support for efforts in the UN Security Council,
the need to end the hostilities, violations of international
humanitarian law and of human rights, the lack of balance in
the resolution, the failure to mention Hizballah actions, and
the sponsors' refusal to hold consultations. Canada,
Cameroon, Guatemala, Japan, UK, South Korea, Philippines,
Australia, Netherlands and others expressed concern that the
special session was a distraction to the complex UNSC
negotiations in New York.

Few Surprises In The Vote
-------------------------

5. Voting fell along predictable lines. OIC members voted
yes. The Eastern Group split with EU members and Ukraine
voting no and Russia and Azerbaijan voting yes. All GRULAC
members -- except for Guatemala which abstained -- voted in
favor of the resolution. Non-Arab African countries were
split among "yes" votes and abstentions. The Asian group
members split Japan voting no, and Philippines and South
Korea abstaining. Switzerland's decision to abstain
threatened to derail EU solidarity when France and Finland
indicated they would also abstain. Following demarches by
the UK, Germany, and the United States in Paris and Helsinki,
EU solidarity was restored when France agreed to vote no and
Finland followed suit. Similar demarches in Bern failed to
sway FM Calmy-Rey.

6. Vote count: 27-11-8:

-- YES: Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Jordan,
Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru,

GENEVA 00001954 003.2 OF 006


Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka,
Tunisia, Uruguay, Zambia.

-- NO: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany,
Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

-- ABSTENTIONS: Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Nigeria,
Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland.

-- Not present - Djibouti.

Resolution
----------

7. Text of resolution as adopted:
S-2/Res/1. The grave situation of human rights in Lebanon
caused by Israeli military operations
The Human Rights Council,
Reaffirming the purposes and principles contained in the
Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and
recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child
and other human rights instruments,
Acknowledging that peace and security, development and human
rights are the pillars of the United Nations system,

Recalling General Assembly resolution
60/251 of 15 March 2006 in which the Assembly decided that
the Human Rights Council:

(a) Should address situations of violations of human rights,
including gross and systematic violations, and make
recommendations thereon; and

(b) Shall respond promptly to human rights emergencies,


Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, relevant human
rights instruments and international humanitarian law, in
particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 on the Laws
and Customs of War on Land which prohibit attacks and
bombardment of civilian populations and objects and lay down
obligations for general protection against dangers arising
from military operations against civilian objects, hospitals,
relief materials and means of transportation,


Recalling the commitments of the High Contracting Parties to
the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional
Protocols thereto,

Reaffirming that each High Contracting Party to the Geneva
Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) is under obligation to
take action against persons alleged to have committed or to
have ordered the commission of grave breaches of the

GENEVA 00001954 004.2 OF 006


Convention, and recalling the Convention on the
Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and
Crimes against Humanity,

Emphasizing that human rights law and international
humanitarian law are complementary and mutually reinforcing,


Stressing that the right to life constitutes the most
fundamental of all human rights,

Condemning Israeli military operations in Lebanon, which
constitute gross and systematic human rights violations of
the Lebanese people,

Appalled at the massive violations of the human rights of the
people of Lebanon by Israel resulting in the massacre of
thousands of civilians, injuries, extensive damage to
civilian infrastructure, displacement of 1 million people,
and outflows of refugees fleeing heavy shelling and
bombardment against the civilian population,


Strongly condemning the indiscriminate and massive Israeli
air strikes, in particular on the village of Qana on 30 July
2006, and the targeting of United Nations peacekeepers at the
United Nations observer post in southern Lebanon on 25 July
2006,


Taking note of the strong condemnation by the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights of the killing of
civilians in Qana, her call to take measures to protect
civilian lives and civilian objects and her reiteration of
the need for independent investigation, with the involvement
of international experts,

Noting the extreme concern expressed by the Representative of
the Secretary-General on human rights of internally displaced
persons, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the right of
everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard
of physical and mental health, the Special Rapporteur on
adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate
standard of living, and the Special Rapporteur on the right
to food about the continuing adverse impact on the human
rights and the humanitarian situation of the civilian
population in Lebanon,

Emphasizing that attacks and killings of innocent civilians
and the destruction of houses, property and infrastructure in
Lebanon are a breach of the principles of the Charter of the
United Nations, international law and international
humanitarian law as well as are flagrant violations of human
rights,
Recognizing the urgent need to address the dire humanitarian
situation in Lebanon, including through the immediate lifting
of the blockade of Lebanon imposed by Israel,
Noting with concern the environmental degradation caused by

GENEVA 00001954 005.2 OF 006


Israeli strikes against power plants and their adverse impact
on health,
Concerned at the targeting of the communication and media
networks in Lebanon,
Outraged at the continuing senseless killings by Israel, with
impunity, of children, women, the elderly and other civilians
in Lebanon,
1. Strongly condemns the grave Israeli violations of human
rights and breaches of international humanitarian law in
Lebanon;
2. Condemns the massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian
populations, especially the massacres in Qana, Marwaheen, Al
Duweir, Al Bayadah, Al Qaa, Chiyah, Ghazieh and other towns
of Lebanon, causing thousands of deaths and injuries, mostly
among children and women, and the displacement of 1 million
civilians, according to a preliminary assessment, thus
exacerbating the magnitude of the human suffering of the
Lebanese;
3. Also condemns the Israeli bombardment of vital civilian
infrastructure resulting in extensive destruction and heavy
damage to public and private properties;
4. Calls upon Israel to abide, immediately and scrupulously,
by its obligations under human rights law, in particular the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, and international
humanitarian law;
5. Urges all concerned parties to respect the rules of
international humanitarian law, to refrain from violence
against the civilian population and to treat under all
circumstances all detained combatants and civilians in
accordance with the Geneva Conventions;
6. Also calls upon Israel to immediately stop military
operations against the civilian population and civilian
objects resulting in death and destruction and serious
violations of human rights;
7. Decides to urgently establish and immediately dispatch a
high-level commission of inquiry comprising of eminent
experts on human rights law and international humanitarian
law, including the possibility of inviting the relevant
United Nations special procedures to be nominated to the
Commission:
(a) To investigate the systematic targeting and killings of
civilians by Israel in Lebanon;
(b) To examine the types of weapons used by Israel and their
conformity with international law;
(c) To assess the extent and deadly impact of Israeli
attacks on human life, property, critical infrastructure and
the environment;
8. Requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide all
administrative, technical and logistical assistance required
to enable the Commission of Inquiry to fulfil its mandate
promptly and efficiently;
9. Calls upon the international community urgently to
provide the Government of Lebanon with humanitarian and
financial assistance to enable it to deal with the worsening
humanitarian disaster, rehabilitation of victims, return of
displaced persons and restoration of the essential
infrastructure;
10. Requests the Commission of Inquiry to report to the

GENEVA 00001954 006.2 OF 006


Council no later than 1 September 2006 on progress made
towards the fulfilment of its mandate.
End Text.
TICHENOR

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