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Cablegate: Brunei Likely to Repeat Last Years' Votes On Unga

VZCZCXRO7665
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHBD #0319 2970712
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240712Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3994
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000319

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/RHS:OSTERMEIER, DRL/MLGA:SICADE, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIA PHUM PREL UN BX
SUBJECT: BRUNEI LIKELY TO REPEAT LAST YEARS' VOTES ON UNGA
THIRD COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS

REF: A. SECSTATE 145641
B. 06 BANDAR 583

1. (SBU) DCM delivered ref A demarche on October 24 to
Florence Chong, Assistant Director for International
Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Chong
replied that Brunei would likely take positions on single
country resolutions similar to last year (see also ref B),
when Brunei had abstained on Belarus and voted no on Iran.

2. (SBU) On Burma, DCM stressed the need to maintain pressure
on the Burmese regime and follow up the strong ASEAN
statement with a strong resolution in the Third Committee.
Chong took on board our points, but was not in a position to
respond without a text in hand to review, and she declined to
speculate on the hypothetical of a text in line with the
resolution approved in Geneva at the Human Rights Council.

3. (SBU) On the thematic resolutions, Chong said that the
content would be key. Brunei would likely support the U.S.
on the resolution against rape as an instrument of state
policy. However, she noted that the current text was too
bracketed at this stage to make a decision. Similarly, she
commented that Brunei would need to see the text of any
resolution on religious intolerance or elections before
stating its position. Chong said that she had not heard of
any intention by the OIC to introduce a defamation of
religion resolution but would keep us informed. (Note: as a
member of the OIC, Brunei would likely support an
OIC-introduced resolution.)

4. (SBU) Brunei would vote with the U.S. against a moratorium
on the death penalty. Chong stated that she had just
received a review from the Attorney General's Chambers on
Brunei's laws and procedures on death penalty cases (the
death penalty can be sought for drug smuggling, aggravated
murder, and high treason). According to that review, the GoB
believes it has strong due process protections and appeal
possibilties to ensure that the death penalty, while rarely
applied, is done so in a fair and transparent manner.
SKODON

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