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Cablegate: Romania On Unga Third Committee Resolutions

VZCZCXRO7886
OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHBM #1209/01 2971148
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241148Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7512
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0389
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0149

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001209

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE JENSEN; DRL/MLGA SICADE/HAMMOND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KTIA UN RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIA ON UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS

REF: STATE 145641

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Romania is on board with most of the U.S.
agenda for the Third Committee, but cautions that there are
some developing EU positions on some of the thematic
resolutions which may require greater USG flexibility,
including on the resolutions on Religious
Tolerance/Defamation of Religion and the Death Penalty.
Romania also appealed to the USG to allow time for the UN
Human Rights Council (HRC) to be more constructive. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) Poloff discussed the U.S. priorities for the UNGA
Third Committee (reftel) on October 23 with MFA Director for
Human Rights, Council of Europe and OSCE Brandusa Predescu
(who will attend the Third Committee). Predescu noted that
in general Romania was on board with most of the U.S. agenda,
and would be working within the EU to press for member
states' support for specific issues, including those on "no
action" motions and retaliatory resolutions, as well as on
the country specific resolutions, and on the thematic
resolutions such as Condemning Rape as an Instrument of State
Policy and on UN elections. She said that the remaining
resolutions, on religious tolerance, on defamation of
religion, and on the death penalty, required more nuanced
understanding and flexibility from the USG. Predescu also
specifically requested that the USG give the UN Human Rights
Council a chance to evolve and to develop its secretariat.
She added that the U.S. as a model democracy and champion of
human rights should reconsider joining the HRC in order to
provide the necessary ingredients to make it work.

3. (SBU) On "No Action" Motions and Retaliatory Resolutions:
Predescu affirmed that the GOR takes a "principled position"
in favor of the U.S. position, and will share this within the
EU. She said Romania is opposed to these types of motions
and resolutions "irrespective of the context."

4. (SBU) On Country-Specific Resolutions: Predescu said that
the discussion on formalizing a common position continues in
the EU. The GOR has no problems supporting the U.S.
positions, and in fact favors EU co-authorship of the
resolutions on Iran and Belarus. Predescu also noted that
not only does the GOR share U.S. concerns, but also that the
points raised were consistent with previous positions put
forward in the HRC-Geneva (NOTE: Romania chairs the HRC).
Predescu added that it would be especially appreciated if the
U.S. were to take a "constructive attitude" when the HRC
report is introduced at UNGA Third Committee, and not attempt
to reopen discussion on issues that were already finalized in
Geneva. She said it is vital that the HRC receives a formal
endorsement by the UNGA, otherwise progress will be lost, not
simply suspended.

5. (SBU) On the Resolution Condemning Rape as an Instrument
of State Policy: Predescu confirmed that the GOR instructed
its delegations in Geneva, New York, and Brussels to support
the U.S. position. The GOR was also pressing the EU to be
flexible and supportive especially in light of the fact that
some member states were trying to make linkages to positions
that may be difficult for the U.S. (i.e., CEDAW). She said
that Romania was pressing for EU consensus on co-authorship,
and urged the USG to engage constructively with the EU to
develop a draft in cooperation with EU partners.

6. (SBU) On the UN Elections Program: Predescu noted that
the GOR along with the other EU members would co-author this
resolution .

7. (SBU) On Religious Tolerance and Defamation of Religion:
Predescu noted that these two issues were linked, and that
the EU had not yet reached a decision on putting forward a
resolution on Religious Tolerance under the expectation that
the OIC would/should give up its resolution on Defamation of
Religion. She noted that this was an instance where there
was a need to consider these issues both in the Third
Committee and the HRC, and appealed to the USG to reconsider
its general attitude towards the HRC for the sake of not only
the WEOG, but also for the Eastern European Group of States.
She noted that there was a fundamental mistrust among the
different groups on this issue and that like-minded states
need the "positive and constructive" weight of the USG to
counterbalance "the other camp" which currently is winning
the propaganda campaign.

8. (SBU) On the EU Death Penalty Resolution: Predescu said
that the GOR was a strong supporter of the proposed EU
resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

BUCHAREST 00001209 002 OF 002


She described the GOR position as "dispassionate" to distance
the GOR from more vocally vehement voices against the death
penalty within the EU. She also noted that the EU was taking
a "graduated approach" aimed at abolishing the death penalty
worldwide. The EU strategy would be designed to take into
consideration differences in culture and attitude. Predescu
said bluntly, "we have the votes" and that it would be sad if
the U.S. was on the wrong side on this one. She appealed to
the USG to abstain rather than vote no, because the EU would
be "relentless" in its strategy to move towards an
multi-regional, institutional dialogue for a worldwide
moratorium on the death penalty.

9. (SBU) Comment: Our demarche and discussion were friendly
and in the spirit of the close U.S.-Romanian strategic
partnership. The differences in the U.S. and Romanian
positions reflect an attempt to build a bridge between the
U.S. and the EU on those issues. End Comment.
TAUBMAN

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