HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES
DISCUSSION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED
BY OFFICE OF HIGH COMMISSIONER
OF HUMAN RIGHTS
|Human Rights Council |
28 September 2006
Hears Presentation of Reports on Gender Issues and Status of Women
The Human Rights Council this afternoon, in the context of its continuing discussion of reports submitted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, heard the presentation of reports by the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, and by the Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women. The Council then continued its debate on the reports, including those that were introduced during the morning meeting.
Rachel Mayanga, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, said the violation of women’s rights and the persistence of gender inequality were pressing challenges of these times, and the international community had recognized the need to address these challenges. The Human Rights Council had the opportunity, responsibility and mandate to ensure that women’s rights and gender equality were promoted as an integral part of its work. Attention to gender perspectives in the protection and promotion of human rights should therefore be an integral part of all aspects of the Council’s work programme and working methods.
Carmen Maria Gallardo Hernández, Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women, said violence against women had received increasing attention as a form of discrimination and a violation of women’s human rights. Despite increasing awareness of the human rights of women, there had been a lack of focus on the rights of the girl-child. Issues such as early marriage, female genital mutilation and the vulnerability of girls in armed conflict and in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic had not been given sufficient attention. The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women was essential for women's empowerment.
In a brief statement referring to her oral introduction of the reports during the morning session, Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, said despite efforts to improve geographical representation in the Office, there had been little success. Regional disparities would not necessarily be remedied by measures aimed at and linking to national representation – they were not the same as under-representation for certain countries. The High Commissioner was committed to working closely with all Member States in order to see her Office develop in such a way that men and women from all regions of the world could provide it with their wisdom and talents.
Speaking as concerned countries were the representatives of Syria and Uzbekistan.
Speaking this afternoon in the general debate were the representatives of Armenia, Iran, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica, Chile, Syrian Arab Republic, New Zealand, Sweden, Croatia, Uzbekistan, Japan, Peru, Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, and Morocco.
Speaking in rights of reply were Turkey, Guatemala, Colombia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Algeria, and Morocco.
Also speaking this afternoon were : Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, Franciscans International, Colombian Commission of Jurists, in a joint statement with World Organization against Torture, Liberal International, Action Canada for Population and Development, Amnesty International, Interfaith International, Right of Child, World Federation of Trade Unions, Centrist Democratic International, Action internationale pour la paix et le développement dans la région des grands lacs, Agir ensemble pour les droits de l'homme; International Union of Socialist Youth, International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism, International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations and International Human Rights Association of American Minorities.
The next plenary session of the Council will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, 29 September, when the Council is scheduled to take up the reports of the Independent Expert on technical cooperation and advisory services in Liberia, and the report of the Special Representative for Children and armed conflict.
RACHEL MAYANGA, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, said the international community had recognized that gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights were essential to advance development, peace and security. Thus, it was particularly important that intergovernmental bodies, United Nations entities, Governments and non-governmental organizations continued to mainstream gender and a human rights approach in their activities, as a way to advance development, peace and security for all.
The Human Rights Council, being the main United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and for promoting the effective coordination and the mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system, had the opportunity, responsibility and mandate to ensure that women’s rights and gender equality were promoted as an integral part of its work. Attention to gender perspectives in the protection and promotion of human rights should therefore be an integral part of all aspects of the Council’s work programme and working methods.
Violation of women’s rights and the persistence of gender inequality were pressing challenges of these times. The international community had recognized the need to address these challenges. One of the major violations of women’s rights, violence against them, was increasingly receiving the attention of intergovernmental bodies, United Nations entities, Governments and NGOs. The Secretary-General would present an in-depth study on all forms of violence against women. The Human Rights Council should pay special attention to the recommendations of the study, which constituted a clear strategy for Member States and the United Nations system to make measurable progress in preventing and eliminating violence against women. The Human Rights Council had the occasion to accelerate the implementation of policies aimed at achieving the practical realization of the principle of equality of women and men.
CARMEN MARIA GALLARDO HERNANDEZ, Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women, said the 2005 World Summit and other United Nations conferences and summits over the past decade had been instrumental in highlighting the crosscutting nature of gender equality and its relevance to the pillars of the work of the United Nations – development, human rights and security. Failure to address the gender equality dimensions in the work of the United Nations not only would exacerbate inequalities between women and men, but also would compromise the achievement of all international development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. The Beijing Platform for Action reaffirmed that all human rights were universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, as expressed in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights. It also affirmed that the human rights of women and the girl-child were an inalienable, integral and indivisible aspect of universal human rights. The realization of those rights was critical to the empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality.
Violence against women had received increasing attention as a form of discrimination and a violation of women’s human rights. The Secretary-General’s in-depth study on violence against women aimed to highlight the persistence and acceptability of all forms of violence against women in all parts of the world, strengthen the political commitment and joint efforts of all stakeholders, and identify ways and means to ensure more sustained and effective implementation of State obligations to address all forms of violence against women, and increase State accountability. Despite increasing awareness of the human rights of women, there had been a lack of focus on the rights of the girl-child. Issues such as early marriage, female genital mutilation and the vulnerability of girls in armed conflict and in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic had not been given sufficient attention. The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women was essential for the empowerment of women.
LOUISE ARBOUR, High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in order to remove a misunderstanding that appeared to have been entertained by several delegations and raised during their interventions this morning, her oral presentation this morning had not been a report, it had just been a brief introduction of the 75 reports that had been circulated. These oral presentations were not usually distributed in advance in the form of a text, and her address this morning, she repeated and emphasized, had not been a report, but an oral presentation.
Addressing a number of questions that had been made with regard to geographical representation in the Office, which a number of delegations had made, the Inspectors of the Joint Inspection Unit had analysed this, and had noted that despite efforts to improve geographical representation, there had been little success. The major systemic barriers had been identified, however, and would be overcome over the next few months. The main problem was the National System of Competitive Exams, which currently gave priority to a group that was currently over-represented. An exemption would allow recruitment outside this constraint. She could not support the assumption that the present geographical distribution was due to extrabudgetary contributions.
The suggestions of the Joint Inspection Unit regarding the possibility of establishing quotas for under-represented countries should be approached with caution. Regional disparities would not necessarily be remedied by measures aimed at and linked to national representation – they were not the same as under-representation for certain countries. The High Commissioner was committed to working closely with all Member States in order to see her Office develop in such a way that men and women from all regions of the world could provide it with their wisdom and talents.
ZOHRAB MNATSAKANIAN (Armenia) said Armenia read with considerable interest the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Five Point Action Plan and the activities of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, pursuant to Commission resolution 2005/62. Armenia noted with satisfaction the remarkable analytical work performed by the Special Adviser to elaborate methodology, as well as a system of information exchange for early warning of situations of massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, that could lead to genocide. The emphasis on early warning and the clear distinction between that and early action were a significant issue, especially in light of the view of the Special Adviser that early warning in effect constituted a preventive act in a timely fashion.
MOSTAFA ALAEI (Iran) said Iran attached importance to the system of Special Procedures in the United Nations system which provided valuable knowledge and expertise to the human rights organs of the United Nations. However, Iran was of the view that the mandate of the country-specific procedures should no longer be part of the system and thus should be terminated. If these procedures continued despite the course of reform, their selectivity would serve as a negative force to further polarize and politicize the existing international human rights debate. Regarding the composition of the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner, the issue of imbalance in fair geographical representation should be addressed immediately, through special measures.
RAQUEL TAVARES (Portugal) thanked the Secretary-General for elaborating and circulating the reports on the question of the realization in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights. These reports outlined the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, covering, inter alia, assistance to treaty bodies and other organizations, among others. The High Commissioner’s decision to increase coverage of economic, social and cultural rights was welcomed. The report also mentioned important aspects of the work on economic, social and cultural rights, and the work undertaken was appreciated, as was the adoption by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of General Comments on articles 3, 6 and 15.
The protection and promotion of all human rights, civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights, were all important for Portugal. Efforts to realize such rights were an integral part of the wider struggle for the realization of human rights in general, and served to protect and guarantee the rights of the human being. The Council should continue to work in this direction.
JAMES DROUSHIOTIS (Cyprus) said that the report of the Secretary-General on the question of human rights in Cyprus stood once again as a sad reminder of the pressing need for the implementation of human rights in Cyprus. Over the past several years, United Nations human rights treaty bodies had noted in their concluding observations and recommendations on Cyprus’s reports that the impact of the division of the island constituted a serious obstacle to the enjoyment of human rights.
It was only with respect to investigating the fate of missing persons since the invasion, and establishing the circumstances of their disappearance that Cyprus had recently witnessed some encouraging developments. On the situation of refugees, Cyprus said that they had not returned to their homes, and the plight of the enclaved, as well as violations of religious freedom and destruction of cultural and religious property, had continued. There also was an unabated massive construction boom on the illegally sold properties in violation of the rights of their displaced and lawful owners.
FRANCISCOS VERROS (Greece) said the situation of human rights in Cyprus continued to be worrisome. Violations of various aspects of humanitarian law were still ongoing, more than 30 years after the invasion by Turkey. Numerous European Court of Human Rights judgements and Security Council resolutions calling for restitution of respect for those rights had been systematically ignored. In particular, the judgement of the Court in the case of the fourth inter-State application of Cyprus versus Turkey, which found Turkey in violation of the European Convention on 14 separate grounds, had not yet been executed. The issue of missing persons remained of primary importance to both living relatives and the Government of Cyprus.
Despite efforts undertaken in the framework of the UN Commission on Missing Persons, no concrete results had been achieved so far. With regard to the displaced, continuing violations of their rights had been confirmed by a recent decision of the European Court. The influx of migrants from Turkey had increased to the level that their number exceeded the natives.
BURHAN GAFOOR (Singapore) said the two reports presented this afternoon were very interesting, and Singapore placed great importance on the advancement of women. With regard to the statements heard this morning, Singapore thanked the High Commissioner and welcomed her efforts to continually update the Council, and her Action Plan to improve the geographical distribution of her Staff.
Regarding the statement made by the Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, all should recognize the Special Procedures system as an essential one for the protection and promotion of human rights. Ultimately, it was the Council that had to decide on the working methods of the Special Procedures. The Coordination Committee had prepared a manual, and also invited comments and input from delegations, and that was a good initiative. If the Committee were to revise and finalize its manual before it completed its work, it might create the unfortunate impression that it had pre-empted, prejudged, or had ignored the work of the Working Group on the review of Special Procedures, and it should therefore work in tandem with the Working Group, and not in isolation.
LUIS VARELA QUIROS (Costa Rica) congratulated the High Commissioner for her presentation in the morning and for the work being carried out by her Office. Costa Rica reiterated the support of its delegation to the mandate of the High Commissioner. Costa Rica also supported the efforts of the Office to achieve a higher geographical and gender representation balance among the Office’s staff. These efforts should continue the work already undertaken by the Commission and attain tangible results in the upcoming year. Costa Rica was also pleased by the activities of the Office to support local offices, in an effort to work together with Governments to guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights. It was by putting emphasis on cooperation and joint work that positive results would be achieved, Costa Rica affirmed.
JUAN MARTABIT (Chile) welcomed the reports presented by the High Commissioner on various issues, particularly the strengthening of the anti-discrimination unit of the Office. Chile endorsed the statements made by Argentina and Uruguay. Chile attached great importance to the Special Procedures, which would contribute to the effectiveness of the work of the Council. Within the context of the universal periodic review procedure, the views of the Special Procedures should be taken into account.
KHALIT BITAR (Syria), speaking as a concerned country, thanked the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the presentation of the report and the steps taken to implement the previous Commission’s resolutions on the violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel occupied part of Syria, and occupation was one of the worst violations of human rights. In the Syrian Golan, the suffering of the people had continued for the past 40 years, with results and consequences on all levels. The Israeli occupation policy had gone beyond all limits. Israel oppressed Syrian citizens, and forced them to leave their land.
The Israeli Government refused all decisions of international legitimacy that required them to leave all Arab lands. Israel’s total disregard for international legitimacy had reached the point of issuing a decision to annex the Golan Heights and imposing Israeli citizenship on all inhabitants thereof. The people in the Golan continued to face daily violations of all their fundamental human rights. There was not enough time to mention all the violations committed by Israel, causing the suffering of the people of the Golan. The occupation authorities had gone so far as to ask the inhabitants of a Syrian village to evacuate the northern part of the village – 90 per cent of the land – and they were stealing vast amounts of water from the Golan. Mediaeval oppression policies were being used.
JOAN MOSELY (New Zealand) thanked the High Commissioner for her report. New Zealand wished to highlight and support the work of the Committee on the draft Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New Zealand supported the early adoption of this convention and asked the High Commissioner for the drafting of an analytical document that would guide in the implementation of the convention once it was adopted. With reference to the Independent Expert’s report on violence against children, New Zealand encouraged the Council to remain seized of the matter. New Zealand had issued a standing invitation to all Special Procedures and encouraged other Members to do so too.
JAN NORDLANDER (Sweden) welcomed the reports of the High Commissioner. Sweden attached great importance to the Special Procedures, which were indispensable. Sweden, like some countries, had issued a standing invitation to all Special Procedures and mandate holders. Sweden believed that the dialogue and interaction in the Council showed the importance of the Special Procedures and encouraged others to do the same, as well as to facilitate access to rights holders.
BRANCO SOCANAC (Croatia) said that, as the main sponsor of the resolution on conscientious objection to military service in the Commission, Croatia welcomed the analytical report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on best practices in relation to conscientious objection to military service, believed it was a valuable contribution to the understanding of this subject, and planned to return to this issue and the report’s recommendations at a later stage when it had had an opportunity to consider how best to address the subject in the Human Rights Council.
AKMAL SAIDOV (Uzbekistan), speaking as a concerned country, said that when Uzbekistan had supported the creation of the Council it had hoped that this body’s work would be based on cooperation, dialogue and the observance of universality and objectivity. Instead, the report of the High Commissioner on the mission to Kyrgyzstan, and in particular with reference to the incidents in Andijan in Uzbekistan, showed the application of double standards and politicization of human rights. The unfounded statements present in the report, and the lack of pertinent information surprised Uzbekistan. In addition, the Office of the High Commissioner had chosen to ignore facts for political purposes and on behalf of some Member States. Uzbekistan was determined to pursue far-reaching policies to strengthen democracy and was prepared to cooperate with the United Nations Charter and its treaty bodies.
SHIGERU ENDO (Japan) said Japan welcomed the positive developments taking place in Nepal. Japan hoped that the recent peace negotiations would bear fruit. A Japanese official had visited Nepal and had promised to help the peacebuilding effort there. Despite that positive development, the Maoist movement was attempting to block progress towards peace.
MANUEL RODRIGUEZ CUADROS (Peru) said Peru supported the contents of and the recommendations within the reports submitted by the Secretary-General and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, particularly with regards to indigenous peoples, the Convention on Migrant Workers, and the functioning of the treaty bodies. On the report of the High Commissioner on her activities, it was clear that the actions undertaken by the Office in the context of the reform process and the transfer of power from the Commission to the Council had been moved forward through the proposals and initiatives of Ms. Arbour herself. Therefore, it was important for the Strategic Management Plan for 2007 to have a broader concept of freedom and human rights for all within it.
It was important to ensure a synthesis between monitoring and protection activities within the human rights system, as well as an approach combining a constructive approach and the needs of victims, all of which had been applied by the Office in its work in the field. The Office had a presence in 40 countries, and the expansion of its work provided a vision of what could be done in the future. All Member States should strengthen this system of field deployment of the Office, as this would work in the future as the basis of a human rights system which combined care for victims with possibilities for tangible results. It was hoped that the Office’s progress would take place in the context of the recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit.
MASOOD KHAN (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference, welcomed the reports and statements of the High Commissioner. Pakistan stressed the need to improve the existing geographical and gender disparity in the composition of the Office’s staff. It was worrisome to note that this disparity had continued to grow in the last year. Pakistan welcomed the High Commissioner’s commitment to improve the geographic and gender disparity through a country-specific strategy. With reference to religious tolerance, Pakistan encouraged the High Commissioner to play a more prominent role in the promotion of tolerance in the dialogue among civilizations.
MARIANNE MOLLMANN, of Human Rights Watch, said that the Uzbek Government’s atrocious human rights record had reached crisis levels following the Government’s massacre of hundreds of unarmed protesters in May 2005. Since then, the Government had shown nothing but contempt for the principles its international partners stood for – defying calls for an independent international inquiry, denying access to the country for UN procedures, and expelling the UN Refugee Agency. Uzbekistan had also denied access to Special Procedures of the United Nations. Human Rights Watch welcomed the release of the in-depth study of Secretary-General on violence against women. Women still continued to be subjected to violence in many countries.
ISABELLE HEYER, of International Commission of Jurists, said the Colombian situation was the most serious and chronic situation of human rights in Latin America today, where there were mass violations of the human rights of the Colombian people by the guerrillas. The demobilization measures had resulted in the biggest level of impunity and paramilitary power in the country that there had ever been. Given the chronic abuses of human rights in the country, and that the Council had to consider serious and persistent abuses of human rights, the Council should continue to regularly consider the human rights situation in Colombia under a specific agenda item.
ANA MARIA OLMEDO, of Franciscans International, said that the situation in Colombia was characterized by grave and systematic violations of human rights in the context of the internal armed conflict. Franciscans International was concerned about the increasing number of violations to human rights committed by State officers, and by the fact that paramilitary groups had kept and even strengthened their structures. Franciscans International asked the Council to fulfil its mandate with reference to the protection and promotion of human rights, and in particular to fulfil the responsibilities undertaken by the Commission with reference to Colombia since 1996.
ANDRES SANCHEZ, of Colombian Commission of Jurists, in a joint statement with World Organization against Torture, said that, during the first four years of the Colombian Government, thousands of people had been killed in the country. The Government and the guerrilla groups were responsible for most of the deaths. In the last four years, 1 million persons had been internally displaced, and the situation of rehabilitating combatants had been deficient. Given the gravity of the crisis in Colombia, the international community should continue addressing the situation.
NATALIA BELLUSOVA, of Liberal International, said Liberal International defended the right to freedom as the basis for achieving the integral development of the human person. In a country where citizens did not enjoy essential rights, economic, social and political development was constrained. The report on the right to development established the direct relationship that existed between respect for human rights and for the integral development of persons and society. Development was impossible without freedom and without a State founded on the rule of law. Human rights could not be the privilege of a certain political or religious class, and they should not be violated in the name of any ideology or extraterritorial conflict.
KATHERINE MCDONALD, of Action Canada for Population and Development, said that States must focus on addressing the protection gaps that existed in the system rather than on overlaps between mandates. States should establish a working group on emerging issues that would identify and explore issues that did not fall into the existing mandate or which were only peripheral. The Council had to set up a mechanism that would monitor the actions States had taken to implement country-specific recommendations of Special Procedures, and general recommendations of the Special Procedures had to be incorporated as a basis for the review of the human rights records of all States under the universal periodic review.
PATRIZIA SCANNELLA, of Amnesty International, said Amnesty International opposed the death penalty unconditionally as an extreme violation of the right to life. This year had witnessed further progress towards a death-penalty-free world with Moldova and the Philippines abolishing the death penalty. That took to 129 the number of countries that had abolished the death penalty. Progress towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide was a key legacy of the Commission. It was essential that the Council pursue that important work
SUFYAN YUSUF, of Interfaith International, said Pakistan had braved many challenges since its inception and more so since 11 September 2001. The Government was trying its best to democraticize the country, and had expanded women’s representation in the legislative bodies and had also reined in religious fanaticism and terrorism, and these were commendable achievements. But challenges had not yet been overcome, and people still expected to see a further strengthening of the democratic institutions of the country. One major aspect of this would be the granting of total autonomy to the provinces of Pakistan, and granting them right over their wealth and resources.
PRAMILLA SRIVASTAVA, of Institut international sur les droits de l'enfant, said that the Convention on the Rights of the Child had been ratified by 192 countries. The International Institute urged the Council to support activities aiming at implementing the Convention, and to pay particular attention to the setting up of childcare facilities for working parents, schools for children with disabilities, and also draft a manual of best practices in the promotion and protection of the rights of children.
AIDA AVELLO, of World Federation of Trade Unions, drew attention to the condition of trade unions in Colombia, which was one of the gravest in the world. The assassination of trade unionists continued. In 2005, 70 trade union members had been killed. During this year, 15 members, mainly from educational, agricultural and energy sectors, had been assassinated. The agreement signed between the Government and the International Labour Office had not been implemented by Colombia, and despite the presence of the Office of the High Commissioner in the country, grave human rights continued to be committed.
OSVALDO ALFONSO VALDEZ, of Centrist Democratic International, said the struggle against impunity and the right to truth were matters of priority concern in the United Nations system. When citizens were denied access to information and were silenced by human rights violations, and the perpetrators of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes continued to enjoy impunity, that should be decried. A country that obscured the truth and silenced crimes should not be part of the Human Rights Council.
MAURICE KATALA, of International Action for Peace and Development in the Great Lakes Region, said that, in spite of the important advances made through the electoral process in Burundi and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, those processes themselves were not sufficient to ensure stability in the region. The organization recommended that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo put an end to impunity in the regions of Kivu, Katanga, Ituri and Kinshasa with reference to grave violations of human rights; and asked the African Union to contribute with determination to the solution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
HILDA MOLANO CASA, of Agir ensemble pour les droits de l’homme, drew attention to the human rights of children and women in Colombia due to the armed conflict there. The situation of children and women in that country continued to be aggravated because of the systematic violations of human rights in the country. In 2005, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 1.6 million children and young people had been taken out of the educational system, while more than a million teenagers were made to work. The women and children were the main victims of the armed conflict; they were subject to extrajudicial killings and were the victims of landmines.
AMINATOUH IDER, of the International Union for Socialist Youth, said that the Office of the High Commissioner had to be properly funded to fulfil its mandate for the promotion and protection of human rights as a matter of priority. She was from the Western Sahara, where human rights were constantly flouted, as she had herself experienced time and time again.
JUAN MORITA, of International Movement against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism, asked the High Commissioner about possible plans to expand the Office in Colombo, and how an additional two staffers could handle the continuing violations.
SYEDFAIZ NAQSMBANDI, of International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations, welcomed the report of the High Commissioner on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. The Federation was surprised that the report made no mention of the State that had been the worst violator of human rights in the name of counter-terrorism. The Government of India had been involved in massive and systematic violation of human rights all over the country especially in Assam, Mizoram, Taripua, Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
SARDAR AMJAD YOUSAF KHAN, of International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, said the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was always commendable, and the report and studies provided insight as to human rights situations around the world. The Council should intervene in matters to ensure an innocent person was not executed.
Right of Reply
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking in a right of reply, recognized and valued the contributions made by NGOs to the work of the Council. Morocco had always been in favour of their participation and had, together with Norway, sponsored a resolution on human rights defenders. It was unfortunate that a person holding a Moroccan passport that now had returned to the country had tried to cast a slur against Morocco. Morocco assured that all its citizens enjoyed the exercise of their human rights.
FAZIL CAN KORKUT (Turkey), in a right of reply, said that statements by the representative of Greek Cyprus and Greece had politicized the debate in the Council. The Greek Cypriot representative had refused to resolve the problem by not engaging in a constructive dialogue. The allegations of the Greek representative were without any basis. The intervention of Turkey in the island in 1974 was legitimate and did not violate any norms.
CARLOS RAMIRO MARTÍNEZ ALVARADO (Guatemala), speaking in a right of reply, said Guatemala refuted all that had been stated by Franciscans International, in particular the allegation that there was State-organized political violence in Guatemala. Concerning the operation of the security forces, these operated within the law, and operations had been conducted within the law and under the auspices of the Ministry for Public Safety and the Ministry for Human Rights. There were no complaints about human rights before these allegations. There were support programmes in cities as well as on some borders, where support and training were required. As regarded reparation for victims, all that had already been covered during the morning statement.
CLEMENCIA FORERO UCROS (Colombia), in a right of reply, lamented the déjŕ-vu feeling and confrontational session they had had earlier, as it was reminiscent of the Commission’s atmosphere, and Colombia wished that a spirit of constructive dialogue could prevail. Colombia had set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and also a Reparation Commission. Colombia wondered why Amnesty International persisted in considering armed groups as opposition groups. Colombia needed open doors not bullets. Colombia appealed to NGOs, particularly Colombian ones – for which she owned great respect – to present constructive proposals.
LUKAS MACHON (Czech Republic), speaking in right of reply, said that the Czech Republic respected the right to freedom of expression and that was why he had not raised his name flag when a statement was made by an NGO, calling for a point of order. The Chair had said that a speaker should not leave his or her seat while the Chair was explaining the point of order. He wanted to know the source of his ruling on the issue. With regard to words expressed by one delegation concerning the functioning of the intelligence service of his country, he said it was functioning normally as in all countries, except those masterminding and meddling in the affairs of others. He called for a Bureau meeting to resolve the problem of the intervention of the Chair in the statement made by the NGO.
JAMES DROUSHIOTIS (Cyprus), speaking in right of reply, said that, with regard to the statement made by Turkey, far from politicizing the discussion, he had presented facts linked to the invasion and the continued occupation of Cyprus. The information presented to the Council was from authoritative and independent sources, including Judges of the European Court of Human Rights. The conclusion drawn from those was that the withdrawal of Turkish forces and the reunification of the island would ensure human rights for all the people of Cyprus. The rejection of the Annan Plan did not and could not absolve Turkey from its human rights obligations. That the Greek Cypriots had rejected the Annan Plan did not bring to an end the continuing violation of displaced persons’ rights by Turkey. Regarding the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community, the Security Council, in resolutions, had condemned the purported secession of the part of the Republic of Cyprus. This so-called isolation was linked only to the occupation of the North of Cyprus. Turkey was following a political agenda. The Turkish representative should not use the term of Greek Cypriot.
IDRISS JAZAĎRY (Algeria), speaking in right of reply, regretted that in the serenity of the discussions, Morocco had made allegations of violations of human rights in the Tindouf camps. The Tindouf camps were open to journalists, human rights activists, and parliamentarians from all over the world, and the camps were organized according to the egalitarian traditions of that society. In that regard, Algeria asked the High Commissioner to make information available to all Council Members on her May 2006 mission to the Western Sahara and Tindouf, which would show the situation in Tindouf was not in breach of human rights norms.
FAZIL CAN KORKUT (Turkey), in a second right of reply, asked the Greek representative if the Greek Cypriots would accept the Turkish Cypriots if they united. The two leaders should agree to start substantive negotiation, leading to unity.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), speaking in a second right of reply, said the Ambassador of Algeria had made a statement, and for the benefit of the Council, he wished to explain, firstly, that in any self-respecting State, one of the fundamental principles was the continuity of the State, and so whether speaking of his predecessor or himself, both did their best to defend Morocco and its interests, and would strive to do this also when defending the territorial integrity of the country. Secondly, the representative of Algeria had said that Morocco refused access to parliamentary delegations and NGOs. Whenever impartial NGOs had appeared, their entry had been allowed. Thirdly, on the issue of the mission of the High Commissioner to Tindouf and other areas, the representative of Morocco had not referred to Algeria, but since the representative of Algeria responded, then this was clear evidence that Algeria was indeed involved, and was party to the dispute.
JAMES DROUSHIOTIS (Cyprus), in a second right of reply, welcomed the comments of the Chairperson with reference to the Council’s primary responsibility in ensuring the universal respect of human rights. Cyprus welcomed the recent efforts in relation to the Secretary-General’s good offices, and said that previous agreements called for full-fledged negotiations between the two leaders of the communities, and that an agreement had to be implemented without delay. United Nations resolutions called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from the island, i.e., Turkish troops, and the cessation of hostilities by Turkey.
IDRISS JAZAĎRY (Algeria), in a second right of reply, said that a mission of the Office of the High Commissioner had gone to Algeria and Morocco. Before entering into polemics, it would be useful to receive the report of the High Commissioner on details of the visit.
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