Thursday, March 25, 2010

Israel Condemned by Human Rights Council in Goldstone Vote

UN Watch, 25 March 2010

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the Goldstone resolution this morning, with 29 in favor, 6 against and 11 abstentions. The resolution, “Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” was submitted by Sudan on behalf of the Arab Group, Pakistan on behalf of the OIC and Palestine. The countries voting against the resolution were: the Netherlands, the United States, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy and the Ukraine. Among the abstentions were the United Kingdom, France and Belgium.

The resolution reiterates the recommendations of the Goldstone report and calls for the creation of an assessment committee to oversee implementation of the report’s recommendations. It also creates an escrow fund for Palestinian victims of alleged Israeli violations, ignoring the proposal by Switzerland to create a fund for victims on both sides of the conflict. The Netherlands, Hungary and Slovakia called the fund “premature” given that investigations into alleged violations have not yet been completed.

“This resolution offers no real hope for Israelis or Palestinians,” said Israeli ambassador to the UN in Geneva Aharon Leshno Yaar. He called the resolution a “duplication” of last month’s General Assembly resolution on the Goldstone report.

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Ibrahim Khraishi challenged the statement made by Israel and called for follow-up reports by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Amb. Eileen Donahoe of the United States called for a two-state solution, adding that “the best way to avoid abuses in the Arab-Israeli conflict is to end it.” Calling for a vote, the United States urged other members “to join us in voting no.” The vote follows four sequential condemnatory resolutions against Israel, all passed with large majorities yesterday afternoon.