The General Assembly will take up the Goldstone Report in a session tomorrow.  There are two competing resolutions circulating.  The first (below) is drafted by Arab states and calls for the Secretary General to transmit the report to the Security Council.  The EU, lead by France and Germany, are trying to prevent that outcome by inserting language in the resolution that calls on both the Palestinians and Israeli’s to pursue internal investigation into alleged war crimes, the credibility of which would be verified by the High Commissioner for Human Rights before a future Human Rights Council meeting.  Specifically, the EU text:

“Urges the parties to launch appropriate independent investigations, in conformity with international standards, into the allegations of serious violations of [international humanitarian law] and international human rights law] reported by the Mission, requests the [High Commissioner for Human Rights] to report on their undertakings to the next session of the Human Rights Council and requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly on developments by xxx.”

This essentially means kicking the report back down to the Human Rights Council rather than up to the Security Council.  It will be interesting to see how the P-5 vote on this.  This is a position much closer to what the United States wants, but it is still hard to see the United States voting for a resolution in any form, particularly given the fact that the United States Congress will vote today on a measure today condemning the Goldstone Report.  Meanwhile, China and Russia are probably loathe to vote for something that effectively sets a precedent by which “internal” human rights issues are discussed at the Security Council.  

In any event, this will be a closely watched vote tomorrow. 

 

 

 

Draft from Arab states

 

2 November 2009

 DRAFT

 GENERAL ASSEMBLY – 64th SESSION

 AGENDA ITEM: Human Rights Council Report

 Follow-up of the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report)

 The General Assembly,

 Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

 Recalling the relevant rules and principles of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

 Recalling also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other human rights covenants, including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

 Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution ES-10/18 of 16 January 2009 of its tenth emergency special session,

 Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009,

 Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Human Rights Council, including resolution S-12/1 of 16 October 2009,

 Expressing its appreciation to the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” led by Justice Richard Goldstone for their comprehensive report,

 Affirming the obligation of all parties to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law,

 Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians, and reaffirming the obligation to ensure the protection of civilians in armed conflict,

 Gravely concerned by reports regarding serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip that were launched on 27 December 2008, including the findings of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” and the Secretary-General’s Board of Inquiry,

 Condemning all targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure and institutions, including United Nations facilities,

 Stressing the need to ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law for preventing impunity, ensuring justice, deterring further violations and promoting peace,

 Convinced that achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East,

1. Endorses the report of the Human Rights Council on its Twelfth Special Session of 15-16 October 2009;

 2. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the report of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” to the Security Council;

 3. Calls upon the Government of Israel to take all appropriate steps, within a period of three months, to undertake investigations that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards into the serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law reported by the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” towards ensuring accountability and justice;

 4. Urges, in line with the recommendation of the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”, the undertaking of investigations that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards, within a period of three months, by the Palestinian side into the serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law reported by the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” towards ensuring accountability and justice;

 5. Recommends to the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to undertake the necessary steps as soon as possible to reconvene a Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure its respect in accordance with common article 1;

 6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly, within a period of three months, on the implementation of the present resolution, with a view to considering further action, if necessary, by the relevant United Nations organs and bodies, including by the Security Council;

 7. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

 

Proposed EU Changes:

1. Takes note of the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission and expresses concern at the allegations of breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law.

 2. Condemns all targeting of civilians and United Nations facilities.

 3. Emphasises the obligation of all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

 4. Stresses the urgent need to ensure accountability for all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to deter further violations.

 5. Urges the parties to launch appropriate independent investigations, in conformity with international standards, into the allegations of serious violations of IHL and IHRL reported by the Mission, requests the HCHR to report on their undertakings to the next session of the Human Rights Council and requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly on developments by xxx. 

 

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