Geneva, March 18, 2010 – At the UN Human Rights Council today, an open consultation on next week’s Goldstone Report resolution was officially hosted by the Palestinian mission, though it was Pakistan that chaired. The UN’s resolution deadline for the current March session has been extended to 1pm tomorrow afternoon. UN Watch attended as an accredited NGO observer and offers the following summary:
- Pakistan expressed frustration at the lateness of submitted reports, noting that the report of High Comissioner Navi Pillay only just became available yesterday.
- Spain for the EU took issue with the draft resolution’s call for the creation of a committee of independent experts to oversee implementation of the Goldstone report’s recommendations. At first, it said that it would offer changes to the text or recommend deleting the proposal entirely after it spoke to capitals. However, later on in the meeting, it said that it would like to recommend that the two paragraphs describing a committee of experts to be deleted.
- Palestine asserted the importance of the Goldstone resolution and defended the creation of a committee of independent experts. “The role of the committee will be to assess actions by both parties, on the Israeli and Palestinian sides to make sure they are genuine and in conformity with international standards. This is important because there is no other body that is following the resolution,” making a direct criticism of the United Nations Security Council. Defending the proposal, the delegate said, “There is the commission of inquiry on Lebanon, on Darfur, on Beit Hanoun, on the Gaza conflit, a joint report on the DRC, and the joint report on the OPT — this is not a new mechanism, it already exists. This is a necessary ad hoc tool… since the Security Council is not treating, dealing with or studying the [Goldstone] report.”
- Spain for the EU responded, “We do not think it is the task of the Human Rights Council to replace the UN Security Council.”
- Switzerland proposed amending a recommendation to create an escrow fund to repatriate victims such that funds would be available to victims on both sides. Chile and Brazil seconded this recommendation.
Reporting by Cindy Tan.