Rights Council Slams Israel, Praises Sudan

Today the UN Human Rights Council undertook debates of rights violations in Israel and Sudan. The Council majority harshly chastised Israel for violating the rights of Palestinian people, especially with regards to its military operations in Gaza, while providing their “encouragement” and “support” to the Government of Sudan. In addition, many States voiced their opposition to the findings of a UN report critical of Sudan’s policies, which accused the government of continuing its attacks on the people of Darfur and of detaining and torturing human rights defenders and aid workers.

As examples, compare the statements of Pakistan, Qatar, and Yemen on Israel and Sudan.

On Israel:
Pakistan said that the international community needs to step up its efforts to end the Israeli occupation of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” and other Arab territories, which is the root cause of all violence, insecurity and instability in the region.

Qatar referred to the “arrogance” and “pretentiousness” of the Israeli Government, stating that “Palestine had made concessions to achieve a Palestinian State, but the Occupying Forces were not prepared to follow the path of peace” and suggested sanctions against Israel to force it to respect international law.

Yemen said the Palestinians were subjected to genocide, murder, and acts that were tantamount to full-scale collective punishment.

On Sudan: Source: Official UN Summary
Yemen reaffirmed its solidarity with Sudan with regard to any plans that aimed to undermine its solidarity and competence as a sovereign State. Yemen refused any motives aimed at politicizing international justice in the region. Yemen called on all relevant parties to support the settlement of a comprehensible peace solution and to provide technical assistance to Sudan. The Sudanese Government had to no doubt make more efforts, and in this context, the Special Rapporteur in her report mentioned the problems faced by Sudan in terms of its capacity and resources available, and the problem faced with regard to communications across the country, which contributed to the difficulties in transmitting justice across the country.

Qatar: Would have liked the report to be more balanced and objective – it did not sufficiently show progress on the ground, and ignored efforts made by the Government on the political and humanitarian level. There was a constant improvement of security and humanitarian conditions in Darfur. The rebellion was now limited to the western borders, there was a decrease in violence against women, and an improvement of the health and education services. There was no vacuum in humanitarian aid in Sudan. Qatar wished for all peaceful diplomatic efforts to be made to ensure peace and security in Sudan, and supported all political humanitarian efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement that would be acceptable to all parties. There should be greater regional cooperation with the Government to help it ensure human rights in Sudan, including through its efforts for rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas affected by violence. The plans for clearing anti-personnel mines were applauded. The resolution of the Human Rights Council 7/19 should be approved, and the mandate should be ended at this session – this would have a positive effect on the further improvement of human rights in Sudan and the continuing dialogue between the Council and Sudan.

Pakistan: Speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, appreciated the Government of Sudan for the cooperation it extended to the Special Rapporteur, and the efforts made to improve the human rights situation in the country. The Special Rapporteur also acknowledged the progress made by the Government on legal reforms, as well as the creation of the Human Rights Forum for Darfur. While acknowledging the challenges faced by Sudan, the Organization of the Islamic Conference encouraged it to continue its efforts to remove obstacles to the implementation of all national, regional and international agreements. The National Unity Government should take concrete measures to resolve all outstanding issues. The Government should continue to extend all possible cooperation to the United Nations to improve security as well as the human rights situation in the country. It was time to end the duplicity of mechanisms, and the Council should be able to utilise the comprehensive information coming from existing mechanisms.