Nobel Peace Laureate David Trimble, member of the British House of Lords, took the floor in this morning’s UN Human Rights Council debate on a new report by a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements, to deliver the following statement on behalf of the Geneva non-governmental organization UN Watch.
Statement by United Nations Watch
to be delivered by The Right Honourable David Trimble
Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey
18 March 2013
Check against delivery
Thank you, Mr. President.
On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize 15 years ago, I cited Edmund Burke. My experience in Northern Ireland underlines his insistence that every idea or proposal derives its merit from circumstance, which carries more weight than abstraction and ideology.
I am a firm believer in a two-state solution, which will require difficult compromises.
This report, however, does not help. By urging the removal of all settlers living beyond the green line, the report is inconsistent with Security Council Resolution 242, endorsed by the Council decision establishing this commission.
It could lead to the utterly grotesque consequence that the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem should be returned to the desolate condition that existed between 1948 and 1967.
The Report’s conclusions address one of the issues in a high handed and one-sided manner. It is not the necessary comprehensive agreement; nor is it part of one. It amounts to a unilateral measure of the sort opposed by the international community.
I have to say that the very idea of this inquiry is wrong. Negotiations can only be by the Israelis and the Palestinians. Others at best can play a helpful role. But outside bodies purporting to make authoritative pronouncements on major issues over the heads of the parties can only undermine and subvert the peace process.
This report abandons principles established in the Clinton Camp David talks, and applied in the Road Map and the Olmert-Abbas talks.
The United Nations and its human rights bodies should all be working with others to advance the cause of peace, not to hinder it.
I regret to say that the Council displays the same selectivity that led to the abolition of the earlier Commission. I urge you to heed the criticism by successive UN secretaries-general of this Council’s habit of singling out only one specific country, to the exclusion of virtually everything else.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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