Senior U.S. and UK Officers to Address UNHRC Plenary, Media, Rights Activists
LIVE WEBCAST: TODAY, JUNE 29, FROM 11:15 AM EST TO 1:00 PM
Addressing UNHRC plenary and press corps: Maj-Gen. Michael Jones, Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey S. Corn, and Col. Richard Kemp
GENEVA, June 29, 2015 – The UN’s new Gaza report will be contradicted in the plenary of the Human Rights Council today when high level military officers representing two parallel fact-finding task forces of American, British, NATO and Australian war-fighting commanders will present their findings that Israel took extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties during last summer’s Hamas-Israel war.
The charged debate today takes place under the 47-nation body’s agenda item targeting Israel, a permanent fixture of every council meeting. The experts’ visit to Geneva is being hosted by the independent monitoring group UN Watch, a non-governmental organization that holds special consultative status with the United Nations.
The delegation invited by UN Watch to speak today includes:
• Major-General Michael D. Jones, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command
• Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey S. Corn, Former senior law of war expert in U.S. Office of the Judge Advocate General, Chief of Law of War Branch, and Presidential Research Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law
• Col. Richard Kemp, Former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan
• Frédérique Ries, Member of the European Parliament
All will intervene in the plenary debate. The officers will hold a press conference, and address a panel event for diplomats and human rights activists. Speeches will be posted on UN Watch’s video channel at www.youtube.com/unwatch.
• Senior military experts will present the findings of two fact-finding missions — the report of the JINSA Task Force on the Gaza Conflict by five U.S. generals, and the preliminary findings of the high-level international group of 11 military and political figures — both of which contrast sharply with the UN report. Follow the event on live webcast at unwatch.org/gazaresponse today, Monday, June 29th, at 5:15 pm Geneva time (11:15 am EST to 1:00 pm EST).
• A parallel report on the Gaza conflict by UN Watch and NGO Monitor, Filling in the Blanks: Documenting Missing Dimensions in UN and NGO Investigations of the Gaza Conflict, will be released at the side event.
• Expert speakers will additionally include Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who will analyze the funders of Hamas; and NGO Monitor president Prof. Gerald Steinberg and Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg, who will address distortions of law in the UN report.