New UN Human Rights Council Report politically biased


In a letter to all UN Ambassadors, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) urged their rejection of the new UN Human Rights Council’s report making Israel a permanent agenda item.

Full text of the AJC letter:

October 29, 2007

Your Excellency,

In the upcoming week of November 5, the General Assembly’s Third Committee will be asked to approve and put into effect the report of the Human Rights Council titled “United Nations Human Rights Council: Institution-Building” (document A/HRC/5/21).

Regrettably, the package contained in the report is substantively flawed and politically biased. It makes Israel a permanent item on the Council’s agenda, while terminating the mandates to investigate human rights situations in countries known for their systematic violations of such rights. Thus, experts charged with investigating abuses in countries such as Belarus and Cuba, have been abolished. Israel – and Israel alone – is singled out for permanent indictment. Both Secretary General Ban and High Commissioner Arbour have criticized the Council for this discrimination.

Furthermore, the Council adopted this shameful resolution in violation of its own Rules of Procedure. Canada, a Council member, made formal and repeated requests to put the resolution to vote, but its requests were all denied.

In its Resolution A/60/251 of March 15, 2006, which established the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly stated that “the Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.” The report submitted by the Human Rights Council clearly violates these principles. We therefore call upon your delegation to vote against the resolution contained in that report.

Respectfully,

Richard J. Sideman & David A. Harris

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