U.N. Human Rights Council voting now on Flotilla resolution
UN Watch: "Resolution sponsored by countries such as Iran, Libya and Sudan is political, designed to deflect attention from their own abuses"
Geneva, June 2, 2010 — The U.N. Human Rights Council is voting now on a resolution to condemn Israel for the Flotilla incident. "The resolution sponsored by brutal regimes such as Iran, Libya and Sudan is political, prejudges its own fact-finding mission, and is designed to delegitimize the Middle East's only democracy while deflecting attention from their own abuses," said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.
Please find below: (1) The original draft submitted by the Arab Group, the Islamic Group and the Palestinian Authority; and (2) UN Watch’s statement as delivered this morning to the Council.
(Ed. note: Typos below are from original text.)
Submitted on 1 June 2010 at 10.01 am
By Pakistan (OIC)
Sudan (Arab Group)
The Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces Against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy
Guided by the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as by the provisions of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights,
Taking into consideration the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilian persons in times of war of 12 August 1949,
Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians including humanitarian personnel,
Expressing grave concern also at the deepening humanitarian crisis in Occupied Gaza,
Emphasizing the need to ensure sustained and regular flow of goods and people into Occupied Gaza and welcoming the initiatives aimed at creating and opening humanitarian corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian aid;
1. Condemns in the strongest terms possible the outrageous attack by the Israeli forces against the humanitarian flotilla of ships which resulted in the killing and injuring of many innocent civilians from different countries;
2. Deeply deplores the loss of life of innocent civilians and expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families;
3. Requests the ICRC to seek and provide information on the whereabouts status and condition of the detained and injured persons
4. Demands the Occupying Power Israel to immediately release all detained men and material and facilitate their safe return to their homelands.
5. Calls upon the Occupying power Israel to ensure the unimpeded provision of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment to the occupied Gaza strip;
6. Welcomes the statements of the Secretary General UN and the High Commissioner for Human Rights condemning the Israeli attacks and calls for the full accountability and credible independent inquiries into these attacks.
7. Decides to dispatch an independent international fact finding mission to investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.
8. Decides to remain seized of this matter.
UN Watch Statement
“Urgent Debate on the Raid on the Flotilla”
Delivered by Hillel Neuer, 2 June 2010
Mr. President, this debate turns on one question: Was the flotilla humanitarian, or not?
To answer this question, let us first examine the objective of the organizers, and then the means they used.
Evidence of the organizer’s objective can be found in the path they chose, and the path they rejected.
Israel, which in the past 18 months has delivered over 1 million tons of aid to Gaza, offered to receive the flotilla’s cargo in the nearby port of Ashdod, and, after inspection, to deliver it to Gaza. The organizers, however, rejected this offer. Because they wanted to create a political provocation; they were looking for a physical confrontation.
Mr. President, is this a humanitarian path?
Further evidence can be found in their state of mind, as demonstrated by their own words.
Before the ships sailed, supporters chanted “Intifada, Intifada,” and “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammed will return.” One of them declared that the aim of the flotilla was either of two “good things… achieving martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”
Mr. President, is this a humanitarian state of mind?
Let us also examine the means they used: metal bars, knives, axes, and even guns.
Mr. President, are these humanitarian means?
No. This operation was organized by an extremist group, the IHH, with extensive and documented ties to terrorist groups. Their objective and means had nothing to do with humanitarianism.
Now, seated around me here are representatives of some of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Refugee Agency, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Let us ask them: Are these the ways of humanitarians?
No, Mr. President, the resolution that is before us today — introduced by such countries as Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Sudan — is an insult to the world’s real humanitarians.
Thank you, Mr. President.