UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON RACISM
UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON RACISM
GENEVA, 22 April (UN Information Service) -- The Commission on Human Rights this morning adopted a resolution on racism, xenophobia and related intolerance and conducted an inter-active dialogue with the acting High Commissioner for Human Rights on the proposed Strategic Framework for the biennium 2006-2007.

In a resolution on the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by a roll-call vote of 38 in favour and one opposed, with fourteen abstentions, the Commission acknowledged that no derogation from the prohibition of racial discrimination, genocide, the crime of apartheid or slavery was permitted; stressed that States and international organizations had a responsibility to ensure that measures taken in the struggle against terrorism did not discriminate in purpose or effect on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin; and regretted that discriminatory immigration laws, policies and practices contributed to the persistence of racism.

Presenting the proposed Strategic Framework for the biennium 2006-2007, acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, said that the format and content of the document had been influenced by the Secretary-General`s reform programme. Where there had been a medium-term plan for four years and a biennial budget for two years, the Strategic Framework combined them into one. The Office of the High Commissioner would continue to strive for the universal realization of all human rights for all and the decisions of policy-making organs would guide this effort. Four sub-programmes were envisaged, the rationale for which was to be found in resolutions of the Commission and the General Assembly.

The proposed Strategic Framework will be submitted by the Secretary-General to the Committee for Programme and Coordination later this year for consideration and referral to the General Assembly.

Participating in the inter-active dialogue which followed the acting High Commissioner`s presentation were Representatives of Cuba, Pakistan and Argentina. At the top of the meeting, the Commission heard a statement by the Representative of Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who said every fair-minded nation must condemn such acts as the assassinations of Hamas leaders Sheikh Yassin and Abdelaziz Rantissi, without reservation or political consideration. The international community must make earnest and concrete efforts to stop Israel from engaging in deliberate violence and Israel must show respect for the elementary human rights of the Palestinian people. Israel`s latest crimes warranted a special sitting of the Commission, however, the Organization of the Islamic Conference Member States had refrained from calling for that sitting, mindful that the Commission had entered its last phase.

In response, the Representative of Israel said his country had acted in self-defence and that Hamas was a terrorist organization and had been recognized as such by many countries. The Palestinian Authority should have acted against terrorist groups like Hamas, operating from areas under its control. While the Government remained committed to the two-State solution, it also remained determined to defend its citizens and to fight terrorism.

The Representative of Palestine said that despite the Commission`s resolutions, Israel had not ceased, but had continued, its policy of liquidation of the leadership of Palestine. With political support provided by the United States, Israel felt that it could continue its policy. The Commission and the international community must take steps to put an end to Israel`s crimes and to compel Israel to respect international law.

In other action, the Commission also heard a statement by the Representative of Cuba who withdrew from consideration a proposed draft resolution on the human rights situation in the United States bases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Action on the draft text related to the human rights situation in Sudan was also postponed until Friday. There was a brief debate about the leaking of a United Nations report on Sudan. Finally, consideration of the request by the Commission for authorization from the Economic and Social Council for additional, fully serviced meetings was deferred until Friday.

Making general comments on the texts considered this morning by the Commission were the Representatives of Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Cuba, India, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Russian Federation, Bahrain, Pakistan and Sudan.

Making statements in explanation before the vote were the Representatives of Ireland (on behalf of the European Union), India, China and Cuba.

Making statements in explanation after the vote were the Representatives of Bhutan, United Kingdom, Egypt and Sudan.http://nvolgatrade.ru/

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