23 September 2013
Holds General Debate on Universal Periodic Review
The Human Rights Council this morning heard the introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, followed by a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories. It also held a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review.
Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting the report of the Secretary-General, said the report addressed the human rights situation in Gaza, including with respect to the access-restricted areas and the on-going blockade, and reiterated previous concerns regarding the human rights situation in the West Bank. The lack of accountability for crimes, and for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the failure of all parties to effectively investigate such violations, was a concern raised throughout the report. The Secretary-General noted that there were serious concerns that neither Israel nor the de facto authorities in Gaza had taken adequate steps to investigate credible allegations of violations of international law following the end of last November’s escalation of hostilities in Gaza.
Palestine and Syria spoke as concerned countries; Israel’s representative was not present in the room.
In the general debate that followed, speakers voiced deep concern about the illegal conduct of Israel which was not consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. It was noted that the rights of the Palestinians continued to be flouted by the very existence of settlements, and that Israel continued to build these. A call was made for the immediate end to settlement-building on Palestinian land and their dismantlement. The Council must take the appropriate measures against both the direct perpetrators of the killings and those that supported them through arms, technology or financially. It was high time for the international community in all its components to move from words in favour of the Palestinian cause to actions.
Speaking in the discussion were Pakistan on behalf of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Gabon on behalf of the African Group, Palestine on behalf of the Arab Group, Ecuador on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, Brazil on behalf of the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Qatar and Kuwait.
Remigiuscz A. Henczel, President of the Human Rights Council, earlier this morning, said in a clarification of the rules of the Working Group sessions of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review that reports submitted therein had to be of a factual nature and that conclusions and recommendations contained had to reflect the position of the submitting State, among others. Reaffirming these practices through applying them in a consistent manner would strengthen the credibility of the Universal Periodic Review. The Council had received information on cases of intimidation and threats against non-governmental organization representatives at this session. This was rejected under the terms of the Council and States were urged to prevent and ensure adequate protection against such acts. A letter to this effect was sent to Permanent Representatives on 18 September.
In the general debate on the Universal Periodic Review, speakers said they were committed to the Universal Periodic Review process, its objectives and principles. The key to the effectiveness of the Universal Periodic Review was the voluntary cooperation by States and respect for the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity. Member States were called upon to ensure that universal participation took place and this needed to be followed by implementation. There was a need to strengthen coordination, planning and monitoring of the Universal Periodic Review process. Constructive recommendations accepted should be followed by effective implementation, which required political will and resources, financial and technical, and there may be risks involved.
Speaking in the discussion were Lithuania on behalf of the European Union, Malaysia, Austria, Maldives, Republic of Moldova, Venezuela, Estonia, Russia, Morocco, China, Belgium, Cuba, Armenia, Georgia, Albania, Sudan, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Solomon Islands, Netherlands and Uruguay.
African Technology Development Link, UPR Info, International Institute for Peace, International Commission of Jurists, Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development, Amnesty International, United Nations Watch, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Union of Arab Jurists, World Barua Organization, Action Internationale pour la paix et le developpement dans la region des Grands Lacs, Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik, Society of Iranian Women Advocating Sustainable Development of Environment and Organization for Defending Victims of Violence also took the floor.
The Human Rights Council will resume its work this afternoon at 3 p.m. to hear an address from the Commissioner for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society of Mauritania, and continue its general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
REMIGIUSZ HENCZEL, President of the Human Rights Council, said in a clarification of the rules of the Working Group sessions of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review that reports submitted therein had to be of a factual nature; that conclusions and recommendations contained should reflect the position of the submitting State; that recommendations made during the review should be treated equally and listed only once; that recommendations were a part of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review; and that recommendations focus on human rights issues. Reaffirming these practices through applying them in a consistent manner would strengthen the credibility of the Universal Periodic Review. The Council had received information on cases of intimidation and threats against non-governmental organization representatives at this session. This was rejected under the terms of the Council and States were urged to prevent and ensure adequate protection against such acts. The Council had to proceed with the appropriate level of dignity and respect in its task of promoting and protecting human rights for all. The Chairman had sent a letter to this effect to Permanent Representatives on 18 September.
General Debate on the Universal Periodic Review
Lithuania, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that it remained strongly committed to the Universal Periodic Review. Although a United Nations mechanism, it continued to be a State-driven process and its success depended on the willingness of States to ensure meaningful participation. Member States were called upon to ensure that universal participation took place and this needed to be followed by implementation. Recommendations needed to remain focused on the situation in the country.
Malaysia said that it was committed to the principles and objectives of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. It should be regarded as part of a series of processes and efforts of the State concerned to continuously improve the human rights situation of its people. Constructive recommendations accepted should be followed by effective implementation. This required political will and resources, financial and technical, and there may be risks involved. States should be afforded the adequate and necessary time and space.
Austria said that in its first Review it had announced that it would submit a mid-term report of the implementation status of recommendations, two years after the Review. It was now before the Council. Austria considered the Universal Periodic Review process as a key human rights tool of the United Nations that guaranteed a regular and comprehensive examination of all United Nations Member States. For Austria, 131 accepted recommendations had been assigned to the respective ministries according to their competences by the human rights coordinators.
Maldives said that the Universal Periodic Review had contributed to the efforts of States to promote and uphold their human rights obligations and had provided a cooperative framework for States. The non-cooperation of some States was detrimental to the credibility of the mechanism and could set a dangerous precedent. Maldives remained concerned abut the precedents set in the format of the Working Group report and the regular recurrence of contentious bilateral issues. The Council needed to make the Universal Periodic Review Trust Fund on participation more accessible for delegations of small islands States and least developed countries
Republic of Moldova reiterated the importance it attached to the Universal Periodic Review, which had made numerous contributions to the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground. The Republic of Moldova welcomed the fact that the second cycle showed continuity with the recommendations made during the first cycle. The drafting of voluntary mid-term report was a great opportunity to review the achievements and challenges. The Republic of Moldova would submit such a report in 2014 and would host a seminar on the Universal Periodic Review in 2014.
Venezuela reaffirmed its support for the Universal Periodic Review, which proved to be the most efficient mechanism of the Council to promote and protect human rights. States were all treated on an equal foot, but the non-compliance of Israel with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism was concerning. The persistent refusal of this State to cooperate with the mechanism was a threat to its universality. Negotiations were needed to ensure that this country would cooperate with the Council and that its Universal Periodic Review report would be submitted in due time.
Estonia said that the letter written by the President a few days ago was commended. In the case of reviews of some countries, issues had emerged as to reporting. It was pertinent that all States were reminded of the rules. Fundamental in the existing arrangement was the ownership of the recommendation, which belonged to the State making it. At the same time the State under review had a full right to decide on the recommendation and that was the most important part of the agreement.
Russia said that the key to the effectiveness of the Universal Periodic Review was the voluntary cooperation by States and respect for the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity. Russia emphasized that recommendations should be in line with the basis for the review and in particular deal with the human rights situation in the country under review and not another State. With respect to the addendum the current word limit was not enough.
Morocco welcomed the focus on strengthening of national competencies and capacities allowing for proper effectiveness of the Universal Periodic Review outcome. Such measures made sure that actions at the grass-roots were lasting over time. Morocco particularly welcomed the priority attention given to least developed countries and small island developing States, which needed financial and technical assistance to implement recommendations made to them.
China attached great importance to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which had to continue to respect the principles of cooperation, universality and non-selectivity. China highly commended the relevant departments of the Office of the High Commissioner for the smooth operation of the mechanism. Greater transparency was needed and the Office of the High Commissioner could improve the communication with the concerned countries. During the drafting of its report, China had received information from civil society.
Belgium reiterated the importance it attached to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. During its Universal Periodic Review in May 2011, Belgium accepted 88 out of the 121 recommendations received. Several consultations were organized with civil society to share the results of the review. A mid-term report had been submitted to the Council and it enabled Belgium to take stock of the achievements and to identify future challenges.
Cuba said that nobody had called into question the efficiency of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, but problems of selectivity and politicisation remained. Genuine cooperation and banishing the spirit of confrontation were needed to ensure the universality of the process. Issues such as grouping of recommendations and summaries of the statements had to be tackled. Measures had to be taken in this regard before the next session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group.
Armenia said that it had received inappropriate reactions during its second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review and urged interested parties to enter into open dialogue when conflict situations were known to all. Armenia welcomed the Chairman’s letter. Armenia noted with satisfaction that its concerns were reflected in the letter but regretted that there was a State that had tried to reject recommendations in an effort to provide cover for its perpetration of grave human rights violations.
Georgia said all States were entitled to make recommendations and the State under review had a right to reject them, but not omit them. Rules had to be followed. Georgia had alerted the international community to the dangers of bending the rules of the Universal Periodic Review. Altering recommendations was not allowed; the Russian Federation’s overall unwillingness to comply with the spirit of the Universal Periodic Review had threatened its credibility and a Pandora’s Box had already been opened.
Albania said the Universal Periodic Review was an important tool for the international community and Member States. Albania welcomed the outcome reports of Germany, the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan. Albania would hold its second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in 2014 and would like to share its achievements as well as be involved in a constructive and fruitful dialogue with every interested party.
Sudan said that it was particularly attached to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which effectively promoted the protection of human rights and was an opportunity to consult with and support other States. Sudan had a specific body to ensure the implementation of recommendations made. Its mid-term report had been circulated in the room as well as electronically, providing an update on implementation. Sudan had approved many of the recommendations made.
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie said its partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner had enabled the holding of three seminars on the Universal Periodic Review. The fourth seminar on the Universal Periodic Review would be organised in April 2014, at the mid-way point of the second cycle. In responding to requests made during the first three seminars, the Organisation had drawn up a practical guide on implementation of recommendations made during the Universal Periodic Review.
Solomon Islands said that there was a need to strengthen coordination, planning and monitoring of the Universal Periodic Review process. It was currently planning to conduct a national consultation with Government policy makers and relevant stakeholders of all sectors right to the provincial level on mainstreaming human rights in the country’s development priorities. However, because of resource constraints it would need support from the international community to achieve this.
Netherlands attached great importance to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which was unique in periodically and thoroughly recording human rights situations in all Member States regardless of size, geographical location, economic situation or political importance. Member States had acknowledged that all States faced challenges in the field of human rights and there was always room for improvement. The Netherlands fully supported the recent Presidential letter on the practices and rules of the Universal Periodic Review.
Uruguay thanked the President of the Council for his recent letter on the principles governing the Universal Periodic Review process. The Universal Periodic Review was one of the most important mechanisms to promote and protect human rights. The pillars of this mechanism were its universality, non-selectiveness and equal treatment of all Member States without exception. Some cases with particular complications must be discussed within the Council to find solutions that would be consistently applied to future problems.
African Technology Development Link said that Canada’s Parliament continued to be a vibrant example of democracy in action. Canada was a society open to and accepting of cultural, religious and linguistic differences, where minorities could express their identities, speak their languages and practice their faiths freely.
Universal Periodic Review Info said that under no circumstances should States have the possibility of removing recommendations from the list, and both accepted and noted recommendations should be included in the report. The Chairman’s letter of 18 September was a crucial reminder of the existing rules and practices.
International Institute for Peace said the revival of fundamentalism was a threat to women, children and democracy in Bangladesh. Women and children in Bangladesh were subject to violence and sexual abuse. Street girls were particularly vulnerable but the authorities ignored this. Poverty and migration, political disasters and underdevelopment, posed a series of grave threats to Bangladesh’s children
International Commission of Jurists said the failure of Nepal to implement the recommendations made to it during the 2011 cycle of its Universal Periodic Review with regard to transitional justice was destabilizing the country. Victims and human rights defenders continued to face intimidation from State actors. Nepal had to commit to implementing the recommendations made to it.
Maarij Foundaiton for Peace and Development said that it had been working with its partners to contribute to the promotion of human rights in Sudan, where there had been an increase for respect of human rights standards. It was encouraged when the Council placed Sudan under Item 10, on technical assistance. However, it seemed that technical assistance had not made its way to Sudan.
Amnesty International welcomed Israel’s recent preparation for review by the Human Rights Committee in relation to the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Israel seemed to signal willingness to re-engage with United Nations human rights processes. It was urged to extend this will to its Universal Periodic Review scheduled for 29 October.
United Nations Watch had examined recent country reviews to count how many non-governmental organization submissions were made. In Cuba, the number soared to an unbelievable amount. While genuine critiques and suggestions for improving human rights in Cuba did appear, they were overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of submissions that gave the Government uncritical praise, inconsistent with the process.
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said that the Universal Periodic Review “had the potential to promote human rights in the darkest corner of the world”. Without an effective follow-up mechanism, the Universal Periodic Review’s potential to promote human rights was significantly diminished and countries like Iraq could continue to ignore their obligations.
Union of Arab Jurists, speaking in a joint statement, said that the failure of Israel to appear before the Working Group in January 2013 had created a dangerous precedent for the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and the respect for human rights worldwide. Israel had linked further collaboration with the Council with political demands. This was part of a playing-for-time strategy, which gave the necessary space for Israel to continue its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
World Barua Organization said that Bangladesh had made a clear commitment at its first Universal Periodic Review to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord and to respect the rights of indigenous peoples. In its second Universal Periodic Review, Bangladesh had accepted the recommendation on the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Nonetheless, the Accord had not been implemented. The Organization urged Bangladesh to take effective measures in this regard.
Action Internationale pour la paix et le développement dans le région des Grands Lacs said the Universal Periodic Review of Cameroon and the campaign on behalf of homosexuals waged by the West showed the continued disregard for African cultural traditions and the ignorance of real human rights problems such as socio-economic rights. Africa was not ready to blindly follow Western dogma in this respect and Cameroon should be commended for resisting it.
Verein Südwind Entwicklungspolitik said the Universal Periodic Review suffered from a couple of shortcomings: during the second cycle, States seemed to take the process less seriously and did not allow time for non-governmental organizations to respond; additionally, States stuck to vague formulations to dodge specific human rights questions; finally, States were not required to provide clear and detailed plans for the implementation of recommendations.
Society of Iranian Women said the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review, while valuable, were deemed the basis for the protection of human rights of States, they were also the criteria for the evaluation of the skill of governments to commit to them. Therefore, political guidance was needed in the mechanism; its absence could be seen, for example, in the lack of environmental issues within the existing recommendations of the reviews.
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence said it had been hoped that the Universal Periodic Review process would gently replace confrontational procedures. Unfortunately not only had its universality lost functionality over a period of time, but the strengthening of procedures based on resolutions and increasing pressures from other Council monitoring mechanisms had also added to further undermining the Review’s effects.
The Council has before it the report of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem - Report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/24/30).
Presentation of the Report of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
FLAVIA PANSIERI, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Council’s resolution 22/28 of 22 March 2013. The report was based on information gathered by the Office of the High Commissioner’s field presence and other United Nations entities operating in Palestine. It addressed the human rights situation in Gaza, including with respect to the access-restricted areas and the on-going blockade. While recognizing Israel’s security concerns, the Secretary-General recommended the lifting of the blockade and urged Israel to remedy punitive measures against civilians.
The report reiterated previous concerns regarding the human rights situation in the West Bank, including with regard to settler violence, forcible transfers, demolitions, forced evictions, excessive use of force by Israeli security forces, and the situation of Palestinians, including children detained by Israel. The report also raised concerns with regard to the Palestinian Authority, with particular concern about cases of ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees.
The lack of accountability for crimes, and for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the failure of all parties to effectively investigate such violations, was a concern raised throughout the report. The Secretary-General noted that there were serious concerns that neither Israel nor the de facto authorities in Gaza had taken adequate steps to investigate credible allegations of violations of international law following the end of last November’s escalation in hostilities in Gaza.
The report also recommended that the Government of Palestine conduct effective investigations into all suspected violations of international human rights law in order to ensure accountability. The Secretary-General noted that the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights would be an important step to assist Palestine in its on-going efforts to improve its human rights performance.
Statements by the Countries Concerned
The President of the Council said the representative of Israel was not in the room.
Palestine, speaking as a concerned country, said that it would have hoped to see Israel’s Ambassador in the Council’s room today. His absence showed the arrogance of Israel. The report showed the numerous human rights violations committed by the Israeli authorities in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel continued its policies of deliberate violations of United Nations resolutions and international law, which were fully applicable in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel should abide with the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice according to which the wall was illegal. The wall was an obstacle to the enjoyment of the rights of the Palestinian people. Palestine reiterated that Israeli settlements were illegal under international law. An independent committee of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises should be established to investigate the effects of the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, as well as other international bodies, had stated in resolutions and reports that the attempt of Israel to change the socio-demographic nature of parts of Palestine was null and void. Israel had to respect the Geneva conventions. The failure of the international community to ensure that Israel respected its international obligations jeopardized the credibility of international law. The international community had to find mechanisms to enforce international law at all times. The systematic occupation policy was the major cause of the human rights violations that occurred in Palestine. The blockade on occupied Gaza had to be lifted. A Special Procedure mandate should be created to study the effects of unilateral sanctions on human rights.
Syria, speaking as a concerned country, said that the continued culture of impunity in Israel had been attested to in many international commissions, and amounted to the recognition of war crimes. The defence, supported by the United States, was that Israel had a status that was somehow above the law; this did not enjoy any legitimacy. The treatment of prisoners, the abuse of the rights of those living in the Golan, and the destruction of the wealth of the occupied lands should all be ended. Syria called for a boycott of Israeli products made as a result of the occupation.
General Debate on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories
Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that it was deeply concerned by the illegal conduct of Israel which was not consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip, an integral part of Palestine, was an unlawful act of collective punishment. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation demanded an end to the illegal occupation of Syrian land, and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Iran, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that it appreciated the report of the Secretary-General and deeply shared his concerns on the recurrence of violations already highlighted in previous reports. The Non-Aligned Movement also condemned the persistent non-cooperation of Israel and its blatant disregard of its international obligations. As a case in point, the continued illegal settlement policy had to cease. The Non-Aligned Movement called for Israel to meet its legal and moral responsibilities with respect to the fundamental rights of the Palestine people.
Gabon, speaking on behalf of the African Group , said the report noted that the rights of the Palestinians continued to be flouted by the very existence of settlements, and that Israel continued to build settlements. The African Group noted with interest the direct resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. There was shared concern about continued settlement building by Israel and about violence by settlers. The African Group called for the immediate end to settlement-building on Palestinian land and their dismantlement.
Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, condemned the lack of cooperation and respect shown by Israel. Israel, the occupying power, continued its colonialist measures, going against all the resolutions of United Nations bodies and international humanitarian law, and above all the Fourth Geneva Convention, which was applicable to the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem. It was high time for the international community in all its components to move from words in favour of the Palestinian cause, to actions.
Ecuador, speaking on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, reiterated the recognition given to the State of Palestine in 2010. It was worrying that violence continued and a call for peace through dialogue and negotiation was made. The Alliance denounced the illegal settlements as a mechanism to secure territorial rights by the occupying power. The Council must take the appropriate measures against both the direct perpetrators of the killings and those that supported them through arms, technology or financially.
Brazil, speaking on behalf of the India, Brazil and South Africa Dialogue Forum, said that serious human rights violations continued to be committed in the occupied Palestinian territory and reiterated their call upon Israel to stop building settlements. This was an obligation under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions. The countries were disturbed by the destruction of houses and civilian buildings. Israel should lift the blockade on Gaza. Occupation remained the main cause of human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Malaysia said that while a political and peaceful two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was awaited, the Palestinian people continued to suffer the oppression of Israel, the occupying power. The illegal blockade on Gaza, confiscation of land and demolition of houses and infrastructure were but a few of the brutal atrocities Palestinians had to suffer. The Council must send a strong and unified message to the occupying power that impunity would not be condoned.
United Arab Emirates said that the report contained a black list of systematic violations committed by Israel, including restriction of the movement of Palestinians. The list of these restrictions was well-known. Freedom of movement was part of the various past peace agreements, but the restrictions had not been lifted so far. The violations of the rights of Palestinians by the occupying power was not the exception, it was the rule. As the Secretary-General put it in his report, the daily activities of Israeli citizens were very complicated or even impossible for Palestinian citizens.
Indonesia said it continued to be a steadfast supporter of the Palestinian people. The Secretary-General’s report once again confirmed Israel’s continued flagrant violations of international humanitarian law. It was regrettable that the delegation of Israel was not present at this Council to either confirm or deny these concerns. The negative impact on the human rights of Palestinians of the Separation Wall was of particular concern. The suffering of the Palestinian people and evidence of the inhuman policies of Israel were too great to ignore. Indonesia urged all parties to resume peace talks.
Ecuador reiterated its support for the establishment of a State of Palestine free from occupation. Ecuador therefore urged those countries that had vetoed resolutions in the Security Council to rethink their position with respect to the suffering of the Palestinian people. Numerous practices remained in place that violated the basic rights of the Palestinian people. Ecuador was concerned about the erection of the Separation Wall and the ongoing blockade of Gaza.
Venezuela said the rights of the Palestinian people to their land were age-old and Venezuela once again lamented the actions of Israel, as well as the impunity it was seemingly granted, which had caused so much suffering. The leaders of Israel must be held accountable for these acts. Venezuela called on Israel and its accomplices in the international community to uphold the right of resettlement for the Palestinian people and respect the 1967 borders.
Qatar condemned continuing Israeli violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to compel it to abide by international humanitarian law. Israel had to understand that the question of settlements was a major obstacle to negotiation efforts to ensure a just and comprehensive peace.
Kuwait reiterated its condemnation of Israeli violations of human rights and of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law as well as relevant Geneva Conventions on occupied Palestinian territory and other occupied Arab territories. There was a need to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to address the issue of Palestinian refugees.
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