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New UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine launches first official mission

GENEVA (18 September 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Makarim Wibisono, will undertake his first official visit to the region from 20 to 28 September.

The Special Rapporteur will gather first-hand information on the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory following Israel’s military operations over the past two months, which resulted in at least 1,473 Palestinian civilians killed, including some 501 children. The independent expert will visit Jordan and Egypt during his mission. Mr. Wibisono will seek to access Gaza through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip.

“Despite my best efforts, I have not been granted access by Israel to the Occupied Palestinian Territory at this time,” Mr. Wibisono said. “I deeply regret not having the opportunity to visit the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to speak face-to-face with victims and witnesses of Israel’s alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

During his mission, the Special Rapporteur will meet with Palestinian officials, religious and community leaders and civil society representatives, among others. He will discuss the human rights situation across the Occupied Palestinian Territory with a focus on the situation of Palestinian children, and the long-term impacts of violence, conflict and occupation on their fundamental human rights.

The Special Rapporteur will present an oral update to the General Assembly in October 2014 on his findings and conclusions, and report fully on his mission with recommendations, to the Human Rights Council in March 2015.

A press conference will be held at the end of the Special Rapporteur’s visit, on Sunday 28 September at 10:30, at the Fairmont Heliopolis hotel in Cairo.

ENDS

In 2014, the UN Human Rights Council designated Makarim Wibisono (Indonesia) as the sixth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the then UN Commission on Human Rights. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.

Mr. Wibisono has previously served as Chairperson to the 2nd Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva (2013). He has also served as Advisor to the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta since 2009. He was Chairperson of the 61st United Nations Commission on Human Rights (2005) and President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (2000). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/PS/Pages/SRPalestine.aspx

Check the Special Rapporteur’s last report to the UN Human Rights Council: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/ListReports.aspx


UN Human Rights, country pages:
Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx
Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Kiyohiko Hasegawa (+41 22 928 9211 / khasegawa@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org


For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en