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[16days_discussion] Fwd: WILPF Statement on human rights responsibilities in Gaza

Keely Swan kcswan at
Fri Jun 25 16:49:08 EDT 2010

> For distribution - 
> Apologies for cross posting. 
> Dear all,
> Around the globe, the WILPF community has been stepping to action 
> against human right abuses in Palestine as well as the Free Gaza 
> Flotilla attack. In addition to the short statement below prepared for 
> the UN Human Rights Council 14th Session, the WILPF International 
> Secretariat has compiled a Statement by WILPF on human rights 
> responsibilities in Gaza 
> <> to 
> assist people wanting to know more about the situation.  We are also 
> very busily working on another document detailing How you can make a 
> difference to be distributed shortly.
> Please distribute this to your networks. 
> Please also see ** 
> <> for many other documents from the 
> WILPF community including WILPF Palestine and WILPF Israel. 
> Thank you,
> Cara
> Cara Gleeson - Human Rights - Women's International League for Peace 
> and Freedom - 1, rue de Varembé - Case Potale 28 CH-1211 Geneva 20 
> - Switzerland
> Telephone: +41 22 919 7080 Fax: +41 22 919 7081
> <> 
> <> 
> <>
> *Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom*
> *Ligue Internationale de Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté*
> *Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad*
> *
> *
> Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC, UNCTAD and UNESCO; Special 
> Consultative Relations with FAO, ILO, and UNICEF.  
> WILPF 1, rue de Varembé, Case Postale 28, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland 
> Tel: +41 22 919 7080 /Fax: 7081 
> <> 
> UN Human Rights Council 14th Session 
> *Oral Statement*
> Please note this statement was not delivered due to time limits in the 
> Council.  
> * *
> *Item 7 – SR Occupied Palestinian Territories* 
> WILPF joins those who welcomed the report of the Special Rapporteur. 
> The content of the report, 
> i.e. the continuing failure to respect human rights, is something that 
> is heard at least annually and 
> is met with the same, or similar observations by members of the 
> Council, but without concrete 
> steps being taken to ameliorate the situation.  
> The resolution of 1st June 2010 calling for an independent fact 
> finding mission to “investigate 
> violations of international law resulting from the Israeli attacks on 
> the flotilla...” , from our 
> perspective, is far too narrow in scope, is repetitive in nature and 
> ignores the context in which 
> Israel and others have continued to avoid accountability for their 
> actions. Such a limited 
> resolution does not address the nature of accountability of actors 
> other than Israel, nor does it 
> open possibilities for dialogue toward reducing tensions and seeking 
> peaceful ways of ensuring 
> compliance with international law. 
> Occupation exists, and hence Israel bears the full responsibilities 
> that arise under international 
> law relating to occupation. The obligations arising have been set out 
> by experts appointed by the 
> United Nation and need not be rehearsed by WILPF. The failure of 
> Israel to comply, and to do so 
> with impunity, brings the international legal and political system 
> into disrepute and weakens its 
> authority and ability to fulfill its function.  
> *Responsibility of other States *
> The ability of Israel to continue its occupation, the blockade and its 
> military interventions would 
> be severely curtailed without the acts, or omissions, of other States 
> who have been on notice that 
> Israel has been in violation of various international legal 
> obligations. Experts, appointed by the 
> United Nations, have drawn attention to these violations in the 
> strongest terms. The experts on the 
> fact finding mission to Beit Hanoun stated:/” that 
> the /*/international community is failing to fulfill /*
> */its role in respect of the suffering of the people of Gaza, in 
> particular in its silence which begets /*
> */complicity”. /*
> */ /*
> According to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of 
> Justice, Israel has violated 
> obligations of */“an erga omnes character that are the concern of all 
> States and that all States /*
> */are required to bring to an end”/*. 
> Thus far, the response by States, if judged by visible action, has 
> been twofold: to condemn the 
> blockade and to a limited extent to provide humanitarian assistance.  
> This is an extremely narrow response and one that does not fulfill 
> obligations. 
> Attention is drawn to the 2005 World Summit Outcome *(Resolution of the  *
> *GeneralAssembly 60/1 2005)* 
> It has been posited that the protection duty encompasses a continuum 
> of prevention, reaction,    
> commitment to rebuild and to punish, from early warning, to diplomatic 
> pressure, to coercive 
> measures, to conflict resolution and post conflict reconstruction 
> assistance as well as 
> accountability for perpetrators. 
> All States are implicated in the responsibility to protect but there 
> is an additional and specific 
> responsibility on states with political, military, financial and 
> economic ties to use that influence to 
> prevent, react and hold accountable.  
> Any Commission of Inquiry appointed by the HRC must have a broad 
> mandate to investigate all 
> actors, with the aim of identifying responsibilities in relation to 
> each, whether State or private 
> actors, and accountability mechanisms if they should fail to comply 
> with them. 
> Without prejudice to the outcome of such an investigation, immediate 
> steps must be taken to hold 
> Israel to account for its continuous contempt for international law 
> and to ensure non-repetition. 
> Such steps could include those mentioned by the SR in his latest 
> report to the council at para 38.  
> In accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325, the role of women 
> in the prevention and 
> resolution of the conflict must be taken into account and particular 
> measures must be taken to 
> ensure that their participation is facilitated through the provision 
> of social and economic rights 
> producing a climate of security which facilitates participation in 
> public life. Primary 
> responsibility lies with the occupying State of Israel and with their 
> continued failure, with other 
> members of the International Community. 
> *Conclusion. *
> Law exists to regulate the conduct of States and individuals, but it 
> is imperfect. Whilst assertions 
> can be made as to how international law should be applied, many prefer 
> to avoid the element 
> which demands action, and seek ways to avoid it. 
> The attack on the flotilla mobilised public opinion world wide to the 
> plight of those, both on the 
> ship attacked, but also to those in need of assistance in Gaza. In 
> simple terms, it aroused the sense 
> of common decency in ordinary people towards the suffering of others, 
> not from any political 
> perspective, but because of a common and shared humanity. It is this, 
> which should inspire the 
> States to take actions to achieve peace. Under the responsibility to 
> protect, the perspective of the 
> victim was invoked. There is no one in the region who can enjoy the 
> peace that real security 
> brings, to a greater or lesser extent, all are victims. For all of us 
> who see what is happening, and 
> for those who are experiencing it, whatever the law calls it, it is 
> just wrong and must stop. 
> Above all WILPF is calling for all States, to do everything in their 
> power to end the occupation 
> and thereby the individual suffering, to end fear, to create real 
> security, to obtain the renunciation 
> of violence and find a way to a just peace.  
> For more information please refer to the Statement by WILPF on human 
> rights responsibilities in 
> Gaza and associated documents on 
> <>. 
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