on Agenda Item 4 – Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights
The OIC takes note of the High Commissioner’s Reports to the 55th Session of the General Assembly and to the substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council 2000. Abiding by the principles of Islam, which is a religion of peace and tolerance, the OIC fully supports the High Commissioner’s emphasis on adopting decisive steps to prevent gross violations of human rights, integration of human rights and development, integration of human rights in efforts for maintenance of international peace and security and the implementation of the right to development.
2. The OIC shares the High Commissioner’s conclusion that human rights are essential for full human development and that human development is important for the universal enjoyment of all human rights. The OIC agrees with the High Commissioner that a rights based approach to development should be the conceptual framework for human development. A rights based approach to development will we hope enable us to secure the dignity and worth of every individual of the all countries.
3. The High Commissioner notes an increasing emphasis on the protection of human rights in conflict situations. The OIC notes with regret that this is not so in the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The OIC is disappointed that situations where human rights of the Muslim people have consistently been abused have never figured on the agenda of the High Commissioner Personal Envoys to incipient crisis situations.
4. The OIC is deeply concerned and anguished over the sinister campaign to portray Islam as a religion with lesser safeguards for women. For us it is disconcerting that the summary on Human Rights of Women and Review of the Fourth World Conference on Women seems to lean towards this unbalanced perspective. The summary fails to list crimes committed in the name of passion or mercy killings as equally despicable crimes against women.
5. Islamophobia is an unfortunate and widespread phenomenon. Our religion and values are under serious attack from certain quarters. The High Commissioner’s report on the work and outcome of the 56th Session of the Human Rights Commission omits a major issue of concern to the OIC countries.
6. The OIC also welcomes the High Commissioner’s report E/CN.4/2001/114 on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories in pursuance of the resolution of the Fifth Special Session of the Commission on Human Rights. The OIC considers it most regrettable that Israel refused to accept the High Commissioner’s visit as a part of her mandate under this resolution.
7. The High Commissioner’s report reaffirms a number of important issues :
– the current Intifada is spontaneous and popular uprising;
– the human rights situation in the Palestinian territory is extremely grave;
– the Israeli defence forces are committing grave breaches of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention;
– Israeli settlers are heavily armed and live in closed areas protected by the IDF and enjoy every facility which is denied to the Palestinian people in the neighborhood.
8. The report explains that non-implementation by Israel of the key UN resolutions specially the Security Council resolution 242 (1967), is the underlying reason for the situation. This is manifest in the Israeli position in the final status negotiations, its evasion of responsibility for the right to return of refugees, its policy of illegal settlements, alteration of demographic composition and historical demarcation of the Holy City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and disputable claims relating to the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
9. The OIC considers the use of the term ‘violence’ misleading. This equates the aggressor with the victims, which surely was not the intention of the High Commissioner. Blaming the Palestinians for hate speech and incitement constitutes a failure to comprehend the daily agony of peoples who have had to face a brutal occupation for over fifty years.
10. The OIC concurs with recommendations of the High Commissioner for the establishment of an international monitoring presence, withdrawal of Israeli military forces from their forward positions and a lowering of the Israeli military profile in the occupied territories, full implementation of international and human rights and humanitarian law and the standards set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Human Rights covenants.
11. The OIC appreciates the High Commissioner’s commitment to support the actions undertaken by the Commission on Human Rights and its mechanisms in the implementation of the resolution adopted at the Fifth Special Session. We urge that steps be taken to ensure that the special mechanisms respond to the Commission’s decision as contained in the resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000. We would greatly appreciate a report regarding the implementation of this resolution.