Tag: Hogan

General Assembly grants Palestine nonmember observer State status at UN

The resolution on the status of Palestine in the UN was adopted by a vote of 138 in favour to nine against with 41 abstentions by the 193-member Assembly.Mahmoud Abbas (centre), President of the Palestinian Authority, with his delegation in the General Assembly. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas“We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a State established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the State that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine,” the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, told the Assembly before the vote.Mr. Abbas noted that the world was being asked today to undertake a significant step in the process of rectifying the “unprecedented historical injustice” inflicted on the Palestinian people since 1948.“Your support for our endeavour today,” he said, “will send a promising message – to millions of Palestinians on the land of Palestine, in the refugee camps both in the homeland and the Diaspora, and to the prisoners struggling for freedom in Israel’s prisons – that justice is possible and that there is a reason to be hopeful and that the peoples of the world do not accept the continuation of the occupation.” Ambassador Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel, addresses the GeneralAssembly. UN Photo/Rick BajornasIsrael’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said his delegation could not accept today’s resolution. “Because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards,” he stated, adding that peace could only be achieved through negotiations.“There’s only one route to Palestinian statehood and that route does not run through this chamber in New York. That route runs through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah that will lead to a secure and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he added. “There are no shortcuts. No quick fixes. No instant solutions.” The Israelis and Palestinians have yet to resume direct negotiations since talks stalled in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas“Today’s vote underscores the urgency of a resumption of meaningful negotiations,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the vote was finalized. “We must give new impetus to our collective efforts to ensure that an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine lives side by side with a secure State of Israel. I urge the parties to renew their commitment to a negotiated peace.”Addressing the same gathering, the President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, appealed to “my dear friends from Palestine and Israel” to work for peace, to negotiate in good faith, and ultimately, to succeed in reaching the historical settlement.“I have no doubt that history will judge this day to have been fraught with significance – but whether it will come to be looked upon as a step in the right direction on the road to peace will depend on how we bear ourselves in its wake,” he said. “Let us therefore have the wisdom to act in furtherance of the goal I’m sure we all share.”In the resolution, the Assembly also voiced the hope that the Security Council will “consider favourably” the application submitted in September 2011 by Palestine for full UN membership.The Palestinian bid for full UN membership stalled last year when the 15-nation Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission by the Assembly, said it had been “unable to make a unanimous recommendation.”Today’s action comes on the same day that the UN observed the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Established in 1977, the Day marks the date in 1947 when the Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning then-mandated Palestine into two States, one Jewish and one Arab. read more

UN rights chief says bar must be set very high for investigation

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and OHCHR head Michelle Bachelet stressed that a full examination of, and accountability for, human rights violations committed against Mr. Khashoggi be conducted.The journalist disappeared from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.According to news reports, Saudi officials now admit that he was killed inside the embassy by a team of agents sent from Riyadh, although his body has yet to be recovered.Ms. Bachelet welcomed the steps taken by Turkish and Saudi authorities to investigate and prosecute the alleged perpetrators, but added that “given the information that high-level officials in Saudi Arabia were apparently involved, and it took place in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia, the bar must be set very high to ensure meaningful accountability and justice for such a shockingly brazen crime against a journalist and government critic.”“For an investigation to be carried out free of any appearance of political considerations, the involvement of international experts, with full access to evidence and witnesses, would be highly desirable,” she stated.Ms. Bachelet said it is important to determine whether serious human rights violations – such as torture, summary execution or enforced disappearance – were committed and to identify those implicated, “irrespective of their official capacity.”She called on Turkish and Saudi authorities to cooperate in ensuring that the truth be revealed.Noting that forensic examination, including an autopsy on the victim’s body is crucial in any murder investigation, Ms. Bachelet urged the Saudi authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Mr. Khasoggi’s body “without further delay or prevarication.”Since the murder was discovered, a chorus of UN officials have demanded a probe into Mr. Khashoggi’s case, including Secretary-General António Guterres, who stressed the need for a “prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.” The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye said he was “very disappointed” that Member States have so far failed to back calls for an independent international investigation into the murder. read more