UN delegates urge Ban to bring Gaza report before Security Council
U.N. delegates circulated a draft resolution that would require Ban Ki-moon to bring a U.N. report on war crimes in the Gaza Strip during Israeli war before SC.
Arab U.N. delegates circulated a draft resolution on Monday that would require Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to bring a U.N. report on war crimes in the Gaza Strip during Israeli war before the Security Council.
A special meeting of the 192-nation assembly on Wednesday will debate the U.N. report on the December-January war in the Gaza Strip and vote on the draft resolution.
That report accused Israel of war crimes and was prepared by a U.N. fact-finding commission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, says the assembly "requests the Secretary-General to transmit the report ... to the Security Council." It also urges Israel and the Palestinians to comply with the report's recommendations for launching investigations into allegations of war crimes.
The U.N. draft also tells Ban to report back to the assembly within three months on implementation of the resolution.
Arab and Western diplomats told Reuters there was little doubt a majority of the General Assembly would vote in favor of the draft. But negotiations were underway as Arab delegates sought to persuade Western powers to back the text.
Western diplomats said the United States would most likely vote against the resolution. Unless it is revised, they said, most European delegations would join Washington and reject it.
Resolutions of the General Assembly, unlike those of the Security Council, are nonbinding. But U.N. diplomats say such a resolution would intensify pressure on Israel to launch a full investigation into the actions of its army during the war.
The Goldstone report lambasted Israel in the war, which killed up to 1,434 Palestinians, a third of them civilians, and 13 Israelis but was harsher toward Israel. It gave Israel and Palestinian Hamas six months to mount credible investigations or face possible prosecution in The Hague.
Israel has criticized the report as unbalanced and says the 47-nation Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, is "biased" against the Jewish state.
Last month, the United States voted against that resolution while France and Britain abstained from the vote.
The draft resolution endorse an HRC report that included the resolution. Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem said it amounted to a full endorsement of the HRC resolution.
"It endorses the Human Rights Council resolution, that is the point," he told Reuters. " And it exposes the double standards that some permanent Security Council members have towards the occupying power (Israel) in Palestine."
Abdalhaleem said the Arabs had rejected an earlier European draft that said the General Assembly would merely "take note" of the Goldstone report and pass the issue back to the HRC.
Reuters Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Kasım 2009, 22:49