Friday, November 6, 2009

General Assembly adopts Goldstone report

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed the Goldstone report about the Israel attack on Gaza report on the Gaza war. The 192-member body adopted a resolution to this effect by a vote of 114-18, with some countries absent or abstaining. The resolution calls on the Security Council to act if either side fails to launch credible investigations within three months.

 The resolution endorses the report by the expert panel chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone which concluded both Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. The resolution calls on Israël to start within three months a credible investigation of allegations that war crimes were committed. Also the 'Palestnian side' is asked to do so. If they fail to do so, the matter will be brought before the UN Security Council. It is exspected however that in that case the US will use its veto. 

 Apart from Israel and the United States, a number of European countries including Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic voted against the resolution. Also the Netherlands voted against, in yet another  clear demonstration that the stated policy of its foreign ministers, Maxim Verhagen, that he puts a strong emphasis on human rights issues, is nothing but empty words. But the European Union was split, with others including Britain and France abstaining. Most developing countries voted in favor.

Israel's Deputy Ambassador Daniel Carmon told the assembly the resolution "endorses and legitimizes a deeply flawed, one-sided and prejudiced report of the discredited Human Rights Council and its politicized work that bends both fact and law."
U.S. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the resolution was flawed in several respects, including its failure to name the Hamas militant movement that rules Gaza. He also said a demand for international supervision of any Israeli and Palestinian investigations was "unhelpful."

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