Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Director-General Ms. Elinor Hammarskjold
30 September 2009
Re: The endorsement of the report by the Fact Finding Mission in Gaza, in its entirety
Dear Ms. Elinor,
On 29 September 2009, H.E. Ambassador Hans Dahlgren informed the Human Rights Council, on behalf of the European Union, of their position on the report by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.
As a Palestinian, non-governmental human rights organisation working from within the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), we are deeply disappointed by the position Sweden has adopted individually and collectively on behalf of the European Union,. We recognise that the oral submissions by H.E. Ambassador Hans Dahlgren take into account the seriousness of the situation in the OPT and the report by the Fact Finding Mission, but concrete action is needed.
Firstly, the professional, thorough, and impartial report by esteemed Justice Goldstone and his team merits great consideration and presents an opportunity for the Member States of the Human Rights Council to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. The mandate of the Human Rights Council is clear; to “address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations”. Hence, by not endorsing the report by the Fact Finding Mission, in its entirety, the Member States fail to fulfill their respective legal obligations and the mandate of the Human Rights Council will lose its value. The mandate of the Human Rights Council is clear; to “address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations”. Member States must therefore look beyond political intentions and agendas.
Secondly, H.E. Ambassador Hans Dahlgren reiterated in the Human Rights Council the need for a political solution and the commencement of serious peace negotiations. We support the Swedish Government in this position and recall Justice Goldstone’s reply to the Member States‘ inquiries; there is no peace without justice.
Finally, whilst Sweden holds the European Presidency, it is not prevented from individually endorsing the report in its entirety. By endorsing the report, Sweden will contribute to the upholding of international humanitarian and human rights law.