Geneva: Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, gave the UAE’s speech at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, as part of its general discussion about the state of human rights in occupied Palestine since 1967.
Al Zaabi stated that the UAE combined the statements of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab Group and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Group while expressing his concern at the request of several countries to withdraw the seventh item from the council’s agenda to discuss the state of human rights in Palestine. The countries claim the item made Israel a victim and undermines the council’s internationalism.
Al Zaabi affirmed that from a human rights perspective and in reality, the victims are the Palestinian people and not the occupying force, and the claim that the council’s internationalism is being undermined cannot be justified while the occupying force is boycotting the council and rejects all its resolutions and reports.
He also asked the council to consider the violations faced by the Palestinian people over five decades of Israeli occupation and dedicated an entire item to the rights of Palestinians, which is part of a legitimate and fair process and the council’s responsibility, according to Resolution No. 60/251.
The request of the occupying authority and those who support it to withdraw the seventh item calls for the council to be silent about the crimes of murder, arbitrary detention, forced settlement and group punishment, which are violations that the General Assembly, Security Council and International Court of Justice have recognised, he added.
“The council cannot be silent, as the seventh item and the reports of rapporteurs and international investigation committees have revealed to the world the crimes of the occupier against the Palestinian people, which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and will naturally the occupier worry and the countries that support it,” he further added.
At the end of his speech, Al Zaabi renewed the UAE’s complete support for the Palestinian cause while stressing that the request to withdraw the seventh item is a major threat to the council’s credibility, as well as the legal, humanitarian and moral responsibility to uphold the item and ensure its implementation, according to the General Assembly’s Resolution 60/251 to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state, with its capital in Eastern Jerusalem.