August 14, 2018

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19 Swiss MPs submit motion to remove UNHRC Agenda Item against Israel

A loose translation of a motion submitted to the Swiss parliament:

 The Federal Council is instructed to propose to the UN Human Rights Council to delete item 7 of its permanent agenda.
The creation of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2006 must be attributed primarily to an initiative by Switzerland and Micheline Calmy-Rey, then Federal Councilor. Shortly after its work began, the Council established a permanent ten-point agenda, which has since been systematically followed at all sessions.

The agenda reads as follows:

Item 1. Organizational and procedural matters
Item 2. Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Item 3. Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Item 4. Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Item 5. Human rights bodies and mechanisms
Item 6. Universal Periodic Review
Item 7. Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Item 8. Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Item 9. Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Item 10. Technical assistance and capacity-building

It was then decided by a majority of the voters that the human rights situation in the countries of the world would be dealt with under different agenda items. On the other hand, the question of Israel and Palestine is discussed in item 7, created specifically for this purpose. The situation prevailing in all the other countries is examined in points 4 and 10. In practice, point 7 is subject to one to two days of discussions each time, while Council has only granted only a few hours of its time to the situation in the rest of the world. Thus, since June 2006, it adopted 68 resolutions against Israel, and 67 concerning all the rest of the world.

Given the real human rights situation in the world, Switzerland, which had actively worked for the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council, would do well more than ten years later to propose that the Council to delete item 7, which specifically refers to Israel. It should be committed to promoting respect for human rights in general, rather than supporting the systematic piling on a single country.

What is insane is that the Western nations have never prioritized this, thereby telling the Arab world that they can do whatever they want without opposition.

(h/t UN Watch)

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