Global civil society coalition urges UN General Assembly to support Goldstone recommendations on Gaza

4 November 2009


The General Assembly will meet on 4
November to consider the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on
the Gaza conflict, which found evidence that both Israel and the Palestinians
committed serious war crimes during the hostilities earlier this year.


Human Rights Now, among 40 NGOs around
the world, sent open letter to all member states of UN General Assembly to support
the recommendation of the Goldstone report and work to adopt a resolution to
ensure justice and accountability for victims of the Gaza conflict.



See the whole letter; 


A global coalition of civil society
organizations from every corner of the world, ranging from Human Rights Now in
Japan to the South African Council of Churches, have urged members of the
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to support the recommendations of the
Goldstone Report and work to adopt a resolution which will ensure
accountability for victims of the Gaza conflict earlier this year.


In the letter from the groups, which
include Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, the Democracy Coalition Project,
the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, Open Society Institute, and
the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales in Argentina, the NGOs urge the
adoption of a resolution by the 64th UNGA which calls upon the Israeli
Government and relevant Palestinian authorities to launch “credible,
independent investigations of the findings of the Goldstone Report…[that]
will promote accountability among all parties to the conflict and put an end to
the culture of impunity.”


During the 12th Session of the Human
Rights Council, Justice Richard Goldstone presented a report of the United
Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that found evidence of
serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by both
Israeli forces and Hamas fighters. Goldstone concluded that State parties
should start criminal investigations where there is evidence of grave breaches
of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The letter specifically asks the United
Nations to ensure an independent international mechanism is established to
assess investigations by Israeli and Palestinian authorities.


The organizations urge the
international community to demonstrate its unequivocal support for human rights
and the protection of Israeli and Palestinian civilians. “The
international community must demonstrate resolve on the issue of accountability
on both sides of this conflict and ensure that international law is upheld. It
is this approach which will strengthen the chances of peace and justice for
Israelis and Palestinians,” the letter states.


Among the 40 current signatories of the letter are the
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Human Rights Watch, Asian Legal
Resources Centre, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Cairo Institute for
Human Rights Studies, Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de
l’Homme, International Center for Transitional Justice, and the International
Commission of Jurists.