Daily Israel Report

Israel Demands 'Real Reform' of UN Human Rights Council

Israel is demanding the United Nations implement “real reform” of its Human Rights Council, which singles out Israel in its permanent agenda.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/20/2010, 11:24 AM / Last Update: 10/20/2010, 11:38 AM

Israel National Radio

Israel is demanding the United Nations implement “real reform” of its Geneva-based Human Rights Council, which singles out Israel in its permanent agenda.

The demand came in context of a mandated review by the Council, which is required to report to the U.N. General Assembly on its “work and functioning” at the end of its first five years of operation.

In June 2007, the Council adopted the Institution Building package which identifies the “Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab Territories” as the seventh agenda item of the Council at every meeting, while ignoring human rights abuses of its member states.

In a document submitted Monday to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the State of Israel listed its own contribution to the “first open-ended working group on the Human Rights Council Review.” The statement, published on the Eye on the UN website, offered a scathing assessment of the entity’s performance. 

“After almost four years of operation, it has become clear that the Council has failed to live up to the expectations which accompanied its establishment, having too quickly followed in the footsteps of its discredited predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights,” the four-page document stated.

“Israel welcomes the review of the ‘working and functioning’ of the Council and considers the review process as a genuine opportunity warranted to bring about substantive changes in the working methods, function and composition of the Council.  A real reform is needed in order to enable the Council to fulfill its mandate and play a leading role in promoting and protecting human rights around the globe.

“The principles that are meant to guide the work of the Council include ‘universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity… with a view to enhancing the promotion and protection of all human rights.’ Unfortunately, these principles are not present within many aspects of work and functioning of the Council.

“If the Council continues to be seen as a cynical tool for [some] States, rather than a mean to advancing a responsible human rights agenda, it will undoubtedly continue to fail.”