38th Human Rights Council Session
Item 2: Oral update by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
19 June 2018
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
Speaker: Nuriya Oswald
Al Mezan Repeats High Commissioner’s Call to “Do More, to Speak Louder, to Work Harder” for Human Rights
Al Mezan thanks the High Commissioner for his dedication to the protection and promotion of human rights, justice and the international rule of law. High Commissioner Al Hussein has boldly and eloquently articulated the need for inter alia accountability for the commission of serious violations of international law and for justice for victims; for UN experts to be granted access to the occupied Palestinian territory; and for the protection of human rights defenders and the work of civil society.
With Palestinians enduring over 50 years of belligerent occupation and residents in Gaza subsisting in near-unliveable circumstances for 11 years, Al Mezan also believes that “the Council's advocacy of impartial monitoring and expert recommendations is entirely justified by the gravity of the situation” and we urge States to further the High Commissioner’s call on “Israel to provide access to all human rights mechanisms – including the investigative body mandated last month – to enable impartial monitoring and advance accountability and justice.”
Al Mezan also calls on States and on the Office to ensure the continuation of the critical processes put underway by the High Commissioner and cites in particular the database of business enterprises engaged in activities related to Israeli settlements, which should produce an update by September and subsequently on an annual basis thereafter.
Finally, we call on States to engage under Item 7—an important forum for analysis of human rights and IHL issues in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and a venue for critical voices of effected people to be heard. In this vein, we end by repeating the High Commissioner’s appeal “to do more, to speak louder and work harder […] for universal human rights law” and we would add that this includes the pursuit of Palestinians’ human rights.
 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, 38th session of the Human Rights Council, Opening statement and global update of human rights concerns. 18 June 2018
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