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Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Fact-finding Mission Established pursuant to Resolution 14/1
September 28, 2010

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe 

UN Human Rights Council – Photo Archive

Human Rights Council 15th Session
Geneva, September 28, 2010

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident aboard the Gaza-bound ships.

We have received the lengthy report of the fact-finding mission. We are concerned by the report’s unbalanced language, tone and conclusions.

We urge that this report not be used for actions that could disrupt the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks now underway or actions that could make it harder for Israel and Turkey to move beyond the recent strains in their historically strong bilateral relationship.

The United States believes in the importance of a credible, impartial, and transparent investigation into the tragic events of May 31. We emphasized this last June, and we continue to hold this view. We have expressed our commitment to working with partners, including our longstanding friends Israel and Turkey, to ensure a full and appropriate response to the incident and the circumstances that led to it. We believe that Resolution 14/1 was adopted last June in the heat of the moment. The resolution passed judgment on the facts before they were determined and handed the fact-finding mission a flawed mandate, something the mission itself acknowledged in its report.

We note that, with the benefit of more time and consideration, the UN Secretary General was able to obtain the support of both Turkey and Israel for the establishment of a panel of inquiry to receive and review the reports of Israel and Turkey’s national investigations into the tragic incident. We continue to await the outcomes of these processes. We welcome the establishment of the Secretary General’s panel and the spirit of cooperation that it represents. We continue to regard this panel as the primary method for the international community to review the incident. We again express our appreciation to the Secretary General for his efforts to establish this panel, and to the governments of Turkey and Israel for their constructive participation.

Thank you, Mr. President.