EOV by the United States of America – Resolution re: Follow-up to the Committee of Independent Experts

Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe

UN Human Rights Council – 15th Session
Geneva, September 29, 2010

As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Mr. President.

We again note that we must all do our part to help shape an environment conducive to the ongoing direct peace talks and to create an atmosphere of trust that can help the parties reach a final agreement. For this reason, we have deep concerns about the long-standing pattern of one-sided handling of this issue, as well as the specific bias of this resolution.

When the mandate of the committee of experts was adopted in March, we made it clear that we did not support international oversight of domestic legal processes absent an indication that they are manifestly failing to deal seriously with alleged abuses. We have consistently expressed our belief that allegations of violations of international law that took place during the Gaza conflict warrant effective domestic follow-up action. Israel has the mechanisms to investigate alleged violations, as the “Tomuschat Committee” report affirms, including a robust judiciary and a strong record of independent review of military operations. Beyond responding to specific violations, the Israeli government has also significantly changed its military operational guidelines to better protect civilians during conflict. Indeed, the “Tomuschat Committee” report praises these changes, including new procedures regarding the protection of civilians and the destruction of private property, the integration of Humanitarian Affairs Officers into Israeli army battalions, and new orders on the use of certain munitions.

Israel is engaging in ongoing efforts to investigate, establish accountability, adapt combat doctrine to enhance civilian protections during conflict, and punish those who have violated the law. We welcome those efforts.

We urge all parties to uphold their responsibilities with respect to accountability for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. Extension of the mandate of the committee of experts at this point is unnecessary and unhelpful.

Accordingly, we must call a vote, and vote against this resolution.