Cowen expresses "deep regret" at refusal to allow UN High Commissioner to visit Palestinian Occupied Territories
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D. expressed his deep regret that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Mary Robinson, has been obliged to announce today that she was unable to carry out her visiting mission to the Palestinian Occupied Territories to report on the humanitarian situation, owing to the refusal of the Israeli authorities to facilitate her mission.
Earlier this afternoon in the course of a debate in the UN Security Council, Ireland had repeated its specific request to the Israeli Government to allow the High Commissioner to enter Israel and the Palestinian areas to fulfill the mandate given to her by the Commission on Human Rights, which is the United Nations body charged with the protection of human rights, and to do so now.
The Government had previously on two occasions made direct contact with the Israeli authorities to request that they facilitate Mrs Robinson's mission.
In the Security Council debate Ireland voiced its grave concern at the violence and blood-spilling which have being taking place on a daily basis, describing the situation as an unacceptable affront to the values of the United Nations.
Ireland also said that Israel had the most serious questions to answer about the conduct of its military operations in the Palestinian territories and called on Israel to cooperate fully with the various agencies in allowing humanitarian aid to get through and also to cooperate with the UN Secretary General and others in establishing what happened in Jenin and other Palestinian towns. We fully supported the call for an independent investigation.
Furthermore, Ireland totally condemned the practise of suicide bombings, which have killed so many innocent Israeli civilians, and said these attacks on innocent civilians must stop for good.Top