(As delivered)

Statement by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Permanent Representative of Japan
on Item 64: Report of the Human Rights Council

64th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
New York
4 November 2009

Mr. President,

I would like to express my appreciation to you for arranging this meeting on the report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth special session.

Japan is seriously concerned about the increasing number of civilian fatalities and casualties that are taking place in armed conflict worldwide. The violence being done to civilians by both state and non-state actors is a violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and they all should be held accountable.

Ten months have passed since the Security Council adopted resolution 1860, and expressed serious concern about the harm done to civilians and UN facilities in Gaza. The humanitarian and human rights situation in Gaza, especially the plight of women and children, remains dire and precarious. We must express our deep concern and wish every effort by concerned parties be made to improve the situation.

Mr. President,

The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict on 16 October and recommended that the General Assembly consider the Mission's report.

We note that the Fact-Finding Mission took great pains to try to ensure a degree of balance by investigating acts committed by the Palestinian side as well as the Israeli side. We would like to pay tribute to the efforts of the Mission.

The Fact-Finding Mission reported serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by both Israel and Palestinians. We should never overlook these findings. With this view, we hope that both sides will take appropriate steps in a timely manner to conduct internationally credible investigations.

The recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission are comprehensive and wide-ranging, and they require careful examination by relevant parties and UN entities. We strongly believe that it is essential for the General Assembly and other relevant UN organs to conduct discussions conducive to the promotion of constructive dialogue on the situation in Gaza, and not to hinder the efforts the two sides are making. This is important especially at this juncture, when the parties concerned are making serious efforts to resume peace talks,

We believe the General Assembly should encourage both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to engage in constructive dialogue in the hope that this would contribute to achieving a resolution of the situation on the ground.

In conclusion, Mr. President, we are convinced that peace and justice are and must always be mutually reinforcing. In this year of the sixtieth anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Convention, the international community should do everything in its power to enhance dialogue on how to achieve both peace and justice.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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