HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL SESSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN GAZA ON 9 JANUARY 2009

Human Rights Council
BACKGROUND RELEASE 7 January 2009


The Human Rights Council will hold a Special Session on Friday, 9 January to address “the grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip”. The session will take place in Room XIX at the Palais des Nations and will begin at 11 a.m.

The Special Session is being convened following a request by Egypt, on behalf of the Arab Group and the African Group, Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and Cuba, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

In order for a Special Session to be convened, the support of one-third of the membership of the Council (16 members or more) is required. So far 28 Council members have supported this request. They are as follows: Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia. Per Council rules, the list of sponsors for Special sessions will remain open up to the holding of the meeting.

This will be the ninth Special Session of the Human Rights Council. The Council’s previous Special Sessions related to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Darfur, Myanmar, the Global Food Crisis and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Human Rights Council will hold an organizational meeting in relation to the Special Session on Thursday, 8 January at 10 a.m. in Room XIX.

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For use of the information media; not an official record