The UN Human Rights Council has approved the draft resolution L.5/Rev.1 without a vote and decides to submit the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report and all oral recommendations to the United Nations and its relevant organs for consideration and urgent action.
In other words, an element of the resolution that called Eritrea to be referred to the Security Council and ICC has been REJECTED.
Big thanks to Russia, Cuba, and China for disassociating their countries from the Council’s Resolution on Eritrea while Bolivia and Ecuador from Paragraph 17 of the resolution that is regarding submission of the report to the UN Security Council.
According to the Reuters, the text of the Eritrea resolution, which was initiated by Somalia and Djibouti, was watered down after several countries – among them the United States and China – objected to the tough language.
U.S. diplomat Eric Richardson at a drafting meeting earlier in the week said the Eritrea report prepared by the Commission of Inquiry did not have “the same level of sophistication and precision” as the report on North Korea and the United States could not simply support the language of the text without revisions.
Eritrea has rejected all the allegations in the U.N. investigators’ report. Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab told the council the resolution was unfair, unjust and a deliberate attempt to ratchet up harassment of Eritrea.
Yemane blamed Ethiopia for “some of the worst human rights abuses and massacres of its people”, saying it was ironic that Ethiopia could use the council to lobby for the adoption of the resolution against Eritrea.
Statement of Eritrea’s Delegation at the UNHRC – 32nd Session
Today in this Human Rights Council, a grave injustice, yet another in a long train of injustices, is being committed against the human rights of the people of Eritrea.
An unfair and unjust resolution, which Eritrea categorically rejects is being passed at a time when Eritrea is making marked progress in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres; when its regional and international constructive engagement and cooperation is growing. It is a futile attempt, at least by some, to stop or at least slow down, this progress.
The unjust action that this council is taking today and whose seeds were sown four years ago is prompted by the political agenda of the United States and a few of its European allies to ratchet up their harassment of Eritrea.
But its grave consequences will not be limited to Eritrea and will engulf the entire region. It has already stoked the tension and poured oil into a dangerously simmering conflict. It will be used and abused to fan the flames of war.
Furthermore, Eritrea cannot fail to remind this Council, and in particular its dominant actors, of the glaring double-standards that guide its work. It is indeed ironic that Ethiopia, whose government is responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses and the brutal massacres of its people – Oromos and Ogadenis, Amharas and Gambellans, Afars and Tigreans and all other nationalities – is afforded the luxury of a seat in the Council and enabled to frantically lobby for the adoption of this unwarranted resolution against Eritrea.
Eritrea also wishes to remind this Council that its sovereign territory remains occupied in violation of international law, an occupation which constitutes a grave violation of the human rights of the Eritrean people. The same is true of the unjust and unfair sanctions that have been imposed on the people of Eritrea since 2009.
The eminently political action that is being taken by this Council today is a reflection of its growing politicization, of its increasing departure from its mandate.
Most member states, including almost all developing countries, resent and oppose the Council being turned into a tool of political coercion, its selective, country-specific, confrontational approach. Their views and protests are now routinely ignored. But for how long?
To conclude, Eritrea will never tire from underlining that it is a nation born in the struggle for human rights; and that it will not lessen its vigorous undertakings to promote and protect the welfare and dignity of its people. In the face of continued hostility, the people of Eritrea will remain steadfast and will not be distracted from their vision and program of comprehensive nation-building.
Eritrea also wishes to sincerely thank all the nations and individuals from all regions who have offered support and solidarity as well as all those who have engaged with it in good faith and fairness.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 1, 2016