Mary Robinson Denies Equal Rights to Palestinians


Islamic Human Rights Commission


8 September, 2001

For immediate release

Mary Robinson Denies Equal Rights to Palestinians

UN Hight Commissioner Snubs Democracy & Human Rights

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) strongly condemns the stance taken by Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights against justice for Palestinians. Her rejection of paragraphs 418 and 419 in the historic NGO Declaration clearly indicate that she is highly partisan on this issue. Her statements also show her contempt for the processes of civil society and democratic participation.

Addressing NGOs at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, Mary Robinson attacked paragraphs 418 and 419 on the Palestinian issue in the Declaration. She cited them as the sole reason for not being able to recommend the document as a whole to the governmental delegates at the main conference. Chairman of IHRC Massoud Shadjareh said:

“By attacking these paragraphs, Mary Robinson has sent a message to all other NGOs representing victims of racism around the world that their needs will not be addressed unless they stop showing solidarity with Palestinian victims of Zionist racism.

“The pro-Zionist lobbies at this conference both NGO and governmental were unable to stop victims around the world identifying their causes and the Palestinian cause as one. Mary Robinson’s comments exemplify a cynical strategy to isolate Palestinians and other victims of Zionist discrimination from the rest of the NGO community. It is sickening to hear a UN High Commissioner effectively tell the NGO community that she will be happy to support their causes in their entirety so long as they stop calling for justice for Palestine.”

IHRC is calling upon Mary Robinson to acknowledge that her position is now severely compromised and resign with immediate effect from her post.

For further information please contact the Press Officer on (+27) 721071380 (South Africa) or (+44) 7958 522 196.