United Nations

EU: A Palestinian state is ‘premature’

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2009

The European Union has said that Palestine is not ready to be recognised as a full state by the UN.

The current holder of the EU presidency, Carl Bildt of Sweden, said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that conditions were not yet right for Palestinian statehood.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said they had decided to seek recognition of the Palestinian state from the UN because of the failure of recent peace talks.

The proposal is an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders.

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British Jews' anger deepens over Goldstone vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

British Jews have attacked the government and Foreign Secretary David Miliband for failing to take action against the Goldstone Report, claiming they have “lost credibility”.

In an unprecedented move, the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Jewish Leadership Council have voiced their anger at the decision of the British government to abstain from the vote at the UN General Assembly.

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Miliband rejects pleas over Goldstone UN vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected demands from the Jewish community that Britain vote ‘no’ at the UN General Assembly debate on the Goldstone Report.

In a joint statement, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report and demanded nothing less than a ‘no’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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UN General Assembly adopts Goldstone Report

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of endorsing the Goldstone Report.

In total, 114 states voted to adopt the report and 18 objected. Britain was one of the 44 states which abstained.

The Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies had previously written to the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, stating that anything less than a “no” vote from Britain would be unacceptable.

Israel and the US voted against the decision, as did Germany, Holland, Canada and Australia. Most of the other EU states, including France, abstained.

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Analysis: On Goldstone, UN plays semantics

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

So in the end it all hinged on semantics. As the 192-nation UN General Assembly met on Wednesday to debate the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war, the central issue for the UK government was whether the resolution under discussion was to be “welcomed”, “endorsed” or “noted”.

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Jewish community attacks government on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The UK Jewish community has explicitly criticised Britain’s position on the Goldstone Report, in an unprecedented move.

In a joint statement issued by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies, British Jews expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report, which is being debated at the UN General Assembly today.

Their statement demanded nothing less than a ‘No’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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US ambassador shuns UN debate on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The US ambassador to the UN has shunned the debate over the Goldstone Report at the meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Ambassador Susan Rice did not attend any discussion of the report, and her deputy Alejandro Wolff listened only to the speeches from Swedish ambassador, Anders Lidén, who was representing the European Union, and that of the Israeli ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

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UN General Assembly begins debate on Goldstone Report

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

The United Nations General Assembly has begun debating the Goldstone Report in New York.

Arab delegates presented a resolution calling on UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to act on Goldstone’s recommendations, which included referring Israel and Hamas to the International Court of Justice in the Hague if no action had been taken within six months.

More than 40 people are due to speak during the debate, which is expected to run until Thursday.

The UN General Assembly is likely to defer judgement on the report to the UN Security Council

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China will oppose Goldstone Report at UN

By Jessica Elgot, October 22, 2009

China has confirmed it will oppose any discussion of the Goldstone Report at the meeting of the UN Security Council and attempt to block the report being used for war crimes trials.

The Chinese statement came during a visit of members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to Beijing.

Committee chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi had previously criticised the Chinese government for voting in favour of the report at the UN Human Rights Council meeting.

The report passed with 25 votes in favour and six opposed. Britain failed to vote.

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Britain will abstain from Goldstone UN vote

By Jessica Elgot, October 16, 2009

Britain will abstain from a crucial United Nations vote today over whether to endorse the Goldstone Report, despite urgent calls from Israel for Gordon Brown to reject it.

The UN Human Rights Council will vote in Geneva on whether to accept the report, which was strongly critical of Israel’s conduct during the Gaza offensive in January this year.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly held a heated phone conversation with Mr Brown yesterday where he claimed that if the resolution against Israel was to pass; it could completely derail the peace process.

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