Statement on the report of the Gaza UN Fact Finding Mission under leadership of Richard Goldstone

20 November 2009

Oral Statement on the report of the Gaza UN Fact Finding Mission under leadership of Richard Goldstone

Thank you, Mr. President.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom would like to thank the Council for this opportunity to discuss the situation in Gaza as described in the Goldstone report.

Women were – and still are – particularly affected by the Gaza crisis: They are facing poverty, psychological distress and unemployment.

WILPF therefore welcomes the recommendations of the Mission urging to give special attention to the situation of women when addressing the consequences of Operation Cast Lead. It is imperative that women’s access to compensation, legal assistance and economic security is ensured.

In the aftermath of the Gaza conflict and with the report of the Fact–Finding Mission in our hands, it is now time to push for follow–up.

  • We call on the Council to endorse all recommendations made in the report and to make arrangements for a successful implementation.
  • We especially urge the Council to advocate an immediate opening of the Gaza border crossings.

WILPF is certain that a respect for the rule of law is essential for long-lasting peace in the region.

  • We therefore urge the Security Council to require Israel and Palestinian authorities to undertake independent examinations of the violations of human rights and humanitarian law which are mentioned in the report
  • We strongly support the formal submittal of the Goldstone report to the Prosecutor of the ICC.
  • We further urge the Council to promote the respect for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

WILPF would like to stress that the involvement of civil society and strong grass roots peace movements is crucial for advancing the Middle East peace process and welcomes the Mission’s recommendation calling for an enhanced participation of women in it in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325.

The overwhelming majority of both the Palestinian and Israeli people want peace. We hope that a successful follow-up to the report will take us one step further on the road to peace.

Thank you.