UN Update: Goldstone at the General Assembly
by Noah Shack
Government Relations Research Associate, Canada-Israel Committee
On Febrary 26th 2010, the UN General Assembly held a vote concerning the Report of the Human Rights Council regarding the Goldstone inquiry. Canada was one of seven countries to vote against the resolution titled â€œFollow Up to the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (II)â€, which unfortunately passed by a vote of 98 in favour, 7 against, with 31 abstentions. Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the United States joined Canada in opposing the text.
Significantly, a number of countries such as Australia, Britain, France, and Germany â€“ who had opposed or abstained on the previous Goldstone resolutions â€“ shifted their vote on this text. Canada, however, continuedÂ to demonstrate its consistent opposition to the Goldstone mandate, which it has maintained from the outset.
The resolution gives Israel and the Palestinians five additional months to conduct independent investigations into the war crimes alleged by Goldstone, threatening â€œfurther actionâ€ if this does not take place. It also reiterated the UNâ€™s recommendation that the Swiss Government reconvene a conference on measures to enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention in the territories.