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Tema OL: Colombia, President Velez Must Stop Evictions of Afro-Colombian Populations
14 January 2009 OPEN LETTER H.E. Jean-Maurice Ripert Ambassador of France and President of the UN Security Council Permament Mission of France to the United Nations 245 East 47th Street 44th floor New York, N.Y. 10017 Fax: +1 (212) 207–8765 E-mail: france@un.int Your Excellency: We support our friends at Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) and the Housing and Land Rights Network of Habitat International Coalition, comprised of civil organizations concerned with human settlements in over 100 countries, in appreciating the momentous duty that you face in addressing the probable war crimes and crimes against humanity being carried out in Gaza since 27 December 2008. It may be unreasonable to invoke reference to a Middle East peace process except in a posthumous sense in this context. However, at stake still are prospective consequences of the present assault by Israel on Gaza that promise to undermine further the credibility of the states and governments of the international system globally, the United Nations Organization and international law norms as such, unless an appropriate and principled response is seen to come from the Security Council (SC) that effectively upholds international human rights, humanitarian norms and international criminal law. The challenge before you and the SC embodies no less than those stakes, having global dimensions. In support of that looming task, we add our voice to the attached contribution to the SC’s work, outlining the issues involved and the values at stake for the SC’s consideration, offered by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Housing and Land Rights Network of Habitat International Coalition. In the spirit of problem solving and preservation of fundamental principles of the UN Charter, we urge the SC to take the requisite measures to establish justice and enforce the rule of law commensurate with the promise of the applicable instruments of international law. The world expects no less. Toward that end, we join the numerous other civil movements and experts across the globe in supporting the establishment of a special tribunal that calls to justice those parties of record and other perpetrators of the war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out against the civilians of Gaza in this conflict. To whit, Israel’s wanton destruction of homes and other civilian properties and infrastructure is one demonstrable means by which the current conduct of warfare breaches numerous international prohibitions against criminal conduct, requiring full reparations as remedy for the legal and natural persons affected. The attached brief summarizes essential details of these documented charges that inform the audaciously hopeful proposal for international accountability in the form of a special tribunal on Israel’s continued occupation and current assault of the Gaza Strip. We submit these notes for your consideration and remain supportive of that adjudication-and-reparation effort. In the meantime, we look forward to receiving information on your positive efforts to achieve remedy to the grave breaches ongoing in the occupied Gaza Strip under your presidency. Please be assured of our highest consideration, Yours,
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