Good governance and rule of law


With 24 votes in favour, 9 against, and 14 abstentions, the UN Human Rights Council adopted on Thursday 27 May a resolution launching an “independent and permanent international commission of enquiry” to examine the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights that led to the recent Israeli-Palestinian tensions as well as the “root causes” of the tensions.


Welcomed by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, and by the Palestinian Authority, this resolution was immediately contested by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who denounced a “shameful decision” that “encourages terrorists throughout the world.”


It is worth noting that during a special session of the Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, had argued that the recent Israeli strikes on Gaza may constitute war crimes “if it turns out” that civilians were hit “without distinction.” She said she had seen no evidence of armed groups or military action in buildings targeted by Israel in Gaza, one of Israel’s justifications for destroying them.