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UN Lists 13 Palestine Letters, Mansour Says Geneva Convention Immediate

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 2 -- Amid worldwide news of Palestine signing 15 "UN" treaties, Inner City Press on April 2 asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq to confirm that documents of accession had been filed with the UN.

Haq replied that, yes, 13 such documents had been given to UN envoy Robert Serry, who will meet with (and pass them on to) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Brussels tomorrow.  Video here.

  For the Fourth Geneva Convention, Palestine filed with Switzterland, and for "The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land," Palestine filed with the Dutch. The full list is now here.

After that came an e-mail from the Observer State of Palestine's Mission to the UN, that Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour was handing copies of the letters to Ban's chief of staff Susana Malcorra and would take questions at the Security Council stakeout afterward.

But there, no UN Television camera awaited, as noted here by the Free UN Coalition for Access. A solution was found (and videoed) -- to move the event into the UN Press Briefing Room. After a five minute delay, it began.

In the Q&A, Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access thanked Mansour for what was his first (but surely not last) briefing in PBR Room 237, and asked of the impact of acceding to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.

Mansour replied that while Palestine has diplomatic presence all over the world, now these conventions apply. He said that while the other accessions become effective in 30 days, the Fourth Geneva Convention provides for immediate joining by those under occupation. He said now all High Contracting Parties must respect and ensure respect of Palestinians' rights. Video here.

Earlier in the day US Ambassador Samantha Power while briefing Congress about the Obama Administration's budget for international organization also spoke of Palestine's moves and said they would be opposed. But how? Mansour said this is the first batch, Palestine has the right to do more. Can you say, International Criminal Court? Watch this site.


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