The Human Rights Council (the Council) convened its 9th special session on 9 and 12 January 2009 in Geneva. The meeting was called for by Egypt, on behalf of the Arab and African Groups, by Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and by Cuba, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), to discuss he grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent aggression of the occupied Gaza Strip.1 (...)
The interest in the special session was reflected in the high level of attendance by States, United Nations (UN) agencies, and civil society. The long list of speakers, moreover, led to the extension of the session by half a day. The large majority of speakers spoke emotively of the need for urgent action to address the grave humanitarian crisis in the region. While many sought to assign responsibility for the violence to a particular party to the conflict, all were unanimous in their call for a ceasefire as a necessary precursor to a durable solution. The resolution that was adopted by a majority vote reflects many of the points raised during the session.