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Middle East: Armed Conflict

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy at the UN General Assembly on the Goldstone report on the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict is; what his voting intention on the report in the UN Security Council is; and if he will make a statement. (300327)

We made clear that the Goldstone report raised very serious issues. We worked hard before the vote at the UN General Assembly in New York on 5 November to reach a consensus on calling for independent investigations. In the end we had to abstain, with France and 42 others, because voting for would have meant endorsing the report and ignoring its flaws. But the issues are serious and the parties should address them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason the United Kingdom abstained from the vote in the UN General Assembly on a resolution endorsing the findings of the report of the UN Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict; who instructed the UK representative to abstain; who was consulted on the decision; and if he will make a statement. (300883)

The UK worked hard before the vote at the UN in New York, on 5 November, to reach a consensus on calling for independent investigation. In the end we had to abstain, with France and 42 others, because voting for would have meant endorsing the report and ignoring its flaws. But the issues are serious and the parties should address them. The UK representative voted in accordance with Ministers' instructions.