Gaza Border Deaths: Unhrc Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:49 am on 22nd March 2019.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 11:49 am, 22nd March 2019

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s comments, but no, my remarks were not intended to convey that. I have explained why, procedurally, we believe that it was right to abstain in relation to a report that was bound to be flawed from the word go. We were not alone: eight states voted against the report, 23 states voted in favour of it and 15 abstained. I think this proves the point that it is important for the Human Rights Council to act in a manner that all its members will be able to support. This report, from the outset, did not do that. Accordingly, we are having an argument over the terms of the report instead of doing what we should do, and what everyone in the House wants to do, which is to concentrate on how the deaths and injuries came about and, above all, on what we can do to stop them. That requires a balanced understanding, not something that is inherently flawed by being one-sided from the beginning.