Brazilian in UN’s Three-Men Commission to Probe Israeli Excesses in Lebanon

A Brazilian ambassador is one of the three members of a commission appointed by the UN to probe civilian killings in Lebanon by Israel. The three were named Friday, September 1st, by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The High-Level Commission of Inquiry will be examining what the Geneva-based body termed "systematic targeting and killings of civilians by Israel" in Lebanon.              

The three experts are: Clemente Baena Soares of Brazil, a former Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS); Mohamed Chande Othman, a judge on the Supreme Court of Tanzania, and Stelios Perrakis of Greece, who is the Director of the European Center for Research and Training on Human Rights and Humanitarian Action.                

The High-Level Commission of Inquiry was established in August by a resolution of the Council, which mandated it to investigate the Israeli military actions against Lebanese civilians, examine the types of weapons used by Israel and their conformity with international law, and assess the extent and deadly impact of Israeli attacks on human life, property, critical infrastructure and environment.               

The resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 27 in favor to 11 against with 8 abstentions, strongly condemned the "grave Israeli violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law in Lebanon."

The decision also called on Israel "to observe the principle of proportionality and refrain from launching any attack that may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life."

Baena Soares was secretary-general of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry between the 1979 and 1984 and OAS’s secretary-general from 1984 to 1994. The Brazilian diplomat is now a member of the UN’s International Law Commission.

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