On Friday, May 2, 2014, Palestine formally became a party to five global treaties banning torture and racial discrimination, in addition to protecting the rights of women, children and the disabled, according to spokesman for the UN human rights office Rupert Colville.In a statement to reporters, he said that the new move followed the Palestinian declaration to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that they were adopting the treaties, on April 2 of this year.
In addition, Palestine will, on May 7, become party to an accord protecting children in conflict zones — which is an optional part of the overall child rights treaty — and, on July 2, it will adopt two agreements governing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, AFP has reported via Ma’an News Agency.
Palestine secured observer state status at the United Nations, in November of 2012, opening the door to a veritable host of international accords.
The PLO had previously pledged to refrain from any moves to seek membership in UN organizations and international conventions during the recent US-brokered negotioations, in return for Israel’s release of veteran Palestinian prisoners, which Israel ultimately reneged on.
The PLO has also signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which sets the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in war zones, this in addition to a submission of requests to the UN in adopting accords which include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, and an anti-corruption agreement.
‘This accession to seven core human rights treaties and a key protocol is a significant step towards enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights in Palestine,’ Coville said to reporters.
‘It is notable in a region with a high number of reservations to human rights treaties, that Palestine is acceding to eight human rights treaties without making a single reservation,’ he added.