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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BOGOTA3523
2005-04-14 17:31:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

EUROPEAN EMBASSIES UNHAPPY WITH CHR CHAIR

Tags:   PHUM  CO 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 003523 

SIPDIS

FOR WHA, WHA/AND; NSC FOR BARTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2015
TAGS: PHUM CO
SUBJECT: EUROPEAN EMBASSIES UNHAPPY WITH CHR CHAIR
STATEMENT ON COLOMBIA

REF: BOGOTA 2650

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)



1. (C) Dutch Ambassador Frans B.A.M. van Haren told
Ambassador on April 13 that he and other European chiefs of
mission in Bogota were unhappy with the chair statement on
Colombia, currently being negotiated between Luxembourg and
Colombia at the CHR. van Haren, who serves as EU president
here in the absence of a diplomatic mission from Luxembourg,
said EU reps thought the initial draft was too tough and sent
three pages of suggestions to Brussels to balance it out.
However, director of the office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights in Colombia Michael Fruhling arrived in Brussels
to attend the COLAT meeting where he made a "persuasive
pitch" for a tough statement in Geneva. So far, according to
van Haren, Luxembourg has refused to take any of the changes
from Bogota-based EU missions and Brussels is inclined to
support the Luxembourg/Fruhling approach. van Haren asked
that we make USDel aware of this situation and to monitor
negotiations closely.



2. (C) Ambassador responded that, with High Commissioner for
Human Rights Louise Arbour scheduled to arrive in Bogota on
May 11, the chair statement needed to reflect all our
concerns and had come out right. If the text came out wrong,
her visit would also. He urged van Haren to inform his own
delegation in Geneva of the situation and ensure they and
other EU missions in Geneva had the right instructions, using
two key benchmarks: the EU statement on Colombia released in
early December and the G-24's Cartagena Declaration of
February 3, to which the entire EU signed on.



3. (C) Comment: van Haren said he and his EU colleagues were
moving to a "war footing" against Michael Fruhling. He hopes
to secure an EU consensus that Fruhling needs to move on to
another assignment before Arbour's arrival in Bogota. The
Canadian also expressed frustration with Fruhling to polcouns
on April 14 over his public criticism of the GOC
demobilization law which passed the first committees of the
house and senate on April 12. Ambassador Jean-Marc Duvall
said it was inappropriate for Fruhling to be commenting in
this fashion and had reported this to Ottawa. Embassy agrees
with the Brazilian Ambassador that Fruhling acts more like a
professor administering a pass/fail test than someone
attempting to constructively improve human rights here.
WOOD