|07THEHAGUE1627||2007-09-05 09:13:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy The Hague|
VZCZCXYZ0000 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHTC #1627 2480913 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 050913Z SEP 07 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0184 INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1389 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4323
C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001627
1. (U) SUMMARY: On August 31, 2007, poloff delivered reftel
points to Birgitta Tazelaar, Deputy Head of the MFA's Human
Rights Division, and Joris Geeven, policy officer within at
the MFA's Human Rights and Peacebuilding Department. The
Dutch oppose sending the Human Rights Council (HRC) report to
the Third Committee, assert that it's too late for the EU to
pull back the resolution on the death penalty moratorium, but
are willing to consider a second religious tolerance
resolution in New York if the Geneva resolution is too weak
or narrow. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) Before responding to the demarche, Tazelaar expressed
continuing Dutch support for a U.S. candidacy for the Human
Rights Council. She added her appreciation for the
opportunity to have a frank discussions with an ally.
Tazelaar and Geeven asked for information on U.S. plans at
the Third Committee at the earliest possible date.
3. (U) On the Human Rights Council (HRC) report, Geeven and
Tazelaar argued against sending it first to the Third
Committee. Non-HRC members have the opportunity to intervene
in Geneva. The HRC is a "step up" from the Commission on
Human Rights, and its report should not be "rubber stamped"
by the Third Committee. Tazelaar urged the United States to
issue an "explanation of position" rather than re-opening the
issue of institutional reform. Re-opening the matter could
lead to the end of country mandates. The Netherlands is
unhappy with some elements of the package, including those
concerning Israel, but will live with it rather than risk
losing the country mandates. China and the Organization of
the Islamic Conference were just barely kept on board.
4. (U) On the moratorium for the death penalty, the
Netherlands continues to support the effort as an element of
EU policy. The idea of modifying the resolution to focus on
due process is interesting, but "politically too late."
Italy has backed the resolution as part of a two-year
process, and cannot back down due to domestic politics.
However, Tazelaar had no problem in principle sharing a copy
of the draft after consulting with Portugal. She understood
that the United States would lobby against the resolution,
but urged Washington to permit a straight vote on the
resolution, without amendments.
5. (U) On the Rights of the Child Resolution, Tazelaar
offered to consult with Portugal about sharing a draft with
the United States. She asked for more information on why the
United States was not a party to the Convention on the Rights
of the Child.
6. (C) On the religious intolerance resolution, the Dutch are
not inclined to advocate a second resolution in New York if
it duplicates the Geneva resolution. However, if the Geneva
resolution is not strong enough, or is narrowly focused on a
specific issue, the Dutch would advocate a second resolution
in New York. Tazelaar emphasized that this was the Dutch
approach which she would advocate during EU deliberations.
Tazelaar cited the 2005 UN. human rights resolution as a
"breakthrough" for its language supporting the "right to
change religions." Without similar language in Geneva, the
Dutch would urge the EU to push for a New York resolution.