GENEVA, Sept 8 (KUNA) -- Arab and Muslim groups of states at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on Monday stated opposition to attempts to impose cultural values contradicting the Islamic values "under the pretext of the universality of human rights." Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group at the 27th session of the Council, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said many challenges emerged in recent years in shoring up economic, social and cultural rights.
"The emergence of new concepts on sexual preferences had been noted. This was alien to Arab and other societies and there had to be respect for the principles that governed the lives of people," it said.
"There could not be an imposition of cultural values under the pretext of the universality of human rights. At the same time, rights which were still far from being a reality included health, drinking water and education.
"The Arab Group strongly condemned Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories," the UAE added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reiterated the organization's commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, illustrated by the establishment of OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights in 2011.
It condemned acts of terrorism as well as attempts to associate terrorism with Islam, and rejected the attempts to impose values and cultures under the reasoning of the universality of human rights.
"The Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemned the confiscation of lands in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli authorities," it pointed out.
The information revolution, coupled with the accelerated flow of information and illegal immigration, submerged the social and cultural borders among different nations but gave vent to the spread of religious intolerance and incitement which pose a serious threat to the stability of societies, it added.
It called for holding a high-level international conference by the signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention to discuss the blight of the Palestinian people and the serious human rights abuses being committed by the Israeli authorities in the occupied Palestinian territories particularly Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
The 27th regular session of the HRC opened this morning and will last until September 26.
The agenda includes panel discussions on, inter alia, the rights of indigenous peoples; the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Council and that of its mechanisms; the role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights; the protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty; ways of accelerating global efforts to end violence against children; protection of the right to privacy in the digital age; and the human rights situation in South Sudan. (end) ta.am.gb