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Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE1793, EU/US COOPERATION IN THE UNGA AND ON...

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04THEHAGUE1793 2004-07-16 12:12 2011-01-25 19:07 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 001793 
 
SIPDIS 
 
IO FOR LAGON; DRL FOR KOZAK; GENEVA FOR DELAURENTIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2014 
TAGS: PREL ECON PHUM KDEM AORC NL CH UN
SUBJECT: EU/US COOPERATION IN THE UNGA AND ON...

18800

2004-07-16

04THEHAGUE1793

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL

04STATE153876

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 001793 

SIPDIS 

IO FOR LAGON; DRL FOR KOZAK; GENEVA FOR DELAURENTIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2014 
TAGS: PREL ECON PHUM KDEM AORC NL CH UN
SUBJECT: EU/US COOPERATION IN THE UNGA AND ON HUMAN RIGHTS 

REF: A. STATE 153876 

B. THE HAGUE 1737 

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY ANDREW SCHOFER, POLCOUNS, FOR REASONS 1.4 
AND D 

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Dutch are deeply committed to the Transatlantic 
Dialogue, a successful EU Presidency, and leadership during the UN Gene 
Assembly that values USG input if not always agreeing with it. In 
discussions with DRL PDAS Kozak and IO DAS Lagon on July12 - 13, Dutch 
interlocutors acknowledged Chinese backsliding on human rights in the l 
six months but did not expect this to influence EU thinking on lifting 
China Arms Embargo. Dutch MFA and NGO officials remain terribly 
troubled by Abu Ghraib and welcomed USG clarification regarding the 
status of Guantanamo prisoners. The Dutch agreed to collaborate on a 
US-EU package of agreed language to settle references to contentious 
issues in Third Committee resolutions. USDel signaled new flexibility 
UN Commission on Human Rights elections, prompting the Dutch to agree t 
restart WEOG negotiations. Sudan, Chechnya, Iran, Burma, Turkmenistan, 
and Zimbabwe seem likely subjects for Third Committee resolutions, whil 
Belarus and Uzbekistan are not. End summary. 

2. (U) China, Guantanamo, human rights and a range of United Nations 
issues were the agenda in The Hague, June 12 - 13, for DRL PDAS Michael 
Kozak's and IO DAS Mark Lagon's meetings with Dutch MFA officials. MFA 
interlocutors included Special Ambassador for Human Rights Piet de Kler 
Deputy Political Director Hermann Schaper, Human Rights Director Adanna 
Adema, and Director of the UN Department Karel van Kesteren. The DCM 
hosted an NGO reception and Lagon briefed a large group of university 
students on U.S. Human Rights concerns and multilateral issues generall 

CHINA ARMS EMBARGO AND BACKSLIDING ON HUMAN RIGHTS 

3. (C) Amb. de Klerk will travel to China soon to review the human rig 
situation. Schaper reminded USDel that the EU's embargo was a specific 
response keyed to Tiananmen Square. It was not intended as retaliation 
for human rights issues generally and was not imposed for military 
considerations, although both concerns now prompt the USG push for 
maintaining the ban. He admitted Chinese backsliding over the last six 
months caused concern but stressed that this in itself was not a 
sufficient argument for maintaining the embargo. 

4. (C) The Dutch said that the next senior EU discussion of China in 
September would focus on the last couple of years of Chinese actions. 
EU will examine whether their China dialogue has made a difference on t 
ground. The Dutch shared elements from the EU decision matrix: 

a. The EU does not want the embargo to stand in the way of overall bett 
relations. 

b. Human rights is but one issue here; the question is more than is t 
glass half full or half empty. There are more glasses on the table. 
There has been recent backsliding, but overall the situation has improv 
over the last 15 years. The embargo was a response to Tiananmen Square 

c. The EU does not expect to export its best weapons to China should t 
ban be lifted, and it does not want European weapons to be used or 
deployed against U.S. forces. 

d. What effect would lifting have on the US presidential elections; an 
would it lead to Euro-bashing that would embarrass the Dutch EU 
Presidency, for example. 

5. (C) PDAS Kozak disputed the Dutch assertions regarding China's 
improved human rights record and shared recent examples of China's 
unfulfilled commitments. A dialogue without results was pointless, he 
stressed. Regarding Tiananmen, Chinese restraint from running people o 
with tanks in recent years could not justify lifting. He suggested the 
should take a closer look at the status of those who were punished for 
Tiananmen, if resolution of that issue is the threshold for lifting. 

6. (SBU) USDel and NGO reps, meeting later at the DCM's residence, 
brainstormed ideas for trying to use public opinion to deflect what loo 
like a pending EU decision to lift the ban. One idea that resonated wa 
to hold a European NGO forum on the Chinese human rights situation earl 
in the fall. 

GUANTANAMO AND OTHER DETAINEES IN THE WAR ON TERROR 

7. (C) Dutch MFA officials and NGO reps remained terribly troubled b 
what happened at Abu Ghraib and were clearly hungry for the latest 
information on the status of all detainees (ref b). Discussions of the 
new Cuba resolution in ECOSOC (ref b) led to thinking about how to a 
discussion of how improve Dutch and EU public opinion, including 
development of new public affairs products or informal visits to 
Guantanamo by an EU or EU Presidency rep. USDel did not commit to thes 
proposals but promised to study options. 

THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY 

8. (U) UN Priorities for 59 UNGA 
The USG's UNGA priorities paper has inspired the EU to devise a concise 
working paper of their own, the Dutch told us. They promised to study 
UNGA priorities (septel) and offered to review the EU list with us late 
in the week as well (septel). 

9. (C) Working together at the UNGA - Third Committee 

USDel committed to sending the EU a draft package of agreed language to 
settle references in resolutions to contentious issues in the Third 
Committee, including how to refer to the International Criminal Court, 
death penalty, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, among 
others. The Dutch agreed to vet our draft at the EU's September COHUM 
(working group on human rights) and to arrange a bilateral meeting, if 
needed, to work out problems. This might be in Brussels on or about 
October 1, or in Warsaw around the same time. 

10. (C) Country specific issues included: 

- Sudan: We agreed to wait to see what the Security Council would do 
before considering Third Committee action to follow on the UNCHR 
resolution. (Sudan is discussed in more detail below). 

- Burma: We agreed there is a need to have Third Committee action. 

- Turkmenistan: The EU wondered if it made sense to table another 
resolution this year. Not doing so might send the wrong signal. On th 
other hand, we are trying to streamline the UN agenda. The EU suggeste 
we could run one last resolution and announce that henceforth we would 
focus on action in the UNCHR. 

- Zimbabwe: USDel offered to support any British action in New York if 
they want to have a resolution there. 

- Belarus and Uzbekistan: We agreed that there is no need for Third 
Committee action since rapporteurs have been already been assigned. 

UN REFORM 

11. (C) Reformed and better UN 

Geopolitical reality and strategic practicality inspire the Netherlands 
devotion to the multilateral system with an active, constructive, and 
reformed UN at the center, Schaper said. The upcoming review of the 
Millennium Development Goals is a natural deadline for UN reforms. DAS 
Lagon assured him that the US is as committed to building up the UN as 
have been to reforming it, however we cannot single-handedly reach the 
goal of a UN living up to its original purposes. 

12. (C) The Dutch do not want UN reform to stall over Security Council 
enlargement. They favor, eventually, one EU seat. The MFA working lev 
however, opposes Germany's SC seat bid, but publicly the MFA has had to 
along for now. On voting, the Dutch have proposed to SYG Annan a votin 
weight system as follows: 1/3 based on being a member of the UN; 1/3 
based on population; and 1/3 based on the total amount of assessed and 
voluntary contributions to the UN. 

13. (U) Community of Democracies/Democracy Caucus 

In courting the wary Dutch to become involved, we reassured them that t 
Democracy Caucus (DC) would augment, not compete, with traditional, 
long-standing groups. Admitting the idea has theoretical merit, the Du 
remained curious about how the Caucus would admit borderline members. 
noted that UN PermRep Danforth cited the DC in his confirmation hearing 
and thought it a useful tool not limited to use in human rights but als 
good for development issues, UN reform, and so on. 

UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND ACTION FOR COUNTRY SPECIFIC CONCERNS 

14. (C) UNCHR Elections 

We signaled U.S. readiness to restart negotiations over an agreed WEOG 
slate for UNCHR elections, with new flexibility on forgoing membership 
two years, rather than one, out of 21. Van Kesteren, co-chair (with th 
Canadians) of earlier negotiations on this issue, agreed to explore 
restarting negotiations based on this welcome information. He added th 
the U.S. might end up having to relinquish three years to get a deal. 
added that, after the Security Council, membership on the UNCHR was a 
valuable prize for many states. DAS Lagon reported the French seemed 
prepared to work it out so WEOG could focus on substance and discourage 
the current practice of vote trading with undesirable countries from ot 
regions. Finally, van Kesteren fingered Austria as a problem country t 
insisted on maintaining their position based on the established pattern 
Commission membership. 

15. (C) Sudan 

The Dutch felt the time was ripe for a SC resolution on Sudan. There w 
serious problems with both sides and sanctions might be appropriate. I 
reviewing the earlier, troublesome Geneva negotiations on the Sudan 
resolution and what to do in the Third Committee, the Dutch predicted N 
York discussions would again be a triangle between the U.S., EU and 
African Union (AU). USDel urged the EU to avoid surprises like the dea 
it cut with the AU behind our backs on the last day of talks in Geneva. 
We agreed it would be useful to try to split the AU members by peeling 
South Africa and other AU members chafing under the AU's lowest common 
denominator protection of Sudan. There was consensus not to let 
discussion of the genocide question delay or thwart more immediate 
action. 

16. (SBU) NGOs suggested that finding a political solution should be m 
higher on the agenda. The rep from Doctors Without Borders complained 
that the NGOs are under new threats because both government and rebels 
object to their perceived sharing of information from the field with th 
outside world. PDAS Kozak regretted that information sharing caused 
problems, and said it is important for the GOS to know we are collectin 
facts so as to hold them accountable. 

17. (SBU) Chechnya 

NGOs believed the international community has increasingly abandoned 
Chechnya and that the situation has become more criminalized in the las 
four years. Dutch MFA officials had earlier admitted that the EU has a 
bloody nose on this intractable issue. PDAS Kozak reassured NGOs tha 
we raise Chechnya with the Russians all the time and have not let 
terrorism get in the way of promoting human rights. 

18. (C) Iran 

The Dutch reported a meeting the EU had in Teheran three weeks ago wher 
academics and officials discussed police, prisons, and the legal system 
Discussions were much more uni sono than half a year ago since 
opposition parliamentarians were absent. There are serious questions n 
whether to continue the dialogue and there will be a decision by early 
October, they told us. The Dutch reminded USDel that they see the 
non-proliferation issue as part of a broader relationship with Iran tha 
includes expanding business opportunities. 

MEETING WITH UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 

19. (U) DAS Lagon had a cordial dialogue with 25 student leaders from 
Dutch universities who asked about the U.S.'s lack of participation wit 
the ICC, its support of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its 
perceived unilateral approach to the war in Iraq, and its treatment of 
human rights in the broader war on terrorism. Praising the EU's cultur 
of dialogue as a model for other nations, Lagon cautioned that American 
realpolitik is a reaction to a belief that the rest of the world has a 
less mature approach to international relations. Lagon warned that tha 
an extended process of seeking consensus often delayed urgent action. 
Rejecting allegations of U.S. unilateralism, Lagon described America's 
involvement in many multilateral efforts. Public diplomacy could rever 
impressions of American unilateralism and build greater consensus for U 
actions. He suggested exchange programs, greater awareness by American 
politicians of their global audiences, and discussions such as the one 
was currently having were important elements in such a strategy. 

COMMENT 

20. (C) Commitment to the Transatlantic Dialogue underlies much of the 
Dutch UN agenda during their EU Presidency. Their exchanges with the 
USDel were productive, showed flexibility and receptiveness to US ideas 
and a drive to find consensus while doing their duty for national and E 
positions. Their promise to work more closely on the Sudan human right 
resolutions in New York was welcome and signaled good intentions on the 
wider range of issues. On the other hand, their narrowing of the China 
arms embargo debate to Tiananmen Square left us little room to argue th 
larger human rights and military points of the issue. Immediately on 
Guantanamo and longer term in general, the Dutch public remains recepti 
to fresh public diplomacy efforts providing information they can use to 
justify alignment with U.S. positions. 
RUSSEL