Questioned whether there were any updates on removing Agenda Item 7 from the UN Human Rights Council and how many countries have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
Can we have an update as to whether there’s any movement or likely movement to get rid of that very offensive agenda item against Israel? I note that there isn’t one for North Korea or Cuba or the People’s Republic of China—
Whole interaction with Mr Marc Innes-Brown PSM (First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division, DFAT) during Senate Estimates (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio).
CHAIR: Moving on to Israel and the United Nations—I always forget this: is it Agenda Item 7 or 17 on the Human Rights Council?
Mr Innes-Brown: It’s Agenda Item 7.
CHAIR: I got a nod from the back, so thank you very much. Can we have an update as to whether there’s any movement or likely movement to get rid of that very offensive agenda item against Israel? I note that there isn’t one for North Korea or Cuba or the People’s Republic of China—
Senator KITCHING: Or Saudi Arabia.
CHAIR: or Saudi Arabia, which might give us an indication of what motivates such an agenda item.
Mr Innes-Brown: We continue to express our concern about Agenda Item 7, and we maintain our principled opposition to that, most recently at the 44th Human Rights Council Session. We continue to do so. In terms of if there’s any progress on it, I don’t think so, but we will continue to oppose it.
CHAIR: In recent times I’ve been delighted that the government has taken on the IHRA definition of antisemitism. How many other countries have now adopted that definition?
Mr Innes-Brown: I will have to take that on notice; I don’t have that to my fingertips.
CHAIR: Yes, take that on notice. I think it’s a slowly growing number. I’m delighted that Australia is now a part of it, having advocated for that at previous estimates.