Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Closes One Hundred and Sixth Session after Adopting Concluding Observations on Reports of Cameroon, Estonia, Luxembourg and Kazakhstan
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this afternoon closed its one hundred and sixth session after adopting its concluding observations on the reports of Cameroon, Estonia, Luxembourg and Kazakhstan.
Committee Chairperson Verene Albertha Shepherd said that she was pleased that the Committee was able to meet in person for the session. At the public opening, a statement had been delivered by Mahamane Cissé-Gouro, Director of the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who had spoken about the way the COVID-19 pandemic affected different populations across the globe, and the inequitable situations between different countries and their access to COVID-19 vaccines, among other topics.
On the first day of the session, new members elected in June 2021 had made their solemn declaration in front of the Committee. Ms. Shepherd said she was honoured to have been elected as Chairperson of the Committee. Members of the new bureau were also elected. The Committee further appointed members to serve in working groups on communications and on early warning and urgent action.
Ms. Shepherd said that the Committee had reviewed the reports of Cameroon, Estonia, Luxembourg and Kazakhstan, and thanked the delegations for coming in person and all those who contributed to the dialogue. The final concluding observations on the reports of the four States parties had been adopted.
During the session, the Committee had adopted a decision on the merits on communication 59/2016 concerning Sami petitioners versus Finland. The Committee concluded that some of the rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court had the capacity to artificially modify the electoral constituency of the Sami parliament, violating the petitioners’ right to political participation.
The Committee had also adopted a decision on the merits in relation to communication 61/2017 concerning Yaku Perez Guartambel vs Ecuador. The Committee concluded that to fulfil the obligations of the Convention, the State party must refrain from prohibiting the celebration of indigenous marriages and also take all necessary measures in cooperation with traditional authorities to enter them in the civil register.
Ms. Shepherd said that the Committee had considered three follow-up reports regarding the Czech Republic, Ireland and Peru and would continue looking at the implementation of some of the most important and urgent recommendations issued in concluding observations. Regarding its early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee adopted a statement on the lack of equitable and non-discriminatory access to COVID vaccines. Letters would be sent to States parties.
The Committee also met with the Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
Ms. Shepherd said they had decided to establish a taskforce with a mandate to improve the Committee’s working methods. They had discussed various measures related to strengthening the treaty body system. The Committee also discussed the next steps in preparing the general recommendation on racial discrimination and the right to health.
Concluding, the Committee Chairperson said that the next session of the Committee will take place from 8 to 30 August 2022 in Geneva.
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination held its one hundred and sixth session from 11 to 29 April. The one hundred and seventh session of the Committee is scheduled to be held from 8 to 30 August, during which it is expected to review the reports of Azerbaijan, Benin, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Suriname, United States and Zimbabwe.
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