Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Closes One Hundred and Tenth Session
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this afternoon closed its one hundred and tenth session, during which it reviewed the reports of Croatia, Italy, Namibia, Senegal, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.
Verene Albertha Shepherd, Committee Chairperson, said the closing of the one hundred and tenth session was taking place on the International Day for People of African Descent.
Ibrahima Guisse, Committee Rapporteur said this year marked the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, in which States reaffirmed their commitments to human rights. Providing a summary of the work undertaken during the session, Mr. Guisse said the Committee had conducted six country reviews, examining the situation in Croatia, Italy, Namibia, Senegal, Turkmenistan and Uruguay. The Committee’s concluding observations are available on the session’s webpage.
Mr. Guisse said the Committee also considered an individual communication during the session concerning Slovakia. The petitioners, who were Slovak nationals of Roma ethnicity, claimed the State party violated their rights under the Convention. They submitted that they were brutalized during a police operation in a Roma neighbourhood and claimed the authorities did not conduct proper investigations and prosecutions concerning their allegations. Their complaints were dismissed on procedural grounds, including as late submissions. The Committee decided that the communication was inadmissible since the petitioners did not exhaust the available domestic remedies.
The Committee also considered follow-up reports submitted by Estonia, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg.
Under the early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee adopted a statement on the United States Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affirmative Action in United States colleges and universities. The Committee also adopted a decision on the lack of equitable and non-discriminatory access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Mr. Guisse said that during the session, the Committee had pursued its work towards the elaboration of a general recommendation on racial discrimination and the right to health. The Committee held consultative meetings with experts from the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organisation and academia, who provided oral contributions on the first draft of the general recommendation on racial discrimination in the enjoyment of the right to health. The draft was available on the Committee’s webpage.
Gay McDougall, Committee Expert, then gave a speech to commemorate the International Day for People of African Descent. On this day, she said, we celebrate the extraordinary cultural richness and diversity of people of African descent and pay tribute to their enormous contributions to the development of humanity globally throughout history. Ms. McDougall paid tribute to the African heroines and heroes who had fought and sacrificed to break the shackles of oppression. Today, we needed to recommit ourselves to the fight against racism and take concrete actions to end stereotypes and false notions of racial superiority. Cultures of privilege and denial needed to be transformed into cultures of peace and democracy. The Committee was working to make the promises of the Convention a reality. Racism would be ended only with the collective commitment of all the nations of the world.
Verene Albertha Shepherd, Committee Chairperson, in concluding remarks, thanked all members of the Committee for their participation in the session and for all they had contributed. The Committee had covered their agenda and stayed true to their mandate of working towards the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, wherever they occurred. She thanked all those who contributed to the Committee’s work.
Summaries of the public meetings of the Committee can be found here, while webcasts of the public meetings can be found here. The concluding observations and other documents related to the session can be found here.
The next session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is scheduled to take place from 20 November to 8 December and will review the reports of Bolivia, Bulgaria, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Viet Nam.
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