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Press Release

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights closed its sixty-third session this afternoon after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Mexico, Niger, Central African Republic, Spain and New Zealand, as well as its annual report.

The Committee’s concluding observations will be made available on the webpage of the session on Tuesday, 3 April, in the afternoon, by 6 p.m.

In her closing remarks, Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, Committee Chairperson, reminded that the Committee had started its session on 12 March with a joint opening meeting with the Human Rights Committee to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Committee had conducted dialogues with representatives of six States parties, namely with Mexico, Niger, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Spain and New Zealand. Three countries had submitted their initial reports (Bangladesh, Niger and Central African Republic), whereas two countries had submitted reports under the simplified reporting procedure (New Zealand and Spain). As for the work under the Optional Protocol, the Committee had examined two communications from Ecuador: it had declared one communication inadmissible and in the other it had found a violation. In terms of work on thematic issues, the Committee had continued working on General Comments, including on the right to science, on land and economic, social and cultural rights, and on sustainable development and economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee, with the support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, had held a one-day consultation on the latter on Saturday, 24 March.

Ms. Bras Gomes said the Committee had also discussed its working methods, including the simplified reporting procedure and the preparation of list of issues. Moreover, it had held a joint meeting with the Human Rights Committee to explore ways of improving collaboration, taking into account the current reporting burden for States and the duplication of work among committees. Building on its ongoing engagement with States, the Committee had held an informal meeting with States to inform delegations of its ongoing work and to hear comments and respond to queries. The Committee had appreciated the interest demonstrated by States, Ms. Bras Gomes said. The Committee had met with various stakeholders, including Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Centre for Economic and Social Rights, and the Lancaster University and numerous non-governmental organizations to discuss different issues related to the work of the Committee, such as the Covenant rights in sustaining peace and maximum available resources, among others. Finally, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had briefed the Committee on its work on the development of indicators on the right to sexual and reproductive health.

The sixty-fourth session of the Committee will take place in Geneva from 24 September to 12 October 2018 when the Committee will review the reports of Argentina, Cabo Verde, Germany, Mali, South African and Turkmenistan.

For use of the information media; not an official record