HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE ADOPTS ITS ANNUAL REPORT AND CLOSES ITS ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SECOND SESSION
The Human Rights Committee this afternoon concluded its one hundred and twenty-second session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of El Salvador, Guatemala, Hungary, Lebanon and Norway, which it considered during the session. The Committee also adopted its annual report.
Yuji Iwasawa, Committee Chair, said that the Committee had held a very productive session, with a historic opening with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, marking the seventieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Committee had reviewed five States and had adopted its concluding observations, available on the session’s webpage. Turning to communications, Mr. Iwasawa informed that the Committee had adopted decisions on 41 individual communications, out of which it had decided on merit in 24 cases, declared nine cases inadmissible, five cases admissible, and discontinued three cases. With respect to the 24 cases decided on merit, the Committee had found violations in 21 cases, and non-violation in the other three cases.
The Committee had also continued the second reading on the General Comment No. 36 on the right to life, and had worked on the revision of the rules of procedures. As for the issue of resources, the Committee had reflected its concerns in the annual report, and it had held a meeting with Adam Abdelmoula, Director of the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Committee hoped to work together with the Office to address the common challenge, Mr. Iwasawa said.
Margo Waterval, Committee Rapporteur, presented the annual report on the previous three sessions and explained the proposed changes. She reminded that since the previous report, there had been one new accession to the Covenant by the Marshall Islands, and one new accession to the Second Optional Protocol by Madagascar. The Committee then proceeded with the adoption of the parts of the report relating to jurisdiction and activities of the Committee, methods of work, and submission of reports by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, before adopting the annual report as a whole.
Certain Experts regretted the lack of translation of a number of documents, including parts of the annual report, from English into other United Nations languages, noting that it harmed the work of the Committee. They reminded that the annual report was a vital document that facilitated the access of the public to the jurisprudence of the Committee.
Turning to methods of work, Committee Experts drew attention to time limits for dialogues with States, and to the open-ended working group established with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It was the responsibility of the country rapporteur and country task groups to allocate time according to the importance of the issue, explained Mr. Iwasawa.
The Committee had been scheduled to consider the report of Liberia during this session but this was postponed to its July session.
The one hundred and twenty-third session of the Committee will take place from 2 to 27 July 2018 when it will consider the periodic reports of Algeria, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia and Lithuania.
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