Human Rights Committee Concludes One Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Session after Adopting Concluding Observations on Reports of Iran, Kuwait, Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Venezuela
The Human Rights Committee this morning concluded its one hundred and thirty-ninth session after adopting concluding observations on the reports of Iran, Kuwait, the Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Committee held a minute’s silence in respect for the lives lost in conflicts around the world.
José Manuel Santos Pais, Committee Vice-Chair, took the floor to conclude the session on behalf of Committee Chair Tania Maria Abdo Rocholl. He said that during the intense and productive session, the Committee had held constructive dialogues with the delegations of Iran, Kuwait, the Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The review of Haiti was postponed by the Committee upon the request of the State party due the human rights and humanitarian crises in the country. In all reviews, the Committee had noted positive developments, identified concerns and made recommendations. Concluding observations on the States reviewed would be issued on the session webpage later today.
During the session, the Committee had also adopted a list of issues on Pakistan, as well as lists of issues prior to reporting regarding San Marino and Slovakia. In addition, it had adopted decisions on 55 individual communications. Of those, 25 were decided on the merits (“Views”), 16 were declared inadmissible, and 14 communications were discontinued. Regarding the cases decided on the merits, the Committee found violations in 22 of them.
Further, the Committee had adopted two progress reports on follow-up to concluding observations and to Views. The adopted follow-up report to concluding observations included an assessment of concluding observations relating to Belgium, Czechia, Mauritania and Nigeria. At the end of the one hundred and thirty-eighth session, in July 2023, the Committee concluded that there had been a violation of the Covenant in 1,419 (85 per cent) of the 1,669 Views that it had adopted since 1979. The follow-up report on Views presented this session covered six Views relating to Colombia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Paraguay and Tajikistan. Mr. Santos Pais particularly highlighted the “A” rank assessment made concerning Lithuania, where to be able to abide by the Views adopted by the Committee in March 2014, the State party amended its own Constitution in April 2022.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepared, at the end of May 2023, a Working Paper on Options and guiding questions for the development of an implementation plan for the conclusions of the treaty body Chairs at their thirty-fourth meeting in June 2022. The Committee was the first treaty body to submit its position on the Working Paper in August 2023, which it hoped would contribute to strengthening the treaty body system.
In the Committee’s upcoming one hundred and fortieth session, the Committee would adopt lists of issues in relation to Mongolia and Viet Nam, and lists of issues prior to reporting on Azerbaijan, Djibouti and Mali. Further, the Committee would evaluate the reports of Finland, Paraguay, Tunisia and Uzbekistan under the follow-up procedure to concluding observations.
Mr. Santos Pais said that throughout the session, Committee Experts had fulfilled their duties capably and independently, producing common and solid recommendations and decisions. He expressed thanks to the Committee Chair and other members of the Bureau for all their enthusiasm and commitment, and acknowledged the support of the United Nations staff and Secretariat. He further thanked human rights institutions and civil society organizations for their active participation in the session, and expressed gratitude to the technical staff who made the Committee’s work possible.
Several Committee Experts took the floor to thank the Chair for her work, guidance and leadership; fellow Committee Experts for their hard work in the context of challenging States party reviews as well as conflicts and human rights violations occurring across the world; the numerous civil society organizations and national human rights institutes that participated in the session; as well as secretariat staff and all other stakeholders for their contributions to the session. One Expert called on the Committee to continue to staunchly promote human rights in the face of multiple atrocities occurring globally. Another called on the Committee to update its methods of work to allow it to respond to current events occurring in the world and to give civil society a stronger voice.
All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage. Meeting summary releases can be found here. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed via the UN Web TV webpage.
The Committee will hold its one hundred and fortieth session from 4 to 28 March 2024. In the session, the Committee is scheduled to review the periodic reports of Chile, Guyana, Indonesia, Namibia, Serbia, Somalia and the United Kingdom.
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