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Press Release

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its ninety-eighth session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Andorra, Guatemala, Hungary, Lithuania and Zambia, which were considered during the session.

The concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee are available on the Committee’s webpage.

Rita Izsak-Ndiaye, Committee Rapporteur, said the Committee had reviewed five States parties under the Convention, namely Andorra, Guatemala, Hungary, Lithuania and Zambia. She recalled that only one meeting was held with Zambia, which had not been in a position to send a delegation to Geneva. She regretted that only a limited number of questions were answered by the State party, in writing, and following the appearance before the Committee of a single representative of its Permanent Mission. The Committee had issued concluding observations concerning all five States parties under its review. During the session, it had considered follow-up reports from Pakistan, Ecuador, Kuwait, Australia and Serbia and adopted recommendations to be communicated to these States parties through the Chair.

The Rapporteur thanked government representatives, non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions and colleagues from the United Nations. The Committee had met with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to notably discuss the implementation of the recommendations outlined in General Assembly resolution 68/268, as well as the Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action to explore possible avenues for cooperation. The Committee had examined three interstate communications submitted under article 11 of the Convention: one by Qatar against Saudi Arabia; one by Qatar against the United Arab Emirates; and another by the State of Palestine against Israel. While it had held hearings on these communications, the Committee had decided not to take any decisions, due to the legal complexity of the issues broached and a lack of resources, she stated. The Committee had also held an initial discussion about the draft of the General Recommendation No. 36 on preventing and combatting racial profiling. The draft had been posted on its website, and stakeholders were encouraged to submit their comments by 30 June 2019. The Committee planned to adopt the General Recommendation at its ninety-ninth session.

Noureddine Amir, Committee Chairperson, said Committee members had worked hard, alone or collegially, to discharge their mandate. Thanking the Secretariat’s staff, he stressed that the Committee’s mission was not merely legal but also ethical. There were various kinds of violations of human rights that were taking place in the world, and the Committee stood ready to meet the demands of all the victims. It would not forget those who were in dire situations. Their common destiny was to defend human rights and humankind, he stated.

The ninety-ninth session of the Committee will be held from 5 to 29 August, during which it will consider the reports of the Czech Republic, El Salvador, Iceland, Mexico, Mongolia, Poland and the State of Palestine on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

For use of the information media; not an official record