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Press Release
Also Adopts Concluding Observations on the Reports of Poland, El Salvador, Mexico, the State of Palestine, Iceland, Mongolia and the Czech Republic

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its ninety-ninth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Poland, El Salvador, Mexico, the State of Palestine, Iceland, Mongolia and the Czech Republic on the implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the reviewed countries are available on the session’s website.

Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, Committee Rapporteur, in her summary of the activities during the ninety-ninth session, said that the Committee had been briefed by civil society organizations on the implementation of the Convention in Iceland, Mexico, the State of Palestine, Poland and the Czech Republic and that it had adopted concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Poland, El Salvador, Mexico, the State of Palestine, Iceland, Mongolia and the Czech Republic.

In the context of the early warning and urgent action procedure, which aimed at preventing and responding to serious violations, the Committee had issued letters to six States parties.

The Committee had continued to deal with inter-State communications submitted by Qatar on 8 March 2018 against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the inter-State communication submitted on 23 April 2018 by the State of Palestine against Israel. Those were the first inter-State communications ever to be submitted to a United Nations treaty body, stressed Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye.

The Committee had decided that it had jurisdiction on the communications submitted by Qatar and had declared them admissible. The adopted decisions would soon be available on the Committee’s webpage. In compliance with article 12 of the Convention, the Committee’s Chairperson would appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission whose good offices should be made available to the States concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the Convention.

The Committee had to postpone the consideration of its jurisdiction in the inter-State communication submitted by the State of Palestine against Israel due to unforeseen circumstances.

During the session, the Committee had initiated the examination of one individual communication and had postponed its consideration to the next session since further clarifications were needed on some of its aspects.

The Committee had discussed the 2020 treaty body strengthening process and the position paper on the future of treaty bodies that the treaty bodies Chairpersons had adopted at their thirty-first meeting in June 2019 in New York.

Furthermore, the Committee continued the elaboration of the draft general recommendation 36 on preventing and combatting racial profiling, added the Rapporteur, thanking the more than 50 stakeholders who had submitted their comments, views and recommendations. It had informally discussed artificial intelligence and algorithmic profiling in the context of racial profiling with academic experts and had been briefed on the guide on preventing unlawful profiling developed by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Furthermore, the Committee had considered the report on article 15 of the Convention on the situation regarding 17 Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories and all other territories to which General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) applied. A summary of the relevant petitions and reports and the Committee’s opinions and recommendations thereon would be included in the Committee’s next annual report.

On 5 August, the Committee adopted its 2019 annual report, which would be available on the Committee’s webpage in the coming weeks, concluded the Rapporteur.

Noureddine Amir, Committee Chairperson, in his closing remarks, thanked the Committee’s Experts for their stoicism and generosity that had enabled them to step up to the plate and carry out the Committee’s mandate and jurisdiction. Referring to the annual report to the United Nations General Assembly, the Chair noted that the Committee was not fully able to fulfil the mission entrusted to it because of the lack of time.

The decisions on the inter-State communications were the first such decisions that any human rights treaty body had ever adopted, the Chair stressed. A group of the Committee’s jurists had been working around the clock, also in the intersessional period, to understand the procedures and the issues involved, and to create the conditions of peace, justice and freedom in the concerned countries. This endeavour would continue through the ad hoc Conciliation Commission that would soon be appointed, reaffirmed Mr. Amir.

Summaries of the Committee’s public meetings held during the session can be read here.

The one hundredth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will be held from 25 November to 3 December 2019 in Geneva, when the Committee will review the reports of Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, Israel and Uzbekistan.

For use of the information media; not an official record