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Press Release
Adopts Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Reports of Bolivia and Slovakia

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances this afternoon closed its seventeenth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Bolivia and Slovakia on the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Koji Teraya, Committee Rapporteur, said that during the session, the Committee elected its new officers: Mohammed Ayat of Morocco as the Chair and as Vice-Chairs Horacio Ravenna of Argentina, Milica Kolakoviæ-Bojoviæ of Serbia and Olivier de Frouville of France. Koji Teraya of Japan was elected as the Rapporteur.

Simon Walker, Chief of the Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Section at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, opened the session on 30 September, when the Committee heard solemn declarations by the newly elected members: Olivier de Frouville of France, Barbara Lochbihler of Germany, Juan José Lopez Ortega of Spain, Cheik Ahmad Tidiane Coulibaly of Senegal, and Carmen Rosa Villa Quintana of Peru.

The Committee adopted the concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Bolivia and Slovakia; lists of issues on the reports of Switzerland and Mongolia, and on Nigeria in the absence of a report; and the provisional agenda for the eighteenth session. Furthermore, it decided to follow up on the individual communication involving Argentina and discussed its methods of work, including the examination of a State party in the absence of a report, the follow-up to concluding observations, and urgent communications.

On 7 October, the Committee met with representatives of United Nations Member States and with the United Nations Refugee Agency. In private meetings it met with civil society organizations, including from the countries under review, and with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In his closing remarks, Mohammed Ayat, Committee Chair, thanked non-governmental organizations for their cooperation and thanked the High Commissioner for her support for the Committee’s work and the universalization of the Convention. The Chair stressed the need to ensure that the Committee was sufficiently resourced to enable it to keep the fate of victims of enforced disappearances at the heart of the concerns, and to assist them to live in dignity.

A representative of Geneva for Human Rights stressed the importance of tackling the issue of migrants and enforced disappearances and said that his organization stood ready to work in concert with the Committee and the Special Procedures. Another issue of concern was the phenomenon of arbitrary detention after mass demonstrations in a number of countries, which could lead to enforced disappearances. Finally, it was vital for the United Nations system and Member States to strengthen the Committee’s system of urgent actions, which required additional resources.

All documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session’s webpage, where the concluding observations on the reports of Bolivia and Slovakia will soon be available. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/.

The Committee’s eighteenth session will be held in April 2020.

For use of the information media; not an official record