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4th session of the Open-ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Address of the High Commissioner to the 4th session of the Open-ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

First Draft Optional Protocol

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 1/3 of 29 June 2006, requested the Chairperson-Rapporteur, Catarina de Albuquerque, to prepare a first draft optional protocol “to be used as a basis for the forthcoming negotiations” at the fourth session of the Open-ended Working Group.

The draft optional protocol prepared by the Chairpersons now available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

Mandate

The Human Rights Council, at is first session in June 2006, decided to extend the mandate of the Working Group for a period of two years in order to elaborate an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right.

The Council, in paragraphs 1 - 4 of resolution 1/3:

"1. Welcom[ed] the report of the Working Group (E/CN.4/2006/47);

2. Request[ed] the Chairperson of the Working Group to prepare, taking into account all views expressed during the sessions of the Working Group on, inter alia, the scope and application of an optional protocol, a first draft optional protocol, which includes draft provisions corresponding to the various main approaches outlined in her analytical paper, to be used as a basis for the forthcoming negotiations;

3. Request[ed] the Working Group to meet for ten working days each year and to report to the Council;

4. Decide[ed] to invite a representative of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to attend these meetings as a resource person;"

Participants

The working group is an open-ended working group. This means that all UN Member and Observer States , inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with ECOSOC consultative status may attend public meetings of the working group.

Documentation

All in-session and background documents.

Dates and venue

The working group met from 16-27 July 2007, daily from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00 , at the Palais des Nations, Geneva , room XVI.

Accreditation

States, organizations and NGOs wishing to accredit representatives to the fourth session of the Working Group are invited to complete the registration form and send it together with their signed request for accreditation to Ulrik Halsteen either by email uhalsteen@ohchr.org , by fax on +41 22 928 90 10 or by mail to UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10.

Registration prior to the session will ensure that a badge will be available from 8 am on 16 July 2007 at the Security Identification Section located at main entrance to the Palais des Nations, Gate Pregny (opposite the building of the International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC), Avenue de la Paix, 1211, Geneva. The accreditation office will remain open from 8:00 to 17:00 during the session.