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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concludes forty-ninth session

ROUNDUP

Adopts Concluding Observations on Tanzania, Ecuador, Mauritania, Bulgaria and Iceland and Observations on Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo

30 November 2012

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today concluded its forty-ninth session after adopting its concluding observations on the reports of Tanzania, Ecuador, Mauritania, Bulgaria and Iceland on how these countries implement the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It also adopted observations on Equatorial Guinea, following a discussion with the State party in the absence of a report, and on the Republic of Congo, in the absence of a report.

The concluding observations will be available at the following link at the end of the day on Monday, 3 December.

At the closing meeting, the Chairperson of the Committee, Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay, noted that during the session, the Committee had conducted dialogues with representatives of Tanzania, Ecuador, Mauritania, Bulgaria and Iceland with respect to their submitted reports, and considered two non-reporting states, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo. They also held discussions on the Committee’s working methods, as well as the Draft Rules of Procedures for the Optional Protocol to the Covenant which had now been adopted by the Committee. They looked very much forward to the outstanding two ratifications of the Optional Protocol.

Mr. Pillay said that he would be addressing an Open Letter to States Parties, on behalf of the Committee, related to the United Nations post-2015 development agenda. The Committee hoped that the letter would build on the momentum from Rio+20 to link human rights explicitly to development, which was crucial. The Committee also discussed its working methods and discussed other issues related to the Treaty Body Strengthening Process. They adopted a decision related to the reports of the High Commissioner, which they welcomed with appreciation, and would certainly continue to look at it closely and discuss modalities of further enhancing their methods of work. They had also adopted a decision on the independence and impartiality of treaty body members related to the Addis Ababa Guidelines adopted at the Meeting of Chairs last June.

Mr. Pillay said the Committee had also begun to implement its decision to dedicate two meetings for the dialogue with States parties when considering periodic reports, on a trial basis. The Committee would maintain the practice of three meetings for initial reports.

The Committee then adopted its concluding observations on the reports of Tanzania, Ecuador, Mauritania, Bulgaria and Iceland, and its observations on the situation in Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo. It also adopted its annual report.

The fiftieth session of the Committee will be held from 29 April to 17 May. The reports of Azerbaijan, Denmark, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Rwanda and Togo will be reviewed during that session.
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For use of the information media; not an official record