dcsimg


Header image for news printout

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to hold its ninetieth session in Geneva from 2 to 26 August 2016

BACKGROUND RELEASE
 
Committee to Consider Situation in Greece, United Kingdom, Paraguay, South Africa, Lebanon, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Pakistan  
 
GENEVA (28 July 2016) - The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will hold its ninetieth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 2 to 26 August 2016, to review anti-discrimination efforts undertaken by Greece, the United Kingdom, Paraguay, South Africa, Lebanon, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
 
At the opening meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 2 August, the Committee will hear an address by a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and adopt its agenda and programme of work. 
 
In addition to considering the reports of the eight States parties, the Committee will hold public informal meetings with non-governmental organizations that will brief the Committee on the situation in the countries whose reports will be considered.  The Committee will also consider communications that have been submitted to it under article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in closed meetings.
 
Greece is presenting its combined twentieth to twenty-second periodic report CERD/C/GRC/20-22.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixteenth to nineteenth periodic report, considered in September 2009, can be found in CERD/C/GRC/CO/16-19.
 
The United Kingdom is presenting its combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/GBR/21-23.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined eighteenth to twentieth periodic report, considered in September 2011, can be found in CERD/C/GBR/CO/18-20.
 
Paraguay is presenting its combined fourth to sixth periodic report CERD/C/PRY/4-6.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined initial to third periodic report, considered in September 2011, can be found in CERD/C/PRY/CO/1-3.
 
South Africa is presenting its combined fourth to eighth periodic report CERD/C/ZAF/4-8.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined initial to third periodic report, considered in October 2006, can be found in CERD/C/ZAF/CO/3.
 
Lebanon is presenting its combined eighteenth to twenty-second periodic report CERD/C/LBN/18-22.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined fourteenth to sixteenth periodic report, and its seventeenth periodic report, considered in April 2004, can be found in CERD/C/64/CO/3.
 
Ukraine is presenting its combined twenty-second to twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/UKR/22-23.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined nineteenth to twenty-first periodic report, considered in September 2011, can be found in CERD/C/UKR/CO/19-21.
 
Sri Lanka is presenting its combined tenth to seventeenth periodic report CERD/C/LKA/10-17.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the seventh, eighth and ninth periodic reports, considered in August 2001, can be found in A/56/18(SUPP) paras. 321-342.
 
Pakistan is presenting its combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/PAK/21-23.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined fifteenth to twentieth periodic report, considered in March 2009, can be found in CERD/C/PAK/CO/20.
 
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is the longest established of the main human rights treaties which this year marks its fiftieth anniversary.  Its 177 States parties commit themselves to ending all forms of racial discrimination, which the Convention defined as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. 
 
The Committee, an 18-person expert body, monitors compliance with the Convention.  It assesses to what extent each State party is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.
 
The Committee’s dialogues with the delegations will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Palais Wilson – Ground floor. Live webcasts of these meetings can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.
 
The Committee’s findings, officially termed concluding observations, on the countries reviewed, will be published on the Committee’s webpage.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

This year, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination marks its fiftieth anniversary.  It is the longest established of the main human rights treaties and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 1965.

The Convention entered into force on 4 January 1969.  It defines racial discrimination as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

By signing up to the Convention, States parties commit themselves to condemn racial discrimination and to pursue, by all appropriate means and without delay, policies of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races.  To that end, each State party undertakes not to engage in any act or practice of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in conformity with this obligation; not to sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination by any persons or organizations; to take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists; to prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization; to encourage, where appropriate, integrationist multiracial organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers between races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division.

In accordance with article 4, States parties also undertake to condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination.  States parties, by virtue of article 9, undertake to submit a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted and which give effect to the provisions of this Convention. To ensure the implementation and the respect of their obligations under the Convention by States parties, the Convention establishes the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to examine the reports presented by States parties.

In addition, as provided in article 14, a State Party may at any time declare that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of the rights set forth in this Convention.  No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State party that has not made such a declaration. To date 57 States parties have made a declaration under this article.

States Parties to the Convention


As of July 2016, the following 177 States are parties to the Convention: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Communications Under Article 14


Under article 14 of the Convention, the Committee considers communications from individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation by States parties of any of the rights set forth in the Convention, provided the States concerned have recognized the competence of the Committee in this regard.  The following 58 States parties have already done so: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Membership of the Committee


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination is made up of the following 18 independent experts: Noureddine Amir (Algeria); Alexei Avtonomov (Russian Federation); Marc Bossuyt (Belgium); Jose Francisco Cali Tzay (Guatemala); Anastasia Crickley (Ireland); Fatimata-Binta Victoire Dah (Burkina Faso); Afiwa-Kindena Hohoueto (Togo); Anwar Kemal (Pakistan); Melhem Khalaf (Lebanon); Gun Kut (Turkey); Jose A. Lindgren Alves (Brazil); Nicolas Marugan (Spain); Gay Mcdougall (United States); Yemhelhe Mint Mohamed (Mauritania); Pastor Elias Murillo Martinez (Colombia); Verene Albertha Sheperd (Jamaica); Yanduan Li (China); and Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen (Mauritius).

Ms. Crickley is the Chairperson.  The Vice Chairpersons are Mr. Amir, Mr. Cali Tzay and Mr. Khalaf.  Mr. Avnotonov is the Rapporteur. 
 
Proposed Programme of Work

Monday, 1 August
United Nations Holiday

 

Tuesday, 2 August


10 a.m.


Opening of the session and adoption of the agenda
Dialogue with the United Nations entities (closed meeting)

3 p.m.

Inter-session activities (closed meeting)

 

Wednesday, 3 August

10 a.m.

Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

3 p.m.

Combined twentieth to twenty-second periodic report of Greece CERD/C/GRC/20-22

 

Thursday, 4 August

10 a.m.

Greece (continued)

3 p.m.

Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of the United Kingdom CERD/C/GBR/21-23

 

Friday, 5 August

10 a.m.

United Kingdom (continued)

3 p.m.

Communications (closed meeting)

 

Monday, 8 August

10 a.m.

Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

3 p.m.

Combined fourth to sixth periodic report of Paraguay CERD/C/PRY/4-6

 

Tuesday, 9 August

10 a.m.

Paraguay (continued)

3 p.m.

Combined fourth to eighth periodic report of South Africa CERD/C/ZAF/4-8

 

Wednesday, 10 August

10 a.m.

South Africa (continued)

3 p.m.

Combined eighteenth to twenty-second periodic report of Lebanon CERD/C/LBN/18-22

 

Thursday, 11 August

10 a.m.

Lebanon (continued)

3 p.m.

Combined twenty-second to twenty-third periodic report of Ukraine CERD/C/UKR/22-23


Friday, 12 August

10 a.m.

Ukraine (continued)

3 p.m.

Communications (closed meeting)

 

Monday, 15 August

10 a.m.

Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

3 p.m.

Combined tenth to seventeenth periodic report of Sri Lanka CERD/C/LKA/10-17

 

Tuesday, 16 August

10 a.m.

Sri Lanka (continued)

3 p.m.

Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of Pakistan CERD/C/PAK/21-23

 

Wednesday, 17 August

10 a.m.

Pakistan (continued)

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Thursday, 18 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Friday, 19 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Monday, 19 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Tuesday, 23 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Wednesday, 24 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session

 

Thursday, 25 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Closed session


Friday, 26 August

10 a.m.

Closed session

3 p.m.

Public closing of the session


 
To learn more about the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, please visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CERD/Pages/CERDIndex.aspx

For media requests, please contact Liz Throssell: +41 22 917 9566 / +41 79 752 0488 / ethrossell@ohchr.org

For your news websites and social media: Multimedia content & key messages relating to our news releases are available on UN Human Rights social media channels, listed below. Please tag us using the proper handles:
Twitter: @UNHumanRights
Facebook: unitednationshumanrights
Instagram: unitednationshumanrights
Google+: unitednationshumanrights
Youtube: unohchr

 __________

For use of the information media; not an official record