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Human Rights Council Advisory Committee discusses follow-up of its draft Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training

Human Rights Council Advisory Committee
AFTERNOON

20 January 2011

Designates Two Members to Participate in Human Rights Council Panel Discussion on Right to Health of Older Persons

The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee this afternoon continued its discussion under agenda item three by taking up its agenda and annual programme of work, including new priorities. It then discussed follow-up to reports of the Committee submitted to the Human Rights Council.

Opening the issue of the Advisory Committee’s agenda and annual programme of work, Purificacion Quisumbing, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, indicated that the Council decided to hold a panel discussion at its eighteenth session on a thematic study to be prepared by the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health on the realization of the right to health of older persons. The Advisory Committee would participate in the panel discussion, along with other relevant United Nations bodies and agencies. She then proposed to the Committee that the Advisory Committee designated Ms. Chinsung Chung and Mr. Shigeki Sakamoto to attend this panel.

Committee Experts expressed support for the Chair’s proposal and the decision was adopted.

Turning to the follow-up to reports of the Committee, Emmanuel Decaux, Advisory Committee Member and member of the drafting group on the draft declaration on human rights and education, updated the Advisory Committee on the meetings of the open-ended intergovernmental working group and the progress achieved towards negotiating and submitting to the Council the draft declaration to the Council. He said that it was useful to have an agenda item on the follow-up of the Committee’s work. There had been three informal consultations by States since the Committee had submitted its document to the Council.

The draft declaration, in its actual state, represented the views of all members of the Council. There were however three reservations. Mr. Decaux hoped that these reservations would be lifted before the Council’s March session. The text had been shortened and improved in some way. His opinion was that the draft’s current form was better than the version than the Committee had drafted.

Advisory Committee Experts then took the floor to say that the Committee should be happy with the work undertaken and the state of the declaration as it stood. The declaration would still have to go through to the General Assembly before being adopted. However, the position of delegates in the Third Commission had not strengthened. Things there could get complicated for nothing. It did not look like that everything would go smoothly from the Council to the General Assembly. For another Expert, the draft declaration was a clear example for the effectiveness of the Advisory Committee; the draft had evolved to its current stage in less than three years.

The Philippines, speaking on behalf of the members of the Platform on human rights education and training, thanked the Advisory Committee for the work. Last week, the draft had been finalized and adopted inside an intergovernmental working group. They hoped that the Council would adopt the draft at the Council’s March session, before sending it to the General Assembly.

The Advisory Committee will meet again tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m., when it is scheduled to take action on the draft recommendations to the Human Rights Council and adopt the report of the session.

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For use of the information media; not an official record