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Advisory Committee adopts five recommendations to Human Rights Council

Human Rights Council Advisory Committee
MORNING

21 January 2011

The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee this morning adopted five recommendations to be transmitted to the Human Rights Council on: missing persons, the right to food, the right of peoples to peace, the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights and ways and means to further advance the rights of people working in rural areas. The Committee also adopted its report to the Human Rights Council ad referendum.

In the text on missing persons, the Committee endorsed the final report on best practices in the matter of missing persons prepared by its drafting group on missing persons and submitted it to the Human Rights Council.

In the text on the right to food, the Committee submitted to the Council the final study on discrimination in the context of the right to food. It further recommended that the Council consider requesting the Committee to undertake comprehensive studies on: the right to food of the urban poor; the right to food of rural women; the relationship between severe malnutrition and childhood diseases; and the right to food of people forced to leave their homes and land because of hunger.

In the text on the right of peoples to peace, the Committee submitted its revised progress report on the draft declaration on the right of peoples to peace to the Council for consideration. The Committee also requested the drafting group to prepare a questionnaire to consult all relevant stakeholders.

In the text on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, the Committee noted that the drafting group had held meetings to discuss the matter, took note of the preparatory document submitted by the drafting group and encouraged it to revise it in light of the discussion held on the subject.

In the text on ways and means to further advance the rights of people working in rural areas, the Committee submitted to the Council the preliminary study on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. It also recommended that the Council consider requesting the Committee to organize a seminar entitled: “rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas: the need for a new instrument” to be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva two days before the Committee’s seventh session.

The Committee will reconvene this afternoon at 3 p.m. to continue listening to concluding remarks before closing its session.

Action on Recommendations

In a recommendation on missing persons (A/HRC/AC/6/L.1), adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Committee endorses the final report on best practices in the matter of missing persons prepared by its drafting group on missing persons and submits it to the Human Rights Council for consideration at its sixteenth session.

LATIF HUSEYNOV, Advisory Committee Expert, presenting the draft recommendation, said that they had extensively discussed the draft report during this session and that the drafting group had included in the text a number of the comments that were made during this discussion. He then proposed a series of oral amendments.

In the ensuing discussion, Advisory Committee Experts said that they were not sure that creating a mandate on this issue was necessary, when there was already a Working Group with a similar mandate. They also further discussed the final wording of the report.

In a recommendation on the study on discrimination in the context of the right to food, (A/HRC/AC/6/L.2), adopted without a vote, the Committee submits herewith to the Human Rights Council the final study in the context of the right to food. It further recommends that the Human Rights Council considers requesting the Advisory Committee to undertake comprehensive studies on the following topics, since the study on discrimination in the context of the right to food has revealed a pressing need for further research in these areas: the right to food of the urban poor, including strategies to improve their legal protection and best practices; the right to food of rural women, including patterns of discrimination, strategies and policies for their legal protection and best practices, with a special focus on female-headed households and temporary seasonal workers; the relationship between severe malnutrition and childhood diseases, taking children affected by noma as an example, and guidelines to improve the legal protection of malnourished children; and the right to food of people forced to leave their homes and land because of hunger, and guidelines on their legal protection.

MONA ZULFICAR, Advisory Committee Expert, presented the recommendation and said that they had finalized the study with all the comments and views of all stakeholders. Without all these contributions they would not have been able to finalize this study. The drafting group further proposed to the Council to give to the Advisory Committee a thematic study on four issues.

In a recommendation on the drafting group on the promotion of the right of peoples to peace (A/HRC/AC/6/L.3), adopted without a vote, the Committee submits its revised progress report on the draft declaration on the right of peoples to peace, taking into account the comments made, to the Human Rights Council for consideration at its seventeenth session. The Committee also requests the drafting group to prepare a questionnaire to consult with Member States, civil society, academia and all relevant stakeholders, to be distributed after the sixth session of the Advisory Committee.

WOLFGANG STEFAN HEINZ, Advisory Committee Expert, presented the recommendation and said that the recommendation proposed to submit the revised progress report on the draft declaration on the right of peoples to peace to the Human Rights Council.

In a recommendation on the drafting group on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (A/HRC/AC/6/L.4), adopted as orally revised without a vote, the Committee notes that the drafting group and the full Committee held meetings to discuss the matter and takes note of the preparatory document submitted by the drafting group and encourages it to revise it in the light of the discussion on the subject by the Advisory Committee and comments received from States and other stakeholders. It further noted that the drafting group will prepare a questionnaire on the subject.

DHEERUJLALL SEETULSING, Advisory Committee Expert, presented the recommendation and said that Mr. Decaux had prepared a paper on the subject on the issue and that meetings were held on this subject with the sponsors of the resolution.

In a recommendation on the preliminary study on ways and means to further advance the rights of people working in rural areas (A/HRC/AC/6/L.5), adopted without a vote, the Committee submits herewith to the Human Rights Council the preliminary study on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. It recommends that the Human Rights Council authorizes the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to request all stakeholders to give their views and comments on the preliminary study. It also recommends that the Council considers requesting the Advisory Committee to organize a seminar entitled: “Rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas: the need for a new instrument” to be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva two days before the Committee’s seventh session, without financial implications for the United Nations. A concept note for the seminar is attached to the recommendation.

JOSE ANTONIO BENGOA CABELLO, Advisory Committee Expert, presented the recommendation and said that the text proposed to submit the preliminary study to the Council, and requested to hold broad consultations with all relevant stakeholders and to hold a seminar on the subject. They had had a discussion with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to look at the feasibility of holding this panel. It seemed that funds would be available to hold this panel this August.

In the ensuing discussion, Advisory Committee Experts said that while the drafting group of the right to food was the initiator of the seminar other members of the Advisory Committee were welcome to participate.

Closing Remarks

In concluding remarks, Advisory Committee Experts noted that a number of members’ terms were coming to an end this March. While some members would run again for re-election, one member would not stay with the Advisory Committee; Mr. Emmanuel Decaux. Experts highlighted Mr. Decaux’s achievements and great contributions to the Committee. They also thanked the Chairperson for the way she had guided them in doing their work and for her excellent Chairmanship.

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