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Human Rights Council Advisory Committee concludes eighteenth session

ROUNDUP

GENEVA (24 February 2017) - The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee today concluded its eighteenth session, which was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 20 to 24 February 2017.

At the closing meeting on 24 February, the Advisory Committee, a body of 18 independent experts serving as a think-tank to the United Nations Human Rights Council, adopted draft decisions on the four thematic issues currently under consideration: the elimination of discrimination against persons with leprosy and their family members (Human Rights Council resolution 29/5); unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents (Human Rights Council resolutions 29/12 and 33/7); the negative impact of the flow of funds of illicit origin and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights (Human Rights Council resolution 31/22); and regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights (Human Rights Council resolution 32/115).

The Committee also decided to submit a new research proposal on the "destruction of cultural heritage and its effects on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights" to the Human Rights Council for its consideration.

With regard to the elimination of discrimination against persons with leprosy and their family members, the Advisory Committee took note of the draft final report on the implementation of the Principles and Guidelines for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy, submitted by the drafting group to the Advisory Committee at its current session; and adopted the draft final report ad referendum and entrusted the Rapporteur with its finalization, with a view to submitting the final report to the Council at its thirty-fifth session.
 
On the issue of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, the Committee took note of the draft final report on the research-based study on the global issue of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights submitted by the drafting group to the Advisory Committee at its eighteenth session; and requested the drafting group to finalize the report to the Human Rights Council in light of the discussion held by the Advisory Committee at its current session, after circulating it electronically to all members of the Advisory Committee for approval, with a view to submitting it to the Council at its thirty-sixth session.
 
Concerning the negative impact of the flow of funds of illicit origin and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, the Advisory Committee took note of the draft progress report on the research-based study on the impact of the flow of funds of illicit origin and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights submitted by the drafting group at its current session; and requested the drafting group to finalize the progress report to the Human Rights Council in light of the discussion held by the Advisory Committee at its current session, after circulating it electronically to all members of the Advisory Committee for approval, with a view to submitting it to the Council at its thirty-sixth session.

Finally, regarding regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights, the Advisory Committee took note of the draft preliminary report on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights submitted by the drafting group at its current session; requested the drafting group to recirculate the questionnaire to seek the views of Member States, as appropriate, relevant international and regional organizations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders that did not respond to the questionnaire, in order to allow for better informed work; and also requested the drafting group to submit a draft progress report to the Advisory Committee at its nineteenth session, taking into account the discussion held by the Advisory Committee at its current session, with a view to submitting a final report to the Council at its thirty-ninth session.
 
In an address to the Advisory Committee at the beginning of the session, on 20 February, Adam Abdelmoula, Director of the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), congratulated three newly elected members of the Committee:  Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria), Mona Omar (Egypt) and Xinsheng Liu (China).  Mr. Abdelmoula noted with satisfaction that a discussion on how to integrate a gender perspective in the Committee’s studies had been included in the agenda of the session.  He informed that the Secretariat had, for the first time, organized a dialogue between the Experts of the Committee and the 11 government officials from Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States supported by the Trust established by the Council.
 
On 23 February, the Advisory Committee held, for the first time, a discussion with 11 delegates supported by the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States (LDCs/SIDS) in the work of the Human Rights Council.  The LDCs/SIDS delegates came from the following States: Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Timor Leste, Tonga and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Advisory Committee adopted its session report.

Documentation relating to the eighteenth session can be found on the session’s webpage.

The nineteenth session of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee will be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 7 to 11 August 2017.

Background

The Advisory Committee is a body of 18 independent experts serving as a think-tank to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). It was established in 2008, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, to provide studies and research-based advice, as requested by the Council, and meets twice annually. The Committee’s work is implementation-oriented and follows thematic issues linked to the mandate of the Council, namely, the promotion and protection of all human rights. It interacts with States, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and other civil society bodies.

Membership

The membership of the Advisory Committee conforms to the following geographical distribution guidelines set out in its establishing resolution: five members each from African and Asian States; three each from Latin American and Caribbean States, and Western European and other States; and two members from Eastern European States.
Following is the list of members of the Advisory Committee and expiration dates for their respective terms of office:

Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Alsheddi (Saudi Arabia, 2018); Mohamed Bennani (Morocco, 2017); Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (France, 2017); Lazhari Bouzid (Algeria 2019); Mario Luis Coriolano (Argentina, 2018); Carla Hanania de Varela (El Salvador 2019); Mikhail Lebedev (Russian Federation, 2019); Xinsheng Liu (China 2019); Kaoru Obata (Japan, 2016); Obiora Chinedu Okafor (Nigeria, 2017); Mona Omar (Egypt 2019); Katharina Pabel (Austria, 2018); Anantonia Reyes Prado (Guatemala, 2017); Changrok Soh (Republic of Korea, 2017); Ahmer Bilal Soofi (Pakistan, 2017); Imeru Tamrat Yigezu (Ethiopia, 2018); and Jean Ziegler (Switzerland, 2019).

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For use of the information media; not an official record