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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concludes its sixty-fifth session

Committee on Economic, Social and
 Cultural Rights

8 March 2019

Adopts Concluding Observations on the Reports of Estonia, Cameroon, Bulgaria, Mauritius, and Kazakhstan  

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this afternoon closed its sixty-fifth session during which it reviewed the reports of Estonia, Cameroon, Bulgaria, Mauritius, and Kazakhstan on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  The review of Slovakia, also scheduled for the session, was postponed to the Committee’s sixty-sixth session.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the eight countries considered during the session will be available on 11 March on the session’s webpage.  Press releases on the public meetings during which the reports were considered are available on the webpages of the United Nations Office at Geneva, while webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed here.

At the beginning of the session, the Committee elected by consensus Renato Zerbini Ribeiro Leão of Brazil as the Chairperson; Sandra Liebenberg of South Africa, Laura-Maria Craciunean-Tatu of Romania, and Shiqiu Chen of China as Vice-Chairs; and Olivier de Schutter of Belgium as the Rapporteur.

In his concluding remarks, Renato Zerbini Ribeiro Leão, Committee Chairperson, noted that once again, the Committee had had a busy session.  In addition to considering the reports of the State parties, the Committee had held formal and informal meetings with stakeholders, considered communications, discussed its working methods, and continued the preparations for the 2020 review of the treaty body system.  The Chair remarked that the dialogue with Bulgaria had been held on the basis of the list of issues prior to reporting, while the preparations with the dialogue with Estonia had been coordinated with the Human Rights Committee which held its own dialogue with this country a few days later, in order to reduce repetitions and increase effectiveness.  Under the Optional Protocol, the Committee had examined two communications, finding one inadmissible, while the other one was found to amount to a violation of the right to health, and had decided to discontinue the examination of four communications. 

The Committee had also adopted a statement on the pledge to “Leave No One Behind” in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was its input into the 2019 High-Level Political Forum to be held from 9 to 18 July in New York.  The Committee had further adopted a letter from the Chair on the celebrations of 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, while discussions had been initiated on a joint statement with the Human Rights Committee on article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights related to the right to freedom of association and assembly.  On 23 February, the Chair continued, an informal consultation on the drafting of a general comment on sustainable development had taken place.

During the session, the Committee had discussed its working methods, including the simplified reporting procedure, the approach to reprisals, as well as the preparation of a back-to-back review of State parties’ reports with the Human Rights Committee and the preparation of a coordinated list of issues prior to reporting.  The Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, had briefed the Committee on the Guiding Principles for human rights impact assessments for economic reform policies.

The sixty-sixth session of the Committee will be held from 30 September to 18 October 2019, during which the reports of Benin, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, Senegal, Slovakia, and Switzerland would be reviewed.

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For use of the information media; not an official record
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