COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

General discussion on a draft general comment on article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and other provisions of article 15 on the relationship between science and economic, social and cultural rights


Geneva, 9 October 2018 – Palais des Nations, room XVI

During its 64th session, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will hold a day of general discussion on article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and on other provisions of article 15 on the relationship between science and economic, social and cultural rights.

Article 15
(1)(b)   The States parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone (b) to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.
(2)  The steps to be taken by the States parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of science […].
(3) The States parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research […].
(4) The States parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and cooperation in the scientific […] field.

Objective of the general discussion

The discussion day is part of a consultative process in the context of the drafting of a general comment on the article. While the Committee has had a number of informal consultations with interested parties on this project, the discussion day will provide an opportunity to receive inputs from a wider range of stakeholders. The future general comment aims to provide authoritative guidance to States parties on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with the right.

Agenda

The day of general discussion will revolve around specific questions relating to the normative content of the right, States obligations, limitations and obligations of actors other than States, among others. The agenda will be developed in consultation with key partners and will be available on the webpage of the Committee in due course.

Date and venue

The discussion will take place during a plenary meeting at Palais des Nations, room XVI, on Tuesday 9 October 2018, 10am – 1pm and 3pm – 6pm. Interpretation will be provided in the working languages of the Committee (English, French or Spanish).

Participation

Representatives wishing to participate the meeting should request accreditation by 8 October 2018 via the page of the Committee’s session on UNOG’s conference management platform. The number of persons per organization may be limited due to the constraints of space.

Oral interventions

It is envisaged that during the general discussion, time will be allocated for oral statements and for discussion. Participants wishing to make an oral statement should indicate the intention to do so by email to cescr-science@ohchr.org by 5 October 2018. Statements will be limited in time, taking into account their scope and the total number of requests. In any case, they should not exceed 5 minutes. Although the Committee will try to accommodate all requests, it cannot guarantee that all speakers may be able to do so given the time constraints.

Written contributions

The Committee also invites written inputs in advance of the general discussion. Written contributions should be sent electronically in Word format to the Secretariat (cescr-science@ohchr.org). Submissions should be in one of the working languages of the Committee (English, French or Spanish) must not exceed 5 pages and be transmitted by 5 October 2018. The Secretariat will not be in a position to translate the written submissions.

Outcome

Following the discussion, the Committee’s rapporteurs for the draft general comment will consider the information obtained as they further develop document which will be presented to the Committee for reading in closed session and adoption.

Documentation

Written submissions

Country-specific information