Coordination Committee of Special Procedures

I. FUNCTIONS

Coordination Committee meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. © OHCHR


The Coordination Committee (CC) is comprised of six Special Procedures mandate holders. Its main function is to enhance coordination among mandate holders and to act as a bridge between them and the OHCHR, the broader UN human rights framework and civil society. The CC equally seeks to promote the standing of the special procedures system.

The Coordination Committee was established at the 12th Annual Meeting of special procedures mandate holders in 2005. The mandate of the CC has evolved since its creation, especially in respect to developments at the Human Rights Council and increasing dialogue and cooperation between mandate holders.

The CC is, among others, tasked with:

  • Enhancing the effectiveness and independence of mandate holders and facilitating their work;
  • Raising the concerns of mandate holders in discussions of the Human Rights Council, in particular ensuring that the concerns of the Special Procedures system are taken into account, and reporting on the developments and progress in this regard;
  • Proactively identifying issues of concern to groups of mandates and facilitating joint action on cross-cutting issues or issues of shared concern;
  • Exchanging information and keeping mandate holders informed of the activities carried out by colleagues;
  • Facilitating the sharing of experience concerning methods of work among mandate holders;
  • Identifying innovative ways to raise awareness about special procedures and their work;
  • Encouraging States to cooperate with Special Procedures;
  • Proposing a draft agenda for the Annual Meeting of the Special Procedures and presenting a report on its activities to the Meeting.

II. MEMBERS AND SECRETARIAT

2018/2019: Mr. Dainius Puras (Chair), Mr. Jose Guevarra, Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, Mr. Bahame Nyanduga, Ms. Anita Ramasastry, and Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar as ex-officio.

The Coordination Committee is elected by the Annual Meeting of Special Procedures mandate holders, which takes place each June. The Chair of the previous Coordination Committee remains on the Committee for a further year, as ex-officio member. In electing the members of the Committee, mandate holders take into account the need for regional and gender balance, as well as for an equal representation of thematic and country special procedures, to the extent possible.

+ View full list of previous Coordination Committee members

The CC is supported in its work by the Special Procedures Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


III. OUTREACH (open letters, press releases and statements)

+Coordination Committee outreach archive


IV. ANNUAL MEETING OF SPECIAL PROCEDURES MANDATE HOLDERS

Annual meetings of special procedures mandate-holders have been organized since 1994. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights underlined the importance of preserving and strengthening the system of special procedures and specified that the procedures and mechanisms should be enabled to harmonize and rationalize their work through periodic meetings (Part II, para. 95). The Office of the High Commissioner was requested to organize periodic meetings among the special procedures by the Commission and Council (CHR resolution 2004/76, extended by HRC decision 2/102).

The annual meeting is also an opportunity for mandate holders to meet and exchange views with States, the Bureau of the Council, civil society/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national human rights institutions (NHRIs), and representatives from OHCHR and other United Nations entities on issues such as follow-up to their country visits and recommendations. Participants have, whenever possible, previously also held joint meetings with Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies in Geneva during the same period.

+ Read excerpts of the reports of the annual meetings of special procedures mandate-holders in relation to the role of the Coordination Committee.


V. ACTIVITIES

Since its establishment, the Coordination Committee discussed or took action in relation to a considerable amount of issues, including:

  • Institution-building process of the Human Rights Council: review of mandates and selection of mandate holders
  • Participation of mandate holders in regular and special sessions of the Human Rights Council
  • Special Procedures Annual Meetings: preparation of discussions on thematic issues and working methods
  • Implementation of the Code of Conduct of mandate holders
  • Working methods: Revision of the Manual of special procedures and Communications to Governments
  • Joint missions/reports
  • Interaction with Treaty Bodies, NGOs and UN/external partners
  • Briefings for Member States, regional groups and other groupings
  • Cooperation and consultations between mandate holders

For examples of activities of the Coordination Committee, click on the relevant topic below:

+ Selection and appointment procedure for mandate holders
+ Enhanced interaction between the Special Procedures and the Human Rights Council
+ Manual of special procedures 
+
Internal Advisory Procedure to Review Practices and Working Methods
+ Communications report
+ Contributions to the institution-building of the Human Rights Council
+Disclosure of external funds received by mandate-holders

In Focus

> Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Chairs of Working Groups held their 25th annual meeting in Geneva from 4 to 8 June 2018

> During their Annual Meeting, special procedures mandate holders  have elected a new Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, Mr. Dainius Puras

> The Coordination Committee of SP shared information about the work of SP that is deemed pertinent for the Security Council – March 2018

> Letter of the Coordination Committee to the Consultative Group on the selection process of special procedures mandate holders, 8 May 2018       

Accusations against UN expert a retaliation by Philippines, say fellow rapporteurs

>Statement of the Coordination Committee on the loss of Ms. Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran        

> Letter of the Coordination Committee to the Consultative Group on the selection process of special procedures mandate holders, 5 January 2018

> Statement of the Special Procedures on the occasion of Human Rights Say 2017: “The inseparability of peace, security, development and human rights

> Statement of the Coordination Committee at the 27th Special Session on the human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, 5 December 2017

> Letter of the Coordination Committee to the Consultative Group on the selection process of special procedures mandate holders, 1 November 2017

Letter of the Coordination Committee to the Consultative Group on the selection process of special procedures mandate holders, 12 July 2017

> Statement by the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures at the 26th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in South Sudan