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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Concludes Seventy-Fifth Session after Adopting Concluding Observations on Reports of Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Mauritania, Romania and Sweden

01 March 2024

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this afternoon concluded its seventy-fifth session after adopting concluding observations on the reports of Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Mauritania, Romania and Sweden.

The concluding observations will be transmitted to the States and made available on the webpage of the session on the afternoon of Monday, 4 March.

Laura-Maria Craciunean-Tatu, Committee Chair, said that during the session, in addition to engaging with the six States parties, the Committee had considered follow-up reports, conducted work on communications under the Optional Protocol, and discussed draft and future general comments.

The Committee continued to engage with a wide range of stakeholders in person and also remotely outside of formal meeting time. It regretted that it was not currently possible to hold formal hybrid meetings. Ms. Craciunean-Tatu expressed thanks to all those who worked to promote and protect the rights enshrined in the Covenant and underlined that no one should be subject to reprisals for having cooperated or sought to cooperate with the Committee.

During the session, the Committee adopted assessments on the follow-up reports to concluding observations for Belgium and Kuwait. It urged other States to submit follow-up reports which were overdue or due. The assessments would be transmitted to the States concerned and made available publicly in the weeks to come.

Under the Optional Protocol, the Committee had adopted seven decisions relating to 26 individual communications. It found violations of the Covenant in one decision concerning two individual communications submitted against Italy, relating to the right to adequate housing of two families residing in occupied apartments. The Committee also decided to discontinue the examination of 24 individual communications against Spain, also concerning the right to adequate housing, for loss of contact with the authors.

Ms. Craciunean-Tatu expressed thanks to non-governmental organizations that attended the Committee’s annual meeting earlier this week, and in particular to the Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which facilitated and moderated the meeting. Exchanges with non-governmental organizations were extremely valuable, and the Committee hoped to engage with other organizations not based in Geneva remotely.

Next week, the seventy-fourth pre-sessional working group would meet with stakeholders and adopt lists of issues regarding the reports received from Angola, Georgia, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan and Sierra Leone.

The Committee would be adopting lists of issues at the next pre-sessional working group in October 2024 for Cabo Verde, North Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Tunisia and Turkmenistan.

Ms. Craciunean-Tatu encouraged States parties to submit reports under the regular reporting procedure, including long overdue reports, until the Committee was able to generalise its simplified reporting procedure and operationalise the eight-year predictable review cycle. This was not yet possible due to the lack of available resources. The Committee hoped that resources to ensure the sustainability of the treaty body system would soon be available.

The Committee had not yet held dialogues with 26 States parties that had not submitted their initial reports. The periodic reports of 81 States were also overdue, at least 32 of which for more than 10 years. The capacity building programme established pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/268 (2014) was available to offer support to States requiring technical assistance in this regard, including with respect to the establishment of national mechanisms for reporting implementation and follow-up.

In closing, Ms. Craciunean-Tatu thanked the Committee and all who had contributed to the busy and successful session. The Committee looked forward to, in its next session, holding dialogues with States, pursuing other work, and engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, which was very important for the promotion and protection of all the rights enshrined in the Covenant.

In its seventy-sixth session, to be held from 9 to 27 September 2024, the Committee will review the reports of Albania, Cyprus, Honduras, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi and Poland.

Produced by the United Nations Information Service in Geneva for use of the information media; not an official record.
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