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The Coordination Committee of Special Procedures aims to improve collaboration among mandate holders and serve as a link between them, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the broader UN human rights framework and civil society. Consisting of six special procedure mandate holders, the Committee also strives to enhance the overall standing of the special procedures system.

Established during the 12th Annual Meeting of special procedure mandate holders in 2005, the Coordination Committee’s mandate has evolved, particularly in response to developments at the Human Rights Council and the growing dialogue and cooperation among mandate holders.

The Committee is assigned various responsibilities, including:

  • Enhancing the effectiveness and independence of mandate holders and facilitating their work;
  • Advocating for the concerns of mandate holders during Human Rights Council discussions, ensuring the special procedures system’s considerations are taken into account, and reporting on related developments and progress;
  • Proactively identifying issues of concern for groups of mandates and facilitating collaborative action on cross-cutting issues or shared concerns;
  • Sharing information and keeping mandate holders informed about colleagues’ activities;
  • Facilitating the exchange of experiences regarding work methods among mandate holders;
  • Identifying innovative approaches to raise awareness about the special procedures and their work;
  • Encouraging states to cooperate with the special procedures;
  • Proposing a draft agenda for the Annual Meeting of the Special Procedures and presenting a report on the Committee’s activities to the meeting.
  • Managing the internal advisory procedure to review practices and working methods

Membership of the Committee

The Annual Meeting of Special Procedures, held annually in June, is responsible for electing the Coordination Committee. The outgoing Chair of the previous Coordination Committee continues as an ex-officio member for an additional year. During the election process, mandate holders consider the importance of achieving regional and gender balance, as well as ensuring equal representation of both thematic and country special procedures to the extent feasible.

The current members of the Coordination Committee are:

  • Isha Dyfan, Chair, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia
  • Richard Bennett, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan
  • Surya Deva, Special Rapporteur on the right to development
  • Priya Gopalan, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
  • Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • Tlaleng Mofokeng (ex-officio), Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

See the complete list of present and past members of the Coordination Committee.

The Special Procedures Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides support to the Coordination Committee in its endeavours.

Annual Meeting of Special Procedures

The Annual Meeting of Special Procedures provides a platform for mandate holders to engage with States, the Human Rights Council’s Bureau, civil society/non-governmental organisations (NGOs), national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and representatives from OHCHR and other United Nations entities. Additionally, participants aim to hold joint meetings with Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies in Geneva during the same period whenever feasible.

Since 1994, these annual meetings have been a regular occurrence. The significance of maintaining and strengthening the system of special procedures was underscored in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights. It emphasised the need for periodic meetings to enable the procedures and mechanisms to harmonise and rationalise their work (Part II, para. 95). The Commission and the Human Rights Council, through CHR resolution 2004/76, extended by HRC decision 2/102, requested the Office of the High Commissioner to organise these periodic meetings among the special procedures.

See more information on Annual Meetings.

In Focus