Human Rights Council Advisory Committee completes session
Friday, 14 August 2009 08:48


The Human Rights Council Advisory Committeemet for its third session from 3 to 7 August 2009 in Geneva. It was the first session in which allof the members of the Advisory Committee were present.  Ms Halima Warzazi of Morocco waselected as the new chairperson and led the discussion on various importantissues.  Highlights included thediscussions on the draft declaration on human rights education and training andon the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy andtheir families.  The former is nearingthe final stages of discussion and the latter was adopted by the AdvisoryCommittee and will be presented to the Council at its next session in September.  Despite limited involvement in other issues,both of these topics generated participation from various States,nongovernmental organisations as well as national human rights institutions.

Additionally, the Advisory Committee spentconsiderable time finalising its rulesof procedure and methods of work. The members were eager to not restrictthemselves with too many rules, and wanted the rules to allow for a great dealof flexibility in their work.  After muchdebate, the Advisory Committee was able to adopt a set of rules andprocedures.  Other topics discussedincluded missing persons, the right to food, as well as an examination ofpossible new priorities such as the human rights of the elderly and thepromotion of the right to peace. 


A statement by the delegation of Pakistan on thelast day of the session again stirred debate about the mandate of the AdvisoryCommittee.  Pakistan noted that it hadpreviously advocated for the formation of the Advisory Committee; however, itfelt that the body should not exceed its mandate by taking new initiatives.  This statement came in light of the AdvisoryCommittees decision to identify and present to the Council various newpriorities that it considers important. The Advisory Committee acknowledged the concerns of Pakistan and emphasisedthat it did not threaten the work of the Human Rights Council in any way.    


The Advisory Committee will hold its fourthsession from 25 to 29 January 2010.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 03:07
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