15 November 2013
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances closed its fifth session this afternoon after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the initial reports of Argentina and Spain.
At the closing meeting Emmanuel Decaux, Chairperson of the Committee, said that the Committee had had a constructive dialogue with Spain and Argentina, and had held a fruitful first meeting with the representative of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions. The Committee continued to engage with civil society and had adopted a roadmap which was intended to provide clear guidance for fruitful cooperation.
Alvaro Garce Garcia Y Santos, Committee Rapporteur, presenting the informal report of the session, said that during its two-week session, the Committee, which is responsible for reviewing how States implement the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, distributed responsibilities among Committee Members, finalized and adopted a document on engagement with civil society, and appointed Country Rapporteurs for Belgium, Paraguay and Armenia. It also approved the lists of issues on Germany and the Netherlands, whose reports would be considered during the sixth session.
The concluding observations for Argentina and Spain will be available this evening on the website of the Committee. The session report and other documents related to the fourth session can also be found on that webpage.
The sixth session of the Committee will be held in Geneva from 17 to 28 March 2014, during which the initial reports of Germany and the Netherlands will be considered.
Presenting the informal report of the fifth session, ALVARO GARCE GARCIA Y SANTOS, Committee Rapporteur, said that during this session a minute of silence was held to pay tribute to the victims of enforced disappearances. Among other things, the Committee had discussed Article 35 and its application, had distributed responsibilities among Committee Members, and had finalized and adopted the document on engagement with civil society.
In addition, Country Rapporteurs for Belgium, Paraguay and Armenia had been appointed, and it was also decided to send a note to States parties to ask them to submit reports. The sixth session would be held from 17 to 28 March in Geneva.
During this session, the Committee had adopted the concluding observations on Argentina and Spain. The lists of issues on Germany and the Netherlands were agreed. The Committee had also held a public meeting with non-governmental organizations on the process of implementation of the Convention, and had adopted in public a document on consultations with civil society.
During its sixth session, the Committee would discuss requests for urgent action, matters related to the methods of the Committee, interaction with stakeholders, ratification strategy, and other matters. It would also examine the reports of Germany and the Netherlands, and would consider a list of issues for the reports of Belgium and Paraguay and a thematic discussion on enforced disappearances and military justice.
EMMANUEL DECAUX, Chairperson of the Committee, in concluding remarks, said that the Committee had dealt with national reports, had had a constructive dialogue with Spain and Argentina, and had met with non-governmental organization representatives and other stakeholders. During this session the Committee had also held a fruitful first meeting with the representative of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions and had designated a Committee contact point, taking into account the specificities of national human rights institutions. The Committee continued to engage with civil society and had adopted a roadmap which was intended to provide clear guidance for fruitful cooperation.
In March 2014, the Committee would organize a thematic debate on the issue of military justice and enforced disappearances. An awareness seminar was scheduled to take place in Tunis in a few days, following a joint initiative of the Organisation Internationale de Francophonie and the Office of the High Commissioner. It was hoped that similar initiatives would soon follow in other regions of the world.
For use of the information media; not an official record