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COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION TO HOLD ITS NINETY-FIRST SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 21 NOVEMBER TO 9 DECEMBER 2016

Committee to Consider Situation in Argentina, Uruguay, Togo, Portugal, Turkmenistan and Italy
17 November 2016

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will hold its ninety-first session at Palais Wilson in Geneva from 21 November to 9 December 2016, to review anti-discrimination efforts undertaken by Argentina, Uruguay, Togo, Portugal, Turkmenistan and Italy.

At the opening meeting on Monday, 21 November, the Committee will hear an address by a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and adopt its agenda and programme of work.

The Committee will review reports submitted by six States parties in the following order: the report of Argentina on the afternoon of 22 and morning of 23 November; the report of Uruguay on the afternoon of 23 and morning of 24 November; the report of Togo on the afternoon of 28 and morning of 29 November; the report of Portugal on the afternoon of 29 and morning of 30 November; the report of Turkmenistan on the afternoon of 30 November and morning of 1 December; and the report of Italy on the afternoon of 1 and morning of 2 December 2016.

In addition to considering the reports of the six State Parties, the Committee will hold public informal meetings with non-governmental organizations that will brief the Committee on the situation in the countries whose reports will be considered.  The Committee will also consider communications that have been submitted to it under article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in closed meetings.

The Committee’s dialogues with the delegations will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Palais Wilson – Ground floor. Live webcasts of these meetings can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

The reports that the Committee will review during the session as well as other documentation can be found on the Committee’s webpage.  The Committee’s findings, officially termed concluding observations, on the countries reviewed will be published on the same page after 9 December 2016.

Argentina is presenting its combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/ARG/21-23.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined nineteenth and twentieth periodic report, considered in February 2010, can be found in CERD/C/ARG/CO/19-20.

Uruguay is presenting its combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/URY/21-23.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixteenth to twentieth periodic report, considered in February 2011, can be found in CERD/C/URY/CO/16-20.

Togo is presenting its combined eighteenth and nineteenth periodic report CERD/C/TGO/18-19.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixth to seventeenth periodic report, considered in July 2008, can be found in CERD/C/TGO/CO/17.

Portugal is presenting its combined fifteenth to seventeenth periodic report CERD/C/PRT/15-17.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined twelfth to fourteenth periodic report, considered in February 2012, can be found in CERD/C/PRT/CO/12-14.

Turkmenistan is presenting its combined eighth to eleventh periodic report CERD/C/TKM/8-11.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic report, considered in February 2012, can be found in CERD/C/TKM/CO/6-7.

Italy is presenting its combined nineteenth and twentieth periodic report CERD/C/ITA/19-20.  The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixteenth to eighteenth periodic report, considered in March 2012, can be found in CERD/C/ITA/CO/16-18.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is the longest established of the main human rights treaties which this year marks its fiftieth anniversary. Its 177 States parties commit themselves to ending all forms of racial discrimination, which the Convention defined as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

The Committee, an 18-person expert body, monitors compliance with the Convention. It assesses to what extent each State party is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

This year, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination marks its fiftieth anniversary. It is the longest established of the main human rights treaties and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 1965.

The Convention entered into force on 4 January 1969. It defines racial discrimination as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

By signing up to the Convention, States parties commit themselves to condemn racial discrimination and to pursue, by all appropriate means and without delay, policies of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races. To that end, each State Party undertakes not to engage in any act or practice of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in conformity with this obligation; not to sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination by any persons or organizations; to take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists; to prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization; to encourage, where appropriate, integrationist multiracial organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers between races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division.

In accordance with article 4, States parties also undertake to condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination. States parties, by virtue of article 9, undertake to submit a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted and which give effect to the provisions of this Convention. To ensure the implementation and the respect of their obligations under the Convention by States parties, the Convention establishes the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to examine the reports presented by States parties.

In addition, as provided in article 14, a State Party may at any time declare that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of the rights set forth in this Convention. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State party that has not made such a declaration. To date 57 States parties have made a declaration under this article.

States Parties to the Convention


As of November 2016, the following 177 States are parties to the Convention: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Communications Under Article 14


Under article 14 of the Convention, the Committee considers communications from individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation by States parties of any of the rights set forth in the Convention, provided the States concerned have recognized the competence of the Committee in this regard. The following 58 States parties have already done so: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Membership of the Committee


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination is made up of the following 18 independent experts: Noureddine Amir (Algeria); Alexei Avtonomov (Russian Federation); Marc Bossuyt (Belgium); Jose Francisco Cali Tzay (Guatemala); Anastasia Crickley (Ireland); Fatimata-Binta Victoire Dah (Burkina Faso); Afiwa-Kindena Hohoueto (Togo); Anwar Kemal (Pakistan); Melhem Khalaf (Lebanon); Gun Kut (Turkey); Jose A. Lindgren Alves (Brazil); Nicolas Marugan (Spain); Gay Mcdougall (United States); Yemhelhe Mint Mohamed (Mauritania); Pastor Elias Murillo Martinez (Colombia); Verene Albertha Sheperd (Jamaica); Yanduan Li (China); and Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen (Mauritius).

Ms. Crickley is the Chairperson. The Vice Chairpersons are Mr. Amir, Mr. Cali Tzay and Mr. Khalaf.  Mr. Avnotonov is the Rapporteur.



Proposed Programme of Work


      Monday, 21 November
      10 a.m.
      Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda
      Dialogue with the United Nations entities (closed meeting)
      3 p.m.
      Intersession activities (closed meeting)
      Tuesday, 22 November
      10 a.m.
      Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
      3 p.m.
      Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of Argentina CERD/C/ARG/21-23
      Wednesday, 23 November
      10 a.m.
      Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of Argentina CERD/C/ARG/21-23
      3 p.m.
      Consultations with civil society
      Thursday, 24 November
      10 a.m.
      Closed session
      3 p.m.
      Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of Uruguay CERD/C/URY/21-23
      Friday, 25 November
      10 a.m.
      Combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic report of Uruguay CERD/C/URY/21-23
      3 p.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      Monday, 28 November
      10 a.m.
      Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
      3 p.m.
      Tuesday, 29 November
      10 a.m.
      3 p.m.
      Wednesday, 30 November
      10 a.m.
      3 p.m.
      Combined eighth to eleventh periodic report of Turkmenistan CERD/C/TKM/8-11
      Thursday, 1 December
      10 a.m.
      Combined eighth to eleventh periodic report of Turkmenistan CERD/C/TKM/8-11
      3 p.m.
      Friday, 2 December
      10 a.m.
      3 p.m.
      Communications (closed meeting)
      Monday, 5 December
      Closed session
      Tuesday, 6 December
      Closed session
      Wednesday, 7 December
      Closed session
      Thursday, 8 December
      Closed session
      Friday, 9 December
      10 a.m.
      Closed meeting
      3 p.m.
      Public closing of the session



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CERD16/025E