Committee to Review Reports of Finland, Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Kenya, Cyprus and Bulgaria
20 April 2017
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will hold its ninety-second session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 24 April to 12 May, during which it will review the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Finland, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Kenya, Cyprus and Bulgaria.
At the opening meeting on Monday, 24 April, 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 the reports submitted by the six States parties in the following order: the report of Finland on the afternoon of 25 and morning of 26 April; the report of the Republic of Moldova on the afternoon of 26 and morning of 27 April; the report of Armenia on the afternoon of 27 and morning of 28 April; the report of Kenya on the afternoon of 2 and morning of 3 May; the report of Cyprus on the afternoon of 3 and morning of 4 May; and the report of Bulgaria on the afternoon of 4 and morning of 5 May 2017.
In addition to considering the reports, 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, and will also meet with States parties to the Convention. In closed meetings, the Committee will consider communications received under article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The reports and other documents before the Committee, including the programme of work, are accessible on the session webpage.
Finland is presenting its twenty-third periodic report CERD/C/FIN/23. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined twentieth to twenty-second periodic report, considered in August 2012, can be found in CERD/C/FIN/CO/20-22.
The Republic of Moldova is presenting its combined tenth to eleventh periodic report CERD/C/MDA/10-11. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined eighth to ninth periodic report, considered in March 2011, can be found in CERD/C/MDA/CO/8-9.
Armenia is presenting its combined seventh to eleventh periodic report CERD/C/ARM/7-11. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic report, considered in February and March 2011, can be found in CERD/C/ARM/CO/5-6.
Kenya is presenting its combined fifth to seventh periodic report CERD/C/KEN/5-7. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined initial to fourth periodic report, considered in August 2011, can be found in CERD/C/KEN/CO/1-4.
Cyprus is presenting its combined twenty-third and twenty-fourth periodic report CERD/C/CYP/23-24. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined seventeenth to twenty-second periodic report, considered in August 2013, can be found in CERD/C/CYP/CO/17-22.
Bulgaria is presenting its combined twentieth to twenty-second periodic report CERD/C/BGR/20-22. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the nineteenth periodic report, considered in March 2009, can be found in CERD/C/BGR/CO/19.
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is the longest established of the main human rights treaties which marked its fiftieth anniversary last year. Its 178 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
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 1965, is the longest established of the main human rights treaties.
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 April 2017, the following 178 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, Sao Tome and Principe, 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, 24 April
10 a.m. Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Tuesday, 25 April
10 a.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
3 p.m. Report of Finland (CERD/C/FIN/23)
Wednesday, 26 April
10 a.m. Finland (continued)
3 p.m. Report of the Republic of Moldova (CERD/C/MDA/10-11)
Thursday, 27 April
10 a.m. Republic of Moldova (continued)
3 p.m. Report of Armenia (CERD/C/ARM/7-11)
Friday, 28 April
10 a.m. Armenia (continued)
3 p.m. Informal meeting with States parties (Palais des Nations, room XVII)
Monday, 1 May
10 a.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Tuesday, 2 May
10 a.m. Working methods (closed meeting)
3 p.m. Report of Kenya CERD/C/KEN/5-7)
Wednesday, 3 May
10 a.m. Kenya (continued)
3 p.m. Report of Cyprus (CERD/C/CYP/23-24)
Thursday, 4 May
10 a.m. Cyprus (continued)
3 p.m. Report of Bulgaria (CERD/C/BGR/20-22)
Friday, 5 May
10 a.m. Bulgaria (continued)
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Monday, 8 May
Tuesday, 9 May
Wednesday, 10 May
Thursday, 11 May
Friday, 12 May
10 a.m. Closed meeting
3 p.m. Close of the session
For use of the information media; not an official record