HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HOLDS MEETING ON WORKING METHODS
28 October 2011
The Human Rights Committee held a meeting this afternoon on its working methods, including proposed amendments to rules of procedure, a discussion on the next General Comment and a dialogue on the United Nations greening policy for a reduction in the use of paper.
The Committee unanimously adopted amendments to Article 70 of the Committee’s rules of procedure, meaning any examination of a State party in the absence of a report should take place in a public meeting. A member suggested they act in harmony with other treaty bodies, adding that a State should not exploit the ambiguities that rules of procedure currently extended to it. There was a difference to how a State spoke in public, and how it expressed itself in private; the rule had to be amended to benefit from greater transparency in the Committee. A member said that thanks to video and media coverage, persons around the world could follow the work of the Committee, and it would be advantageous to have as many public meetings as possible.
A member proposed that in future the Committee hold a public day of General Discussion in line with the practice of other treaty bodies, in which they invited specialists and States parties to a dialogue on the topic of the General Comment. The Committee agreed to decide on the proposal at the next session.
The Committee discussed the United Nations greening policy, which had been strongly promoted by both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Members discussed which documents needed to be distributed in hard copy, and which would be only available in digital format and on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Committee will hold its next public meeting on Monday, 31 October at 3 p.m. when it will hear the progress report of the Rapporteur on the follow-up to concluding observations and recommendations.
For use of the information media; not an official record