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COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CONCLUDES ITS NINETY-FOURTH SESSION

Adopts Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Reports of Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Jordan, Serbia and Slovakia
8 December 2017

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this afternoon concluded its ninety-fourth session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Jordan, Serbia and Slovakia, which were considered during the session.

The concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee are available on the Committee’s webpage.

Anastasia Crickley, outgoing Committee Chairperson, in her closing remarks, said that the Committee had held a very productive session, having reviewed six countries. Some progress had been found in each of the countries, but major outstanding issues remained, particularly racial profiling and the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in all countries, and the rights of Roma in some of the countries. The Committee had also addressed the concerns of indigenous peoples and the structural discrimination they faced.

The Committee had adopted lists of issues prior to reporting for the Bahamas and Mali, and it had reviewed the follow-up reports from the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. On 29 November, the Committee had held a thematic discussion “Racial discrimination in today’s world: racial profiling, ethnic cleansing and current global issues and challenges.” A clear thread on racial profiling ran through many of the interventions during the discussion.

Under the early warning measures and urgent procedures, Ms. Crickley said the Committee had considered Myanmar, which was not a State party to the Convention. The Committee had called on Myanmar to ratify the Convention in light of the discrimination and denial of identity of the Rohingya people. The Committee had also considered the current situation in Libya and the enslavement of migrants. It had addressed its concerns to the whole of international community, to the European Union, Libya and neighbouring countries.

Ms. Crickley acknowledged the significant contribution of the secretariat to the Committee’s work, as well as the contributions of outgoing Committee members Anwar Kemal, Melhem Khalaf, Afiwa-Kindena Hohoueto, and Jose Alves Lindgren. She then handed over the chairing of the Committee to Committee Expert Jose Francisco Cali Tzay.

Mr. Cali Tzay acknowledged the work of outgoing Committee members, expressing hope that they would maintain their friendships. Quoting former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he noted that the Committee had to grapple ignorance and fanaticism with knowledge, and that racism could be and had to be defeated.

Committee members then took turns to pay tribute to their outgoing colleagues Anastasia Crickley, Anwar Kemal, Melhem Khalaf, Afiwa-Kindena Hohoueto, and Jose Alves Lindgren.

The ninety-fifth session of the Committee will be held from 23 April to 11 May 2018, during which it will review the reports of Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Sweden on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

For use of the information media; not an official record

CERD17/039E