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COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS HOLDS FIFTIETH SESSION FROM 29 APRIL to 17 MAY
Experts to Review Reports of Japan, Iran, Jamaica, Azerbaijan, Togo, Rwanda and Denmark
25 April 2013

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will meet at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 29 April to 17 May to examine measures taken by Japan, Iran, Jamaica, Azerbaijan, Togo, Rwanda and Denmark to comply with the standards of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The session will be opened on Monday, 29 April with an address from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or her representative.  The Committee will then elect its Chairperson and Bureau, adopt its agenda and discuss organizational matters and its methods of work.  In the afternoon meeting, the Committee will hear information from non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions with respect to the reports that it will review during the session.

Six of the seven countries presenting reports have been reviewed by the Committee before.  Japan is presenting its third periodic report (E/C.12/JPN/3) and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the second periodic report, reviewed in September 2001, can be found in (E/C.12/1/Add.67).  Iran is presenting its second periodic report (E/C.12/IRN/2) and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, reviewed in May 1993, can be found in (E/C.12/1993/7).

Jamaica is presenting its combined third and fourth periodic report (E/C.12/JAM/3-4), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the second periodic report, which was reviewed in November 2001, can be found in (E/C.12/1/Add.75).  The Committee is considering the third periodic report of Azerbaijan (E/C.12/AZE/3) and its concluding observations and recommendations on the second periodic report, which was considered in December 2004, can be found in (E/C.12/1/Add.104).

Rwanda is presenting its combined second to fourth periodic report (E/C.12/RWA/2-4), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, which was reviewed in February 1989, can be found in (E/C.12/1989/5).

Denmark is presenting its fifth periodic report (E/C12/DNK/5), and the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fourth periodic report, which was considered in December2004, can be found in (E/C.12/1/Add.102).

Togo is presenting its initial report.

The main documents before the Committee in respect to these countries are accessible from the Committee’s web page for the current session.  At the end of the session, the concluding observations of the Committee on each State party will also be accessible on this site.

The dialogues are also webcast (in one language) at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/ where archives are also available. 


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The General Assembly adopted and opened the Covenant for signature, ratification and accession in 1966.  It entered into force on 3 January 1976.

Article 1 of the Covenant states that the right to self-determination is universal, and calls upon States to promote the realization and respect of that right.  Article 3 reaffirms the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all human rights and enjoins States to make that principle a reality.  Articles 4 and 5 provides safeguards against the destruction or undue limitation of any human right or fundamental freedom, and against misinterpretation of any provision of the Covenant as a means of justifying infringement of a right or freedom or its restriction to a greater extent than provided in the Covenant.  They also prevent States from limiting rights already enjoyed within their territories on the ground that such rights are not recognized, or recognized to a lesser extent, in the Covenant.

Articles 6 to 15 recognize the right to work; to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work; to form and join trade unions; to social security, including social insurance; to the widest possible protection and assistance for the family, mothers, children and younger persons; to an adequate standard of living; to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; to an education and to take part in cultural life.

The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is an international treaty establishing complaint and inquiry mechanisms for the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 2008, and opened for signature on 24 September 2009.  As of 5 February, the Optional Protocol has 42 signatories and 10 Parties, having been ratified by Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mongolia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Uruguay.  It will enter into force  on 5 May 2013.

States Parties to the Covenant

The Covenant has been ratified or acceded to by 160 States: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, 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, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Committee is composed of the following 18 Experts: Aslan Khuseinovich Abashidze (Russian Federation); Mohamed Ezzeldin Adel-Moneim (Egypt); Clement Atangana (Cameroon); Maria-Virginia Bras Gomes (Portugal); Jun Cong (China); Chandrashekhar Dasgupta (India); Zdzislaw Kedzia (Poland); Azzouz Kerdoun (Algeria); Mikel Mancisidor (Spain); Jaime Marchan Romero (Ecuador); Sergei Martynov (Belarus); Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay (Mauritius);Lydia Carmelita Ravenberg (Suriname); Renato Zerbini Ribeiro Leao (Brazil); Waleed Sadi (Jordan); Nikolaas Jan Schrijver (Netherlands); Heisoo Shin (Republic of Korea); and Alvaro Tirado Mejia (Colombia). 



Programme of Work

Monday, 29 April

10 a.m.         Opening of session

3 p.m.          Meeting with non-governmental organizations
 

Tuesday, 30 April

10 a.m.         Third periodic report of Japan

3 p.m.          Japan (continued)


Wednesday, 1 May

10 a.m.         Second periodic report of Iran

3 p.m.          Iran (continued)


Thursday, 2 May

10 a.m.         Third to fourth periodic report of Jamaica

3 p.m.          Jamaica (continued)


Friday, 3 May

10 a.m.         Third periodic report of Azerbaijan
 
3 p.m.          Azerbaijan (continued)


Monday, 6 May

10 a.m.         Meeting with non-governmental organizations
 
3 p.m.          Initial report of Togo


Tuesday, 7 May

10 a.m.         Togo (continued)

3 p.m.          Togo (continued) 


Wednesday, 8 May

10 a.m.         Second to fourth periodic report of Rwanda

3 p.m.          Rwanda (continued)

Thursday, 9 May

Official United Nations Holiday


Friday, 10 May

10 a.m.         Fifth periodic report of Denmark

3 p.m.          Denmark (continued)


Friday, 17 May 

10 a.m.         (closed)

p.m.             Public closing of the session


For use of the information media; not an official record

ESC13/001E