COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
560. In its concluding observations adopted at its forty-first session
(see A/47/18, paras. 265-266) the Committee requested further information
from the Government of Papua New Guinea on the situation in Bougainville,
in accordance with article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention. No information
was received in response to that request.
561. The Committee considered the implementation of the Convention
in Papua New Guinea, and, in particular, the situation in Bougainville,
at its 1007 meeting held on 17 August 1993 (see CERD/C/SR.1007).
562. Members of the Committee focused on the situation in Bougainville,
which is one of the State party's most resource-rich areas and had
the world's largest copper mine.
563. It was noted that on 17 May 1990 the Bougainville Revolutionary
Army (BRA) had proclaimed the island a republic and established a
new interim government. The Government of Papua New Guinea had rejected
that unilateral declaration of independence.
564. Members of the Committee expressed concern over statements by
the self-proclaimed government of Bougainville that numerous human
rights violations, including the torture of civilians, had been committed
by the forces of Papua New Guinea stationed in Bougainville. In that
regard, there had been reports that those forces had abused unarmed
Bougainvillains during the emergency which had been declared by the
Government, and that there had been indiscriminate killings of civilians
by members of the defence force, beatings of suspected rebel sympathizers
and search and destroy operations in villages near the copper mine
which had turned thousands of villagers into refugees.
565. Members of the Committee also noted with concern reports that
there had been large-scale human rights violations by members of BRA.
566. At its 1010th meeting, held on 19 August 1993, the Committee
adopted the following concluding observations.
(a) Principal subjects of concern
567. The Committee regretted that the State party had not fulfilled
its obligations under article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention, to
report regularly on the legislative, judicial, administrative and
other measures which had been adopted to give effect to the provisions
of the Convention. The Committee also regretted that no information
had been received pursuant to the request made at its forty-first
session for further information on the situation in Bougainville and
that no representative was present to respond to the questions and
comments of the Committee.
568. The Committee was concerned at reports of serious human rights
violations in Bougainville, including summary executions and population
569. The Committee was also concerned about large-scale mining operations
in Bougainville without due regard to the rights of the population
and the adverse effects of environmental degradation.
(b) Suggestions and recommendations
570. The Committee strongly recommended that the Government of Papua
New Guinea should resume its dialogue with the Committee by fulfilling
its reporting obligations under the Convention. In that regard, the
Committee reiterated its request for information on the ethnic composition
of the population and economic, social and cultural indicators pertaining
to the situation of the various ethnic groups; on legislative and
other measures taken under article 2 of the Convention to prohibit
racial discrimination; and, in particular, on developments in Bougainville.
The Committee suggested that the State party should avail itself of
the services of the Centre for Human Rights in the preparation of
571. The Committee suggested that the State party should cooperate
with international fact-finding missions which were seeking to assist
Papua New Guinea in the resolution of the conflict in Bougainville.
In that connection, the Committee stressed that due consideration
should be given to the principles contained in the Convention.
(c) Further action
572. The Committee expressed concern over reports on the human rights
situation prevailing in Bougainville and requested that information
concerning the human rights situation in the whole territory of Papua
New Guinea that was available to the Secretary-General should be shared
with the Committee.
573. The Committee expressed its willingness to accept any request
which might be made by Papua New Guinea to provide technical assistance
with a view to re-establishing a dialogue between the Government and
the groups currently controlling Bougainville.