Decisions adopted by the Committee at its fifteenth session : . 06/12/96.
Convention Abbreviation: CESCR
B. Decisions adopted by the Committee at its fifteenth session
Programme of action for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
389. The Committee takes note of the various formal and informal discussions that have been held in relation to the preparation of a programme of action for the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It recognizes the importance of adopting a comprehensive programme to be forwarded to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for consideration by all the relevant bodies within the human rights domain. At its fifteenth session, the Committee authorized its Chairperson to draw up such a programme of action, taking full account of its discussions at successive sessions and encompassing the full range of measures necessary to ensure that adequate attention is given to the commitment to promote respect for the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to the central role to be played in that regard by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It decided that the programme of action should be completed immediately after its fifteenth session and included in its report to the Economic and Social Council (see annex VII).
Special rapporteur on economic, social and cultural rights
390. The Committee recommends that the Commission on Human Rights, at its fiftythird session, give consideration to the appointment of a special rapporteur on economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee notes that, while there are a large number of thematic and related mechanisms dealing with different aspects of civil and political rights, there is none dealing solely with the economic, social and cultural rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, despite the acknowledged interdependence, indivisibility and interrelatedness of the two sets of rights.
Matters for special attention
391. The Committee took note of a wide range of correspondence, documentation and other materials provided to it by various sources in relation to its work and decided that letters should be sent by its Chairperson to the Governments of Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Israel, Nigeria and Switzerland in relation to those matters identified by the Committee as warranting special attention.
Draft optional protocol
392. The Committee devoted several meetings at its fifteenth session to consideration of a further report prepared at its request by Mr. Philip Alston on the question of a draft optional protocol to the Covenant (see para. 367 above). At its 55th meeting on 6 December 1996, it adopted its final report on this issue (E/CN.4/1997/105, annex) and submitted it to the Commission on Human Rights for consideration at its fiftythird session. The report is reproduced in annex IV below.
Revision of annual report
393. The Committee requested its Chairperson to revise and update the chapter of its annual report entitled "Overview of the present working methods of the Committee" so as to reflect the changes in its current procedures. A brief section describing the origins and role of the Committee should also be included.
Draft guidelines on structural adjustment
394. The Committee took note of the report presented to it by three of its members Mr. Ceausu, Mr. Grissa and Mr. Marchan Romero in relation to the request to the Committee by the Commission on Human Rights to comment on the proposal to draft guidelines relating to structural adjustment. It requested its Chairperson to forward those views to the Commission on Human Rights.
395. The Committee decided that its day of general discussion at its sixteenth session would be devoted to consideration of the revision of its reporting guidelines. In this context, particular account will be taken of the implications to be drawn from the programmes adopted by the Beijing, Copenhagen, Cairo and other relevant international conferences, as well as the consequences of the various general comments adopted by the Committee since 1989.
396. The Committee also agreed to resume its consideration of the draft general comment on forced evictions and to move as soon as possible to discuss other pending draft general comments.
Mr. Alexandre Muterahejuru
397. The Committee recalls the letter sent on its behalf in July 1996 to the President of Rwanda, as well as the letter sent in September 1996 by the Chairpersons of all six of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies, requesting that urgent consideration be given to the case of Mr. Alexandre Muterahejuru, a former ViceChairperson and highly valued member of the Committee who has been detained in Kigali prison since November 1994. The Committee reiterates its request to the Government of Rwanda and notes its appreciation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for his involvement in relation to the case. The Committee expresses its most profound wish that no effort be spared to ensure that justice is done in relation to this case.
Office facilities for members of treaty bodies
398. The Committee recalls that, since 1988, it has asked for basic office facilities to be made available for the use of members of the treaty bodies when they are meeting in Geneva. It notes with appreciation that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights finally broke the impasse in late 1996 and succeeded in having an office set aside for the use of treaty body members, special rapporteurs, etc.
Departing members of the Committee
399. The Committee expresses its deep gratitude to five of its members who will be leaving it at the end of 1996. They are Ms. Madoe Virginie Ahodikpe, Mr. Juan Alvarez Vita, Mr. Bruno Simma, Ms. Chikako Taya and Ms. Margerita Vysokajova. All five contributed very significantly to the work of the Committee.