mercredi 30 janvier 2008

Panel Discussion on resolution on Human Rights Voluntary Goals by Brazil

(Timor is co-sponsor)
Tuesday January 29th.

The aim of the meeting was to hear views from the co-sponsors about the Panel planed by the resolution.
The Brazilian delegate has several questions:
- Date, time and duration of the panel,
- representation of the panel,
- composition of the panel,
- outcome of the panel,
- title of the panel.

Date: the chair proposed 2 dates. 1st: 4th oh March during the High Level Segment because several ministers would be here in Geneva for that event. 2nd: the morning of the 6th because the High Commissioner will present here report on the afternoon.

Delegations were flexible on both dates but finally choose the 4th of March. Because it is more appropriate, most of the ministers will be here either from 3 to 4 or from 4 to 5 of March. Plus, like Ecuador reminded, the resolution itself says on paragraph 2 that the panel should be convened during the HLS.

Time: the chair initially proposed to do it during lunch time from 1 to 3.

Delegations think that schedule is not good because, the panel will then be considered as a side even and they want it to be regular event put in the official calendar of the HRC. Spain then proposed to ask the President of the Council to do the 4th March session from 9 am to 12 am instead of 10 am to 1 pm, so that the panel will start at 12 am and finish by 2:30 pm or 3 pm.

Duration: will depend on the number of panelists.

Representation: the ideal would be 1 representative for each region since co-sponsors are from all 5 regions. Panama proposed personalities like Paolo Coelho, Desmond Tutu or Tony Blair as they are interested on these matters. But the chair answered that one should avoid political leaders in order not to create controversy.

Composition: the panel shall be composed by the 5 representatives, experts, and high level representatives, ministers ideally from the co-sponsors. They should be invited by the co-sponsors themselves. Ecuador asked whether there was a budget for these invitations or should it be paid by the countries. The chair responded that there is a budget for the panel but not for the invitation. The funds are to cover the translation.

Outcome: Ecuador answered that question by saying that the resolution itself says that the aim of the panel is to exchange points of views. So the discussion will follow after a presentation of a summary prepared by OHCHR.

Title: Panel on Human Rights Voluntary goals or something close to it.

Faye Ismaila Pedro

Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) 6th Session (21/01/08

Tuesday 29th January 2008

Introductory speech by the chairperson, his Excellency the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Mr. Dayan Jallatileka:
We should be able to resolve collectively the issues putted at forward at Durban. He appeals for consensus and compromise on these 4 days meetings. The chair reminded that the mandate of the IGWG has been extend for 3 years, until June 2009 by the Human Rights Council. And also that consultations had been hold by the different regional working groups so delegations within a same regional group should speak on one voice.

The main issue is the scope of the working group’s mandate:
- implementation of the DDPA.
- Set out : recommendations; prepare international instruments to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

He highly warned that the recommendations adopted would not be subject to discussion. The chairperson then gave the floor to the delegations.

Their were 2 tendencies:

Slovenia speaking on behalf of the EU (holding presidency for 6 month since January the 1rst) proposed that IGWG be postponed until the end of the Review Conference in 2009 and reminded that EU had already asked for it at the end of the 5th session of the IGWG. They said experts should have been present in this session. Slovenia added that it won’t agree to discuss issues that haven’t been dealt before, at the 1rst prep com, but only after the second one in April 2008. The delegate ended her speech saying that the programme of work wasn’t acceptable in its present form. EU member states comments are the following:
- the secretariat should brief delegation on the national implementation of the DDPA (Slovenia)
- there is a difference in the interpretation of the language of the recommendations. Seeking for interpretation from the chair (Belgium)
- clarification of the scope of the WG (Slovenia)
- how is it possible to have recommendations for future work (item 6) without even having had the prep com nor the Durban Review conference it self? (Sweden)
- one should not make a difference between item 3: Review of recommendations and 4 : Contribution to Durban review Conference (Austria)
- UK said that delegations should concentrate on issues were they have concensus.
- One should not politicize the issues (Belgium)

Egypt speaking on behalf of the African group declared that they do not understand why EU member states are asking the put the IGWG on hold as they are the one who asked the WG to participate to the review process of the implementation of the DDPA. Therefore they do agree that it would have been wise to have expert in this session. The substantive session of April 2008 is meant to summarize all the contributions made during previous consultation. So if we postpone this session, we won’t having nothing to do in April. African member states comments:
- the programme of work doesn’t meet the expectation of the group.
- Don’t agree to deal with issues that are not in the DDPA.
- IGWG is not an standing Committee, it just meets annually so it must not be postponed (South Africa)
- It would be advisable to come with clear proposal to the programme of work instead of jamming it (SA)
- One should bear in mind that there is a large volume of work that has not been done from the DDPA
- EU is trying to slow down the implementation process fainting to work on the matter of consensus. They are the one who politicize the issue (Zimbabwe).

Brasil Speaking on behalf of Grulac considers that the work of the WG should concentrate it self on his contribution to the preparation of the Review. Analyses and contribution of the WG should start from the work already done without excluding to discuss any issue related to the DDPA that are valuable. One shouldn’t ignore recommendations and views of the IGWG on the preparatory process. Comments by Grulac member states:
- It is not valuable to postpone the session (Argentina and Mexico).

All delegation of all groups agreed to say that recommendations should not be renegotiated but concretized and updated.

The matter of the programme of work led to the end of the session early in the afternoon. Some delegates went with the Chair and the secretariat to make up another one. The Chair then informed that he would come tomorrow with a new programme of work.

Faye Ismaila Pedro

lundi 21 janvier 2008

Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action 6th Session (21/01/08 to 01/02/08)

Opening Session.
21 January 2008.

The Secretariat invited delegations to present the nominations for the election of the Chairperson-Rapporteur.

China on behalf of the Asia Group proposed the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Mr. Dayan Jallatileka, former coordinator of the Asian group in 2007.

Egypt on behalf of the African group supported this nomination.

Their were neither other proposals nor any objections. So Mr. Jallatileka will be the chairperson of the WG.

After an introductory speech, he invited the delegations to adopt the agenda। There was no comments so he proposed, in order for the regional groups to meet, to adjourned the session until Monday 28th. Several delegations took the floor to express their willingness. And it had been soदेसिदेद


Human Rights Group of Friends

Facilitators for an Optional Protocol to the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. January 18th.

The meeting was held by Mr. Queiroz, the ambassador of the Permanente mission of Portugal in Geneva. The aim was to hear the point of view of Mrs. Catarina Albuquerque on the revised draft of the optional protocol and discuss about the main out standing issues. Mrs. C. Albuquerque is the chair-person of the working group on that optional protocol and she is coming from the foreign affaires ministry of Portugal.

According to Mrs. Albuquerque, the main issues are the following:
- the scope of the optional protocol: article 2.1
- article 8.4: the question of reservation that implies demands from all the delegations, deep reflection
- article 14: the trust funds. Egypt had clearly said in July that it wont go back on this issue.

The delegations were asked to give their opinion on any comments made by any other delegation.

Portugal delegate stated that the aim of Portugal was to brig economic social and cultural rights at the same level as politic and civil rights, adding that all of them were interrelated.

Belgium, Spain and Italy said not to see the add value of paragraphs 8.3 and 4 proposed by Egypt on behalf of the African group and ask how do Portugal was going to implement it? The fact that a country has the appreciation is an error, going against the UN Conventions
About article 14, the trust funds, Belgium delegate doesn’t think that the delegation would agree on the wording. One should add: “…countries don’t have any obligation…”

Mexico and Austria said not to be in favor of an “a la carte” approach. The delegate also asked about the mythology of the next meetings.

Mrs. Catarina Albuquerque answer for § 8.3, that one have to bare in mind the concerns of all the regional groups. It must be possible for any given country to go the regional organization and ask for reports matters that had already been dealt. She admits that perhaps “consult” is not a good word but the idea has to remain the same. If a country doesn’t has special rapporteur on an issue at stake, it must seek information from the regional organization.

On 8.4, she answered that the concept of unreasonableness would reduce the number of cases to only the outrageous one. Therefore this concept is unknown to the African group.

The role of the group of friends is to stimulate participation. The methodology for February is the following: go thought the text paragraph by §, from OP1 to PP26, isolate the hard topics for April then clean the text. April will depend on February. And one should do informal work between the two with delegations that are very concerned by the isolated topics.

Final comments:
- The minor issues in February and the major ones in April. Mrs. Albuquerque asked the delegation to be ready and to come with clear points of view.
- Professor Riddle will come again to Geneva and she will try to organize at least two meetings with him to discuss, to give delegations a chance to interchange ideas

FayeIsmaila Pedro

jeudi 17 janvier 2008

Conclusion of the Committee on the Right of The Child

In conclusion, Committee of the Right to the Child has put the following recommendations:

- Multisectorial approaches: Committee stresses Timor Leste to put a minimum implementation of measure in multisector. Government mustn’t choose one specific area but link all the priorities: education, health… Committee expects that Timor start immediately.
- Harmony with Convention legal framework: National commission for the Right to the Child can use to eliminate discrimination
- Education Issues: Quality of the school. Timor is a young country so you need to help children in priority. Investment in children: if you have limit resources.
- To set up a dialogue between every stakeholders (government, media, cabinet, civil society, UN Agencies, donors) for the Right to the Child.
- Registration issues (lack of data): Government will improve his program and priorities to strengthen all areas more easily with statistics (national program for statistics)
- Provide assistance to the children were soldiers and help to reintegrate civil life. Also parents need to know what happened with their children.
- Congratulation and encourage for Timor Leste to develop a stronger collaboration with civil society.