Since its establishment in December 1968, the Special Committee has repeatedly been denied cooperation by the Government of Israel and access to the Occupied Territories. The Committee has none the less benefited from the cooperation and information provided by representatives from the Governments of countries visited. The information gathered during these hearings, from witnesses having first-hand and recent experience of the human rights situation in the occupied territories, from Governmental representatives, and from a wide range of other interlocutors is taken into account in the Special Committee's reports to the General Assembly. The Committee formulates conclusions containing its evaluation of the situation as well as recommendations.
The Special Committee was established by General Assembly resolution 2443 (XXIII). It is composed of three Member States: Sri Lanka (Chairman), Senegal and Malaysia. Sri Lanka is currently represented by Bernard A.B. Goonetilleke, Acting Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York. Senegal is represented by Mamadou Sow, Ambassador of that country in Cairo, Egypt. Malaysia is represented by Rastam Mohd Isa, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York.
The Special Committee's mandate was renewed for an additional year on 9 December 2003 by General Assembly resolution 58/96. The findings of the Special Committee are contained in its report to the General Assembly, document A/58/311 of 22 August 2003.