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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS

RD/978
22 August 2003

Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination
Afternoon Round-Up

COMMITTEE ON ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CONCLUDES SIXTY-THIRD SESSION

Issues Observations on Reports of 11 Countries

(Reissued as received.)


GENEVA, 22 August (UN Information Service) -- The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this afternoon concluded its sixty-third session after examining reports by the governments of Albania, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Iran, Finland, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Norway, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom on how they implement the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.  Further, the Committee adopted conclusions on the situation in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and in Malawi under its review procedure which deals with countries who have never submitted a report or whose periodic reports are seriously overdue.

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Also during this session, the Committee adopted a declaration calling upon Israel to revoke its Temporary Suspension Order of May 2002, enacted into law as the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) on 31 July 2003, which suspends for a renewable one-year period, the possibility of family reunification, subject to limited and discretionary exceptions, in the cases of marriages between an Israeli citizen and a person residing in the West Bank or Gaza, and to reconsider its policy with a view to facilitating family unification on a non-discriminatory basis. 

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Decision -- Israel

The Committee was concerned about Israel’s Temporary Suspension Order of May 2002, enacted into law as the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) on 31 July 2003, which suspended for a renewable one-year period, the possibility of family reunification, subject to limited and discretionary exceptions, in the cases of marriages between an Israeli citizen and a person residing in the West Bank or Gaza.  The Committee noted with concern that the Suspension Order of May 2002 had already adversely affected many families and marriages.  The Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) raised serious issues under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Discrimination.  The State party should revoke this ban and reconsider its policy with a view to facilitating family unification on a non-discriminatory basis. 

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