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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2006/4
3 August 2005

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sixty-second session
Items 4 and 18 of the provisional agenda


REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD
CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Note by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The High Commissioner for Human Rights has the honour to transmit to the members of the Commission on Human Rights the report of the twelfth meeting of special rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairpersons of working groups of the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and of the advisory services programme, which took place in Geneva from 20 to 24 June 2005.


REPORT OF THE TWELFTH MEETING OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS/

REPRESENTATIVES, INDEPENDENT EXPERTS AND CHAIRPERSONS
OF WORKING GROUPS OF THE SPECIAL PROCEDURES OF THE
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OF THE ADVISORY SERVICES
PROGRAMME

(Geneva, 20-24 June 2005)
Rapporteur: Sigma Huda

Summary



The twelfth annual meeting of mandate holders was held in Geneva from 20 to 24 June 2005. Participants at the meeting elected Philip Alston as Chairperson and Sigma Huda as Rapporteur.

During the meeting, mandate holders held meetings with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and with representatives of United Nations agencies and programmes. They also had a meeting with representatives of the Expanded Bureau of the sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights and a joint meeting with participants at the seventeenth meeting of persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies.

Pursuant to Commission decision 2005/113, to launch a discussion on enhancing the effectiveness of the special procedures system, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organized an informal meeting between representatives of Member States and of NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council to discuss issues related to the effectiveness of the special procedures system.

The mandate holders emphasized the importance of enhancing the effectiveness of the special procedures, both in terms of the functioning of each mandate and of the system as a whole. To this end the major focus of the meeting was the identification of specific measures which should be taken within the context of current discussions of reform of the Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary-General’s proposals for reform, and the OHCHR Plan of Action, as well as measures to enhance coordination among themselves, in order to better follow up on their findings and recommendations and to communicate more effectively.

The meeting also agreed to establish a coordination committee, whose principal role will be to contribute to the ability of the individual experts to carry out their mandates in the most effective way and to promote the standing of the special procedures system within the broader framework of the United Nations and its human rights programmes. It was agreed that the Coordination Committee for 2005/06 would consist of: Philip Alston (Chairperson of the twelfth meeting), Sigma Huda (Rapporteur of the twelfth meeting), Ghanim Alnajjar, Rodolfo Stavenhagen and Leïla Zerrougui.

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III. SHARING OF EXPERIENCES AMONG MANDATE HOLDERS

18. Under this agenda item, the mandate holders exchanged their experiences in fulfilling their respective mandates, including problems deriving from the lack of cooperation from certain Member States, the lack of information on specific situations, a lack of adequate resources, etc. Most of the points raised by the speakers addressed possible proposals to be made by the meeting in the context of the current reform of the United Nations and the ongoing discussions on enhancing the effectiveness of the special procedures. Those proposals are reflected in the reports of the four working groups (see below).

19. In the course of the discussions, a number of mandate holders raised specific issues of concern that the meeting felt should be reflected in its report to the Commission on Human Rights. In particular, the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health raised with the meeting the follow-up to the request by the eleventh annual meeting that the four mandate holders should together visit “those persons arrested, detained or tried on grounds of alleged terrorism or other violations, in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Guantánamo Bay military base and elsewhere, with a view to ascertaining … that international human rights standards are properly upheld with regard to these persons, and also to make themselves available to the authorities concerned for consultation and advice on all issues within their areas of competence” (E/CN.4/2005/5, annex I.A). At the end of the discussion, the meeting agreed to support their initiative to hold a press conference and issue a press statement on that situation.

20. Other issues addressed by several mandate holders were the following:

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Annex

LIST OF SPECIAL PROCEDURES OF THE COMMISSION
ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE MANDATE HOLDERS
INVITED TO ATTEND THE TWELFTH MEETING

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II. COUNTRY MANDATES

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Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 Mr. J. Dugard
...

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