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SUMMARY RECORD OF THE FIRST PART (PUBLIC)* OF THE 25th MEETING
Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva,
on Thursday, 16 May 2002, at 10 a.m.
Chairperson: Ms. BONOAN-DANDAN
1. The CHAIRPERSON welcomed the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and invited her to address the Committee.
2. Ms. ROBINSON (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) said that it was the last time that she was addressing the Committee in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights, since her mandate ended in September 2002. She was sorry to have missed the Day of general discussion on article 3 of the Covenant: equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the Covenant, and looked forward to being briefed on the debate. She stressed the importance of the statement by UNESCO on the rights-based approach to education and welcomed the fact that, for the first time, there had been a meeting between the Committee and States parties.
7. From the outset of its fifty-eighth session, the Commission on Human Rights had expressed its concern about the rapid deterioration of the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and in Israel. Many of the issues raised by the Commission had concerned economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to housing, the right to food and the right to health. She had expressed in strong terms her deep concern over both the suicide bombings in Israel and the military responses in the occupied Palestinian territory. Aware that the Committee’s pre-sessional working group would be preparing a list of issues with respect to the second periodic report of Israel, she suggested that the working group take into account the debates and resolutions of the Commission on that subject.