General Assembly of the United Nations
Social, Humanitarian & Cultural - Third Committee

Social, Humanitarian & Cultural

Third Committee

The Third Committee of the General Assembly at its seventy-first session, is chaired by H.E. Ms. María Emma Mejía of Colombia.

The General Assembly allocates to the Third Committee, agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.

As in previous sessions, an important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006. In October and November 2016, the Committee will hear and interact with over 50 special rapporteurs, independent experts, and chairs of working groups as mandated by the Human Rights Council.

The Committee also discusses questions relating to the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination.  In addition, the Committee addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.

At the seventieth session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered over 65 draft resolutions, more than half of which were submitted under the human rights agenda item alone.  These included three so-called country-specific resolutions on human rights situations.

The Third Committee is expected to consider a similar number of draft resolutions during the present session of the General Assembly.

In line with General Assembly resolution 66/246, the formal meetings of the Third Committee are webcast live on UN Web TV.  Live coverage of the formal meetings is available in the six official languages of the United Nations, including the original language of the speaker.  Past meetings of the session will also be available from the Committee's dedicated video archives.

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