Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Daily summary of discussion at the third session
4 June 2004
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UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Ad Hoc Committee Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #9
June 4, 2004
Commenced: 10:17 AM
Recessed for informals: 10:48 AM
Reconvened: 11:15 AM
Adjourned: 12:55 PM
Procedural issues regarding the negotiating text for these last 2 sessions
were discussed at length. The Committee reached consensus to proceed
with the postponed reading of the Preamble of the WG draft text, instead
of Articles 1 and 2 of the “Non-paper” titled Consolidation of proposals
for Articles 1 and 2 of the Draft Text of the WG of the AHC (henceforth:
The Chair drew the attention of the Committee to Article
1, Purpose, of the Consolidated Text, and the Proposed Modifications
to the WG Text from which the Consolidated Text had been formulated
by a technical group. The Chair presented the Committee with 2 options:
to send the Consolidated Text to their home capitals for review, or
to proceed with comments on this Text at this time.
Ireland, on behalf of the European Union (EU) noted
while the Consolidated Text will be reviewed carefully by the EU, it
had some preliminary reactions to this. It reiterated its preference
for retaining the language in the WG draft text, because to “ensure,”
is stronger than to “promote, protect and fulfill” the full and equal
enjoyment of all human rights. Furthermore, grammatically, the “enjoyment”
of rights cannot be “fulfilled.”
South Africa, on behalf of Africa Group, called for
the consideration of items which were deferred until the next AHC meeting,
such as the Preamble, Monitoring, or structure. It needed to consult
its capital “before it can endorse a new process”. In taking this position
it highlighted the Group’s firm support for this Convention process
since its inception, when there was less consensus from other states.
Ireland (EU) took the position that the previous day's
decision to conclude this third session of the AHC with discussion of
Article 1 and 2 of the Consolidated Text should be followed. It is important
to take the negotiation process beyond what had already been achieved
in this first reading so as to make progress. The Committee had decided
to defer consideration of the Preamble and Monitoring topics until the
August AHC. It is inappropriate and counterproductive to change yesterday’s
Sierra Leone supported South Africa's proposal, without
prejudice to any other decisions made, because it views the Preamble
as vital. The AHC should at this stage take comments and amendments
on the Preamble, complete this, and proceed with a second reading in
Israel supported South Africa’s proposal and favored
proceeding with the remainder of the Draft Text of the WG, especially
Monitoring, the most important part of the Convention. It requests reconsideration
of yesterday’s decision to create momentum to advance this Convention.
Japan requested the Chair confer with the Bureau and
come to a decision, in order to avoid wasting time in the Committee
discussing procedural issues.
Mexico stated that yesterday’s decision to defer six
major clusters (title, structure, preamble, definitions, monitoring
mechanism, and final clauses) was not objected to by any delegation.
It is not prepared to discuss these issues since they were deferred.
Yesterday’s sole issue was whether today’s meeting would be open or
closed to NGOs. No one questioned the Chair’s proposal to begin negotiations
of Article 1 and 2. It does not support suspension of the meeting so
that the Bureau may meet yet again. The decision has been made to discuss
Article 1 and 2. It was now up to the Chair.
Russian Federation supported South Africa’s proposal
because States must take the first reading back to their capitals to
Burkina Faso supported South Africa because the AHC
decided, on the first day, to return later to the preamble, monitoring
Syria also supported South Africa because it has received
no direction from its capital about the Articles already discussed.
Jordan believed it was important to discuss Articles
1 and 2 as practice for next session as had been decided yesterday.
Some delegations have left. It inquired as to why States wanted input
from their capitals at this point because everything must be taken back.
Discussing procedural issues was taking up valuable time.
China favored a discussion of Articles 1 and 2 at
this session but expressed sympathy for South Africa’s proposal. The
text is new to many delegations. It hoped the Chair would consult the
Bureau to make future work go smoothly.
India agreed with South Africa’s proposal because
it believes it would be difficult to return to Articles 1 and 2 without
discussing all of the Convention first, including monitoring which is
key to implementation. It also needs to take the Proposed Modifications
back to its government before a second reading.
Yemen pointed out that it would take more time than
the AHC now has to discuss all the deferred issues. It is ready to take
part in any discussions, but some delegations have left so a full input
from the Committee would not be possible.
Eritrea supported South Africa and called on the AHC
to use its time fruitfully and end on a positive note.
Zambia also supported South Africa's proposal.
The Chair recessed to convene a meeting of the Bureau
aimed at reconciling these 2 views. Based on the majority support for
South Africa's proposal, the Bureau requested that the Committee rescind
yesterday’s decision to postpone the Preamble discussion, and join in
a consensus so that today’s work could move forward.
Mexico supported the Chair’s original decision and
will support today’s new decision. However, it expressed frustration
with the change in direction and the lack of consensus. It noted that
it could not participate meaningfully in today’s discussion due to lack
of notice and preparation.
Cuba supported the Chair’s proposal to move forward.
It also requested cessation of procedural discussions and future procedural
clarity to avoid waste of time and financial resources. It stressed
the importance of finalizing the work in the time allotted.
Yemen supported any decision made by the Chair. However,
discussing the Preamble today would not be efficient and, because many
delegations have left or have not had time to prepare, it would prevent
full participation on an important part of the Convention.
Israel supported continuing work on the Preamble as
proposed by the Chair, which might be difficult but would move the work
South Africa concurred that it was important to move
the work forward. It stated: “The African Group has no other agenda
except to ensure that finally PWD can enjoy their full human rights.”
EU expressed concern about the lengthy procedural
discussion, and the fact that some delegations have left when the AHC
was still continuing its work. It agreed to work on the Preamble in
the interest of progress, but expressed a preference for discussing
Articles 1 and 2 as agreed in the last session. It still insists that
NGOs be allowed to participate in discussions about Articles 1 and 2
and other matters.
Costa Rica supported the Chair, but expressed deep
concern about the decision. While ready to discuss the Preamble, Costa
Rica had concerns that reversing yesterday’s decision sets a precedent
of making exceptions to the rule on a procedural matter.
Ireland (EU) circulated its proposed amendments. The
Convention Title should read: “International Convention on the Full
and Equal Enjoyment of all Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by
Persons with Disabilities,” in order to focus on those ideas. In Preamble
(c), (P(c)), because PWD are already guaranteed the full enjoyment of
human rights under other Conventions, it proposed replacing “the need
for PWD to be” with “and that PWD are.” The revised paragraph would
read: “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility and interdependence
of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and that PWD are guaranteed
their full enjoyment without discrimination.” It proposed deleting from
P(d), “and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights
of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families,” because this
has not reached the same status as the others listed and is not a core
human rights document. In P(f), it proposed replacing “violation of”
with “affront to” because violations refer to rights not dignity. It
suggested replacing, in the first clause of P(h), “the efforts and actions”
with “these various instruments and undertakings.” It proposed replacing
P(i) with the language of footnote 4: “Recognising the importance of
international cooperation for improving the living conditions of PWD
in every country, in particular in the developing countries.” In P(j),
it suggested removing “and the eradication of poverty” because P(j)
already discusses significant advances in the human, social, and economic
development which includes eradicating poverty. In P(m), it proposed
the deletion of the words “forms of,” and inclusion of “sexual orientation”
in the list of multiple or aggravated discrimination. It suggested addressing
the particular problems women and girls with disabilities face in P(n)(bis):
“Recognising that women and girls with disabilities are often subject
to multiple discrimination and therefore suffer particular disadvantage.”
Additionally it proposed moving the first sentence of Article 12 into
the Preamble as P(n)(ter): “Recognising that PWD, in particular women
and girls, are at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of
violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment
or exploitation, including sexual exploitation and abuse.” The EU suggested
revising P(o) to read: “Recognising that a disproportionately large
number of PWD live in conditions of poverty and mindful of the need
to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on PWD.” In P(r), it suggested
replacing “the human rights of” with “the enjoyment of human rights
by” on the first line because existing human rights documents already
deal with the rights themselves, while this Convention deals with PWD
enjoying those rights; and deleting the word “social” on the third line
because there is no need to qualify the term “disadvantage”. It proposed
adding a new paragraph, P(s), as follows: “Recognising the particular
circumstances of the child with disabilities and that the child with
disabilities should enjoy the right to a full and inclusive life in
conditions that ensure dignity, promote self reliance and autonomy and
facilitate their active participation in the community.” It does not
support a separate article, but believes it is important in the Preamble.
Chile was not ready to address the Preamble, but commented
on the importance of recognising Conference against Racism, Xenophobia
and other Related Forms of Discrimination, which gave rise to this Convention.
In P(o), dealing with poverty, it proposed adding a reference to the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related to poverty. It also recommended
adding a reference to human development indices, since the Convention
is designed to raise the development indices of the entire population,
particularly of PWD.
The Holy See recommended, in the interest of completeness,
amending P(a) by inserting “worth” after “inherent dignity.” This wording
is taken from Preamble paragraph 2 of the UN Charter.
Thailand supported the WG Preamble, and suggested
adding to P(g), after “recognizing further the diversity of PWD,“ the
words "their needs and requirements.” It suggested changing "economical"
Russian Federation (RF) commented that the draft Convention
and Preamble only talks about rights of PWD, followed by the obligations
of States. The ICESCR takes into account “that each individual has obligations
with respect to other individuals and the society to which he belongs,
should seek encouragement and compliance of the rights set forth in
this Covenant.” Similarly, this Convention’s Preamble should recognize
the obligations or responsibilities of PWD. It also proposed inclusion
of ICESCR, Article 2 in the Preamble: “Each State must take full account
within its existing resources of measures to ensure gradual, full implementation
of the rights set forth in this Covenant by all possible and appropriate
Syria proposed an amendment to P(i), similar to the
EU's proposed amendment: “Recognizing that international cooperation
is important in improving the conditions and circumstances of PWD, especially
in the developing countries.” Because the present draft does not include
the realities and concerns of many delegations, the words “and foreign
occupation of the other’s territories and properties” should be inserted
after “armed conflict in P(p)."
Kenya proposed three new paragraphs. The first would
read: “Recognizing that many persons with disabilities suffer double
or multiple discrimination because of their status as children, women,
refugees or internally displaced, older persons, people living in rural
areas and people living in informal settlements.” The second would read:
“Noting with concern that there exists, in various parts of the world,
harmful cultural practices and beliefs that have continued to impact
negatively on the rights of PWD.” The third would read: “Recognizing
that HIV/AIDS impacts negatively on PWD in all spheres of life.”
Sierra Leone pointed out that procedural discussions
are necessary because they guide the AHC's actions and may help to avoid
problems. It supported the EU's proposed Convention title change, so
that it would read “The international convention on the protection,
promotion, and full enjoyment of the rights and dignity of PWD.” In
P(c), the words “be guaranteed” should be deleted. P(d) should remain
as it stands, notwithstanding the footnote and comments of the EU as
to the status of Convention on Migrant workers. It supported Thailand’s
proposal for P(g), and the EU’s proposals for P(i) and P(o). In P(m),
“age” should be inserted after “language,” because children tend to
be marginalized. In P(p), “situations of” should be deleted, “s” should
be added to “conflict,” making it “conflicts,” and “human” should be
deleted. In P(r), “full enjoyment of the rights of PWD” should be inserted
after “specifically with the” and insert “and economic” after “profound
social.” It supported the EU’s proposed P(s) on children, in order to
create linkage between the Preamble and text; it supports a separate
article on children as well. In the absence of a consensus on separate
articles for women and the other groups that have been discussed, these
might be included in one paragraph in the Preamble to capture the substance
of these concerns.
Israel stated the Preamble sets the tone for the Convention
and assists in the construction of other instruments. In the title,
it is crucially important to retain “dignity” in the title, which can
be in addition to, but not in place of, “equality"; dignity is
a broader term, while equality is the major issue facing PWD. In P(d),
it supported the EU’s proposal to delete the reference to the Convention
on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of
Their Families, as this does not rank as a leading human rights convention.
P(m) should include “age.” It is necessary to mention children, women
and girls with disabilities in the Preamble to create a link with other
Conventions. However, it would not be advisable to include these in
the operative provisions of the Convention because that may interfere
with other Conventions. It proposed an additional, more explicit paragraph,
as follows: “Recognizing that a comprehensive, integral, interdisciplinary
approach to issues facing PWD is essential to the achievement of full
and effective equality for PWD.”
Morocco supported retaining the reference to the International
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and
Members of their Families in P(d). In P(g), “disabilities” should be
made singular, amending the phrase to “persons with disability.”
Korea supported the EU’s proposal for a shorter Convention
title, which fully captures the spirit and purpose of this Convention.
In P(l), “and take leading roles” should be inserted after “actively
Brazil supported the EU’s proposals to add sexual
orientation to P(m) and other amendments to P(o).
South Africa proposed added in P(c), “any form of”
before "discrimination.” P(g) should should be changed to “Recognizing
that PWD are not a homogenous group, but are diverse in their own right,”
because disability is part of humanity. In P(h), “equitable” should
be inserted before “participation as equal members of society.” P(i)
should read: “Emphasizing the importance of international cooperation
to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms
of PWD.” In P(l), “especially those directly concerning them” should
be deleted, as it is extraneous and presents the risk of involving PWD
only in disability matters. P(p) should be amended to read: “Concerned
that situations of armed conflict cause disabilities and have devastating
consequences for the human rights of PWD.” In P(q), “political” should
be inserted after “physical” and “and cultural” should be inserted after
“economic,” because this captures the language and values of the ICCPR
Canada supported the EU's and Israel’s proposals to
delete the Migrant Workers Convention from P(d) referring to footnote
2. In P(m), “severe or multiple disabilities and of” should be deleted,
as it creates a hierarchy within the disability community and echoes
a medical model rather than a social model of disability. The word “ethnic,”
should be inserted after “national” in P(m), in order to bring it into
line with Article 2.1 of the CRC. It supported the EU’s proposal for
P(r), but the words “with equal opportunities” should be deleted, as
its meaning is unclear. Canada may have additional comments later.
Yemen recommended a clearer re-wording of the Preamble
and would submit proposed text later. In P(d), it is not enough to mention
CRC and CEDAW; there should also be specific reference to the conditions
in which WWD and CWD are living. In P(i), it is important to highlight
international cooperation, both here and in the Convention text. In
P(m), Yemen suggested deleting “severe and multiple disabilities” to
eliminate redundancy. In P(p), it highlighted that the current language
does not reflect the situation on the ground and recommended adding
“and foreign occupation of territories and assets of others” after “armed
conflict,” as proposed by Syria, because foreign occupation creates
conditions in which PWD cannot exercise their rights. At the end of
P(p), it suggested adding “and an increase in their number.” In P(q),
it suggested adding “political and cultural” after “economic,” and deleting
“including information and communication," because it is included
in the concept of culture.
Cuba made some proposals, reserving the option to
make future proposals. It supported P(c) as currently drafted. It supported
Chile's proposal to include an acknowledgment of Convention's origins
at the World Conference on Racism. It proposed adding a new paragraph
following P(d), which reads: “Recognizing that the exercise of the right
to development, as a universal inalienable right, is a prerequisite
to the integral and sustainable meeting of the needs of PWD.” In P(i),
it proposed adding “all” before “human rights.” Similarly in P(j), it
proposed adding “all” before “their human rights.” In P(m), it supported
deleting “severe or multiple disabilities” to avoid making distinctions
among PWD. In P(n) and P(r), it suggested adding “all” before “human
rights.” In P(o), it proposed replacing “mindful of the need” with “concerned
by the need” because the problem of poverty should be addressed with
the same degree of concern as persons in armed conflict; and it proposed
replacing “alleviate” with the stronger term “eradicate.” It stated
that the Preamble should address the need for solidarity, both “nationally
India proposed amending P(g), because the word “diversity”
could mean range of either disabilities or social and economic conditions;
it suggested new text: “Recognizing the wide range of abilities, skills,
functional competencies and concerns of PWD.” In P(I), it suggested
replacing the word “emphasizing” with “recognizing” to strengthen international
cooperation. It reiterated its support for a separate Article on international
cooperation. In P(l), after “PWD," it proposed inserting “and their
families.” In P(o), it suggested inserting at the beginning the words:
“Mindful, that conditions of poverty can exacerbate the incidents and
situations of PWD.”
Palestine emphasized the need to highlight “the rights
of different groups” in the Preamble because some PWD are more vulnerable,
but it does not want to create discrimination between PWD. It supported
the proposals by Syria and Yemen to add the concept of foreign occupation
and armed conflict since these lead to increases in the number of PWD,
and occupation deprives PWD of certain services and development.
Namibia suggested adding “United Nations” before “Standard
Rules” in P(e). In P(i), it suggested deleting “emphasizing” as India
proposed, and adding a reference to the principles of international
cooperation. In P(j), it suggested replacing “made by” with “of.” In
P(l), it suggested deleting the last part of the paragraph, “especially
those concerning them”; PWD can be involved with all kinds of decisionmaking.
In P(m), it supported deletion of “severe and multiple disabilities,”
retaining only “PWD.”
Pakistan suggested deleting “comprehensive and integral”
from the title to conform with other conventions and to avoid qualifying
the Convention’s scope. In P(b), it suggested deleting “and in the International
Covenants on Human Rights” since it has not been universally accepted.
In P(d), it proposed replacing “reaffirming” with “recalling” since
not all Conventions have universal acceptance; but Pakistan stated that
all of these instruments should remain in the paragraph. In P(g), it
agreed with India’s proposal, except instead of “diversity of persons”
it suggested “recognizing further the diverse nature of disabilities.”
In P(i), it agreed with the need for a separate Article on international
cooperation, because an international Convention needs international
cooperation for implementation. In P(l), Pakistan supported India’s
proposal to include families, and proposed adding “and caregivers.”
In P(m), it proposed not listing all forms of discrimination because
it cannot be exhaustive and may lead to division or, if there is a list,
it should be in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In P(r), it proposed changing the beginning to: “Convinced that a Convention
addressing specifically the rights and dignity of PWD”; and at end of
the paragraph, it would substitute “spheres” with “activities.”
Argentina supported Morocco's amendment to delete
“persons with” in P(g). P(h) has a translation error in Spanish. Paragraph
P(i) should be replaced with footnote 4. In P(m), it suggested deleting
“severe or” because this term is unclear. In P(o), it suggested a revision
as follows: “Mindful of the need to alleviate the negative impact of
poverty on causing disabilities and the quality of life of PWD.”
Lebanon agreed with the Syria’s proposal to add “foreign
occupation” to P(p), and agreed with the proposed amendment by Sierra
Leone. In P(i), it emphasized the importance of including international
cooperation in the Preamble; international cooperation offers benefits
to all countries. After the words “international cooperation” should
be inserted “because of its multi-faceted benefits to all member countries”;
after “enjoyment” should be added “all PWD”; and before “human rights”
should be added the word “all.” In P(g), it agreed with the addition
proposed by Thailand and Morocco. In P(j), it proposed replacing “societies”
with “communities.” In P(m), it agreed with the proposal by Canada and
Yemen to delete “severe and multiple”; and it proposed adding “and the
kind and degree of disability” after “language,” and deleting “multiple
or aggravated” before “forms of discrimination."
Commenced: 3:20 PM
Recessed for informals: 4:40 PM
Reconvened: 5:23 PM
Adjourned: 5:28 PM
The Draft Report was reviewed and adopted after several proposed amendments
were discussed, mainly for paragraphs 9 and 10. Amendments to these
paragraphs reflected concerns regarding the status and classification
of the documents before the 3rd AHC, in particular the “Compilation”
text (titled the Proposed Modifications) and the annexed proposal on
Ireland, on behalf of the EU requested clarification
on paragraph 11, the proposal to have an intercessional meeting of the
Bureau to prepare and organize the next session of the Committee. This
meeting will be useful, and Ireland hoped that it would produce a timetable
and program of work for discussions at the next session -- a goal which
should be spelled out more clearly. The last part of the sentence, “containing
inter alia an indication of the framework for discussion” is ambiguous
and should be deleted. “Timetable and program of work” should be added
to the reference to a “provisional agenda.” If it is agreed that at
the next session the Committee will continue in the type of structure
that currently exists, engagement in substantial negotiations should
The Chair suggested new wording for the end of the
paragraph, as follows: “containing, inter alia, timetable and program
of work.” Ireland agreed that this would be satisfactory.
Thailand expressed concern about the delivery of documents,
including the report, to delegates during the session. Speaking on behalf
of delegates who are blind or have print disabilities, Thailand stressed
the importance of providing documents in accessible formats as a reasonable
accommodation. Thanking the Secretariat for its efforts in this matter,
Thailand nevertheless found that materials were sometimes delivered
in print first, and only made available in electronic format later.
As a result of this delay, Thailand has not yet been able to study the
report. Logically, because the document is created on computer before
it is printed, the electronic version exists first, so it should be
technically and financially feasible to deliver electronic, accessible
versions earlier. Thailand stated that it would provide comments upon
being able to study the text.
The Chair noted Thailand’s concern and will look into
this matter before the next session.
Australia recommended that the text of paragraph 9
be reworded to include reference to the discussions of both the Preamble
and International Cooperation (IC). Regarding paragraph 12, Australia
supported the intervention of Thailand about access issues. It requested
clarification on access plans for the 4th Committee meeting. Paragraph
12 refers to “first steps,” but the “first steps” were taken after the
2nd Committee meeting, and that now further steps must be taken toward
fully accessible interaction, especially in light of the subject matter.
Using the screens to show amendment text is problematic for delegates
who are unable to see the screen. While not saying that the screen should
not be used, Australia did suggest that circulating amendments in electronic
and print format at the same time could reduce their disadvantage. Also,
fixed seating in the hall is problematic for a number of delegates using
The Chair stated that the intent of the paragraph
was “within existing resources, as further steps” rather than first
steps. The Bureau has scheduled a meeting with the Secretariat and other
UN authorities; efforts are underway to improve access in the building
and services. The installation of electronic devices for portable facilities
was given approval. The Chair assured the delegates that the Chair and
the Secretariat are dealing with these issues.
The Russian Federation expressed concern about the
preparation of the documents in English and asked if and when there
are plans to translate the Proposed Modifications into the official
languages of the UN, including Russian, so that it can work on this
text with disability experts from appropriate ministries and agencies.
The Secretariat responded that the Proposed Modifications
will be attached to the text as part of the report and it will be translated
into all languages at least three weeks prior to the next session.
China asked whether the topics of International Cooperation
and Preamble would be included in the reference to the “first reading
of the draft text of the Convention” in paragraph9. It also asked whether
this reference means the same as “consideration,” as mentioned in section
C (Agenda) or something else. It enquired whether the “program of work”
for the next session e.g., the title, structure, etc as referred to
in Paragraph9 would be determined by the AHC or the Bureau. Regarding
paragraph10, it noted that Annex II, the Proposed Modifications and
IC, is to be attached to the Report. It has similar concerns as Russia
regarding translation, and asked if it could reserve the right to make
further comments after it sees the text that will be included in this
The Chair stated that another delegation had already
addressed the issue of updating paragraph 9 by adding IC and the Preamble.
The Secretariat will endeavour to have translations completed at least
3 weeks before AHC4. “Consideration” applies to text that has not been
The Secretariat clarified that the document distributed
here, the document that all delegations have received and which is available
via Internet, is the one in which the proposed modifications will be
Israel requested confirmation of their understanding
that the agenda for the 4th session will open with a discussion of the
draft articles which have not yet been discussed, followed by a first
reading of the articles discussed in the 3rd session. It supported previous
delegations' concerns on accessibility issues, especially for people
with visual and hearing impairments. For Deaf people in particular,
a running protocol of the whole discussion -- comments as well as proposed
amendments -- should be displayed on the screen.
The Chair requested that delegations make specific
comments on the report. While the Chair understands the accessibility
concerns, this discussion should focus on the draft report rather than
raising other issues. The Bureau, between the sessions, will prepare
the program an organization of work for the next session, and this will
be submitted to Member States as soon as the Bureau of the Committee
Morocco repeated the concerns of previous speakers
in relation to the Preamble in P(9).
Yemen noted its concerns about translations has already
been addressed by the Chair.
Malaysia was of the view that the phrase “(Proposed
modifications to the draft text of the Convention)” in paragraph10 did
not give sufficient weight to the work that has been done in this 3rd
Session. It proposed the following amendment: “At its 18th meeting,
on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the fourth
session of the Committee the compilation text of the draft Convention,
as contained in Annex II to the present report, for its further consideration.”
Saudi Arabia asked if the delegations who requested
interventions in the morning session on the Preamble, but who had no
chance to speak due to time constraints, would have the opportunity
to submit comments in writing to the Secretariat to be included in the
Proposed Modifications. The Chair confirmed that these comments will
be incorporated into the new text.
Uganda, upon review of paragraph 10, noted that there
is no record of the various useful contributions made by NGOs and the
National Human Rights Institutions. Uganda asked when the delegations
would receive a document containing their contributions so that they
can be taken into account and read side by side with contributions of
the delegates. This Convention should ultimately benefit the NGOs who
The Chair stated that all NGO contributions could be
found on the web.
New Zealand agreed with Malaysia’s concerns on paragraph
10 that the status of the work of the Committee should be accurately
reflected. It understood that the compilation of proposals is a working
document that would continue to be worked on at the next session. The
reason it was included as an annex in the report was so that it would
be translated. However, it is a working paper, and should stay that
way so that the Committee can continue to work on it. It suggested a
modification to Malaysia’s proposal, to replace “as contained in Annex
II of the present report” with the words “as a working paper translated
into all languages and issued in advance of the fourth session."
When consensus is reached on the final draft of the Convention, the
Ad Hoc Committee should annex and transmit that to the General Assembly
(GA). On the other hand, the working document, which still contains
very divergent views and many proposals, should be transmitted as a
working paper to the next AHC meeting. The working document would be
translated, given a document number, and circulated as a document of
the Committee so that it would be part of the GA records, would be an
accurate reflection of all the proposals made, and would go into the
archives and “travaux preparatoires”, but its status as a working paper
would be clear.
The Chair asked if all delegations agreed with New
Zealand’s amendment to Malaysia’s proposal.
Malaysia expressed concern about the use of the term
“working paper.” It understood that if the Compilation is annexed to
the present report, both Report and the Annex would be translated into
the six official languages; this would address New Zealand’s concern.
Referring to the compilation as a “working paper” could diminish the
work of the Ad Hoc Committee.
Ireland, speaking for the EU, stated that it took no
issue with transmitting the document to the fourth session, and wanted
to ensure that it contains all the governmental proposals and is translated
into all languages. It expressed concern, however, with referring to
it as a Compilation text of the draft Convention. Negotiations have
taken place based on what emerged from the WG. The document contains
modifications proposed by governments but excludes many excellent proposals
from non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations; therefore
it cannot be described as a compilation text. It is a working document
that reflects some of the work put forward. NGOs must continue to be
able to participate in the work of elaborating this Convention and the
EU would not support a formulation that would suggest that they are
The Chair inquired if Ireland could propose text to
reflect its concerns.
Ireland replied that it would be appropriate to refer
to the document as “Modifications Proposed by Governments to the draft
text of the Convention.”
Mexico shared the concerns expressed by New Zealand,
and supported the EU's proposal with a slight modification. The title
of the document in the Malaysian and New Zealand proposal should reflect
that it is a “compilation of proposals relative to the draft Convention”
or “compilation of amendments proposed by governments.” It should also
reflect that these are proposals related to the WG draft, not really
a compilation text. While containing a compilation of amendments proposed
by governments, it does not contain proposals made by NGOs. The document
should be translated into all languages so that capitals can give instructions
to delegations for the 4th session. It is more logical to call this
a working document or working text, as it contains proposals on the
text of the working group. This would not lessen the value or the status
of the document. Regarding paragraph 9, some reference should be included
to the final provisions of the draft text. Mexico asked what document
CRP.2 was in paragraph 8(d), as this had not been distributed. It also
requested clarification that the proposal made by Mexico on international
cooperation (IC) would be included in the compilation of proposals.
Cameroon proposed, in paragraph 9, replacing the word
“report,” which may be an error, with the words “the annex of the report.”
The Chair responded that paragraph 9 refers to the
Organization of Work, i.e., the way that the work has been carried out,
and reiterated that it would be better to leave this paragraph as it
is, as there is a certain order of things that need to be included.
Costa Rica expressed concern that delegations that
have not made interventions on the Preamble, even though they submit
their proposals to the Secretariat, will still have an opportunity to
come back to issues that are not yet closed, according to the list of
speakers. To do otherwise would undermine the right of all delegations
to take the floor and make their positions known to the group.
The Chair replied that Uganda, Cameroon, New Zealand,
Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Thailand, and two NGOs are
on the speakers’ list for the next session and that they will have the
opportunity to speak. This does not preclude the answer to Saudi Arabia
that if it wishes to send its intervention to the Secretariat, it will
be duly registered.
Cuba inquired about document CRP.2, in paragraph 8(d).
It asked whether the document exists; if not, this reference should
The Chair responded that Document A/AC.264/2004/CRP.2
is a contribution made by South Africa which makes reference to the
New Zealand proposal for those persons with sight impairments.
South Africa, on behalf of African group, expressed
concern about the reference in paragraph 10, and supported the proposal
The Chair proposed text for paragraph 10: “At its
18th meeting, on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward
to the 4th session of the Committee, a compilation of proposals made
by governments, as contained in Annex II, for consideration."
Malaysia questioned the need to qualify the statement
as proposals made by governments. This is what was mandated by General
Assembly (GA) resolutions adopted during first Ad Hoc Committee, which
also set out the scope of participation of NGOs. In any case, proposals
made by governments would have taken into account the contributions
of NGOs. Furthermore the qualification implies that a Compilation would
also be produced by NGOs.
The Chair appealed to Malaysia that this is a factual
issue, that these are indeed proposals made by governments, and requested
leeway from Malaysia.
Mexico stated that the Chair’s proposal is almost
perfect, but suggested adding the words “all proposals related to a
draft text of the Convention.”
The Chair read the paragraph with the proposed Mexican
amendment “At its 18th meeting, on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee
decided to forward to the 4th session of the Committee a compilation
of proposals made by governments to the draft text of the Convention,
as contained in Annex II, for consideration”, and asked if Malaysia
could accept that proposal.
Malaysia requested clarification about how documents
are being described. It questioned the implication of this paragraph
that the proposals made during this 3rd Ad Hoc meeting are amendments
to the draft text of a Convention that has already been recognized as
the definitive basis from which to work. Malaysia recalled there was
some discussion in the 2nd Ad Hoc Committee meeting about what the WG
would prepare. At that time NZ had noted that this is not a draft text
of the Convention, but rather some proposals for consideration at the
Ad Hoc Committee meeting. Malaysia cautioned against giving undue weight
to this document.
The Chair referred Malaysia to page 5, paragraph 9
of Document A/AC.265/2004/WG.1, the report of the WG to the Ad Hoc Committee:
“The WG noted that its mandate from the Ad Hoc Committee was to prepare
and present a draft text which would be the basis for negotiations at
the Ad Hoc Committee, taking into account all contributions submitted
in advance of the meetings of the WG.” Consultations could occur if
Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, proposed that,
for clarity, perhaps there is a need to indicate that they are proposals
made by governments for modifications to the draft text.
Russian Federation asked that New Zealand’s suggested
rewording of paragraph 10, on the need to have this document translated
into all working languages and to provide it in a timely manner to the
Member States, be reflected.
The Chair confirmed that the practice is to translate
documents, but requested that the Russian Federation not insist on inserting
this into the text, or it would become precedent for the rest of the
India commented on paragraph 9, that several of its
interventions were not reflected in the compilation text. It will forward
to the Secretariat all proposals so that they can be duly reflected.
Regarding paragraph 10, the name given to the document is important,
as this is how it will be addressed at future Ad Hoc Committee meetings.
It supported Malaysia’s proposal to take a few minutes to arrive at
a compromise. It expressed concern at the intervention made by Ireland,
to document the fact that these are proposals made by governments. This
is a draft text, not a debate as to whether the proposals were made
by governments, NGOs, IGOs, etc. India would prefer that this draft
text remain neutral.
New Zealand proposed referring to the text with which
the Committee has been working as “the report of the working group”
rather than as “the draft text of the Convention,” which is slightly
ambiguous. The paragraph would read as it has been proposed, but with
this modification: “A compilation of proposals made by governments,
as contained in Annex II of this report, to the draft text contained
in Annex I of the Report of the WG." The document number would
follow. This title would make clear it is the text of the WG that is
being referred to without getting into a debate about the status of
any documents. The WG report clearly decided, in paragraph 11 of its
report, “to present the attached text to the Ad Hoc Committee” and Annex
I was entitled “Draft comprehensive and integral international Convention”
with a FN referring to the debate on the title and the structure.
The paragraph would then read as follows: “At its 18th meeting on 4
June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the fourth session
of the Ad Hoc Committee a compilation of proposals made by governments,
as contained in Annex II of this report, to the draft text contained
in Annex I of the report of the WG [A/AC.265/2004/WG.1].”
Syria supported Malaysia’s proposal and directed the
Committee to paragraph 1 of the report of the WG (A/AC.265/2004/WG.1),
“a draft text which would be the basis for negotiations by Member States
and observers at the Ad Hoc Committee of the draft Convention.” Therefore,
calling it a “draft Convention” in the New Zealand proposal is incorrect.
Instead it is the result of the work of the Ad Hoc Committee, which
is a draft text to be negotiated by Member Countries and observer countries.
It should be referred to as “draft text” and not “draft Convention.”
The Chair stated that this is a subject on which there
has been a great many statements, and that after the intervention of
Sierra Leone; there would be a recess for consultation.
Sierra Leone asked, as the Committee is waiting for
Malaysia to come up with a revision, and New Zealand has proposed an
amendment to that, whether the texts could be merged. Or, in case there
is no compromise, Sierra Leone proposed referring to the text as “amendments
and revisions made to the draft text contained in Annex I of the report
of the WG.”
Adjourned: 4:40 PM
Reconvened: 5:23 PM
The Chair asked whether delegates could accept its
proposed text for paragraph 10, which was displayed on the screen but
not read aloud. The Chair saw no objections and pronounced the paragraph
Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, stated that
the fact that the Preamble and IC has been discussed, in reference to
paragraph 9, does not mean that the discussion of this issues has been
concluded. It alerted the Committee to the Program of Work for the 4th
session as stated in paragraph 9. While this paragraph is an indication
of matters that will need to be addressed, contrary to some delegations'
suggestions, this is not an exhaustive list.
The Chair agreed that the Ad Hoc Committee would approve
the program of work for fourth session.
Sierra Leone asked the Chair to read the formulation
of paragraph 9, as it was unclear what references should be included
Secretariat read: “During its plenary meeting, the
Ad Hoc Committee conducted a first reading of the draft text of the
Convention, as contained in the report of the WG. The Committee considered
articles 1 to 24, the issues of international cooperation and the Preamble.
The committee also decided to defer the consideration of the title,
the structure, definition, and monitoring to the fourth session, to
be held in August-September.”
The Chair stated that interventions not completed in
this meeting would be discussed in the next meeting.
Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, pointed out
an error in paragraph 10 that has just been adopted: the word “Observers”
should have a small “o,” as that is the way it is in the resolution,
and it does make a difference.
The Chair submitted the entire draft for the Committee’s
consideration, saw no objection to the report, and adopted it. The deadline
for submission of proposals on the Preamble is Tuesday June 9th.
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