STATES PARTIES TO COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS ELECT NINE MEMBERS TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

9 September 2002
HR/4623

STATES PARTIES TO COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS ELECT NINE MEMBERS TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

09/09/2002
Press Release
HR/4623


International Covenant on Civil

and Political Rights

27th Meeting (AM)


STATES PARTIES TO COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS


ELECT NINE MEMBERS TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE


The Twenty-first Meeting of States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights this morning elected nine members of the Human Rights Committee to replace those whose terms are due to expire on 31 December 2002. Those included Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia); Nisuke Ando (Japan); Prafullachandra Bhagwati (India); Christine Chanet (France) and Hipolito Slari Yrigoyen (Argentina), who were all re-elected to the Committee.  Walter Kalin (Switzerland), Ruth Wedgewood (United States), Roman Wieruszewski (Poland) and Alfredo Castillero Hoyos (Panama) will join them.  The Meeting elected Valery Kuchinsky (Ukraine) as its Chairman.


The nine members whose mandates expire on 31 December 2002 are:  Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia); Nisuke Ando (Japan); Prafullachandra Bhagwati (India); Louis Henkin (United States); Christine Chanet (France); Eckhart Klein (Germany); David Kretzmer (Israel); Cecilia Medina Quiroga (Chile) and Hipolito Slari Yrigoyen (Argentina).


          The remaining members of the Committee, whose mandates expire on 31 December 2004, are:  Maurice Glele Ahanhanzo (Benin); Ahmed Khalil (Egypt); Rajsoomer Lallah (Mauritius); Rafeal Rivas Posada (Colombia); Nigel Rodley (United Kingodom); Ivan Schearer (Australia); Martin Scheinin (Finland); Patrick Vella (Malta) and Maxwell Yalden (Canada).


The Human Rights Committee was established to monitor the implementation of the Covenant and the Protocols to the Covenant in the territory of States parties. It is composed of 18 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights.  The Committee convenes three times a year for sessions of three weeks' duration, normally in March at United Nations headquarters in New York and in July and November at the United Nations Office in Geneva.


The meeting also elected Abdul Mejib Husseim (Ethiopia), Irma Loemban Tobing-Klein (Suriname) and Jacques Louis Boisson (Monaco) as its Vice-Chairmen.  It also adopted the agenda for its work today.


Opening the Meeting, Bacre Wally Ndiaye, Representative of the Secretary-General, informed the States Parties that since their last meeting on 14 September 2000, several States had become party to the Covenant and its optional protocols.  One State, Eritrea, had become party to the Covenant (23 January 2002), and five additional States -- Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Mali, Mexico and Yugoslavia -- had become parties to the Covenant’s First Optional Protocol, under which the Human

Rights Committee could receive and consider communications from individuals claiming that their human rights had been violated.


He also said that three States -- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Yugoslavia -- had become parties to the Covenant’s Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.  That brought the total States parties to those instruments to 149, 102 and 47, respectively.  He said that increase in those and other United Nations human rights treaty parties reflected the growing awareness in the world of the importance of human rights and the need to further strengthen and extend the observance of international legal norms.


He went on to highlight the recent activities of the Human Rights Committee, noting that Committee had held 6 sessions since September 2002, in which it had examined a total of 26 initial and periodic reports form States parties.  It had also considered one country's situation in the absence of a report and had adopted provisional concluding observations in that respect.  During its seventy-fourth session, the Committee adopted a number of decisions designed to spell out the modalities of following up concluding observations, including the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on that issue.


Voting


Number of ballots        143

Number of invalid ballots             0

Number of valid ballots           143

Abstentions               0

Number of votes          143

Required majority            72


            Results


Prafullachandra Bhagwati (India)     136

Nisuke Ando (Japan)      134

Walter Kalin (Switzerland)     131

Christine Chanet (France)    130

Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia)   129

Hipolito Slari Yrigoyen (Argentina)125

Ruth Wedgewood (United States)     123

Roman Wieruszewski (Poland)    106

Alfredo Castillero Hoyos (Panama)    88

Eduardo Villanueva (Honduras)        76

Jaffa Zilbershats (Israel)          50


(The Democratic Republic of the Congo withdrew the names of its two nominees.)


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For information media. Not an official record.