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Social, Humanitarian & Cultural

Third Committee

Year after year, the General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the “Third Committee”, agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect peoples all over the world.

An important part of the Committee’s work focuses on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the newly established Human Rights Council.  In October 2008, the Committee will hear and interact with 25 such special rapporteurs, independent experts, and chairpersons of workings groups of the Human Rights Council.

The Committee also discusses 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 promotion of the right to self- determination.  The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and drug control.

At the sixty-second session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered 67 draft resolutions, more than half of which were submitted under the human rights agenda item alone.  These included a number of so-called country-specific resolutions on human rights situations.

Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Frank Majoor, the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations, the Third Committee is expected to consider in 2008 a similar number of draft resolutions.


[15 September 2008 ]