16 October 2020
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this afternoon concluded its virtual sixty-eighth session.
In his concluding remarks, Renato Zerbini Ribeiro Leão, Committee Chairperson, noting that this had been a busy session and the first one held virtually, said the consideration of all State party reports originally scheduled for this session had been postponed. The Committee had agreed that, even though it would have liked to privilege direct contact, it was absolutely necessary to proceed with its core monitoring mandate. The Committee therefore planned to review at least two State party reports online at the next session if it was not possible to meet in person.
Regarding the Committee’s work under the Optional Protocol, Mr. Ribeiro Leão noted that the Committee had examined three communications, declaring all of them inadmissible according to the requirements set by the Optional Protocol. The Committee had also decided to discontinue the examination of three individual communications, two of them because the authors had found a solution to the situation that had led them to submit a complaint. The Committee had adopted its report on the follow-up to views, closed its first follow-up to views, and decided to continue the follow-up of the remaining views. The decisions would be notified to the parties and made public shortly. The Committee had also decided to mandate the Working Group on individual communications to submit to the plenary a draft revised provisional Rules of Procedure for its discussion in plenary next session.
The Chairperson added that the Committee had discussed the first draft of the General Comment on Covenant obligations related to land, and discussed the next steps in relation to the General Comment on sustainable development and economic social and cultural rights. It had agreed on tentative timelines to work on taking into account both the time needed for a broad consultation process, and to receive feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the Committee’s statement on the matter adopted in April 2020, they had also discussed the preparation of a statement on the access to vaccine and treatment, which they planned to adopt intersessionally. On the 2020 review and working methods, Committee members had agreed on modalities to move forward with the 8-year predictable review calendar, and on concrete steps to offer the simplified reporting procedure to all States.
The Committee then adopted its annual report.
The sixty-ninth session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is scheduled to be held from 15 February to 5 March 2021.
For use of the information media; not an official record