Committee on Enforced Disappearances closed its fourth session


19 April 2013

Adopts Concluding Observations on Reports of Uruguay and France

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances closed its fourth session this afternoon, adopting its annual report to the General Assembly and agreeing its concluding observations and recommendations on the initial reports of Uruguay and France.

At the closing meeting Emmanuel Decaux, Chairperson of the Committee, said that today‚Äôs meeting marked the end of a two-year cycle; after a development phase the Committee had entered a phase of effective implementation of the Convention, following its examination of the first two initial reports during the session.  He said that a highlight of the session was the meeting with the two co-facilitators on the treaty-body strengthening process, in accordance with resolution 66/254 of the General Assembly.  Mr. Decaux emphasized that the Committee would very soon reach its limits and would require increased resources. 

During its two-week session, the Committee, which is responsible for reviewing how States implement the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, examined its first country reports: the initial reports of Uruguay and of France.  At its opening meeting on 8 April the Committee heard statements by Gianni Magazzeni, Chief of the Americas and Europe and Central Asia Branch of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as from States parties, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations. The Committee also held a minute of silence in remembrance of victims of enforced disappearances. 

On Wednesday 17 April the Committee met with national human rights institutions to discuss its relationship with them and their role in its work.  The very different nature of many of the national human rights institutions was pointed out.  For a national human rights institution to have A status, it had to have a broad mandate to promote and protect human rights and a guaranteed independent budget from the State.  The representative of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions said that a United Nations endorsed and accredited A status national human rights institution should have a special status with all treaty bodies.  Speakers noted that the Committee had adopted a document on its relationships with civil society and non-governmental organizations and considered whether they needed to adopt a similar document on the relationship between the Committee and national human rights institutions.

The concluding observations for Uruguay and France will be available from Monday 22 April 2013 on  The session report and other documents related to the fourth session can also be found on that webpage. 

The fifth session of the Committee will be held in Geneva from 1 to 15 November 2013, in which the initial reports of Argentina and Spain will be considered.

For use of the information media; not an official record