United Nations


Economic and Social Council

Distr.: General

9 March 2021

Original: English

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Sixty-ninth session

Summary record (partial)* of the 2 7 th meeting**

Held via videoconference on Friday, 5 March 2021, at 5.30 p.m. Central European Time

Chair:Mr. Windfuhr (Rapporteur)


Substantive issues arising from the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Closure of the session

The discussion covered in the summary record began at 5.40 p.m.

Mr. Windfuhr (Rapporteur) took the Chair.

Substantive issues arising from the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Chair, reviewing the activities that had taken place during the session, said that meetings had taken place exclusively via videoconference owing to restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Committee, having recognized the need to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic, had been able to review the periodic reports of Finland and Latvia. It had adopted concluding observations for both States parties and had invited them to submit follow-up reports on specific issues.

During the session, the Committee had considered five communications submitted under the Optional Protocol: two cases had been found to be inadmissible and two were found to reveal violations. The Committee had decided to discontinue the examination of 16 individual communications.

The Committee had also adopted a revised draft of its provisional rules of procedure under the Optional Protocol; it would be made available for interested parties to submit comments, which the Committee would consider at its seventieth session. The Committee had continued to work on its draft general comment on economic, social, cultural rights and land. A draft would soon be made available, in English, French and Spanish, on the Committee’s website. Interested parties would be invited to submit contributions during a three-month period. Having published two statements on the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, the Committee had discussed the preparation of a third statement – on universal affordable vaccination, international cooperation and intellectual property – which it planned to issue after the session.

The Committee had also held its annual meeting with civil society. It was grateful to the representatives of non-governmental organizations for their participation in the meeting. It appreciated the contributions that civil society organizations and national human rights institutions made to the reporting process under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant, and it looked forward to continuing its cooperation with them.

Concerning the 2020 review of the treaty body system, the Committee had, at its sixty-eighth session, agreed a way of moving forward with the eight-year predictable review calendar and the specific steps to be taken to make the simplified reporting procedure available to all States parties. However, it remained uncertain whether the Committee would be able to introduce those measures from 2022 and whether the United Nations budget would lend itself to working on the basis of planned activities, rather than relying on reporting patterns.

During the sixty-eighth session of the pre-sessional working group, to be held the following week, the working group would adopt lists of issues regarding the reports of Brazil, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong, China and Macau, China) Lithuania, Panama and Portugal. At the working group’s subsequent session, lists of issues would be adopted regarding Armenia, Chad, Mauritania, Qatar, Romania and the State of Palestine.

At the Committee’s seventieth session, tentatively scheduled for September and October 2021, it would examine State party reports whose consideration had been pending since September 2020, and which would be announced in due course.

Closure of the session

Following an exchange of courtesies, the Chair declared closed the sixty-ninth session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The meeting rose at 5.50 p.m.