MEETING OF THE STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION AGAINSTTORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING
TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 13th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Wednesday, 30 November 2005, at 10 a.m.
Temporary Chairperson:Ms. CONNORS(Representative of theSecretary-General)
OPENING OF THE MEETING BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THESECRETARY-GENERAL
ELECTION OF THE CHAIRPERSON
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
ELECTION OF OFFICERS OF THE MEETING
ELECTION OF FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE TO REPLACE THOSE WHOSE TERMS OF OFFICE WILL EXPIRE ON 31 DECEMBER 2005, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 17, PARAGRAPHS 1 TO 5, OF THE CONVENTION
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
OPENING OF THE MEETING BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY‑GENERAL
1.The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON declared open the Tenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Since the Ninth Meeting, on 26 November 2003, the number of ratifications of or accessions to the Convention had increased from 134 to 140. She welcomed the representatives of the new States parties attending the meeting for the first time.
2.Briefly reviewing the work of the Committee against Torture, she said that during the four sessions held since the last meeting of States parties in 2003, the Committee had considered reports submitted by 23 States. It had also adopted guidelines for the preparation of initial reports. There were currently 27 reports awaiting consideration; in order to address the backlog, the Committee had requested the General Assembly to extend its annual November session by one week, to enable the Committee to meet twice a year for three weeks.
3.To date, 283 individual complaints had been registered under article 22. The results of six confidential inquiries conducted under article 20 had been made public. The Committee had also pursued its efforts to strengthen cooperation with the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the question of torture and with the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
4.Amendments to the Convention adopted at the 1992 Conference of the States Parties to finance the Committee’s activities under the regular budget of the United Nations had been endorsed by the General Assembly, but they had not yet entered into force for want of approval by two thirds of the States parties. Thus far, only 27 States parties had notified the Secretary‑General that they had accepted the amendments. Accordingly, she asked all States parties that had not already done so to take appropriate action so that the amendments could be put into effect, in keeping with the wishes of the General Assembly.
ELECTION OF THE CHAIRPERSON
5.Mr. CHOI Hyuck (Republic of Korea) nominated Mr. Burayzat (Jordan) for the office of Chairperson.
6.Mr. STEPHENSON (Canada) seconded the nomination.
7.Mr. Burayzat (Jordan) was elected Chairperson by acclamation.
8.Mr. Burayzat (Jordan) took the Chair.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA (CAT/SP/29)
9.The agenda was adopted.
Credentials of representatives
10.The CHAIRPERSON said that, in accordance with rules 2 and 3 of the rules of procedure of the meetings of States parties adopted by the States parties at their First Meeting, on 26 November 1987 (CAT/SP/2/Rev.1), the Secretary-General, in his note of 21 October 2005, had invited the States parties to send representatives to the Tenth Meeting and to forward the credentials of the representatives to him as soon as possible and in any case no later than one week before the date of the meeting. The Secretary-General had yet to receive proper credentials from some of the States parties represented at the meeting. He therefore suggested that, in accordance with rule 3, the representatives of those States parties should be entitled provisionally to participate in the meeting, and he urged them to ensure that their credentials were submitted to the Secretary-General as soon as possible.
11.It was so decided.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS OF THE MEETING
12.The CHAIRPERSON said that, under rule 4 of the rules of procedure, the meeting was required to elect up to four vice-chairpersons from among the representatives of the States parties, but the States parties had traditionally decided to elect one vice-chairperson only. He suggested that they should again elect only one vice-chairperson.
13.It was so decided.
14.The CHAIRPERSON nominated Mr. De Alba (Mexico) for the office of Vice‑Chairperson.
15.Mr. De Alba (Mexico) was elected Vice-Chairperson by acclamation.
ELECTION OF FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE TO REPLACE THOSE WHOSE TERMS OF OFFICE WILL EXPIRE ON 31 DECEMBER 2005, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 17, PARAGRAPHS 1 TO 5, OF THE CONVENTION (CAT/SP/28)
16.The CHAIRPERSON said that, under article 17 of the Convention, the five members of the Committee would be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States parties. They would serve for a term of four years beginning on 1 January 2006.
17.The names of the candidates nominated by States parties were contained in document CAT/SP/28, although Peru had subsequently withdrawn its candidate. Annex I to document CAT/SP/28 contained the names of the five members of the Committee whose terms were due to expire on 31 December 2005, and annex II contained the names of the five members who would continue to serve on the Committee until 31 December 2007. Biographical data on the candidates, as furnished by the States parties concerned, appeared in annex III.
18.At the invitation of the Chairperson, Mr. Dixon (United Kingdom) and Mr. Vegas Torres (Peru) acted as tellers.
19.A vote was taken by secret ballot.
The meeting was suspended at 11 a.m. and resumed at 11.40 a.m.
20.The CHAIRPERSON announced the results of the ballot, which were:
Number of ballot papers:114
Invalid ballots: 0
Number of valid ballots:114
Number of representatives voting:114
Required majority: 58
Number of votes obtained:
Ms. Belmir (Morocco) 86
Mr. El Masry (Egypt) 65
Mr. Kovalev (Russian Federation) 68
Mr. Mariño Menéndez (Spain) 77
Mr. Nalbandov (Georgia) 41
Ms. Sveaass (Norway) 86
Mr. Wang Xuexian (China) 77
Ms. Zoma (Burkina Faso) 55
21.Having obtained the required majority and the largest number of votes, Ms. Belmir (Morocco), Mr. Kovalev (Russian Federation), Mr. Mariño Menéndez (Spain), Ms. Sveaass (Norway) and Mr. Wang Xuexian (China) were elected members of the Committee against Torture for a four-year term beginning on 1 January 2006.
22.Mr. OULD MOHAMED LEMINE (Mauritania) pointed out that, in accordance with rule 16 of the rules of procedure, English, French, Russian and Spanish were being used at the meeting. Given the considerable increase in the number of States parties to the Convention since those rules had been adopted, however, it might be an opportune moment to amend rule 16, in order to make Arabic and Chinese official and working languages of the meeting too.
23.Mr. SHA Zukang (China) said he agreed with the suggestion made by the representative of Mauritania.
24.Ms. MORALES (Secretary) said it would be necessary to obtain a statement of programme budget implications before such a decision could be taken.
25.The CHAIRPERSON suggested that it might be possible to introduce Arabic and Chinese at the Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties and amend rule 16 during the course of that meeting.
26.Mr. DUMONT (Argentina) said the Secretariat should prepare the statement of programme budget implications before any action was taken.
27.Ms. WHELAN (Ireland) requested clarification as to whether it was possible to take a decision without such a statement.
28.Mr. DE ALBA (Mexico) said that, as he understood it, the statement of programme budget implications was useful but not essential.
29.Ms. MORALES (Secretary) confirmed that the meeting was not in a position to take any decision with financial implications until such a statement was available.
30.Mr. OULD MOHAMED LEMINE (Mauritania), speaking on behalf of the Arabic‑speaking countries, said that, in view of the explanation provided by the Secretariat, it would be acceptable for the matter to be placed on the agenda of the Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties. He proposed that the Secretariat should be requested to provide a statement of programme budget implications at that meeting.
31.Ms. AL-HAJJAJI (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) requested the secretariat to service the next meeting in all six official languages pending agreement on the amendment to rule 16.
32.The CHAIRPERSON said there appeared to be no disagreement over the proposed amendment to rule 16, but delegations would clearly need more time to consider the matter. He suggested the matter should be discussed at the next meeting.
33.Ms. WHELAN (Ireland) said she supported the introduction of the other two official languages but, for the sake of good order, the meeting should be aware of any financial implications before taking action. She therefore supported the proposal made by the representative of Mauritania.
34.Mr. DUMONT (Argentina) said he also supported that proposal.
35.The CHAIRPERSON said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the States parties wished to adopt the proposal made by the representative of Mauritania and seconded by the representative of Ireland and Argentina.
36.It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 12.05 p.m.