COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATIONOF RACIAL DISCRIMINATIONSixty-fourth session23 February-12 March 2004
Decision (1) 64 on Guyana
1.The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recalls its decision 2 (62) adopted on 21 March 2003 and regrets that the State party has been unable to fulfil its commitment to submit its initial to fourteenth periodic reports, combined in one document, in time for consideration at the sixty-fourth session of the Committee. However, it takes note of the submission by Guyana of its report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and of its report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
2.The Committee notes that, following repeated requests from the State party for technical assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a decision was recently taken to appoint a consultant to assist the State party in the preparation of the report. In this connection, the Committee also takes note of the State party’s assurances that it remains committed to the preparation and submission to the Committee of its initial to fourteenth periodic reports, combined in one document.
3.The Committee recognizes the difficult economic and social conditions facing Guyana and remains deeply concerned about the extensive political and ethnic conflicts which have aggravated the situation in the country and led to serious divisions in society, and that this has affected the ability of the State party to fulfil the requirements of the Convention.
4.The Committee agrees with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies that a vicious circle of political and ethnic tensions has adversely affected human rights, weakened civil society, increased racial violence and poverty and exclusion among indigenous population groups, and hampered the administration of justice and the application of human rights standards in Guyana.
GE.04-41465 (E) 120504
5.The Committee reiterates that the purpose of the system whereby States parties submit reports is to establish and maintain a dialogue with the Committee on actions taken, progress made and difficulties encountered in complying with obligations arising under the Convention. It further reiterates that any State party’s failure to honour its reporting obligations under article 9 of the Convention is a serious impediment to the operation of the monitoring system established under the Convention.
6.The Committee is particularly encouraged by the indication made to the Committee by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that the process of political dialogue currently under way will make a fundamental contribution to the long-term solution to the problem of ethnic polarization in the country (see also E/CN.4/2004/18/Add.1).
7.The Committee recommends that the initial to fourteenth reports of Guyana, combined in one document, be submitted before 30 September 2004, so that they can be processed and scheduled for examination in 2005. In the event of the non-receipt of the report by that date, the Committee will reschedule the examination of the situation in Guyana under the review procedure at its sixty-sixth session, to be held in March 2005.
1636th meeting 9 March 2004