1. It is recalled that, at their 554th meeting (January 1996, Item 4.6), the Deputies, following the recommendations of their Rapporteur Group on Human Rights:
"1. decided to continue the annual exchange of views on the United Nations (Human Rights questions) with experts from capitals;
2. agreed that these exchanges will in future be held according to the arrangements agreed within the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (cf GR-H (95) 14) i.e.:
- dividing the exchange of views into formal and informal sessions;
- devoting the formal session to consideration of general policy questions and possibly, designating delegations to introduce specific themes;
- devoting the informal session to consideration, by the experts, of items on the agenda of the 3rd Committee of the General Assembly and of the Human Rights Commission;
- supplying experts beforehand with specific relevant information;
2. The Secretariat proposes to hold the next exchange of views in Strasbourg, in the morning of 27 February 2003 (10.00), with the following agenda:
a. General discussion on developments and main results of the 57th Session of the United Nations' General Assembly;
b. Specific thematic questions;
c. Specific national situations;
d. Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations in the human rights field.
3. It is recalled that in the past, the Deputies have authorised the Chair to invite non-member States having observer status with the Council of Europe to take part in the exchange of views. It is proposed to do likewise in regard to the forthcoming exchange of views.
4. It is also recalled that the experts from capitals would, as in the past, have an opportunity, in the afternoon of the same day, to hold an informal meeting to prepare the next meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission (Geneva, 17 March to 25 April 2003).
This meeting is scheduled at 3.00 pm in Room 10 of the Palais de l'Europe. Among the themes which could be discussed at this informal meeting, the Secretariat suggests the following:
Follow-up to the 57 Session of the UN General Assembly and preparation of the next session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. In particular:
a) Standard-setting activities (inter alia: work on an international convention on the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities) and functioning of treaty bodies
b) Protection of human rights while countering terrorism
c) Abolition of the death penalty
d) Specific national situations
e) Thematic rapporteurs
f) Follow-up to the discussion at the morning's meeting.
824th meeting – 15 January 2003
United Nations – Preparation of the exchange of views (human rights questions) with experts from capitals - Fixing of date and Agenda
1. agreed to hold the next exchange of views in Strasbourg on the morning of 27 February 2003 (10am-3pm), with the following agenda:
1. General discussion on developments and main results of the 57th Session of the United Nations' General Assembly;
2. Specific thematic questions;
3. Specific national situations;
4. Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations in the human rights field;
2. agreed to authorise the Chairman to invite the states enjoying observer status with the Council of Europe:, Canada, the Holy See, Japan, Mexico and the United States of America, to send representatives to the exchange of views.