Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
GR-H
Rapporteur Group on Human Rights

GR-H(2006)CB13 20 December 20061
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Synopsis
Meeting of 14 December 2006

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1. The Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) met on 14 December 2006 with Ambassador J. Sharkey, Permanent Representative of Ireland, in the chair. The following items were discussed:

Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities – Presentation by the outgoing President of the Advisory Committee of the opinions on the implementation of the Convention by:

06/51 – Armenia

    (CM(2006)126, CM(2006)126 add)

06/52 –Romania

    (CM(2006)6, CM(2006)6 add)

06/53 – Russian Federation

    (CM(2006)99, CM(2006)99 add)

2. The outgoing President of the Advisory Committee presented the Opinions adopted in the framework of the second cycle of monitoring under the Framework Convention in respect of the three states mentioned above. His interventions, together with those of the delegations having supplied their texts, are reproduced in the Records of the meeting (GR-H(2006)CB13 add).

3. After the discussions, the Chairman noted that the GR-H would revert to each of these items at one of its forthcoming meetings in the light of a draft resolution to be prepared by the Secretariat in consultation with the delegations concerned.

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities – Debate on the draft resolution on the implementation of the Convention by:

06/54 – Finland

    (GR-H(2006)19)

06/55 – Germany

    (GR-H(2006)21, DD(2006)677)

06/56 – Malta

    (GR-H(2006)20)

06/57 – San Marino

    (GR-H(2006)22)

4. The Chairman noted that the draft resolutions in respect of Finland, Malta and San Marino were approved and could be submitted to the Deputies at one of their forthcoming meetings with a view to adoption without further debate. The Representative of San Marino made a declaration for the record, the text of which is reproduced in document GR-H(2006)CB13 add.

5. With regard to the draft Resolution in respect of Germany, after a debate, the Chairman noted that the Secretariat would pursue its contacts with the German delegation in order to arrive at an agreement on the text, and declared his readiness to take part if necessary.

06/58 Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)
a. Abridged report of the 63rd meeting (Strasbourg, 24-27 October 2006)
b. Draft terms of reference of the CDDH and bodies answerable to it

    (CM(2006)210 and CM(2006)210 add)

6. The Group examined the abridged report of the 63rd meeting of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) contained in document CM(2006)210 and CM(2006)210 add.

7. Several delegations stated that they were very satisfied with the presentation of the report and with the information provided in the draft terms of reference. One delegation stated that it would appreciate if the GR-H could hold an exchange of views with the Chairman of CDDH as it would like further information inter alia on the planning of the work of the CDDH for 2007 and on its future priorities. The Secretariat having confirmed that the Chairman of CDDH would be available for such an exchange, the Group agreed to invite him to one of its forthcoming meetings.

8. On the proposal of a couple of delegations, it was agreed to specify in the terms of reference of the subordinate bodies to the CDDH that the right to vote of representatives of member states only referred to procedural matters. This was in line with Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods (Appendix 1, Article 11).

9. The GR-H discussed the draft terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on Issues relating to the Protection of National Minorities (DH-MIN). One delegation made a proposal for making the terms of reference of the DH-MIN more precise in that it should examine the use of the existing binding and non-binding instruments concerning the protection of national minorities and non-discrimination in relation to new communities.

10. A number of delegations pointed out that they preferred to retain the more general presentation of the terms of reference of the DH-MIN contained in document CM(2006)210, as these permitted the DH-MIN to deal with a wide spectrum of issues. They also recalled that the above-mentioned proposal was included in the Activity Report of the DH-MIN as one of the themes for its future work (document CM(2006)210 add, p. 5). For this reason they did not consider it useful to modify the terms of reference proposed by the CDDH.

11. The Chairman concluded that for the time being there was a majority in the Group for giving DH-MIN flexible terms of reference and thus for leaving the text unchanged. He noted, however, that this could be reconsidered in the future and that this was an issue that could usefully be discussed with the Chairman of the CDDH when he would be visiting the Group in spring 2007.

12. The GR-H also took note of the Deputies’ decision taken at their 981st meeting (29 November 2006, item 11.2), that all committees with a coordinating function should have the following included in their terms of reference:

“While taking account of the progress of this work, prepare, under its responsibility, proposals for the Programme of Activities for the coming years.”

13. In this case, that would refer to the CDDH and this wording would be inserted in a revised version of the terms of reference to be submitted to the Deputies (as point 4 ix).

14. The Group agreed to transmit document CM(2006)210 as amended in the light of its discussion, as well as its addendum, to the Deputies for adoption of the relevant decisions at their 984th meeting on 17 January 2007. The draft terms of reference would not be placed in the box for adoption without discussion, in accordance with a decision of the Deputies. The Deputies would be invited to adopt the other decisions without further debate (in the box).

- Any other business

Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention – Election of candidates in respect of:

06/59 Spain

    (CM(2006)…)

15. It did not prove possible to submit a list of candidates in time for the meeting. The item was therefore postponed to the next meeting of the Group.

- Date of the next meeting

16. The next meeting of the GR-H will take place on Thursday, 18 January 2007 at 3 p.m.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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