The 60th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission will meet between 15 March and April 23 2004. As in the previous years, the ICJ will continue to be active.
Its priority issues at the 60th session will be: Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Enforced Disappearances, Impunity, Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Reparations, Torture, and the Situation of Human Rigths in Colombia, Nepal and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
At the 60th session, the main priorities for the ICJ will be to work for the Commission:
– Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: To create a mandate of an independent mechanism to examine national counter-terrorism measures and their impact on human rights;
– Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation: To adopt for the first time a Resolution on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation;
– Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: To give a clear mandate to the inter-sessional working group to draft an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, so as to provide for an individual complaint mechanism;
– Enforced Disappearances: To reinforce the mandate of the inter-sessional working group to continue to elaborate a new treaty against enforced disappearances;
– Impunity: To continue to examine the question of impunity and the Set of principles on impunity with a view to their speedy adoption;
– Independence of Judges and Lawyers: To strengthen and develop the resolution on the independence of judges and lawyers;
– Reparations: To gain the adoption of the Basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of international law; or, if a consensus on the text is not possible by the time of the 60th session, to continue to examine the draft text as matter of high priority with a view to its speedy adoption;
– Torture: To strengthen the resolution on torture, particularly through the inclusion of an explicit affirmation that the prohibition of torture is a peremptory norm of international law (jus cogens);
– Situation of Human Rights in Colombia: To adopt a stronger position on the situation of Human Rights in Colombia and to request the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia to report to the UN General Assembly;
– Situation of Human Rights in Nepal: To urge the Government to sign the Human Rights accord proposed by the National Human Rights Commission and to take measures to ensure that Nepal accept assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner to monitor the situation of human rights in the country;
– Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: To adopt a strong resolution condemning, inter alia, attacks against both Israeli and Palestinian civilians, the existence and expansion of settlements and construction by Israel of an unlawful “security fence.”
In addition to these priorities, the ICJ will closely follow the Commission’s work on the right to life, including the resolutions on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and the death penalty. The ICJ will also monitor the methods of work of the Commission with a view to ensuring its maximum effectiveness and to protect the integrity of its working methods.