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The Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child today elected nine members to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In a single round of secret balloting, the Meeting elected the following:  Agnes Akosua Aidoo (Ghana); Aseil Al-Shehail (Saudi Arabia); Jorge Cardona Llorens (Spain); Bernard Gastaud (Monaco); Maria Herczog (Hungary); Hatem Kotrane (Tunisia); Gehad Madi (Egypt); Kirsten Sandberg (Norway); and Hiranthi Wijemanne (Sri Lanka).  They all received the required majority of 91 votes and will each serve a term of four years, replacing members whose terms expire on 28 February 2011.  (Biographical information on all candidates is available in document CRC/SP/42, Add.1 and Add.2.)


Making opening remarks on behalf of the Secretary-General, Ivan Љimonovic, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), noted that the tenth anniversaries of the two Optional Protocols to the Convention had just been celebrated.  The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in cooperation with OHCHR, had launched a campaign to ensure universal ratification of both Protocols by 2012.  The Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict now had 139 States parties and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography had 142.

He said that although the Committee had been sitting in parallel chambers for the past year, the number of reports submitted had risen from 30 in 2009 to 53 in 2010, increasing the backlog of reports awaiting consideration.  The High Commissioner for Human Rights had called upon States parties to human rights treaties, treaty body members and other stakeholders to reflect on how to streamline and strengthen the treaty-body system.  On 29 January 2011, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women would discuss that request and prepare for the Twelfth Inter-Committee Meeting, to be held in Geneva next June, he said, adding that both Committees had begun work on elaborating a joint general comment on harmful practices and human rights.

He said that from 6 to 10 December, the second session of the Open-ended Working Group tasked with developing an optional protocol to provide the Child Rights Convention with a communications procedure had made considerable progress on the proposed draft and hoped to adopt it in February.

The Meeting then elected, by acclamation, Eduardo Ulibarri (Costa Rica) — nominated by the representative of Thailand — as Chair of the Meeting.  It elected Abderrahim Ould Hadramiu (Mauritania) and Neli Shiolashvili (Georgia) as Vice Chairs.

At the outset of the electoral process, the Meeting was informed that the United Arab Emirates, Dominican Republic, Georgia and Burkina Faso had withdrawn their candidates, resulting in a list of 20 candidates.

Taking up other matters, the Meeting adopted its provisional agenda, contained in document CRC/SP/41, and decided that candidates whose candidacy had been submitted after the 25 August deadline could still participate in the election.

Adopted in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force the following year and currently has 140 signatories and 193 ratifications.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child comprises 18 independent experts and monitors implementation of the Convention as well as its two Optional Protocols by State parties.  All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports on how they are implementing children’s rights.  The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.  The Committee also reviews additional reports required of States parties that have acceded to the two Optional Protocols.

Current members of the Committee are:  Agnes Akosua Aidoo (Vice-Chair, Ghana); Hadeel Al-Asmar (Syria); Luigi Citarella (Italy); Azza El Ashmawy (Egypt); Kamel Filali (Vice-Chair, Algeria); Peter Guran (Slovakia); Maria Herczog (Hungary); Sanphasit Koompraphant (Thailand); Lothar Friedrich Krappmann (Rapporteur, Germany); Hatem Kotrane (Tunisia); Yanghee Lee (Chair, Republic of Korea); Marta Mauras Perez (Chile); Rosa Marнa Ortiz (Vice-Chair, Paraguay); Awich Pollar (Uganda); Dainius Puras (Lithuania); Kamla Devi Varmah (Mauritius); Susana Villaran de la Puente (Peru); and Jean Zermatten (Vice-Chair, Switzerland).

Results of Voting

According to Article 43 of the Convention, members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.  The members shall be elected by secret ballot and require that two thirds of States Parties be present and voting.

First Round of Secret Balloting

Number of Ballots submitted: 182
Number of invalid ballots:2
Number of valid ballots:180
Required majority:91
Agnes Akosua Aidoo (Ghana) 102
Aseil Al-Shehail (Saudi Arabia) 111
Norah Amilcar Jean-Franзois ( Haiti) 85
Jorge Cardona Llorens (Spain) 95
Peter Onyekwere Ebigbo (Nigeria) 59
Ahmed Mohamed Omar El Mufti (Sudan) 32
Kamel Filali (Algeria) 83
Bernard Gastaud (Monaco) 100
Sharon Esther Geerlings-Headley (Suriname) 64
Maria Herczog (Hungary) 98
Hatem Kotrane ( Tunisia) 97
Gehad Madi (Egypt) 118
David Mangota (Zimbabwe) 31
Adolphe Minkoa She ( Cameroon) 66
Josepha Pumbulu Mbimi (Democratic Republic of the Congo) 28
Dainius Puras ( Lithuania) 87
Bakolalao Ramanandraibe (Madagascar) 71
Kirsten Sandberg (Norway) 110
Hiranthi Wijemanne (Sri Lanka) 97
Dragi Zmijanac (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) 33

Having received the highest number of votes and the required two-thirds majority, Agnes Akosua Aidoo (Ghana); Aseil Al-Shehail (Saudi Arabia); Jorge Cardona Llorens (Spain); Bernard Gastaud (Monaco); Maria Herczog (Hungary); Gehad Madi (Egypt); Hatem Kotrane (Tunisia); Kirsten Sandberg (Norway); and Hiranthi Wijemanne (Sri Lanka) were elected.