Consideration of reports comments and information submitted by States parties made under article 9 of the Convention (confirmed)
Submission of reports by States parties under article 9, paragraph 1, of the Convention (continued)
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS, COMMENTS AND INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION (agenda item 4) (continued)
Consideration of the implementation of the Convention in Chad (CERD/C/114/Add.2, CERD/C/SR.838)
1. The CHAIRMAN reminded the Committee that it had not received any more recent written report in respect of Chad than the fourth periodic report (CERD/C/114/Add.2), which had been submitted on 4 November 1986 and considered at the 838th meeting, in 1989. The consideration of that report had been summarized in summary record CERD/C/SR.838. However, a delegation from Chad had come to the meeting to describe the situation in that country in respect of human rights in general and the elimination of racial discrimination in particular. The high-level delegation was composed of Mr. Nadjidoumde, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Mr. N'Garoudal, Principal Private Secretary in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
2. At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr. Nadjidoumde and Mr. N'Garoudal (Chad) took places at the Committee table.
3. Mr. NADJIDOUMDE (Chad) said that in order to analyse the situation relating to human rights, and more particularly, to the elimination of racial discrimination in Chad, he would distinguish two main periods extending from June 1982 to November 1980 and from 1 December 1990 to March 1993, which corresponded to two successive political regimes.
4. His country covered an area of 1,284,000 km2 and was subdivided into 14 prefectures. Two thirds of the territory was located in the Sahelo-Saharan zone and was populated by Muslim tribes. The remaining third was the densely populated southern zone, inhabited mainly by Christians and Animists who accounted for 70 per cent of the population, estimated at 6 million persons. The next census of the Chadian population was scheduled for 1 April 1993. Chad, a cosmopolitan and secular country, had 110 tribes and dialects; despite that diversity the population of Chad had lived together peacefully from time immemorial.
5. However, during the eight years of Hissein Habré's dictatorship, from 1982 to 1990, the Goranes, members of the deposed President's tribe, had engaged in all kinds of discriminatory practices throughout the national territory. Conflicts had then arisen between the north and the south, between Christians and Muslims and, at the linguistic level, between Arabic and French.
6. By Decree No. 14/P-CE/CJ/90 of 29 December 1990, the Government of Chad had set up a Commission of Inquiry into the crimes and misappropriations of the former President and his accomplices. The mandate of the Commission was, inter alia: to investigate illegal confinements, arrests, murders, disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment and all human rights violations, as well as the illicit traffic in drugs; to conserve in the state and in the place where they were found the implements used for torture, to hear all the victims and to invite them to produce evidence attesting to their physical and mental state following their detention; to hear eligible persons and to invite them to provide written proof; and to hear anyone whose testimony might reveal the truth.
7. As far as crime was concerned, the final toll of the eight years of the Habré regime was a terrifying one: there were over 40,000 victims, over 80,000 orphans, over 30,000 widows and over 200,000 people who found themselves without moral or material support as a result of that repression. In addition, there was the personal property and real-estate looted and confiscated from peaceful citizens, estimated at CFA francs 1 billion each year.
8. The Commission of Inquiry had recommended the introduction of the genuine democracy and an independent and sovereign system of justice. To achieve that end, it had urged the current Government to speed up the democratic process. It had also recommended that a national human rights commission should be set up with the task of investigating violations, guaranteeing the protection and promotion of human rights at the national level and instituting criminal indemnification proceedings in cases concerning human rights violations. It has also made the following recommendations: the unlawful occupation of houses and the looting of property should be brought to an end; a commission responsible for returning confiscated personal property and real estate to their rightful owners should be set up; personal property and real estate belonging to the former agents of the Directorate of Documentation and Security (DDS) involved in crime and looting should be subject to provisional attachment; legal proceedings should be instituted against persons guilty of crimes against humanity; a monument should be built in memory of the victims of the repression and the second Sunday in the month of December proclaimed as a day of prayer and meditation; the former DDS headquarters and the underground prison should be transformed into a museum; the powers and the structure of the new special service called the General Directorate of the Information Research and Coordination Centre (DGCRCR) should be reviewed; all former DDS agents rehabilitated and recruited into the DGCRCR should be removed from their functions; the current legislative provisions of the Penal Code and Code of Penal Procedure relating to infringements of the internal and external security of the State should be enforced; the detention centres under the control of the DGCRCR and the Directorate of General Information should be closed down and only those envisaged by the Code of Penal Procedure retained; and the teaching of human rights in secondary schools, universities, police and gendarmerie colleges as the well as the army should be encouraged. Finally, the Commission of Inquiry recommended that the Head of State should take the requisite measures to deal severely with persons guilty of human rights violations.
9. The Commission of Inquiry had recommended that: the investigations into the financial operations of former President Habré, who had plundered the Treasury, should continue in order to repatriate the stolen money; legal proceedings should be instituted against those who had stolen from the coffers of the State in N'Djamena and in the provinces, during the events of 1 December 1990; requisite measures should be taken to bring the embezzlement of funds from the Treasury, parapublic societies and private companies to an end. The Government had set up a special criminal court which would sit in the near future to implement the conclusions and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry.
10. Following the political and military changes that had occurred since 1 December 1990, the Government was striving to bring about, at a gradual pace, drastic structural and operational changes in order to secure the promotion and respect of human rights, which had previously been flouted in a country ravaged by 30 years of war and dictatorship. It reaffirmed the commitment of the Chadian people to the principles of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1981 African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights. It also gave special attention to the right to development and, in general, to economic, social and cultural rights which were indissociable from civil and political rights.
11. In that new context of democratization, the Government of Chad had set up certain bodies vital for the establishment of a State subject to the rule of law. First of all, there was his own Ministry, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. Its task was to create conditions conducive to the exercise of democratic freedoms and to mobilize national and international solidarity on behalf of populations exposed to natural disasters and civil unrest. It also had the task of promoting and coordinating humanitarian activities, making the public aware of its rights and duties, safeguarding individual and collective rights and ensuring that victims of abuses obtained redress. Its activities were set against the current background of proliferating political groupings. Some 33 political parties had been legalized in the country from 1991 to 1993, as well as 60 different humanitarian associations and organizations.
12. The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was assisted by an advisory body, the National Human Rights Commission, which investigated and issued opinions for the information of the Government on all questions related to violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The following cases were referred as a matter of course to the Commission: the existence of a political police force, the use of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, abductions, disappearances, arbitrary detention and incarceration of detainees in secret locations. It published an annual report on its activities. It participated in human rights education and training activities. Leading figures from various departments, civil society and religious life sat on the Commission. It could set up working groups on specific issues, and it had free access to all governmental and non-governmental agencies for the purpose of obtaining information. The Chairman of the Commission could request the various ministries to prepare reports on matters coming within their sphere of competence.
13. The Government had also enacted a series of administrative, legal and institutional measures, including Decree No. 001/PR/91 of 1 March 1991 promulgating the National Charter of the Republic, adopted by the National Salvation Council on 28 February 1991. The Charter guaranteed fundamental freedoms and rights, including the freedom of opinion and of association, the freedom of the press, the free movement of persons and property, the right to own property and the individual and collective freedoms in a pluralist democracy.
14. The Government had also adopted Order No. 001/PR/91 establishing a military court competent to deal with the following offences: murder, kidnapping or abduction, rape followed by death, rape leading to disability, armed robbery or robbery in conjunction with murder, conspiracy, assault and battery causing death unintentionally, unlawful wearing of military uniform, unlawful possession of arms and ammunition, and harbouring perpetrators of the above-mentioned offences. Military personnel or paramilitary agents guilty of or accomplices of those offences, as well as civilian accomplices or receivers, could be brought before the military court. The establishment of that court of special jurisdiction was in response to the public's wish to deter wrongdoers who used military weapons to commit serious offences.
15. An ad hoc criminal court had also been established to deal with cases of assassination, murder, rape, interference with judicial functions, the unauthorized assumption of titles or functions, arbitrary detention and prosecution, unlawful arrest, illegal confinement of individuals, illegal entry, drug traffic, robbery, fraud, damage to property, corruption, extortion and corrupt practice during the period from 7 June 1982 to 1 December 1990, committed by former President of the Republic, Hissein Habré, and his accomplices, DDS agents or the members of any public force acting independently of their superiors, the political authorities, etc.
16. The Government had also taken the necessary steps to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture.
17. Unfortunately, 10 months after 1 December 1990, the date of the advent of peace and democracy, the country had once again been subjected to a number of deplorable incidents caused by rebel groups which harassed the forces of law and order in several locations. Following the discovery of a conspiracy against the security of the State, a number of persons had been arrested, but in a spirit of goodwill, they had subsequently been released and rehabilitated into society. That had given rise to a communication by the Prime Minister on 24 January 1992. However, at the end of December 1991, armed groups calling themselves the Democratic Movement of Chad (MDD), close to former President Habré, had attacked government positions in the Lac region; there had been many casualties on both sides. Those acts had been condemned by Ministries of Foreign Affairs (including France and the United States), humanitarian, trade union and political organizations, and all levels of society. Since then, the Government had been making tremendous efforts to bring peace to the Lac region. The MDD close to former President Habré rejected any dialogue, but the contacts with the MDD of Mr. Moussa Medella had led to a peace agreement and reconciliation. Unfortunately, the agreement had been called into question by the same MDD, which had resumed hostilities. However, the Government had spent over CFA francs 600 million to restore peace to the region and nearly all the members of the MDD who had been arrested had been released following an amnesty in 1992.
18. On 21 February 1992, members of the military had tried to seize power, and then had gone underground in the south of the country. They had formed a movement called the Committee of National Awakening for Peace and Democracy (CSNPD). Despite ambushes and attacks against the army, the Government had tirelessly continued negotiations which had concluded with a peace agreement on 22 June 1992. However, the CSNPD had subsequently violated the agreement on two occasions by engaging in hostilities. More than CFA francs 200 million had been spent in a bid to restore peace to the eastern Logone region, but the CSNPD had preferred to stay underground.
19. He regretted that some humanitarian organizations and some newspapers had distorted the events he had just described. He assured the Committee that there were no longer any political prisoners in Chad and that no journalist was being held in detention. Only ordinary law prisoners were incarcerated. No state of emergency had been decreed in Chad since 1 December 1992. Instances of human rights violations were due to the insecurity that prevailed in the country after 30 years of civil war; that insecurity explained why there were many weapons in the possession of armed gangs and civilians. The present Government had made unprecedented efforts over the last two years to bring that state of affairs to an end by addressing the sensitive tasks of reorganizing the army, disarming civilians and achieving reconciliation with the armed opposition movements.
20. The statement he had just made was of a general nature, and he was perfectly willing to answer more specific questions which members of the Committee might raise. He assured the Committee once again that although Chad had been absent from its discussions since 1984, it would henceforth be present at all times.
21. Mr. de GOUTTES, speaking as rapporteur for Chad, welcomed the presence of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs of Chad, who had come to give the point of view of his Government at a time when the Committee had been preparing to consider the situation in his country solely on the basis of outdated reports. Mr. Nadjidoumde's presence reflected the determination of the Government of Chad to resume the dialogue with the Committee, despite the country's current difficulties.
22. The statement just made by the representative of Chad had furnished the Committee with very useful general information on the demographic composition of that country. It had indicated that the next census would be taken on 1 April 1993; the Committee must hope, therefore, that data based on that census would appear in its next periodic report. Mr. Nadjidoumde had also provided useful information on general political developments in Chad during the eight years of Hissein Habré's presidency (1982-1990) as well as explanations about the serious events that had occurred in October 1991, December 1991 and December 1992.
23. He also considered of interest the information on the measures taken since 1 December 1990 to shed light on the human rights violations committed between 1982 and 1990, and in particular on the discriminatory acts carried out by members of the former President's tribe, the Goranes, against other ethnic groups. He had noted the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into crime and misappropriation of funds, the adoption of the National Charter on 28 February 1991, the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the setting up of a National Human Rights Commission, the legalization of the 33 political parties and 60 humanitarian associations or organizations and finally the commitment to ratify important international human rights instruments.
24. He noted, however, that despite the intrinsic interest of the communication by the Chadian delegation, it did not deal specifically with problems of racial discrimination and could not take the place of a periodic report. The Committee might therefore consider the communication as a preamble to the future report which the Republic of Chad would be required to submit to it as soon as possible. The report should be drafted in conformity with the general guidelines concerning the form and content of reports and should therefore consist of a general part, describing the social, political, economic and institutional context in which the Convention was implemented, and an analytical part, addressing the actual implementation of each article of the Convention.
25. The general section should contain information on the evolution of the domestic situation of the country in the demographic, political and economic fields.
26. At the demographic level, the Committee would like to be informed of the results of the census which would take place on 1 April 1993, including the distribution of the population by ethnic group. It would also like to be informed of the demographic growth rate, the unemployment rate and the literacy rate.
27. At the political level, it would be helpful to indicate the progress made by the National Conference inaugurated in N'Djamena on 15 January 1993 and which should make it possible to draft a new constitution and to set an electoral timetable, thereby showing the Government's determination to move forward on the road towards a more democratic system, a road which it had already taken by authorizing parties in 1992. The Government should also take stock of the international instruments that had been ratified.
28. In the economic context, the Committee would also like to know what was the impact on the most disadvantaged social categories of the country's deteriorating economic and financial situation, due mainly to a decline in revenue caused, inter alia, by large-scale fraud and by very heavy public spending mainly on the military.
29. In the part of the report devoted to the actual implementation of the various articles of the Convention, the Chadian Government should analyse in depth the legislation which, in conformity with article 4 of the Convention, made racist acts an offence. When it considered the fourth periodic report, the Committee had deplored the dearth of information in that regard.
30. In accordance with article 6 of the Convention, the report should also contain information on the effective remedies through tribunals available to victims of discrimination, as well as data on complaints filed, proceedings instituted and sentences handed down.
31. The Committee would also like to know what measures had been taken, in compliance with article 7 of the Convention, to help the various ethnic communities in the cultural, educational and social fields.
32. According to the information that was available, it would seem that in Chad power had first been exercised by the south during the Presidency of Mr. Tombalbaye from 1962 to 1975, and then by the ethnic groups of the north during the Presidency of Mr. Hissein Habré, and finally by the tribes from the east of the country with the assumption of power of President Deby.
33. According to Amnesty International, the Hadjeraï ethnic group, suspected of being unfavourable to the Government, had been the target of serious repression and members of that group were reported to have been extrajudicially executed by military personnel. In October 1991, violent clashes had occurred between the Hadjeraï and members of other ethnic groups, and many Hadjeraï had been arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow President Deby. In November 1991, the Government had set up a commission to investigate human rights violations committed in the wake of what was presumed to be an attempted coup d'état. The Commission would like to be informed about the work of the Commission and to have information on the above-mentioned events.
34. In conclusion, he thanked the Chadian Government for sending the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to make his comments to the Committee and invited it to submit in writing at an early date its new periodic report in the prescribed form. He also reminded it that States that so wished might request the Centre for Human Rights advisory services and the Committee for assistance in drafting their periodic report.
35. Mr. WOLFRUM associated himself fully with the views expressed by Mr. de Gouttes and congratulated the Chadian Government on resuming its dialogue with the Committee. He expressed the hope that Chad would soon submit a written report which would enable that dialogue to be extended.
36. Mr. YUTZIS welcomed the presence of the Chadian delegation, which reflected the will of the Chadian Government to engage in a dialogue.
37. He would like to have information on the situation of the very many ethnic groups in Chad, particularly from the viewpoint of article 5 of the Convention. Finally, he would like to know whether the National Human Rights Commission set up by the new Government included representatives of the most vulnerable groups among its members.
38. Mr. DIACONU welcomed the presence of the Chadian delegation, which attested to the will of the Chadian Government to revive the dialogue with the Committee. He was gratified that, despite the economic difficulties being experienced by the country, the Government was determined to develop legislative and institutional structures appropriate for a State subject to the rule of law so as to preclude the return of a dictatorship.
39. In conclusion, he would like the Chadian Government to submit its next report to the Committee's August session; the report should contain ample information on the way in which the Convention was implemented.
40. Mr. NADJIDOUMDE (Chad) said that he had made a careful note of the comments by the members of the Committee and that detailed answers would be given in the forthcoming report by the Chadian Government; the report would be submitted next August and drafted in conformity with the guidelines on the form and content of reports and with the wishes expressed by Mr. de Gouttes. His Government would not hesitate to apply for the assistance of the advisory services of the Centre for Human Rights.
41. Racial discrimination did not form part of the traditions of Chad, which had 110 tribes and 14 regions. It was true, however, that acts of racial discrimination had been committed during the regime of Hissein Habré, who had considered his tribe to be superior to the others. For instance, in order to have an important post, one had to belong to the President's tribe. Moreover, in order to rule more effectively, Hissein Habré had tried to divide north and south, Christian and Muslim, French speaker and Arabic speaker.
42. All those practices had come to an end with the departure of Hissein Habré. Today Chad had 33 political parties. For a party to be recognized, it had to have representatives in at least 10 of the 14 regions of the country. The purpose of that measure was to prevent tribalism and regionalism.
43. The dispute between the Peul nomadic cattle breeders and the sedentary farmers was on the way to being resolved. The farmers were being compensated for the damage caused to their crops by the nomads' herds, which had not been the case under Hissein Habré. Seasonal transhumance corridors would be opened up in order to limit that damage.
44. In Chad, no law authorized discriminatory practices, there was no sexual discrimination, and foreigners were on an equal footing with nationals in the eyes of the law. In conclusion, he thanked the members of the Committee for their attention and assured them that other issues would be answered in detail in the next report of Chad.
45. Mr. YUTZIS said that the Chadian authorities should create a multi-ethnic State and should define certain priorities aimed at securing respect for minorities. The task was not an easy one in view of the country's current economic difficulties.
46. Having studied many reports, members of the Committee were aware that in any country where several ethnic groups lived together, there was a risk that one of them might try to monopolize power and engage in discrimination against the other ethnic groups. That was the reason why the Convention not only prohibited any law that would legitimize such discrimination but also made it an obligation for States to promulgate laws forbidding such a practice. The Chadian authorities should therefore, to the extent possible, discharge the obligations set out in article 4 of the Convention.
47. Mr. de GOUTTES agreed with Mr. Diaconu that it was important that Chad should consolidate the rule of law so as to prevent a dictatorial regime from returning to power.
48. Mr. NADJIDOUMDE (Chad) said, in answer to the question by Mr. de Gouttes, that all those persons, mainly Hadjeraï, who had been arrested following the clashes in October 1991 had been released and reinstated in their posts within the State machinery. For instance, the former Minister of the Interior, Mr. Maldom Bada Abbas, who had been among the persons arrested, was currently the President of the National Assembly. A Hadjeraï problem therefore no longer existed in Chad.
49. The CHAIRMAN thanked the Chadian delegation for coming to engage in a dialogue with the members of the Committee.
50. Mr. Nadjidoumde and Mr. N'Garoudal (Chad) withdrew.
51. The CHAIRMAN invited Mr. de Gouttes to inform the Committee of his final conclusions as to the situation in Chad.
52. Mr. de GOUTTES said that despite the importance of the oral statement by the representative of Chad, it could not be equated with a report. He was therefore unable to submit final conclusions. He proposed that he should make some comments to the Committee later on the statement by Chad and that those comments should be regarded as provisional conclusions. That was the procedure that had been followed, at the Committee's forty-first session, in the case of Viet Nam which had not submitted a report but had sent a representative.
53. The CHAIRMAN accepted the proposal: in the absence of a written report submitted by a State party, there would be no formal conclusions by the Committee.
Consideration of the implementation of the Convention in Mozambique
54. Mrs. SADIQ ALI, speaking as rapporteur for Mozambique, said that the Committee was reviewing the implementation of the Convention in Mozambique in the absence of a report from Mozambique and in the absence of a representative of its Government. The first and last report submitted by Mozambique (CERD/C/111/Add.1) had already been considered by the Committee without the participation of a representative of the Government of the State party. The Committee had found the report to be excessively short and inadequate. Moreover, the report had not been drawn up in conformity with the guidelines established by the Committee for the submission of reports (CERD/C/70/Rev.1). The Committee had indicated that it was aware of the fact that as a frontline State subjected to the destabilizing activities of South Africa, Mozambique had had difficulties in preparing its initial report. It had invited the Government to submit its next report in conformity with the guidelines and to implement the principles and provisions of the Convention.
55. No further report had been received, presumably because of the civil war - one of the lengthiest in Africa - which had ravaged the country. That war had claimed at least one million lives and had driven another million people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries: more than half a million in Malawi and others in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Swaziland. Further, it was estimated that there were approximately 1.4 million internally displaced persons living mainly in camps set up throughout the country.
56. Agricultural production had been seriously affected by the severe drought in the fertile province of Zambezia, a major food-growing area. The infrastructure had been completely destroyed by the continued attacks of the rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO); that had hampered production and internal trade. Some 5 million people - a third of the country's population - were estimated to be dependent on international food aid. The drought had become so critical in Mozambique that Mr. Charles Lamunière, the Director of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, had said in September 1992 that unless food and water could be distributed rapidly, Mozambique could become another Somalia. Fortunately, the rains had come and the situation in Mozambique was less desperate. In the circumstances, it would be unrealistic to expect a report from Mozambique in the near future.
57. However, an event of historic importance had occurred on 4 October 1992 with the signing of the peace accord in Rome between FRELIMO, the party of Joaquim Chissano, and RENAMO, led by Afonso Dhlakana. The report had been welcomed with caution and restraint since there were fears that a pattern of events similar to those that had occurred in Angola might be repeated in Mozambique. For the moment, an uneasy compromise allowed RENAMO to maintain its current structures in the regions it controlled. However, a joint commission was to be established to provide a link between RENAMO-occupied areas and the central State administration until the first multi-party general elections were held in about a year's time.
58. In the meantime, a new Constitution containing 200 articles had been promulgated on 30 November 1990. It represented a major step towards safeguarding basic rights. It proclaimed political pluralism and the market economy.
59. The new Constitution had officially ended the leading role of FRELIMO, although the FRELIMO-dominated Government would remain in office pending the new elections. Fourteen new political parties had been formed. The new Constitution called for a strong presidency, but it had also strengthened the legislature by allowing a two-thirds majority to override what was essentially a presidential veto. The Constitution gave the Supreme Court the power to review the constitutionality of legislation. RENAMO, however, had denounced the Government's unilateral implementation of the Constitution and legislation on political parties, and had indicated that it would negotiate changes in the Constitution.
60. The Constitution expressly prohibited torture; the Government had allowed international human rights organizations access to prisons. The Constitution prohibited discrimination. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination should ask Mozambique to provide it with further information on the definition given to racial discrimination in the legislation enacted, in the light, in particular, of the definition of racial discrimination given in article 1, and the provisions of articles 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Convention.
61. There did not appear to be any systematic persecution on the basis of ethnicity or race. Nevertheless, the Government had tended to include at all levels a disproportionate number of southerners, mostly from the Shangana ethnic group. Whites, Asians and mixed-race Mozambican were also heavily represented in relation to their numbers in the population.
62. During its Sixth Congress, held in August 1990, FRELIMO had broadened its regional and ethnic base by creating slates of candidates for the Central Committee from all the 10 provinces.
63. The leadership of the RENAMO insurgents was predominantly from the Shona-speaking ethnic groups who lived near the frontier with Zimbabwe. Ethnic and regional factors might play some role and tribal factors might explain some of the violence, but RENAMO recruited from all ethnic groups and had not emphasized ethnic issues in its communiques or in its negotiating positions.
64. Racial issues had figured in political debates in 1991. During the discussion of the new nationality law, several members of the National Assembly had argued that Mozambican citizens should be limited to persons of black Mozambican origin, excluding Whites, Indians and persons of mixed race. However, the law, as promulgated, did not contain that definition.
65. Mozambique was in a difficult period of transition and the Committee could not expect a report from that country until the elections had been held, the situation had improved and the country had been cleared of mines. The international community and the Organization of African Unity must encourage the process of dialogue and ensure that Mozambique was put back on track. Maintaining peace would not be easy. The warring troops would have to be integrated into one army, jobs would have to be found, refugees would have to return and normal life would have to be restored. The refugees living in the neighbouring countries (approximately one million) would need help, at least during the first year following their return. Reconciliation, a particularly difficult issue, would require a great effort of will. The Pan-African Conference, held in Dakar from 25 to 28 May 1992, held out some hope. The Conference had recommended, among other things, the adoption of the national charter which embodied a solemn undertaking by all the political protagonists to opt for a peaceful transition to democracy.
66. Mr. FERRERO COSTA agreed with Mrs. Sadiq Ali that in view of Mozambique's difficult situation it would be unrealistic to expect that country to submit a report for the time being. The Committee was aware that serious violations of human rights were occurring and had no information about the implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
67. In the conclusions which would be transmitted to the State party, the Committee should therefore confine itself to indicating its deep concern at the situation prevailing in Mozambique and the violations of human rights that were occurring, expressing the hope that a peaceful solution would be found to the country's current difficulties. The Committee should also stress the fact that the civil war did not excuse Mozambique from respecting the provisions of the Convention, including that relating to the submission of periodic reports drawn up in conformity with the guidelines formulated by the Committee for that purpose.
68. Mr. de GOUTTES agreed with Mr. Ferrero Costa. Like Mrs. Sadiq Ali, he thought that the case of Mozambique was somewhat unusual, since that country had only presented a single report, its initial one, in 1984, shortly after acceding to the Convention, and that at the time the report had been found by the Committee to be far too short.
69. The Committee must therefore remind Mozambique of the obligations that devolved upon it under the Convention, while drawing its attention to the fact that it could call on the advisory services of the Centre for Human Rights and of the Committee itself.
70. Mr. YUTZIS noted that members of the Committee who had spoken before him had stressed that the Committee should proceed not only in the light of the objectives of the Convention but also and above all the needs of the populations and States which were in an extremely difficult situation, often the legacy of the past. He shared that opinion. The Committee should consider Mozambique as a classic case: other similar situations would certainly arise. Clearly, the Committee could not remake history, but if it was to avoid a sentiment of helplessness, it should, in the context of its mandate, provide assistance to those who were beset by conflicts and suffered their consequences directly. It should therefore seek types of appropriate advisory services, standards ensuring the implementation of all promulgated legislation and methods of making States which were in difficulties understand that they had the possibility and the obligation to implement the Convention. All that came within the scope of the document on prevention recently adopted by the Committee.
71. The CHAIRMAN said that Mrs. Sadiq Ali would submit comments on the situation of Mozambique in due course. As in the case of Chad, since there had been no report, there would be no formal conclusions by the Committee.
SUBMISSION OF REPORTS BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9, PARAGRAPH 1, OF THE CONVENTION (agenda item 3) (continued)
Draft general recommendation on de facto discrimination
72. Mr. WOLFRUM said that the text which had been circulated (Draft general recommendation on art. 1 para. 1) replaced the draft general recommendation on de facto discrimination submitted by himself. In accordance with the suggestion made by the Committee when it had considered the first draft, the new draft recommendation was presented in narrative form. It endeavoured to take account of all the suggestions and opinions expressed in the Committee at that time.
73. He drew the Committee's attention to the penultimate sentence in paragraph 1 of the draft, which he read out. The last sentence of that paragraph referred to article 2 paragrph 1 (c) of the Convention. Paragraphs 2 and 3 endeavoured to take account of the concerns expressed by Mr. Lamptey at a time when the previous draft had been considered.
74. Mr. DIACONU, Mr. LAMPTEY and Mr. de GOUTTES supported the draft recommendation.
75. The CHAIRMAN said that if there was no objection, he would take it that the Committee approved the draft general recommendation on de facto discrimination.
76. It was so decided.
Draft general recommendation on article 4 of the Convention
77. Mr. WOLFRUM introducing the draft recommendation in his capacity as co-sponsor with Mr. Banton, said that paragraph 1 of the text was somewhat narrative in form as it recalled certain matters relevant to the implementation of article 4 of the Convention.
78. Paragraph 2 referred to a constant practice of the Committee, that of reminding States parties that they had not only to enact legislation but also to ensure that it was enforced, and enforced effectively.
79. Paragraph 4, which should come after paragraph 2, recalled the four categories of conduct which should be penalized by law, in conformity with paragraph 4 (a) of the Convention. It was intended to avoid the confusion that had been noted in the reports of some States parties.
80. Paragraph 3, which was now paragraph 4, was the most important paragraph in the draft general recommendation since it referred to the relationship existing between the provisions of article 4 of the Convention and freedom of opinion and expression. It should be amended by deleting, in the fourth sentence, the words "which are" and completing that sentence by the words ", among which the obligation not to disseminate racist ideas is of particular importance". In the following sentence "(2)" should be inserted after "article 20".
81. Paragraph 5 had been designed in order to rectify an omission in reports by States parties, namely, penalization of the financing of racist activities.
82. Paragraph 6 was intended to refute the argument adduced by some States parties, such as Denmark or the United Kingdom, which saw no need to declare illegal organizations coming under article 4 (b) of the Convention since they already penalized incitement to racial discrimination.
83. Finally, the text of paragraph 7 should be considered separately from that of the draft itself.
84. Mr. RECHETOV said that the expression "of the mandatory character" in paragraph 2 of the draft could give the impression that the other articles in the Convention did not have the same weight. It would therefore be appropriate to indicate the importance of article 4 (a) and (b) in some other way.
85. Turning to the first sentence in paragraph 3 of the draft, he agreed with the Committee that the prohibition of the dissemination of ideas based upon racial superiority or hatred was compatible with the right to freedom of opinion and expression. However, everyone was aware of the frequent conflict in practice between the act of prohibiting racial discrimination and the act of proclaiming the freedom of opinion and expression. It would be desirable to bring the text of the draft more closely into line with the actual situation.
86. On that basis, he supported the draft general recommendation.
87. Mr. FERRERO COSTA said that the draft recommendation was particularly important. He considered that it was not desirable to state in paragraph 1 of the draft that article 4 was the key article of the Convention. He proposed either deleting the reference or formulating it differently, for example, by describing article 4 as a "crucial" article.
88. In paragraph 3, the expression "is fully compatible" seemed to him to be questionable. He would suggest replacing the first sentence in the paragraph by: "In the opinion of the Committee, the prohibition of the dissemination of all ideas based on racial superiority or hatred should not be limited as a consequence of the right to freedom of opinion and expression".
89. Finally, he thought that the wording of paragraph 6 did not bring out the fact, set forth in article 4 (b), that States "shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations and ... propaganda activities which promote and incite racial discrimination". The paragraph should specify that associations whose objective was to promote or incite racial discrimination should be declared illegal automatically.
90. Mr. SONG supported the draft under consideration. In paragraph 1, the description of article 4 as a key article of the Convention did not, in his view, pose any problem in that the Committee had already reached that conclusion on numerous occasions.
91. Furthermore, he considered that the reminder of the mandatory character of the provisions of article 4 (a) and (b) was all the more necessary since the principles in question appeared currently to be breached in many regions of the world, particularly in Europe.
92. Finally, he proposed replacing the expression "is fully compatible" by "is compatible" in paragraph 3 of the draft.
93. Mr. LAMPTEY approved the wording of the draft although he was not certain that such a recommendation was necessary.
94. Mr. de GOUTTES fully supported the draft general recommendation whose topicality seemed unquestionable. However, like other members of the Committee, he would prefer not to retain the expression "the key article" and proposed replacing it, for example, by "one of the key articles" or "a particularly important article".
95. Mr. DIACONOU, referring to a comment made by Mr. Ferrero Costa on paragraph 6 of the draft, said it was difficult to declare certain organizations to be illegal at the outset because they might acquire statutes that were acceptable from the viewpoint of the Convention. In such a case,
the prohibition could only be put into effect later, once the activities of those organizations had been recognized to be incompatible with the provisions of article 4.
96. Mr. YUTZIS said that he subscribed to the draft general recommendation. The wording of the first sentence in paragraph 3 seemed to him to be pertinent since some States did not appear to accept or understand the scope of the prohibition in question. With regard to paragraph 6 of the draft, he considered that the organizations referred to in article 4 (b) should be declared illegal at the outset.
97. Mr. GARVALOV supported the draft general recommendations submitted by Mr. Banton and Mr. Wolfrum. He did not find the expression "the key article" questionable and did not assume that the other articles in the Convention were relegated to a lower status. The last two sentences in paragraph 1 confirmed the importance of the article, particularly in the light of current events in certain parts of Europe.
98. The CHAIRMAN said that he assumed that, subject to certain amendments, the Committee was generally favourable to the draft general recommendation on the implementation of article 4 of the Convention. He therefore requested its sponsors, Mr. Banton and Mr. Wolfrum, to amend the text accordingly so that it could be reconsidered at a later date.