28 September 2001


NEW YORK, 27 September (UN Headquarters) -- At its organizational session this morning, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) elected Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez of El Salvador, Carina Martensson of Sweden and Yehia Oda of Egypt as its Vice-Chairmen. Juraj Priputen of Slovakia was elected as its Rapporteur.

Before the morning’s work began, Committee Chairman Fuad Mubarak Al-Hinai (Oman) acknowledged the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the opening of the current General Assembly session and called for a moment of silence in honour of the victims of the shocking tragedy at the World Trade Center on 11 September.

Mr. Al-Hinai then welcomed new delegates to New York, pointing out that the work before them offered a unique opportunity to review myriad important issues.

After a brief recess for informal consultations, the Committee then adopted its programme of work for the current session (document A/C.3/56/L.1 and Add.1), which is expected to conclude on 28 November.

During the coming session, the Committee will consider agenda items related to crime prevention and criminal justice (item 110), international drug control (item 111), advancement of women (items 112 and 113), refugees and displaced persons (item 114), the rights of children (item 115), indigenous people (item 116), elimination of racial discrimination (item 117), the right to self-determination (item 118), and diverse human rights questions (item 119).

Continuing its practice of examining various relevant reports, the Committee will also hold interactive dialogues with rapporteurs, special representatives and senior Secretariat officials. In addition, the Committee will hold a dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 6 November, and, later in the session, it will hear a presentation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and hold a dialogue with him.

The representatives of Cuba, United States, Trinidad and Tobago, and India made brief interventions this morning.

The Committee will begin its substantive work on 8 October at 3 p.m., when it will take up questions related to social development, including the world social situation and youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family (items 108 and 109).

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