The Celtic League have written to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking what steps it is taking to implement recommendations in the most recent report of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The UK is “the State Party” in terms of the treaty which covers the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Overseas dependencies – including the Isle of Man.
The Celtic League submitted evidence to the most recent hearing of the Committee posing a number of questions relevant to the Isle of Man. Specifically the League asked:
1. What has been done to “promote the realization of the right of self-determination” in the Isle of Man by the State Party?
2. In what manner has the right to self-determination been implemented in the Isle of Man by the State Party?
The Foreign Secretary has also been asked that in the consultation period prior to the submission of any future reports to the United Nations involvement of NGOs is encouraged in the dependent territories
“Rt Hon David Milliband MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
I write with reference to the concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the combined fourth to fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Dependent Territories on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/GBR/
5) at its 14th, 15th and 16th meetings, held on 12 and 13 May 2009 (E/C.12/2009/SR.14-16), and adopted, at its 26th and 27th meetings held on 20 and 22 May.
At para 12 under the section “Principal subjects of concern and recommendations” the report says
“The Committee is concerned, even though it takes note of the State party’s structure of government, with devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and separate government structures in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, about the lack of a national strategy to implement the Covenant. It is also concerned about the limited availability of information regarding the implementation of the Covenant in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
Bearing in mind that it is that State party which is responsible for the implementation of the Covenant in all its territories, the Committee urges the State party to ensure the equal enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights by all individuals and groups of individuals under its jurisdiction, and recommends that the State party adopt a national strategy for the implementation of the Covenant throughout the State
Can you advise what steps the British government is taking to implement this recommendations and where detail of any “national strategy” which details an inclusive strategy in all of “the State party’s territories” can be found?
You will be aware that the Celtic League provided evidence to the Committee during its deliberations- see:
( UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Information from other sources).
It would be helpful – going forward – if the Committee’s observations in para 3 i.e.
“The Committee notes with appreciation the involvement of the national human rights institutions and some non-governmental organizations in the process of preparation of the State party’s report and encourages the State party to establish an institutional framework for future cooperation with national human rights institutions and civil society in the preparation of its reports to the Committee and the follow-up.”
were given practical effect and NGOs are given adequate notice of and are involved in the process of preparing a submission to the CESCR.
As far as the Celtic League are aware neither the UK or Isle of Man governments has actively sought the involvement of NGOs in the consultation process although this is a basic tenet of the Convention.
It is almost as if the State Party (in this case the UK) in collusion with the domestic regimes in the dependent territories wish to gerrymander the evidence they present to this body (and indeed other International bodies)
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”
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