The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee also referred to as the “Third Committee” deals with a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues around the world. An important part of the Committee’s work focuses on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the newly established Human Rights Council.
The Committee also discusses the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the promotion of the right to self- determination. In addition, it addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and drug control.
Nigeria’s UN Ambassador, Ambassador Joy Ogwu played a lead role in resolving the impasse in the General Committee on whether the Report of the Human Rights Council (2008) should be presented in the Third Committee or in the General Assembly plenary. In her statement before the Committee, Ambassador Joy Ogwu articulated Nigeria’s proposal that the full report of the Council should be considered in the General Assembly plenary; while the Third Committee should consider and act on the recommendations of the report. This proposal formed the foundation of the consensus that resolved the deadlock.