The General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the "Third Committee", agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.
As in previous sessions, an important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006. In October 2012, the Committee will hear and interact with 45 such special rapporteurs, independent experts, and chairs of working groups of the 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 right to self- determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.
At the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered 56 draft resolutions, more than half of which were submitted under the human rights agenda item alone. These included three so-called country-specific resolutions on human rights situations.
In line with General Assembly resolution 66/246, the formal meetings of the Third committee will be webcast live at the UN Web TV
website. Past meetings of the session will also be available from the video archives.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Henry L. Mac-Donald, the Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations, the Third Committee is expected to consider a similar number of draft resolutions.