Chronicle of an Announced Birth: The Coming into Life of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights—The Missing Piece of the International Bill of Human Rights
- Human Rights Quarterly
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 32, Number 1, February 2010
- pp. 144-178
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At the 2009 Treaty Event held at UN Headquarters in New York, twentynine states signed the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This new treaty had been adopted by consensus of the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 2008, after decades of discussions and a surprisingly short nine months of intergovernmental negotiations over a draft. This article aims to share some of the history of discussions on economic, social, and cultural rights and on an optional protocol to the Social Rights Covenant within the United Nations. It also intends to show how this debate has evolved up until now, especially during the discussions within the UN open-ended working group on an optional protocol.