E/1999/23 (Part I*)

E/CN.4/1999/167 (Part I*)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

 

                               REPORT ON THE FIFTY-FIFTH SESSION

 

                                            (22 March - 30 April 1999)

 

 

 

 

                                                         PART I

 

               (for use by members of the Economic and Social Council during its l999 substantive session)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________

 

*  The first and second parts will subsequently be published in a single volume, as the Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Supplement No.3.

 

 

 

GE.99_13459  (E)


                                   CONTENTS

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

    I.    DRAFT RESOLUTION AND DECISIONS RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION

BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ...........................  10

 

A.  Draft resolution

 

Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related

intolerance ................................................    10

 

B.  Draft decisions

 

1.   Situation of human rights in Afghanistan ..............    14

 

2.   Situation of human rights in Burundi ..................    14

 

3.   Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic

of Iran ...............................................    15

 

4.   Situation of human rights in Iraq......................   15

 

5.   Situation of human rights in the Sudan ................    15

 

6.   Situation of human rights in Myanmar ..................    16

 

7.   Situation of human rights in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the Republic of

Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ....................    16

 

8.   Situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea and assistance in the field of human rights ...............    17

 

9.   Situation of human rights in Rwanda ...................    17

 

10.  Question of the realization in all countries of the economic, social and cultural rights contained in

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in

the International Covenant on Economic, Social and

Cultural Rights, and study of special problems

which the developing countries face in their efforts

to achieve these human rights .........................    17

 

11.  Human rights and extreme poverty ....................  18

 

12.  Question of a draft optional protocol to the

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman

or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ..................    18

 

13.  Right to freedom of opinion and expression ............    18

 

14.  Human rights of migrants ..............................    19

 


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

    I.    B.  Draft decisions (continued)

 

15.  Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights

to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance

with paragraph 5 of General Assembly

resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 .................    20

 

16.  Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub_Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the International

Decade of the World's Indigenous People ...............    20

 

17.  A permanent forum for indigenous people in the

United Nations system .................................    21

 

18.  Strengthening of the Office of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Human Rights ....................    21

 

19.  Situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic

of the Congo ..........................................    21

 

20.  National institutions for the promotion and

protection of human rights ............................    22       

21.  Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights.....   22

 

22.  Situation of human rights in Cambodia  ................    23

 

23.  Situation of human rights in Haiti ....................    23

 

24.  Rights of the child ...................................    23

 

25.  Defamation of religions ...............................    24

 

26.  Effects of structural adjustment policies on the

full enjoyment of human rights ........................    25

 

27.  Systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like

practices during armed conflicts, including internal

armed conflict ........................................    25

 

28.  The concept and practice of affirmative action.........   26

 

29.  Dates of the fifty_sixth session of the Commission

on Human Rights........................................   26

 

30.  Organization of the work of the fifty_sixth session

of the Commission on Human Rights......................   26

 

31.  Rationalization of the work of the Commission on

Human Rights ..........................................    27

 


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION

AT ITS FIFTY-FIFTH SESSION .....................................    28

 

A.  Resolutions

 

1999/1.    Situation of human rights in Sierra Leone ........    28

 

1999/2.    Situation of human rights in Kosovo...............   29

 

1999/3.    The use of mercenaries as a means of violating

human rights and impeding the exercise of the

right of peoples to self_determination ...........    30

 

1999/4.    Question of Western Sahara .......................    33

 

1999/5.    Question of the violation of human rights in

the occupied Arab territories, including

Palestine ........................................    35

 

1999/6.    Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan ........    38

 

1999/7.    Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab

territories ......................................    40

1999/8.    Human rights in Cuba .............................    41

 

1999/9.    Situation of human rights in Afghanistan .........    43

 

1999/10.   Situation of human rights in Burundi .............    47

 

1999/11.   Situation of human rights in Nigeria .............    50

 

1999/12.   Human rights situation in southern Lebanon and

west Bekaa .......................................    52

 

1999/13.   Situation of human rights in the Islamic

Republic of Iran .................................    54

 

1999/14.   Situation of human rights in Iraq ................    57

 

1999/15.   Situation of human rights in the Sudan ...........    60

 

1999/16.   Cooperation with representatives of

United Nations human rights bodies ...............    65

 

1999/17.   Situation of human rights in Myanmar .............    66


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    A.  Resolutions (continued)

 

1999/18.   The situation of human rights in the Federal

Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro),

the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and

Herzegovina ......................................    71

 

1999/19.   Situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea

and assistance in the field of human rights ......    83

 

1999/20.   Situation of human rights in Rwanda ..............    86

 

1999/21.   Human rights and unilateral coercive measures ....    90

 

1999/22.   Effects on the full enjoyment of human rights

of the economic adjustment policies arising

from foreign debt and, in particular, on the

implementation of the Declaration on the Right

to Development ...................................    92

 

1999/23.   Adverse effects of the illicit movement and

dumping of toxic and dangerous products and

wastes on the enjoyment of human rights ..........    96

 

1999/24.   The right to food ................................    99

 

1999/25.   Question of the realization in all countries

of the economic, social and cultural rights

contained in the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights and in the International Covenant

on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and

study of special problems which the developing

countries face in their efforts to achieve

these human rights ............................           101

 

1999/26.   Human rights and extreme poverty .............. ............................................... 105

 

1999/27.   Human rights and terrorism..................... ............................................... 109

 

1999/28.   Human rights and arbitrary deprivation of

nationality ...................................           112

 

1999/29.   Hostage-taking ................................ ............................................... 113

 

1999/30.   Question of a draft optional protocol to the

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,

Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ..           114


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    A.  Resolutions (continued)

 

1999/31.   Independence and impartiality of the judiciary,

jurors and assessors and the independence of

lawyers .......................................           116

1999/32.   Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading          treatment or punishment ................... ............................................... 118

 

1999/33.   The right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations

of human rights and fundamental freedoms ......           123

 

1999/34.   Impunity ......................................           124

 

1999/35.   Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions .           126 ...........................................

1999/36.   Right to freedom of opinion and expression .... ............................................... 130

 

1999/37.   Question of arbitrary detention ............... ............................................... 134

 

1999/38.   Question of enforced or involuntary

disappearances ................................           136

 

1999/39.   Implementation of the Declaration on the

Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and

of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief .           139

 

1999/40.   Traffic in women and girls ....................           142

 

1999/41.   Integrating the human rights of women

throughout the United Nations system ..........           146

 

1999/42.   Elimination of violence against women ......... ............................................... 150

 

1999/43.   Abduction of children from northern Uganda .... ............................................... 155

 

1999/44.   Human rights of migrants ......................           157

 

1999/45.   International Convention on the Protection of

the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members

of Their Families .............................           160

 

1999/46.   Contemporary forms of slavery ................. ............................................... 161

 

1999/47.   Internally displaced persons ..................           163

 

1999/48.   Rights of persons belonging to national or

ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities ...           167

 


                   CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    A.  Resolutions (continued)

 

1999/49.   The protection of human rights in the context

of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and

acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).....           169

 

1999/50.   Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights

to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance

with paragraph 5 of General Assembly

resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994..........           173

 

1999/51.   Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub_Commission on Prevention of Discrimination

and Protection of Minorities and the

International Decade of the World's Indigenous

People ........................................           174

 

1999/52.   A permanent forum for indigenous people

                         in the United Nations system ..................                                       178

 

1999/53.   Forum on economic, social and cultural rights:

the Social Forum ..............................           180

 

1999/54.   Strengthening of the Office of the

United Nations High Commissioner for

Human Rights ..................................           181

 

1999/55.   Situation in occupied Palestine ...............           183

 

1999/56.   Situation of human rights in the Democratic

Republic of the Congo .........................           185

 

1999/57.   Promotion of the right to democracy ........... ............................................... 190

 

1999/58.   Impunity of perpetrators of violations of

economic, social and cultural rights ..........           192

 

1999/59.   Globalization and its impact on the full

enjoyment of all human rights .................           193

 

1999/60.   Development of public information activities

in the field of human rights, including the

World Public Information Campaign on

Human Rights ..................................           194

 

1999/61.   Question of the death penalty .................           198

 

1999/62.   Towards a culture of peace .................... ............................................... 201

 

1999/63.   Human rights and bioethics .................... ............................................... 202


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    A.  Resolutions (continued)

 

1999/64.   United Nations Decade for Human Rights

Education .....................................           205

 

1999/65.   Fundamental standards of humanity ............. ............................................... 208

 

1999/66.   Implementation of the Declaration on the Right

and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and

Organs of Society to Promote and Protect

Universally Recognized Human Rights and

Fundamental Freedoms ..........................           209

 

1999/67.   Convention on the Prevention and Punishment

of the Crime of Genocide ......................           210

 

1999/68.   Enhancement of international cooperation in

the field of human rights .....................           211

 

1999/69.   Regional cooperation for the promotion and

protection of human rights in the Asian and

                         Pacific region ................................           212

 

1999/70.   Composition of the staff of the Office of

the United Nations High Commissioner for

Human Rights ..................................           214

 

1999/71.   Regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights .................... ............................................... 216

 

1999/72.   National institutions for the promotion and

protection of human rights ....................           219

 

1999/73.   Mainstreaming technical cooperation in all

areas of human rights .........................           223

 

1999/74.   Assistance to States in strengthening the

rule of law ...................................           226

 

1999/75.   Assistance to Somalia in the field of

human rights ..................................           228

 

1999/76.   Situation of human rights in Cambodia ......... ............................................... 231

 

1999/77.   Situation of human rights in Haiti ............ ............................................... 235

 

1999/78.   Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and

related intolerance ...........................           238

 

1999/79.   The right to development ...................... ............................................... 249

 


                             CONTENTS (continued)

 

Chapter                                                                Page

 

   II.    A.  Resolutions (continued)

 

1999/80.   Rights of the child ........................... ............................................... 254

 

1999/81.   Work of the Sub_Commission on Prevention of  Discrimination and Protection of Minorities ... ............................................... 273

 

1999/82.   Defamation of religions ....................... ............................................... 276

 

B.  Decisions

 

1999/101.  Organization of work ..........................           278

 

1999/102.  Question of assistance to Chad ................ ............................................... 281

 

1999/103.  Question of human rights in Cyprus ............           281

 

1999/104.  Effects of structural adjustment policies on

the full enjoyment of human rights ............           282

 

1999/105.  Systematic rape, sexual slavery and

slavery_like practices during armed conflict,

including internal armed conflict .............           283

 

1999/106.  Study on indigenous land rights ...............           283

 

1999/107.  The concept and practice of affirmative

action ........................................           283

 

1999/108.  Drinking water supply and sanitation services .           284

 

1999/109.  Human rights and the follow_up to the

guidelines for the regulation of computerized

personal data files ...........................           284

 

1999/110.  Human rights and thematic procedures .......... ............................................... 284

 

1999/111.  Postponement of consideration of draft

resolution E/CN.4/1999/L.85 ...................           285

 

1999/112.  Dates of the fifty_sixth session

of the Commission .............................           285

 

1999/113.  Organization of the work of the fifty_sixth

session of the Commission .....................           285

 

 


  I.  DRAFT RESOLUTION AND DECISIONS RECOMMENDED FOR

                  ADOPTION BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL

 

                             A.  Draft resolution

 

                 Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and

                              related intolerance

 

The Economic and Social Council,

 

Taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/78 of 28 April 1999,

 

1.    Approves the Commission's recommendation that the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, should request the Secretary_General to assign high priority to the activities of the Programme of Action for the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and to earmark adequate resources to finance the activities of the Programme of Action;  

 

2.    Also approves the Commission’s request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake research and consultations on the use of the Internet for purposes of incitement to racial hatred, racist propaganda and xenophobia, to study ways of promoting international cooperation in this area, and to draw up a programme of human rights education and exchanges over the Internet on experience in the struggle against racism, xenophobia and anti‑Semitism;

 

3.    Further approves the Commission’s appeal to the High Commissioner to provide those countries which were visited by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, at their request, with advisory services and technical assistance to enable them to implement fully the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur;

 

4.    Endorses the Commission’s decision, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/111, which indicates that the Commission will act as the Preparatory Committee for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, so as that:

 

(a)   The sessions of the Preparatory Committee scheduled in 2000 and 2001 will be headed by the same bureau composed of 10 members, i.e. two representatives per regional group, in order to ensure continuity and the adequate representation of all Member States of the United Nations;

 

(b)   It will recommend to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, that the World Conference and the sessions of the Preparatory Committee should be open to participation by:

 

            (i)   All States members of the United Nations and specialized agencies;

 

           (ii)   All regional organizations and commissions involved in the preparation of regional meetings;


          (iii)   Representatives of organizations which have received from the General Assembly a standing invitation to participate as observers;

 

           (iv)   Specialized agencies, secretariats of the regional commissions and all United Nations bodies and programmes;

 

            (v)   Representatives of all United Nations mechanisms in the field of human rights;

 

           (vi)   Other interested governmental organizations, which shall be represented by observers;

 

          (vii)   Interested non_governmental organizations to be represented by observers in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996;

 

5.    Approves the Commission’s recommendations to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, that, if no offer is made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for hosting the World Conference by the end of the first session of the Preparatory Committee to be held in the year 2000:

 

(a)   The World Conference should be held in Geneva;

 

(b)   The World Conference should be held in the year 2001, but after the session of the Commission on Human Rights and before that of the General Assembly;

 

6.    Also approves the Commission’s requests to the High Commissioner:

 

(a)   To prepare, immediately following the fifty_fifth session of the Commission, the questionnaires referred to in the report of the open-ended Working Group to review and formulate proposals for the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (E/CN.4/1999/16 and Corr. 1 and 2) with a view, on the one hand, to reviewing progress made in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, particularly since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and, on the other, to reappraise the obstacles to further progress in the field and ways to overcome them, and to send them as soon as possible to States, specialized agencies, international governmental and non_governmental organizations and national institutions;

 

(b)   To review and analyse the replies and submit a report to the first session of the Preparatory Committee six weeks before the beginning of its work;

 

(c)   To open an Internet site on the preparations for the World Conference in close cooperation with the Department of Public Information;

 

(d)   In her capacity as Secretary_General of the World Conference, to prepare and carry out, in close cooperation with the Department of Public Information, an effective world information campaign with a view to mobilization and support for the objectives of the World Conference by all sectors of political, economic, social and cultural life, as well as other interested sectors;


(e)   To include, inter alia, in her strategy for informing international public opinion and sensitizing it to the objectives of the World Conference:

 

            (i)   The appointment of renowned ambassadors from the entertainment, arts, culture, sports and musical worlds and any other field who might mobilize the attention of civil society;

 

           (ii)   An invitation to the sports world to cooperate actively as a partner in the World Conference;

 

          (iii)   Additional private_sector funding through sponsoring;

 

           (iv)   The need to ensure full coverage of preparatory activities and the World Conference by the media by making full use of the services of United Nations Information Centres;

 

            (v)   Sending all Governments, international governmental organizations, non_governmental organizations and national institutions information handbooks and pamphlets that can be made available to the public and the media, as well as to United Nations Information Centres;

 

(f)   To set up a voluntary fund designed specifically to cover all aspects of the preparatory process for the World Conference and the participation of non_governmental organizations, especially from developing countries, by requesting all Governments, international organizations, non_governmental organizations and private individuals to contribute to this Fund;

 

(g)   To undertake appropriate consultations with non_governmental organizations on the possibility that they might hold a forum before and partly during the World Conference and, insofar as possible, to provide them with technical assistance for that purpose;

 

(h)   To undertake a study to be submitted to the first session of the Preparatory Committee on ways of improving coordination between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and all specialized agencies and international, regional and subregional organizations in the field of action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

 

(i)   To help the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to carry out a study on preventive measures relating to ethnic, racial, religious and xenophobically motivated conflicts and to formulate recommendations intended for the first session of the Preparatory Committee;

 

(j)   To invite the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance to participate actively in the preparatory process and in the World Conference by initiating studies on action to combat incitement to hatred and religious intolerance;

 


(k)   To review progress made in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to reappraise the obstacles to further progress in the field and ways to overcome them with a view to submitting her conclusions to the Preparatory Committee;

 

(l)   To organize an international seminar of experts on the remedies available to the victims of acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and on good national practices in this field, which will be financed by voluntary contributions, to encourage other activities, particularly seminars forming part of the preparations for the World Conference, and to submit the recommendations of these seminars to the Preparatory Committee;

 

(m)   To draw up a draft agenda for the first session of the Preparatory Committee;

 

7.    Approves the Commission’s appeals to the High Commissioner to help States and regional organizations, on request, to convene national and regional meetings or to undertake other initiatives, including at the expert level, to prepare for the World Conference, and also to the specialized agencies and the United Nations regional economic commissions, in coordination with the High Commissioner, to contribute to the holding of regional preparatory meetings;

 

8.    Also approves the Commission’s requests:

 

(a)   To the Secretary_General, the United Nations specialized agencies and the regional economic commissions to provide financial and technical assistance for the organization of the regional preparatory meetings planned in the context of the World Conference, and stresses that such assistance should be supplemented by voluntary contributions;

 

(b)   To the Sub_Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to undertake a study on ways of making United Nations activities and mechanisms in the context of programmes aimed at combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance more effective;

 

(c)   To the Secretary_General to submit a report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session on the implementation of Commission resolution 1999/78 under the agenda item entitled “Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination”;

 

9.    Endorses the Commission’s recommendations that the World Conference should adopt a declaration and a programme of action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, that the particular situation of children should receive special attention during the preparations for and during the World Conference itself, especially in its outcome, and that the importance of systematically adopting a gender-based approach throughout the preparations for and in the outcome of the World Conference should be stressed.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/78,

                                                             and chap. VI.]

 

 


                              B.  Draft decisions

 

                 1.  Situation of human rights in Afghanistan

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/9 of 23 April 1999, approves the Commission's recommendations to the Secretary-General:

 

(a)   To implement promptly, security conditions permitting, the decision to investigate fully reports of mass killings of prisoners of war and civilians, rape and other cruel treatment in

Afghanistan;

 

(b)   To ensure that the deployment of the civilian affairs observers in Afghanistan takes place as soon as possible, security conditions permitting, and that gender issues are fully incorporated into their mission.

 

The Council also approves the Commission’s request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure a human rights presence in the context of the United Nations activities in Afghanistan in order to provide advice and training in the field of human rights to all the Afghan parties, as well as to the intergovernmental and non_governmental organizations active in the field.

 

The Council endorses the Commission’s decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan for one year, and to request the Special Rapporteur to report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session.

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/9,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

                   2.  Situation of human rights in Burundi

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/10 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi by one year, and to request the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report on the human rights situation in that country to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session, and a report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, giving his work a gender_specific dimension.   

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/10,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 


         3.  Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/13 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s decision to extend the mandate of the Special Representative on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as contained in Commission resolution 1984/54 of 14 March 1984, for a further year, and to request the Special Representative to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session, and also to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information.

 

                          [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/13,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

                     4.  Situation of human rights in Iraq 

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/14 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq, as contained in Commission resolution 1991/74 of 6 March 1991 and subsequent resolutions, for a further year, to request the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report on the situation of human rights in Iraq to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, and also to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;

 

(b)   To request the Secretary-General to continue to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur to enable him to discharge his mandate fully, and to approve the allocation of sufficient human and material resources for the sending of human rights monitors to such locations as would facilitate improved information flow and assessment and help in the independent verification of reports on the situation of human rights in Iraq.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/14,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

                  5.  Situation of human rights in the Sudan

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/15 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for a further year, to request him to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty‑sixth session on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, and to continue to keep a gender perspective in mind in the reporting process.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/15,

                                                             and chap. IX.]


                   6.  Situation of human rights in Myanmar

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/17 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, as contained in Commission resolution 1992/58 of 3 March 1992, for a further year, to request the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session, and to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/17,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

     7.  Situation of human rights in the Federal Republic

   of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the Republic

   of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

  

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/18 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's

decision to renew for one year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

 

The Council approves the Commission’s requests that the Special Rapporteur carry out missions to:  (a) Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Republika Srpska; (b) the Republic of Croatia, including Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium; (c) the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), including to Kosovo, as well as to Sandjak and Vojvodina.

 

The Council also endorses the Commission’s decisions:

 

(a)   To request the Special Rapporteur to report to the Commission at its fifty‑sixth session on the work carried out in fulfilment of his mandate, and to make interim reports as appropriate about his work in support of the Kosovo initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to present interim reports to the General Assembly at its fifty‑fourth session;

 

(b)   To request the Secretary‑General to continue to make the Special Rapporteur's reports available to the Security Council, to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to other international organizations concerned with human rights and humanitarian questions;

 

(c)   To urge the Secretary‑General, within existing resources, to make all necessary resources available for the Special Rapporteur to carry out his mandate successfully and, in particular, to provide him with adequate staff based in those territories to ensure effective continuous monitoring of the human rights situation in the countries of the mandate and coordination with other international organizations involved.

 

                          [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/18,

                                                             and chap. IX.]


8.  Situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea

          and assistance in the field of human rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/19 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions to appoint a special representative of the Commission for one year to monitor the situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, keeping in mind the need to apply a gender perspective in the reporting process, including in collecting information and making recommendations.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/19,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

                    9.  Situation of human rights in Rwanda

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/20 of 23 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decision to extend for a further year the mandate of the Special Representative on the situation of human rights in Rwanda to make recommendations on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, to facilitate the establishment and effective and independent functioning of the National Human Rights Commission and to make recommendations on situations in which technical assistance to the Government of Rwanda in the field of human rights may be appropriate.

 

The Council also approves the Commission's request to the Special Representative to report to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, in accordance with his mandate, and its request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Special Representative with such financial assistance as he may require to discharge his mandate, keeping a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/20,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

     10.  Question of the realization in all countries of the

    economic, social and cultural rights contained in

    the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in

    the International Covenant on Economic, Social and

    Cultural Rights, and study of special problems

    which the developing countries face in their

    efforts to achieve these human rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/25 of 26 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s decision to request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider the possibility of organizing, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies and, in particular, the United Nations Children's Fund and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a workshop to identify progressive developmental benchmarks and indicators related to the


right to education which may inform the work of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other human rights treaty bodies and human rights mechanisms, United Nations specialized agencies, Funds and Programmes.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/25,

                                                              and chap. X.]

 

     

                     11.  Human rights and extreme poverty

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/26 of 26 April 1999, approves the Commission’s request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider the possibility of holding a workshop with the independent expert on human rights and extreme poverty and the experts from the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1999 with a view to consultations also involving the relevant functional commissions of the Council on the main elements of a possible draft declaration on human rights and extreme poverty.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/26,

                                                              and chap. X.]

 

 

  12.  Question of a draft optional protocol to the

 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,

 Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/30 of 26 April 1999, authorizes the open_ended Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to meet for a period of two weeks, prior to the fifty_sixth session of the Commission, in order to continue or conclude the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

 

The Council encourages the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group to conduct informal inter-sessional consultations with all interested parties in order to facilitate the completion of a consolidated text.

                                                                          

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/30,

                                                             and chap. XI.]

 

 

                13.  Right to freedom of opinion and expression

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/36 of 26 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions to extend for a further three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion


and expression, and to request the Special Rapporteur to submit to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session a report covering activities relating to his mandate.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/36,

                                                             and chap. XI.]

 

 

                         14.  Human rights of migrants

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/44 of 27 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decision to appoint, for a three_year period, a special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants to examine ways and means to overcome the obstacles existing to the full and effective protection of the human rights of this vulnerable group, including obstacles and difficulties for the return of migrants who are non_documented or in an irregular situation, with the following functions:

 

(a)   To request and receive information from all relevant sources, including migrants themselves, on violations of the human rights of migrants and their families;

 

(b)   To formulate appropriate recommendations to prevent and remedy violations of the human rights of migrants, wherever they may occur;

 

(c)   To promote the effective application of relevant international norms and standards on the issue;

 

(d)   To recommend actions and measures applicable at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate violations of the human rights of migrants;

 

(e)   To take into account a gender perspective when requesting and analysing information, as well as to give special attention to the occurrence of multiple discrimination and violence against migrant women.

 

The Council approves the Commission’s requests to the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his/her mandate, to give careful consideration to the various recommendations of the Working Group of intergovernmental experts aimed at the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, to take into consideration relevant human rights instruments of the United Nations to promote and protect the human rights of migrants, and in carrying out his/her mandate, to take into account bilateral and regional negotiations which aim at addressing, inter alia, the return and reinsertion of migrants who are non_documented or in an irregular situation.

 


The Council also approves the Commission’s recommendations to the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out this mandate and within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other international instruments, to request, receive and exchange information on violations of the human rights of migrants from Governments, treaty bodies, specialized agencies, special rapporteurs for various human rights questions and from intergovernmental organizations, other competent organizations of the United Nations system and non_governmental organizations, including migrants' organizations, and to respond effectively to such information, and to contribute to the preparatory committee for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, within the framework of the objectives of the Conference, including by identifying major issues to be considered by the World Conference.

 

The Council also approves the Commission’s requests to:

 

(a)   The Chairperson of the Commission, after consultations with the other members of the Bureau, to appoint as Special Rapporteur an individual of recognized international standing and experience in addressing the human rights of migrants;

 

(b)   The Special Rapporteur to submit a report on his/her activities to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session;

 

(c)   The Secretary_General to give the Special Rapporteur all necessary human and financial assistance for the fulfilment of his/her mandate.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/44,

                                                            and chap. XIV.]

 

 

15.  Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to

     elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with

     paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 49/214

     of 23 December 1994

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/50 of 27 April 1999, authorizes the open_ended inter_sessional Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights established in accordance with Commission resolution 1995/32 of 3 March 1995 to meet for a period of 10 working days prior to the fifty_sixth session of the Commission, the costs of the meeting to be met from within existing resources.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/50,

                                                             and chap. XV.]

 

 

16.  Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub_Commission

     on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities

     and the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/51 of 27 April 1999, authorizes the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub_Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to meet for five working days prior to the fifty_first session of the Sub_Commission, and approves the Commission's request to the Secretary_General to provide adequate resources and assistance to the Working Group in the discharge of its tasks, including adequate dissemination of information about the activities of the Working Group to


Governments, specialized agencies, non_governmental organizations and organizations of indigenous people, in order to encourage the widest possible participation in its work.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/51,

                                                             and chap. XV.]

 

 

  17.  A permanent forum for indigenous people in the

       United Nations system

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/52 of 27 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions to re‑establish the open‑ended inter‑sessional ad hoc working group established in accordance with resolution 1998/20 to meet for eight working days prior to the fifty‑sixth session of the Commission on Human Rights, and to request the working group to submit, with a view to completing its task, one or more concrete proposals on the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system for consideration by the Commission at that session.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/52,

                                                             and chap. XV.]

 

 

18.  Strengthening of the Office of the United Nations

     High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/54 of 27 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s recommendation that the Council and the General Assembly should provide the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with the means and resources necessary to carry out its increased responsibilities and that they should also provide increased resources for the special rapporteurs.     

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/54,

                                                             and chap. IV.]

 

 

    19.  Situation of human rights in the Democratic

         Republic of the Congo

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/56 of 27 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a further year, to request him to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the possibilities for the international community to assist with local capacity_building, and to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;

 


(b)   To request the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and a member of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to carry out, immediately after the signing of a cease-fire agreement or as soon as security considerations permit and, where appropriate, in cooperation with the National Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) between 1996 and 1997, a joint mission to investigate all massacres carried out on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including those in the province of South Kivu and other atrocities as referred to in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (E/CN.4/1999/31), with a view to bringing to justice those responsible, and to report to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/56,

                                                             and chap. IX.]

 

 

     20.  National institutions for the promotion

          and protection of human rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/72 of 28 April 1999, approves the Commission’s requests to the Secretary_General:

 

(a)   To continue to provide, from within existing resources, the necessary assistance for holding meetings of the Coordinating Committee of national institutions during the sessions of the Commission on Human Rights, under the auspices of, and in cooperation with, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

 

(b)   To continue to provide, from within existing resources and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, the necessary assistance for regional meetings of national institutions.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/72,

                                                          and chap. XVIII.]

 

 

            21.  Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/75 of 28 April 1999, approves the Commission’s requests to the Secretary_General to continue to provide the Independent  expert on human rights in Somalia with all necessary assistance in carrying out her mandate and to provide adequate resources, from within existing overall United Nations resources, to fund the activities of the independent expert.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/75,

                                                            and chap. XIX.]


                  22.  Situation of human rights in Cambodia

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/76 of 28 April 1999, approves the Commission's request to the Secretary_General, through his Special Representative for human rights in Cambodia, in collaboration with the office in Cambodia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to assist the Government of Cambodia in ensuring the protection of the human rights of all people in Cambodia and to ensure adequate resources for the continued functioning of the operational presence in Cambodia of the Office of the High Commissioner and to enable the Special Representative to continue to fulfil his tasks expeditiously.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/76,

                                                            and chap. XIX.]

 

 

                    23.  Situation of human rights in Haiti

  

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/77 of 28 April 1999, approves the Commission's recommendation to the independent expert to report to the General Assembly at its fifty‑fourth session and to the Commission at its fifty‑sixth session on developments in the human rights situation in Haiti.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/77,

                                                            and chap. XIX.]

 

 

                           24.  Rights of the child

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/80 of 28 April 1999, endorses the Commission's decisions:

 

(a)   With regard to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, to request the Secretary-General to ensure the provision of appropriate staff and facilities from the United Nations regular budget for the effective and expeditious performance of the functions of the Committee;

 

(b)   With regard to the draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts:

 

            (i)   To invite the Chairperson of the Working Group on a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts to continue broad informal consultations, with the aim of promoting an early agreement on the optional protocol, and, if possible, to produce a report thereon by the end of 1999, including recommendations on how to finalize the formal negotiations;

 


           (ii)   To request the Working Group to meet early in 2000 in order to make further progress with the aim of finalizing its work before the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention, and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session;

 

          (iii)   To request the Secretary_General to give the necessary support to the Working Group to meet for a maximum of two weeks;

 

(c)   With regard to the Special Representative of the Secretary_General on the question of the impact of armed conflict on children, to request the Secretary_General to ensure that the necessary support is made available expeditiously to the Special Representative for the effective performance of his mandate;

 

(d)   With regard to the question of a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography:

 

            (i)   To invite the Chairperson of the Working Group on a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography to conduct broad informal consultations, with the aim of promoting an early agreement on the optional protocol, and, if possible, to produce a report thereon by the end of 1999, including recommendations on how to finalize the formal negotiations;

 

           (ii)   To request the Working Group to meet early in 2000 in order to make further progress with the aim of finalizing its work before the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention, and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session;

 

          (iii)   To request the Secretary_General to give the necessary support to the Working Group to meet for a maximum of two weeks.

 

The Council also endorses the Commission’s decision to approve the recommendation of the Sub‑Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, contained in its resolution 1998/16 of 21 August 1998, that the mandate of Ms. Halima Embarek Warzazi as Special Rapporteur on traditional practices affecting the health of women and the girl child be extended to ensure the completion of her task as called for in Sub‑Commission resolution 1996/19 of 29 August 1996.

 

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/80,

                                                           and chap. XIII.]

 

 

                         25.  Defamation of religions

 


The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/82 of 30 April 1999, approves the Commission’s recommendation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the context of the preparations for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, to consider the holding of seminars to promote a dialogue among cultures, thus contributing to the understanding of the universality of human rights.

                                      

                                [See chap. II, sect. A, resolution 1999/82,

                                                             and chap. VI.]

 

 

   26.  Effects of structural adjustment policies

  on the full enjoyment of human rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights decision 1999/104 of 26 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s decisions:

 

(a)   To extend for one year the mandate of the Independent  expert on structural adjustment policies to:  (i) assist the Working Group on structural adjustment policies and economic, social and cultural rights in the fulfilment of its mandate, in particular by elaborating draft basic policy guidelines on structural adjustment policies; and (ii) monitor new developments, including actions and initiatives being taken by international financial institutions, other United Nations bodies and intergovernmental and non_governmental organizations with respect to structural adjustment policies and human rights, and to submit a revised report to the Working Group at its third session;

 

(b)   To authorize the Working Group to meet for two weeks well in advance of, but at least four weeks prior to, the fifty_sixth session of the Commission with the mandate to:  (i) consider the updated report of the independent expert and comments received thereon; (ii) elaborate basic policy guidelines on structural adjustment programmes and economic, social and cultural rights which could serve as a basis for a continued dialogue between human rights bodies and the international financial institutions; and (iii) report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session. 

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. B, decision 1999/104,

                                                              and chap. X.]

 

 

27.  Systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like

                practices during armed conflicts, including

     internal armed conflict

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights decision 1999/105 of 26 April 1999 and resolution 1998/18 of 21 August 1998 of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, endorses the Commission’s decision to approve the extension of the mandate of Ms. Gay J. McDougall, as Special Rapporteur on systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery_like practices during armed


conflict, including internal armed conflict, for a further year in order to enable her to submit an update on developments with respect to her mandate at the fifty_first session of the Sub_Commission. 

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. B, decision 1999/105,

                                                            and chap. XII.]

 

              28.  The concept and practice of affirmative action

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights decision 1999/107 of 27 April 1999 and resolution 1998/5 of 20 August 1998 of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, endorses the Commission’s decision to approve the appointment of Mr. Marc Bossuyt as Special Rapporteur to undertake a study on the concept and practice of affirmative action as described in  resolution 1998/5, which will pay specific attention to the recommendations made by the Sub_Commission and the Commission so as to refine further the focus and methods of the study.

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. B, decision 1999/107,

                                                            and chap. XVI.]

 

 

     29.  Dates of the fifty_sixth session of the

    Commission on Human Rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights decision 1998/112 of 28 April 1999, approves the Commission’s recommendation, bearing in mind Council decision 1997/291 of 22 July 1997, that the fifty_sixth session of the Commission should be scheduled to take place from 20 March to 28 April 2000.

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. B, decision 1999/112,

                                                            and chap. III.]

 

 

           30.  Organization of the work of the fifty_sixth session

    of the Commission on Human Rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights decision 1999/113 of 28 April 1999, authorizes, if possible from within existing financial resources, thirty fully serviced additional meetings, including summary records, in accordance with rules 29 and 31 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council, for the Commission's fifty_sixth session.  The Council approves the Commission’s request to the Chairperson of the fifty_sixth session of the Commission to make every effort to organize the work of the session within the times normally allotted, so that the additional meetings that the Council might authorize would be utilized only if they proved to be absolutely necessary.

 

                                 [See chap. II, sect. B, decision 1999/113,

                                                            and chap. III.]

 


      31.  Rationalization of the work of the Commission on Human Rights

 

The Economic and Social Council, taking note of the statement agreed on by consensus by the Commission on Human Rights, made by the Chairperson of the Commission on 28 April 1999, endorses the Commission’s decisions contained therein:

 

(a)   To establish an inter-sessional open-ended working group, under the agenda item entitled “Rationalization of the work of the Commission”, on enhancing the effectiveness of the mechanisms of the Commission to continue the comprehensive examination of the report submitted by the Bureau as well as other contributions in this connection;

 

(b)   To authorize the working group to meet for a total of up to 15 working days, prior to the fifty-sixth session of the Commission;

 

(c)   To request the Chairperson of the working group to present a report to the fifty-sixth session of the Commission, including recommendations for endorsement by the Commission.

 

The Council approves the recommendations of the Commission that:

 

(a)   The Council include in its resumed organizational session consideration of any proposals regarding special procedures or mandates adopted at the annual session of the Commission;

 

(b)   The title of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities be immediately changed to “Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights”.

 

                                                            [See chap. XX.]


      II.  RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION

                 AT ITS FIFTY-FIFTH SESSION

 

                                A.  Resolutions

 

              1999/1.  Situation of human rights in Sierra Leone

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Having examined the material relating to the human rights situation in Sierra Leone brought before it under Economic and Social Council resolution 1503 (XLVIII) of 27 May 1970,

 

Noting the observations received from the Government of Sierra Leone,

 

Recalling Security Council resolution 1181 (1998) of 13 July 1998, by which it established the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone whose civilian staff would, inter alia, report on violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sierra Leone and, in consultation with the relevant United Nations agencies, assist the Government of Sierra Leone in its efforts to address the country's human rights needs,

 

Alarmed by the reports of the Secretary_General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone, which disclose horrifying violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,

 

Expressing concern regarding the continuing human rights abuses committed in Sierra Leone as reported in various reports submitted to the Commission on Human Rights,

 

Considering that the procedure governed by Economic and Social Council resolution 1503 (XLVIII) does not provide an appropriate forum to address the dramatic circumstances facing this country,

 

Acting under paragraph 8 of Economic and Social Council resolution 1503 (XLVIII),

 

1.    Appeals to all factions and forces in Sierra Leone to respect human rights and abide by applicable international humanitarian law;

 

2.    Reminds all factions and forces in Sierra Leone that in any armed conflict, including an armed conflict not of an international character, the taking of hostages, wilful killing and torture or inhuman treatment of persons taking no active part in the hostilities constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and that all countries are under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches and to bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before their own courts;

 

3.    Decides to discontinue consideration of the human rights situation in Sierra Leone under Economic and Social Council resolution 1503 (XLVIII) and to take up consideration of the matter under the public procedure provided for by Commission resolution 8 (XXIII) of 16 March 1967 and Economic and Social


Council resolution 1235 (XLII) of 6 June 1967, under the agenda item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world”, at its fifty_sixth session;

 

4.    Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to apprise the Commission at its fifty_sixth session of the reports of the Secretary_General about violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Sierra Leone, including, to the extent possible, references contained in reports submitted to the Commission on Human Rights;

 

5.    Decides that the present decision, adopted at the Commission's 16th meeting, on 6 April 1999, be made public as resolution 1999/1 of

the Commission's fifty_fifth session.

 

                                                               16th meeting

                                                               6 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

                 1999/2.  Situation of human rights in Kosovo

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international covenants and conventions on human rights, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, as well as other instruments of international humanitarian law,

 

Expressing deep concern at the continued campaign of repression and the gross and systematic violations of the human rights of the Kosovars following the revocation of autonomy by the Serbian authorities,

 

Strongly condemning the policy of ethnic cleansing against the Kosovars being perpetrated by the Belgrade and Serbian authorities,

 

Condemning also the massive military operations launched by the Serbian authorities against the unarmed civilians in Kosovo, resulting in large_scale killings, systematic and planned massacres, destruction of homes and property, and forced mass exoduses to neighbouring countries, as well as internal displacement,

 

Alarmed by the reports of recent enforced and involuntary disappearances of large numbers of Kosovars, as well as by reports of detention and execution of several members of the Kosovar political leadership,

 

Recognizing that the people of Kosovo must be allowed to determine freely their own future as envisaged in the provisions of the Rambouillet agreement,

 

1.    Condemns strongly the widespread and systematic practice of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Belgrade and Serbian authorities against the Kosovars, and the risk of destabilization of neighbouring countries;


2.    Demands an immediate halt to all repressive actions undertaken in Kosovo by the Serbian authorities which have led to further ethnic cleansing in the region, massive criminal violations of international human rights and humanitarian law inflicted against the Kosovars, including summary executions, mass forced exoduses, destruction of personal identity documents, records, homes and property, as well as their agricultural capacity, with the aim of preventing their return, and also demands the immediate and complete withdrawal of the Belgrade army and the Serbian military and paramilitary forces from Kosovo;

 

3.    Calls upon the international community and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to bring to justice the perpetrators of international war crimes and crimes against humanity, in particular those responsible for acts of ethnic cleansing and identity elimination in Kosovo;

 

4.    Demands that the Serbian authorities immediately sign and implement all aspects of the Rambouillet agreement;

 

5.    Welcomes the decision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in view of the gravity of the situation, to dispatch human rights monitors immediately to the region to assess the human rights and humanitarian crisis caused by the Serbian policy and practice of ethnic cleansing and to ensure compliance with international human rights and international humanitarian law;

 

6.    Appeals to the international community, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to extend urgently humanitarian assistance to refugees from Kosovo and the internally displaced, and in this context commends the efforts being made by the High Commissioner;

 

7.    Underscores the right of all refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes in safety and honour;

 

8.    Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Commission urgently on the situation of human rights and the humanitarian crisis relating to Kosovo and on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution.

 

                                                               30th meeting

                                                              13 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 44 votes to 1,

                                        with 6 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

1999/3.  The use of mercenaries as a means of violating

   human rights and impeding the exercise of the

   right of peoples to self_determination

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Noting General Assembly resolution 53/135 of 9 December 1998 and recalling its own resolution 1998/6 of 27 March 1998,

 


Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, in which, inter alia, it condemned any State that permitted or tolerated the recruitment, financing, training, assembly, transit and use of mercenaries with the objective of overthrowing the Governments of States Members of the United Nations, especially those of developing countries, or of fighting against national liberation movements, and recalling also the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Organization of African Unity,

 

Reaffirming the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations concerning the strict observance of the principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity of States, self_determination of peoples, the non_use of force or threat of use of force in international relations and non_interference in affairs within the domestic jurisdiction of States,

 

Reaffirming also that by virtue of the principle of self_determination, as developed in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right to determine freely, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and that every State has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter,

 

Recognizing that mercenary activities are continuing to increase in many parts of the world and are taking on new forms, permitting mercenaries to operate in a better organized way, with increased pay, and that their numbers have grown and more persons are prepared to become mercenaries,

 

Alarmed and concerned about the danger which the activities of mercenaries constitute to peace and security in developing countries, particularly in Africa and in small States,

 

Deeply concerned about the loss of life, the substantial damage to property and the negative effects on the policy and economies of affected countries resulting from mercenary international criminal activities,

 

Convinced that, notwithstanding the way in which mercenaries or mercenary_related activities are used or the form they take to acquire some semblance of legitimacy, they are a threat to peace, security and the self_determination of peoples and an obstacle to the enjoyment of human rights by peoples,

 

1.    Takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self_determination (E/CN.4/1999/11);

 

2.    Reaffirms that the use of mercenaries and their recruitment, financing and training are causes for grave concern to all States and violate the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;

 

3.    Recognizes that armed conflicts, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers, inter alia, encourage the demand for mercenaries on the global market;


4.    Urges all States to take the necessary steps and to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries and to take legislative measures to ensure that their territories and other territories under their control, as well as their nationals, are not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries for the planning of activities designed to impede the right to self_determination, to overthrow the Government of any State, or dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in compliance with the right to self_determination of peoples;

 

5.    Calls upon all States that have not yet done so to consider taking the necessary action to sign or ratify the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries;

 

6.    Welcomes the cooperation extended by those countries that have invited the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self_determination;

 

7.    Also welcomes the adoption by some States of national legislation that restricts the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries;

 

8.    Requests the Secretary_General to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the necessary assistance;

 

9.    Urges all States to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur in the fulfilment of his mandate;

 

10.   Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as a matter of priority, to publicize the adverse effects of mercenary activities on the right of peoples to self_determination and, when requested and where necessary, to render advisory services to States that are affected by the activities of mercenaries;

 

11.   Requests the Secretary_General to invite Governments to make proposals towards a clearer legal definition of mercenaries, and in this regard, requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene expert meetings, as requested in General Assembly resolutions in the past, to study and update the international legislation in force and to put forward recommendations for a clearer legal definition of mercenaries that would make for more efficient prevention and punishment of mercenary activities;

 

12.   Requests the Special Rapporteur to report, with specific recommendations, his findings on the use of mercenaries to undermine the right to self_determination to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session;

 

13.   Decides to consider at its fifty_sixth session the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the


exercise of the right of peoples to self_determination under the agenda item entitled “The right of peoples to self_determination and its application to

peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation”.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                            [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 35 votes to 12,

                                         with 6 abstentions.  See chap. V.]

 

 

                      1999/4.  Question of Western Sahara

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Having considered in depth the question of Western Sahara,

 

Reaffirming the inalienable right of all peoples to self_determination and independence, in accordance with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,

 

Recalling General Assembly resolution 52/75 of 10 December 1997,

 

Recalling also the agreement in principle given on 30 August 1988 by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el_Hamra y de Río de Oro to the proposals of the Secretary_General of the United Nations and the Chairman of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in the context of their joint mission of good offices,

 

Recalling further Security Council resolutions 658 (1990) of 27 June 1990 and 690 (1991) of 29 April 1991, by which the Council approved the settlement plan for Western Sahara,

 

Recalling all the Security Council, General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights resolutions relating to the question of Western Sahara,

 

Reaffirming the responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara, as provided for in the settlement plan,

 

Noting with satisfaction the entry into force of the ceasefire in accordance with the proposal of the Secretary_General, and stressing the importance it attaches to the maintenance of the ceasefire as an integral part of the settlement plan,

 

Also noting with satisfaction the agreements reached by the two parties during their private direct talks aimed at the implementation of the settlement plan, and stressing the importance it attaches to a full, fair and faithful implementation of the settlement plan and the agreements aimed at its implementation,

 

Further noting with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the settlement plan since December 1997,


Recalling that the General Assembly has examined the relevant chapter of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (A/52/23 [Part V], chap. IX), as well as the report of the Secretary_General (A/53/368),

 

1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary_General;

 

2.    Again notes with satisfaction the agreements reached between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el_Hamra y de Rio de Oro for the implementation of the settlement plan during their private direct talks under the auspices of Mr. James Baker III, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary_General, and urges the parties to implement those agreements fully and in good faith;

 

3.    Commends the Secretary_General and his Personal Envoy for their efforts in reaching these agreements, as well as the two parties for the cooperation they have shown, and urges them to continue this cooperation in order to facilitate the speedy implementation of the settlement plan;

 

4.    Urges the two parties to continue their cooperation with the Secretary_General and his Personal Envoy, as well as with his Special Representative, and to refrain from undertaking anything that would undermine the implementation of the settlement plan and the agreements reached for its implementation;

 

5.    Notes with satisfaction the progress achieved in connection with the implementation of the settlement plan, and in this respect calls upon the two parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary_General, his Personal Envoy and his Special Representative in implementing the various phases of the settlement plan;

 

6.    Reaffirms the responsibility of the United Nations towards the people of Western Sahara, as provided for in the settlement plan;

 

7.    Reiterates its support for further efforts of the Secretary_General for the organization and the supervision by the United Nations, in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity, of a referendum for self_determination of the people of Western Sahara that is impartial and free of all constraints, in conformity with Security Council resolutions 658 (1990) and 690 (1991), by which the Council approved the settlement plan for Western Sahara;

 

8.    Takes note of Security Council resolutions 1131 (1997) of 29 September 1997 and 1198 (1998) of 18 September 1998;

 

9.    Notes that the General Assembly has requested the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to continue to consider the situation in Western Sahara, bearing in mind the positive ongoing implementation of the settlement plan, and to report thereon to the Assembly at its fifty_fourth session;

 


10.   Also notes that the General Assembly has invited the Secretary_General to submit to it, at its fifty_fourth session a report on the

implementation of the present resolution.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                    [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. V.]

 

 

1999/5.  Question of the violation of human rights in the

occupied Arab territories, including Palestine

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as by the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 

Guided also by the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

Taking into consideration the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the provisions of Additional Protocol I thereto, and the Hague Convention IV of 1907,

 

Recalling the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights related to the applicability of the Geneva

Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories,

 

Recalling also the General Assembly resolutions on Israeli violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967,

 

Recalling further General Assembly resolutions ES_10/3, ES_10/4, ES_10/5 and ES_10/6, in which the Assembly reiterated its recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War convene a conference on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure its respect in accordance with the provisions of common article 1 of the four Geneva Conventions,

 

Recalling the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993 (A/CONF.157/23),

 

Taking note of the report (E/CN.4/1999/24) of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Hannu Halinen, regarding his mission undertaken in accordance with Commission resolution 1993/2 A of 19 February 1993,

 


Taking note also of the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories submitted to the General Assembly since 1968, including the latest (A/53/136 and Add.1),

 

Noting with great concern the continued Israeli refusal to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights calling upon Israel to put an end to the violations of human rights and affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

 

Gravely concerned at the stagnation of the peace process because of the contempt of the Government of Israel for the principles on which that process was based, and its refusal to carry out its commitments in line with the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, Cairo, Hebron and Wye River,

 

Recalling all its previous resolutions on the subject, including the latest, resolution 1998/1 of 27 March 1998,

 

1.    Condemns the continued violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in particular the continuation of acts of wounding and killing perpetrated by Israeli soldiers and settlers against Palestinians, in addition to the detention of thousands of Palestinians without trial, the continuation of the confiscation of Palestinian lands, the extension and the establishment of Israeli settlements thereon, the confiscation of Palestinian property and expropriation of their land, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of fruit trees, and calls upon Israel to cease these acts immediately since they constitute grave violations of human rights and of the principles of international law and they also constitute a major obstacle in the way of the peace process;

 

2.    Also condemns the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Al_Amoud district in Jerusalem, the revocation of identity cards of the citizens of the Palestinian city of Jerusalem and forcing them to live outside their homes with the aim of the Judaization of Jerusalem, and calls upon the Government of Israel to put an end immediately to these practices;

 

3.    Further condemns the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, which the Israeli High Court of Justice had legitimized, and calls upon the Government of Israel to refrain immediately from the current interrogation practices and to work on abolishing the above_mentioned legitimization;

 

4.    Reaffirms that all the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal, constitute a flagrant violation of the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and of the principles of international law, and should be dismantled in order to achieve a just, permanent and comprehensive peace in the region of the Middle East;

 


5.    Also reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War is applicable to the Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and considers any change in the geographical and demographic status of the city of East Jerusalem from its situation prior to the June 1967 war to be illegal and void;

 

6.    Further reaffirms the great importance of the convening of a conference by the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions ES_10/3, ES_10/4, ES_10/5 and ES_10/6;

 

7.    Calls upon Israel to cease immediately its policy of enforcing collective punishments, such as demolition of houses and closure of the Palestinian territory, measures which constitute flagrant violations of international law and international humanitarian law, endanger the lives of Palestinians and also constitute a major obstacle in the way of peace;

 

8.    Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power, to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories, and to respect the bases of international law, the principles of international humanitarian law, its international commitments and the agreements it signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization;

 

9.    Also calls upon Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other Arab territories occupied since 1967, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights;

 

10.   Requests the Secretary_General to bring the present resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it on the widest possible scale and to report on its implementation by the Government of Israel to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session;

 

11.   Also requests the Secretary_General to provide the Commission on Human Rights with all United Nations reports issued between sessions of the Commission that deal with the conditions in which the citizens of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories are living under the Israeli occupation;

 

12.   Decides to consider this question at its fifty_sixth session under

the same agenda item, as a matter of high priority.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 31 votes to 1,

                                     with 21 abstentions.  See chap. VIII.]

 

 


              1999/6.  Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the violation of their fundamental and human rights since the Israeli military occupation of 1967,

 

Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

 

Recalling also all relevant General Assembly resolutions, including the latest, resolution 53/57 of 3 December 1998 in which the Assembly, inter alia, called upon Israel to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981), to put an end to its practices violating the rights of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and to put an end to its occupation of the occupied Syrian Golan,

 

Reaffirming once more the illegality of Israel's decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,

 

Reaffirming the principle of non_acquisition of territory by force in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law,

 

Taking note with deep concern of the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/53/136/Add.1) and, in this connection, deploring the Israeli settlement in the occupied Arab territories and regretting Israel's constant refusal to cooperate with and to receive the Special Committee,

 

Guided by the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the relevant provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 to the occupied Syrian Golan,

 

Reaffirming the importance of the peace process which started in Madrid on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the principle of land for peace, which aims at the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East,

 

Expressing its concern about the stoppage of the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, and hoping that the commitments and guarantees reached during the previous talks will be respected in order that the talks may resume as soon as possible on both tracks,

 

Reaffirming its previous relevant resolutions, the most recent being resolution 1998/2 of 27 March 1998,

 


1.    Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, particularly resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel should rescind forthwith its decision;

 

2.    Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and emphasizes that the displaced persons of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan must be allowed to return to their homes and to recover their properties;

 

3.    Further calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and to desist from its repressive measures against them, and from all other practices mentioned in the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories;

 

4.    Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and have no legal effect;

 

5.    Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to in the present resolution;

 

6.    Requests the Secretary General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations and to give it the widest possible publicity, and to report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session;

 

7.    Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty_sixth session, as a matter of high priority, the item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including

Palestine”.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 32 votes to 1,

                                     with 20 abstentions.  See chap. VIII.]

 

 


         1999/7.  Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable instruments,

 

Mindful that Israel is a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

 

Recalling its previous resolutions, most recently resolution 1998/3 of 27 March 1998, in which, inter alia, it reaffirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories,

 

1.    Welcomes:

 

(a)   The Wye River Memorandum of 23 October 1998 and calls for the full implementation of the Memorandum, as well as of the Israeli_Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995 and other related agreements;

 

(b)   The report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/1999/24) and expresses its regret at the lack of cooperation on the part of the Government of Israel with the Special Rapporteur;

 

2.    Expresses its grave concern:

 

(a)   At the Israeli settlement activities and their increase since the signing of the Wye River Memorandum, including the expansion of the settlements, the installation of settlers in the occupied territories, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation of property, the expulsion of local residents and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and, since they are illegal, constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and are a major obstacle to peace;

 

(b)   At and strongly condemns all acts of terrorism, whilst calling upon all parties not to allow any acts of terrorism to affect the ongoing peace process negatively;

 

3.    Urges the Government of Israel:

 

(a)   To comply fully with the previous Commission resolutions on the subject, most recently resolution 1998/3 of 27 March 1998;

 


(b)   To match its stated commitment to the peace process with concrete actions to fulfil its obligations and cease completely its policy of expanding the settlements and related activities in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem;

 

(c)   To forgo and prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories;

 

4.    Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its

fifty_sixth session.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 50 votes to 1,

                                      with 2 abstentions.  See chap. VIII.]

 

 

                         1999/8.  Human rights in Cuba

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming the obligation of all Member States to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 

Mindful that Cuba is a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

 

      Reasserting the Commission's obligation to promote and protect human rights on the basis of the universal nature of the Declaration, in all countries of the world, independently from other bilateral or regional issues affecting the country in question,

 

Expressing its concern at the continued violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba, such as freedom of expression, association and assembly and rights associated with the administration of justice, despite the expectations raised by some positive steps taken by the Government of Cuba in the past few years,

 

Considering the urgent need to adopt the necessary measures to ensure full respect for human rights in Cuba and to contribute to developing a more pluralistic society and a more efficient economy, and considering also the willingness of the international community to assist therein,

 

1.    Welcomes the fact that the Government of Cuba has taken the first steps towards the opening of society for religious institutions, and expects that Cuban citizens will be granted the right to freedom of religion and belief;

 

2.    Encourages the Government of Cuba to continue to allow thematic special rapporteurs to visit Cuba;


3.    Expresses the hope that positive steps will be taken with regard to all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

 

4.    Expresses its concern about the adoption of the Law for the Protection of the National Independence and Economy of Cuba, and regrets the other steps taken by the Government of Cuba which are inconsistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments;

 

5.    Calls upon the Government of Cuba to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, and to provide the appropriate framework to guarantee the rule of law through democratic institutions and the independence of the judicial system;

 

6.    Reiterates its concern about the continued repression of members of the political opposition and about the detention of dissidents, most recently of the four members of the Grupo de Trabajo de la Disidencia Interna, and calls upon the Government of Cuba to release all the persons detained or imprisoned for peacefully expressing their political, religious and social views and for exercising their rights to full and equal participation in public affairs;

 

7.    Calls upon the Government of Cuba to consider acceding to human rights instruments to which it is not yet a party, in particular the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

 

8.    Invites the Government of Cuba to afford the country full and open contact with the democratic world, in order to ensure the enjoyment of all human rights for all Cuban people by utilizing international cooperation, by allowing a freer flow of people and ideas and by drawing on the experience and support of other nations;

 

9.    Calls upon the Government of Cuba also to cooperate with other mechanisms of the Commission;

 

10.   Recommends that the Government of Cuba take advantage of the technical cooperation programmes available to Governments under the auspices of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, designed to broaden the scope and to speed up reforms in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

 

11.   Decides to consider this matter at its fifty_sixth session under

the same agenda item.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                            [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 21 votes to 20,

                                       with 12 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 


               1999/9.  Situation of human rights in Afghanistan

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepted humanitarian rules, as set out in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have freely undertaken under the various international instruments,

 

Recalling that Afghanistan is a party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and that it has signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

 

Recalling also its previous resolutions, the most recent being resolution 1998/70, the relevant General Assembly resolutions, as well

as the relevant resolutions and presidential statements of the Security Council, decisions of the Economic and Social Council and resolutions of the Commission on the Status of Women,

 

Concerned that armed confrontation persists in Afghanistan and by the ethnic nature of the conflict,

 

Deeply concerned about the severe situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, in particular in all areas under the control of the Taliban movement, as documented by the continued and substantiated reports of grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discrimination against them, such as the denial of access to health care, to all levels and types of education, to employment outside the home and, in repeated instances, to humanitarian aid, as well as restrictions upon their freedom of movement,

 

Taking note with appreciation of the agreement between the Taliban and the United Nations signed on 23 October 1998 on the security of United Nations personnel in Afghanistan and calling for its full implementation,

 

Recalling that the United Nations continues to play its central and impartial role in international efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict, and encouraging all efforts at the national, regional and international levels aimed at finding a solution to the continuing conflict through a broad_based dialogue involving all concerned actors,

 

Taking into account the report of the Special Adviser to the Secretary_General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women on her visit to Afghanistan in November 1997,

 


Expressing deep concern at the lack of reconstruction in Afghanistan,

 

1.    Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan and of the observations contained in it (E/CN.4/1999/40);

 

2.    Strongly condemns the mass killings and systematic human rights violations against civilians and prisoners of war;

 

3.    Expresses its gravest concern at numerous reports of mass killings in the area of Mazar_i_Sharif and Bamian by the Taliban;

 

4.    Notes with deep concern:

 

(a)   The continuing pattern of human rights violations in Afghanistan;

 

(b)   The persisting armed hostilities in Afghanistan and the complex nature of the conflict, including ethnic, religious and political aspects, which have resulted in extensive human suffering, forced displacement, including on the grounds of ethnicity, and which hinder the return of the internally displaced to their homes;     

 

(c)   The continued displacement of millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as in other countries;

 

5.    Condemns:

 

(a)   The widespread violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law, including the rights to life, liberty and security of person, freedom from torture and from other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, freedom of opinion, expression, religion, association and movement;

 

(b)   The continuing grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discrimination against them, in all areas of Afghanistan, particularly in areas under the control of the Taliban;

 

(c)   The frequent practice of arbitrary arrest and detention and of summary trials, which have resulted in summary executions, throughout the country;

 

6.    Also condemns the killing of Iranian diplomats and the correspondent of the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency by Taliban combatants, as well as the attacks on and the killing of United Nations personnel in Taliban_held territories of Afghanistan, and calls upon the Taliban to fulfil their stated commitment to cooperate in urgent investigations of these heinous crimes, with a view to bringing those responsible to justice;

 

7.    Stresses the extensive need for rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as the necessity for national reconciliation and establishment of the rule of law, good governance and democracy in Afghanistan;

 

8.    Urges all States to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan and to refrain from


interfering in its internal affairs, and to end immediately the supply of arms, ammunition, military equipment, training or any other military support, including providing any foreign military personnel, to all parties to the conflict;

 

9.    Urges all the Afghan parties:

 

(a)   To cease hostilities immediately and to work and cooperate fully with the Special Envoy of the Secretary_General and the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan with a view to achieving a ceasefire, thus laying the foundation for a comprehensive political solution leading to the voluntary return of displaced persons to their homes in safety and dignity, the establishment of a broad_based fully representative government and the full exercise of the right of self_determination of the people of Afghanistan;

 

(b)   To reaffirm publicly their commitment to international human rights and principles and to recognize, protect and promote all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

 

(c)   To protect civilians, to halt the use of weapons against the civilian population, to stop the laying of landmines, especially anti_personnel mines, and to prohibit conscripting or enlisting children or using them to participate in hostilities, in violation of international law, and ensure their reintegration into society;

 

(d)   To provide efficient and effective remedies to the victims of grave violations and abuses of human rights and of accepted humanitarian rules and to bring the perpetrators to trial;

 

(e)   To fulfil their obligations and commitments regarding the safety of all personnel of diplomatic missions, the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as of their premises in Afghanistan, and to cooperate, fully and without discrimination on grounds of gender, nationality or religion, with the United Nations and associated bodies, as well as with other humanitarian organizations, agencies and non_governmental organizations, in order to facilitate full resumption of their cooperation;

 

(f)   To provide the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all prisoners;

 

(g)   To treat all suspects and convicted or detained persons in accordance with relevant international instruments and to refrain from arbitrary detention, including of civilian foreign nationals, and urges their captors to release them, as well as non_criminal civilian prisoners;

 

10.   Urges all the Afghan parties, and in particular the Taliban, to bring to an end without delay all violations of human rights of women and girls and to take urgent measures to ensure:

 

(a)   The repeal of all legislative and other measures which

discriminate against women;

 

(b)   The effective participation of women in civil, cultural, economic, political and social life throughout the country;


(c)   Respect for the right of women to work, and reintegration in their employment;

 

(d)   The right of women and girls to education without discrimination, the reopening of schools and the admission of women and girls to all levels of education;

 

(e)   Respect for women's right to security of person, and to ensure that those responsible for physical attacks on women are brought to justice;

 

(f)   Respect for women's freedom of movement and effective and equal access to facilities necessary to protect their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;

 

11.   Invites:

 

(a)   The Secretary_General to implement promptly security conditions permitting the decision to investigate fully reports of mass killings of prisoners of war and civilians, rape and other cruel treatment in Afghanistan, and calls upon the United Front and the Taliban to fulfil their stated commitment with respect to such investigations;

 

(b)   The Secretary_General to ensure that the deployment of the civilian affairs observers in Afghanistan takes place as soon as possible, security conditions permitting, and that gender issues are fully incorporated into their mission;

 

(c)   The Secretary_General to exert efforts to ensure a gender perspective in the selection of the staff of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan, in order to enhance the role of women in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping;

 

(d)   The Special Rapporteur to continue to pay attention to the human rights of women and children and to apply a gender perspective in a similar manner in his report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session;

 

(e)   The United Nations to offer, once national reconciliation is achieved and upon request of the governmental authorities, advisory services and technical assistance concerning, inter alia, the drafting of a constitution, which should embody internationally accepted human rights principles and provide for the holding of direct elections;

 

12.   Appeals to Member States and to the international community:

 

(a)   To provide, on a non_discriminatory basis, humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and to the Afghan refugees in the neighbouring countries;

 

(b)   To intensify the programme for the removal of millions of anti_personnel landmines laid in Afghanistan;

 


(c)   To ensure that all United Nations_assisted programmes in Afghanistan are formulated and coordinated in such a way as to promote and ensure the participation of women in those programmes, and that women benefit equally with men from such programmes;

 

(d)   To implement the recommendations of the inter_agency gender mission in Afghanistan under the leadership of the Special Adviser to the Secretary_General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women;

 

(e)   To take urgent measures to prevent the demolition and the looting of cultural artefacts and ensure that artefacts that have been illegally removed are returned to Afghanistan;

 

13.   Requests:

 

(a)   The Afghan parties to extend their full cooperation to the Special Rapporteur and to facilitate his access to all sectors of society and to all parts of the country;

 

(b)   The Secretary_General to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur and to give due consideration to his recommendations in the formulation of United Nations activities in Afghanistan;

 

(c)   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure a human rights presence in the context of the United Nations activities in Afghanistan in order to provide advice and training in the field of human rights to all the Afghan parties, as well as to the intergovernmental and non_governmental organizations active in the field;

 

14.   Decides:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session;

 

(b)   To continue its consideration of the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, as a matter of high priority, at its fifty_sixth session under

the same agenda item.

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

                1999/10.  Situation of human rights in Burundi

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Mindful of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international covenants on human rights,

 

Reaffirming its commitment to respect for the principles of the rule of law, which involve democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,

 


Stressing that all States have the duty to promote and protect human rights and to fulfil their obligations under the various instruments to which they are parties,

 

Considering Security Council resolution 1072 (1996) of 30 August 1996,

 

Recalling its resolution 1998/82 of 24 April 1998,

 

Recalling also that the primary responsibility for peace lies with the Government and people of Burundi,

 

Acknowledging the efforts made by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the European Union aimed at contributing to a peaceful settlement of the Burundian crisis,

 

Acclaiming the decision of the Government of Burundi to launch a comprehensive peace process and initiate nationwide political negotiations open to all parties, and the progress made in negotiations among the political forces, including the signature of a political compact as part of the internal peace process,

 

Taking into account the efforts made so far by the Burundian Government and other parties to the Arusha talks to bring about lasting peace,

 

Considering that effective action to prevent further violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms is essential to the stability and reconstruction of Burundi and the lasting restoration of the rule of law,

 

Recognizing the important role of women in the reconciliation process and the search for peace, and urging the Government of Burundi to ensure the equal participation of women in Burundian society and to improve their living conditions,

 

1.    Takes note of the interim report by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi to the General Assembly (A/53/490, annex) and his oral presentation to the Commission on the human rights situation in Burundi;

 

2.    Supports the political compact between the Government of Burundi and the National Assembly, and the dialogue among Burundians, including the armed factions, taking place in the Arusha peace process;

 

3.    Hails the suspension by the neighbouring countries of their embargo on Burundi;

 

4.    Encourages the Government of Burundi to continue its actions aimed at associating all sectors of Burundian society in the work of national reconciliation and at the restoration of a safe, generally reassuring institutional order so as to bring back democracy and peace in the interest of the Burundian population;

 

5.    Takes note of progress in security and public order but regrets that the security situation in parts of the country remains unstable, forcing many people to leave their homes;


6.    Encourages continued efforts to dismantle the regroupment camps and the return of displaced persons to their villages as and when security conditions permit;

 

7.    Takes note of the efforts by the Government of Burundi to ensure that established legal safeguards for human rights and international human rights standards are fully respected;

 

8.    Invites the Government of Burundi to take more measures, including in the judicial sphere, to put an end to impunity, in particular by bringing to trial those responsible for violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, in accordance with relevant international principles, and urges the Government to accelerate the specific procedures for inquiries in case of such violations;

 

9.    Exhorts the Government of Burundi to make its judicial institutions more effective and transparent, and to address the questions of the length of provisional detention and conditions in detention;

 

10.   Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Burundi to ensure the safety of staff of the United Nations and humanitarian organizations and that of individuals in Burundi serving in the same cause;

 

11.   Urges all parties to the conflict to end the cycle of violence and killings, especially blind violence against the civilian population;

 

12.   Takes note of the encouraging signs in the struggle against impunity and for the promotion of human rights on the part of the Government of Burundi, but expresses its deep concern at the violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, in particular reports of massacres, enforced or involuntary disappearances, and arbitrary arrests and detention;

 

13.   Supports the continuation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of the programme of assistance for members of the armed forces and the police in the field of human rights and legal assistance;

 

14.   Adjures the parties to the conflict to abstain rigorously from any action liable to hamper operations by the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian assistance to those affected by the war;

 

15.   Also adjures all parties to the conflict in Burundi to work constructively with the international mediators in the search for a lasting peace;

 

16.   Expresses its appreciation of efforts by the mediators of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the European Union in the search for a lasting solution to the problems of Burundi;

 

17.   Encourages the Organization of African Unity in its efforts, particularly through its Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, to remain engaged in preventing the further deterioration of the situation;

 


18.   Reaffirms that peace, development, human rights and humanitarian issues are interdependent, and thus welcomes the call made by the Security Council in resolution 1234 (1999) of 9 April 1999 for an international conference on peace, security and stability in the Great Lakes region;

 

19.   Commends the human rights observer mission in Burundi for the activities it is conducting in the field, welcomes the cooperation afforded to it by the Government of Burundi, and calls for the strengthening of that observer mission through voluntary contributions;

 

20.   Condemns the illegal sale and distribution of weapons and related materials which disturb peace and security in the region;

 

21.   Requests States not to allow their territories to be used as bases for incursions or attacks against another State, in violation of the principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations;

 

22.   Exhorts States and international, governmental and non_governmental organizations to cooperate with initiatives to put Burundi back on its feet, and to give the Government of Burundi financial backing for such initiatives;

 

23.   Urges the international community to resume economic cooperation with Burundi and to continue to provide humanitarian assistance needed by displaced persons and returnees in Burundi, so that the peace process initiated in the country may become a tangible sign of reconciliation;

 

24.   Decides to extend the Special Rapporteur's mandate by one year, and to request the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report on the

human rights situation in Burundi to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session, and a report to the Commission at its

fifty_sixth session, giving his work a gender_specific dimension. 

 

                                                               50th meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

                                      

                1999/11.  Situation of human rights in Nigeria

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and applicable human rights instruments,

 

Recalling that Nigeria is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

 


Recalling also previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, most recently Assembly resolution 53/161 of 9 December 1998 and Commission resolution 1998/64 of 21 April 1998,

 

1.    Takes note with appreciation of:

 

(a)   The report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Nigeria (E/CN.4/1999/36), submitted following his visit to Nigeria at the invitation and with the cooperation of the Government of Nigeria;

 

(b)   The update on the situation provided by the Special Rapporteur in his oral presentation to the Commission at its fifty_fifth session;

 

(c)   The report of the Commission of Inquiry of the International Labour Organization which visited Nigeria in August 1998 at the invitation of the Government of Nigeria;

 

2.    Welcomes the profound changes that have taken place in Nigeria since the inception of the administration of General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar as described in the report and in the presentation by the Special Rapporteur;

 

3.    Commends the Government for the measures it has already taken to promote, protect and enhance the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country, including:

 

(a)   The release of all political prisoners and detainees;

 

(b)   Measures to strengthen the judiciary and to enhance the rule of law;

 

(c)   Prison reform, including measures to alleviate overcrowding and to improve the living conditions of prisoners, as well as the conditions of service of prison personnel;

 

(d)   The repeal or amendment of decrees that had infringed on fair trial guarantees, freedom of opinion and freedom of association, thereby enabling, inter alia, the holding of elections to the various trade union executives;

 

(e)   The recent establishment of a presidential committee on development options in the Niger delta;

 

and encourages the Government of Nigeria to make further progress in these areas;

 

4.    Commends the successful holding of free and fair elections, on the basis of democratic principles, a multiparty system and universal suffrage, to all tiers of government in the country, in particular the office of President, representing a significant step on the way to the installation of a democratically elected administration on 29 May 1999;

 


5.    Expresses its full support and cooperation to the Government of Nigeria in its efforts to consolidate national cohesion, strengthen the policy, develop the economy and build a peaceful and stable Nigeria rooted in respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and good governance, and reaffirms the vital role of civil society in these efforts;

 

6.    Calls upon the Government of Nigeria to enhance the independence and effectiveness of the National Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, which are annexed to General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993, including through the provision of adequate resources;

 

7.    Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond positively, as a matter of priority, to any requests from the Government of Nigeria for technical assistance and advisory services and the strengthening of national capacity in the field of human rights;

 

8.    Decides to conclude its consideration of the situation of human

rights in Nigeria.

 

                                                               51st meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

      1999/12.  Human rights situation in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Gravely concerned at the persistent practices of the Israeli occupation forces in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, which constitute a violation of the principles of international law regarding the protection of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as a grave violation of the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law as contained in the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907,

 

Reiterating its deep regret at the failure of Israel to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978,

 

Reminding all parties concerned to abide by the April 1996 Understanding,

 

Censuring the Israeli attacks, in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, which cause a large number of deaths and injuries among civilians, displace families and destroy dwellings and properties,

 

Reaffirming that the continued occupation and practices of the Israeli forces constitute a violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of the conventions in force on this matter,

 


Hoping that the efforts made in order to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and to achieve peace in the Middle East will put an end to the violations of human rights that are being committed in the zone in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa occupied by Israel and that the peace negotiations will be resumed with a view to reaching a settlement of the Middle East conflict and achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region,

 

Gravely concerned at the persistent detention by Israel of many Lebanese civilians, among whom are minors, women and the elderly, in the detention centre of Khiyam, and at the death of some detainees as a result of ill_treatment and torture,

 

Expressing its indignation at the ruling handed down on 4 March 1998 by the Israeli Supreme Court permitting the Israeli authorities to retain Lebanese detainees in Israeli prisons without trial and to hold them as hostages and for bargaining purposes and to renew their incommunicado detention, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the principles of human rights,

 

Reaffirming its resolution 1998/62 of 21 April 1998, and expressing its deep regret at the failure of Israel to implement this resolution,

 

1.    Deplores the continued Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied zone in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, demonstrated in particular by the abduction and arbitrary detention of civilians, the destruction of their dwellings, the confiscation of their property, the expulsion from their land, the bombardment of villages and civilian areas, and other practices violating human rights;

 

2.    Calls upon Israel to put an immediate end to such practices, in air raids and the use of prohibited weapons, and to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 requiring Israel's immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal from all Lebanese territories and respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon;

 

3.    Also calls upon the Government of Israel, the occupying Power of territories in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War;

 

4.    Further calls upon the Government of Israel, the occupying Power of territories in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, to refrain from holding the abducted Lebanese citizens incarcerated in its prisons as hostages for bargaining purposes, and to release them immediately as well as other persons arbitrarily detained in prisons and detention centres in the occupied territories in Lebanon, in violation of all the Geneva Conventions and other provisions of international law;

 

5.    Affirms the obligation for Israel, the occupying Power of territories in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa, to commit itself to allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross and the families of the detainees to intensify their visits, as well as to allowing other international humanitarian organizations to visit the detainees and to verify their sanitary and humanitarian conditions and, in particular, the circumstances which led to the death of some of them as a result of ill_treatment or acts of torture;

 


6.    Requests the Secretary_General:

 

(a)   To bring the present resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and to invite it to provide information concerning the extent of its implementation thereof;

 

(b)   To report to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session on the results of his efforts in this regard;

 

7.    Decides to continue its consideration of the situation of human

rights in southern Lebanon and west Bekaa at its fifty_sixth session.

 

                                                               51st meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 49 votes to 1,

                                        with 3 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

      1999/13.  Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other human rights instruments,

 

Reaffirming that all States Members of the United Nations have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in this field,

 

Mindful that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights,

 

Recalling previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, the most recent of which are Assembly resolution 53/158 of 9 December 1998 and Commission resolution 1998/80 of 22 April 1998,

 

1.    Welcomes:

 

(a)   The report of the Special Representative of the Commission (E/CN.4/1999/32) which notes that the Government's plans for a tolerant, diverse and law_abiding society continue to unfold and that their full implementation could have a major impact on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran;

 

(b)   The stated commitment made by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to promote respect for the rule of law, including the elimination of arbitrary arrest and detention and to reform the legal and penitentiary system and bring it into line with international human rights standards in this field;

 


(c)   The more open debate in the Islamic Republic of Iran on issues of governance and human rights, as well as governmental efforts to make progress in the area of freedom of expression, while remaining concerned at instances of arbitrary closure of publications and cases of harassment and intimidation of journalists;

 

(d)   The efforts undertaken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to investigate the recent wave of disappearances, suspicious deaths and killings of intellectuals and political activists, and urges the Government to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice;

 

(e)   The holding, on 26 February 1999, of the first local elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which reflect an effort by the Government to make local governance more transparent and more responsible;

 

(f)   The assurances given by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran that it has no intention of taking any action whatsoever to threaten the life of Mr. Salman Rushdie and those associated with his work or of encouraging or assisting anyone to do so, and that it dissociates itself from any reward offered in this regard and does not support it;

 

(g)   The invitation extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit Iran, which will hopefully take place in the near future;

 

2.    Notes with interest:

 

(a)   Positive statements by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the need to review laws and attitudes which discriminate against women, and the gradual increase of the presence of women in public life in Iran;

 

(b)   The reported elimination of discrimination against Baha'i youth in enrolment in the pre-university year at the high-school level, while remaining concerned that their entry to universities continues to be refused;

 

(c)   The increasing focus of the Islamic Human Rights Commission on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and expresses its hope that the Commission will come into line with the 1993 Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, which is annexed to General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993;

 

(d)   The beginnings of a public discussion in Iran on the appropriateness of the death penalty for drug-related offences;

 

3.    Expresses its concern:

 

(a)   At the fact that no invitation has yet been extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Representative to visit the country, and calls upon the Government to extend an invitation to him and resume its full cooperation with the Special Representative in the discharge of his mandate;

 


(b)   At the continuing violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as reported by the Special Representative, in particular the high number of executions, cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sentences of stoning and public executions, the failure to meet international standards in the administration of justice and the absence of due process of law, and also at the apparent absence of respect for internationally recognized legal safeguards and the use of national security laws to deny the rights of the individual;

 

(c)   At the continued discrimination against religious minorities, in particular the unabated and, in some instances, worsened pattern of persecution against the Baha'is, including death sentences, executions, arrests and the closure of the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education;

 

(d)   At the continued lack of full and equal enjoyment by women of their human rights as reported by the Special Representative;

 

(e)   At continuing threats by the 15 Khordad Foundation to the life of Mr. Salman Rushdie, including the increase in the bounty announced by the Foundation after the assurances given by the Government of Iran in New York in September 1998;

 

4.    Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

 

(a)   To continue its positive efforts to consolidate respect for the rule of law, and to abide by its freely undertaken obligations under the International Covenants on Human Rights and under other international instruments on human rights;

 

(b)   To ensure that capital punishment will not be imposed for other than the most serious crimes, not for apostasy or otherwise in disregard of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and United Nations safeguards, and to provide the Special Representative with relevant statistics on this matter;

 

(c)   To implement fully the conclusions and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance relating to the Baha'is and other minority religious groups until they are completely emancipated;

 

(d)   To take all necessary steps to end the use of torture and the practice of amputation, stoning and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment;

 

(e)   To take further measures to eliminate the continued discrimination in law and in practice against women;

 

(f)   To make full use of technical cooperation programmes in the field of human rights, and welcomes in this context the willingness of the Government to introduce international human rights standards into the curricula of universities;

 


5.    Decides:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Representative, as contained in Commission resolution 1984/54 of 14 March 1984, for a further year, and requests the Special Representative to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session, and also to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;

 

(b)   To request the Secretary-General to continue to give all necessary assistance to the Special Representative to enable him to discharge his mandate fully;

 

(c)   To continue its examination of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the situation of the Baha'is and other

minority groups, at its fifty-sixth session under the same agenda item.

 

                                                               51st meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                            [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 23 votes to 16,

                                       with 14 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

                  1999/14.  Situation of human rights in Iraq

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable human rights instruments,

 

Mindful that Iraq is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights, to other international human rights instruments and to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 on the protection of war victims,

 

Recalling:

 

(a)   Previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, most recently Assembly resolution 53/157 of 9 December 1998 and Commission resolution 1998/65 of 21 April 1998;

 

(b)   Security Council resolutions 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991, in which the Council called upon Iraq to release all Kuwaitis and nationals of other States who might still be held in detention; 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991;  688 (1991) of 5 April 1991, in which the Council demanded an end to repression of the Iraqi civilian population and insisted that Iraq cooperate with humanitarian organizations and that the human rights of all Iraqi citizens be respected; 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995; 1111 (1997) of 4 June 1997; 1129 (1997) of 12 September 1997; 1143 (1997) of 4 December 1997; 1153 (1998) of 20 February 1998; 1175 (1998) of 19 June 1998 and 1210 (1998) of 24 November 1998, by which the Council authorized States to permit imports of Iraqi oil in order to allow Iraq to purchase humanitarian supplies;


(c)   The concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/79/Add.84), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD/C/304/Add.28), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/1/Add.17) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/15/Add.94) on Iraq’s recent reports to these treaty monitoring bodies,

 

1.    Welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq (E/CN.4/1999/37) and the observations on the general situation, including with regard to the communities in the northern and southern regions and also the still missing persons, including prisoners of war, Kuwaiti nationals and third country nationals, and the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report, and notes his dismay that there has been no improvement in the situation of human rights in the country;

 

2.    Strongly condemns:

 

(a)   The systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad_based discrimination and widespread terror;

 

(b)   Suppression of freedom of thought, expression, information, association, assembly and movement through fear of arrest, imprisonment and other sanctions, in particular widespread and arbitrary application of the death penalty;

 

(c)   Summary and arbitrary executions, including political killings and the continued so-called clean-out of prisons, as well as enforced or involuntary disappearances, routinely practised arbitrary arrests and detention and consistent and routine failure to respect due process and the rule of law, for example the execution of delinquents for minor property offences and customs violations;

 

(d)   Widespread, systematic torture and the enactment and implementation of decrees prescribing cruel and inhuman punishment as a penalty for offences;

 

3.    Calls upon the Government of Iraq:

 

(a)   To abide by its freely undertaken obligations under international human rights treaties and international humanitarian law to respect and ensure the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their origin, ethnicity, gender or religion, within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction;

 

(b)   To bring the actions of its military and security forces into conformity with the standards of international law, in particular those of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

 

(c)   To cooperate with United Nations human rights mechanisms, in particular by receiving a return visit by the Special Rapporteur to Iraq and allowing the stationing of human rights monitors throughout Iraq pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights;

 


(d)   To establish independence of the judiciary and abrogate all laws granting impunity to specified forces or persons killing or injuring individuals for any purpose beyond the administration of justice under the rule of law as prescribed by international standards;

 

(e)   To abrogate all decrees that prescribe cruel and inhuman punishment or treatment, including mutilation, and to ensure that torture and cruel punishment and treatment no longer occur;

 

(f)   To abrogate all laws and procedures, including Revolution Command Council Decree No. 840 of 4 November 1986, that penalize free expression, and to ensure that the genuine will of the people shall be the basis of authority of the State;

 

(g)   To cease immediately its continued repressive practices, including the practice of forced deportation and relocation, against the Iraqi Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmen, and against the population of the southern marsh areas, where drainage projects have provoked environmental destruction and a deterioration of the situation of the civilian population, and to ensure the personal integrity and freedoms, including the full freedom of belief, of the Shi’a and their religious establishment;

 

(h)   To cooperate with the Tripartite Commission to establish the whereabouts and resolve the fate of the remaining several hundred missing persons, including prisoners of war, Kuwaiti nationals and third country nationals, victims of the illegal Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, to cooperate with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for that purpose, and to pay compensation to the families of those who died or disappeared in the custody of the Iraqi authorities, through the mechanism established by the Security Council in resolution 692 (1991) of 20 May 1991;

 

(i)   To release immediately all Kuwaitis and nationals of other States who may still be held in detention and inform families about the whereabouts of arrested persons, to provide information about death sentences imposed on prisoners of war and civilian detainees, and to issue death certificates for deceased prisoners of war and civilian detainees;

 

(j)   To cooperate fully with international aid agencies and non_governmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance and monitoring in the northern and southern areas of the country;

 

(k)   To continue to cooperate in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 986 (1995), 1111 (1997), 1143 (1997), 1153 (1998) and 1210 (1998), to ensure fully the equitable distribution, without discrimination, to the Iraqi population, including in remote areas, of the humanitarian supplies purchased with the proceeds of Iraqi oil, and to facilitate the work of United Nations humanitarian personnel in Iraq by ensuring the free and unobstructed movement of observers throughout the country;

 

(l)   To cooperate in the identification of minefields existing throughout Iraq with a view to facilitating their marking and eventual clearing;

 


4.    Decides:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, as contained in Commission resolution 1991/74 of 6 March 1991 and subsequent resolutions, for a further year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report on the situation of human rights in Iraq to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, and also to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;

 

(b)   To request the Secretary-General to continue to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur to enable him to discharge his mandate fully, and to approve the allocation of sufficient human and material resources for the sending of human rights monitors to such locations as would facilitate improved information flow and assessment and help in the independent verification of reports on the situation of human rights in Iraq;

 

(c)   To continue its consideration of the situation of human rights in

Iraq at its fifty-sixth session under the same agenda item.

 

                                                               51st meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                          [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 35 votes to none,

                                       with 18 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

               1999/15.  Situation of human rights in the Sudan

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable human rights instruments,

 

Mindful that the Sudan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

 

Recalling previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Sudan,

most recently Commission resolution 1998/67 of 21 April 1998, as well as Assembly resolution 53/1 O of 17 December 1998 on emergency assistance to the Sudan,

 

Welcoming the Peace Agreement of 1997, the acceptance of the Declaration of Principles as a basis for negotiations and the declaration of a comprehensive ceasefire on 5 April 1999, at the same time deeply concerned at the impact of the continuing conflict in the Sudan between the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army on the situation of human rights and at the disregard by all parties to the conflict of relevant rules of international humanitarian law,

 


Condemning the recent murder of four Sudanese relief workers while in the custody of the Sudan People's Liberation Army,

 

Aware of the urgent need for implementing effective measures in the field of human rights and humanitarian relief to protect the civilian population from the effects of armed conflict,

 

Expressing its firm belief that progress towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in southern Sudan within the Inter_governmental Authority on Development peace initiative will greatly contribute to the creation of a better environment for the respect of human rights in the Sudan,

 

Pleased at the invitations extended by the Government of the Sudan to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the Special Rapporteurs on religious intolerance and on freedom of opinion and expression and the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery,

 

1.    Welcomes:

 

(a)   The report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan (E/CN.4/1999/38);

 

(b)   The recent visit by the Special Rapporteur to the Sudan at the invitation of the Government of the Sudan and the full cooperation extended by the Government of the Sudan;

 

(c)   The expressed commitment of the Government of the Sudan to respect and promote human rights and the rule of law and its expressed commitment to a process of democratization with a view to establishing a representative and accountable government, reflecting the aspirations of all people of the Sudan;

 

(d)   The stipulation of basic human rights and freedoms in the Constitution of the Sudan which entered into force on 1 July 1998;

 

(e)   The establishment of the Constitutional Court;

 

(f)   Reports of recent improvements regarding the freedom of expression and association;

 

(g)   Efforts to implement the right to education;

 

(h)   The liberation of political detainees by the Government of the Sudan;

 

(i)   The efforts to address the problem of internally displaced persons;

 

(j)   The recent visit by the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for children and armed conflict and the cooperation extended by the Government of the Sudan in this regard;

 

(k)   The commitment made by the Government of the Sudan to the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for children and armed conflict not to recruit children under the age of 18 as soldiers;


2.    Expresses its deep concern:

 

(a)   At the impact of the current conflict on the situation of human rights and its adverse effect on the civilian population, in particular women and children, and at continuing serious violations of human rights, fundamental freedoms and relevant provisions of international humanitarian law perpetrated by all parties to the conflict, in particular:

 

            (i)   At the occurrence of cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions resulting from armed conflicts between members of the armed forces and armed insurgent groups within the country;

 

           (ii)   At the occurrence, within the framework of the conflict in southern Sudan, of cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance, the use of children as soldiers and combatants, forced conscription, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, torture and ill‑treatment of civilians;

 

          (iii)   At the abduction of women and children to be subjected to forced labour or similar conditions;

 

           (iv)   At the use of weapons, including landmines, against the civilian population;

 

(b)   At violations of human rights in areas under the control of the Government of the Sudan, in particular:

 

            (i)   At the widespread occurrence of torture, and cases of arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, in particular of political opponents;

 

           (ii)   At cases of severe restrictions on the freedom of religion and peaceful assembly;

 

          (iii)   At the widespread intimidation of the population by the security organs;

 

3.    Urges all parties to the continuing conflict in the Sudan:

 

(a)   To respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, to respect fully international humanitarian law, thereby facilitating the voluntary return, repatriation and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, and to ensure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law are brought to justice;

 

(b)   To stop immediately the use of weapons, including landmines, against the civilian population, and in particular the Sudan People's Liberation Army, to abstain from using civilian premises for military purposes;

 


(c)   To grant safe and unhindered access to international agencies and humanitarian organizations in order to facilitate by all means the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need of protection and assistance, in particular in Bahr‑el‑Ghazal and in the Nuba Mountains, and to continue to cooperate with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations and Operation Lifeline Sudan to deliver such assistance;

 

(d)   In particular the Sudan People's Liberation Army, to stop attacks on relief and humanitarian workers, urges the Sudan People's Liberation Army to permit a thorough investigation into the deaths of four Sudanese relief workers and expects it to return the bodies to their families;

 

(e)   To continue to cooperate with the peace efforts of the Inter_governmental Authority on Development;

 

(f)   In particular the Sudan People's Liberation Army, not to divert relief supplies, including food, from their civilian recipients;

 

(g)   Not to use children under the age of 18 as soldiers, and urges the Sudan People's Liberation Army to undertake a similar commitment to that made by the Government of the Sudan to the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for children and armed conflict not to recruit children under the age of 18 as soldiers, and to refrain from the practice of forced conscription;

 

4.    Calls upon the Government of the Sudan:

 

(a)   To comply fully with its obligations under international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a party and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law;

 

(b)   To ensure the rule of law by bringing legislation more into line with the Constitution and the practice of law enforcement more into line with legislation;

 

(c)   To continue its efforts to bring its national legislation into conformity with applicable international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a party and to ensure that all individuals in its territory and subject to its jurisdiction enjoy fully the rights recognized in those instruments;

 

(d)   To take all effective measures to end all acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and ensure that all accused persons are held in ordinary custody and receive prompt, just and fair trials under internationally recognized standards, and investigate all reported acts of torture brought to its attention;

 

(e)   To investigate reports of the abduction of women and children taking place in the framework of the conflict in southern Sudan, bring to trial any persons suspected of supporting or participating in such activities and facilitate the safe return of affected children to their families as a matter of priority, and to accept, inter alia, a multilateral investigation into the causes of the abduction of women and children subjected to forced labour or similar conditions, as well as ways and means to obtain the eradication of this practice;

 


(f)   To stop immediately the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian and humanitarian targets, including hospitals, which runs counter to fundamental principles of human rights and humanitarian law;

 

(g)   To ensure full respect for freedom of opinion, expression, thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of association and assembly throughout the territory of the Sudan;

 

(h)   To implement fully its commitment to the democratization process and the rule of law and to create, in this context, conditions that would allow for a democratization process that is genuine and wholly reflects the aspirations of the people of the country and ensures their full participation;

 

(i)   To comply with the commitment made to the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for children and armed conflict not to recruit children under the age of 18 as soldiers;

 

5.    Encourages the Government of the Sudan to continue to pursue its dialogue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with a view to establishing a permanent representation of the High Commissioner in Khartoum;

 

6.    Calls upon the international community to expand its support for activities aimed at the improvement of respect for human rights and humanitarian law during the conflict;

 

7.    Decides:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for a further year and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty‑fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty‑sixth session on the situation of human rights in the Sudan and to continue to keep a gender perspective in mind in the reporting process;

 

(b)   To request the Secretary‑General to continue to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur to enable him to discharge his mandate fully;

 

(c)   To request the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urgently to take into consideration requests for assistance by the Government of the Sudan, including with a view to the establishment of a permanent representation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Khartoum as a matter of priority;

 

8.    Recommends the following draft decision to the Economic and Social Council for adoption:

 

            [For the text, see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision 5.]

 

                                                               51st meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 


   1999/16.  Cooperation with representatives of United Nations

       human rights bodies

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reiterating its concern at the continued reports of intimidation and reprisals against private individuals and groups who seek to cooperate with the United Nations and representatives of its human rights bodies,

 

Also concerned at reports about incidents where private individuals have been hampered in their efforts to avail themselves of procedures established under United Nations auspices for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

 

Recalling its resolution 1998/66 of 21 April 1998 and taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the question (E/CN.4/1999/27),

 

1.    Urges Governments to refrain from all acts of intimidation and reprisal against:

 

(a)   Those who seek to cooperate or have cooperated with representatives of United Nations human rights bodies, or who have provided testimony or information to them;

 

(b)   Those who avail or have availed themselves of procedures established under United Nations auspices for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and all those who have provided legal assistance to them for this purpose;

 

(c)   Those who submit or have submitted communications under procedures established by human rights instruments;

 

(d)   Those who are relatives of victims of human rights violations;

 

2.    Requests all representatives of United Nations human rights bodies, as well as treaty bodies monitoring the observance of human rights, to continue to take urgent steps, in conformity with their mandates, to help prevent the hampering of access to United Nations human rights procedures in any way;

 

3.    Also requests all representatives of United Nations human rights bodies, as well as treaty bodies monitoring the observance of human rights, to continue to take urgent steps, in conformity with their mandates, to help prevent the occurrence of such intimidation and reprisals;

 

4.    Further requests such representatives and treaty bodies to continue to include in their respective reports to the Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities or the General Assembly a reference to allegations of intimidation or reprisal and of hampering of access to United Nations human rights procedures, as well as an account of action taken by them in this regard;

 

5.    Requests the Secretary-General to draw the attention of such representatives and treaty bodies to the present resolution;


6.    Invites the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session a report containing a compilation and analysis of any available information, from all appropriate sources, on alleged reprisals against the persons referred to in paragraph 1 above;

 

7.    Decides to consider the question again at its fifty_sixth session.

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

                1999/17.  Situation of human rights in Myanmar

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable human rights instruments,

 

Gravely concerned at the increasingly severe and systematic violations of human rights in Myanmar and the failure of the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur,

 

Aware that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government and therefore gravely concerned that the Government of Myanmar still has not implemented its commitment to take all necessary steps towards democracy in the light of the results of the elections held in 1990,

 

Recalling the observation made by the Special Rapporteur that the absence of respect for the rights pertaining to democratic governance is at the root of all the major violations of human rights in Myanmar,

 

Mindful that Myanmar is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 on the protection of war victims, the International Labour Organization’s Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87),

 

Recalling previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, most recently Assembly resolution 53/162 of 9 December 1998 and Commission resolution 1998/63 of 21 April 1998,

 

1.    Welcomes:

 

(a)   The report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/1999/35) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and the report of the Secretary_General (E/CN.4/1999/29);

 


(b)   The accession by the Government of Myanmar to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and earlier to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

 

(c)   The pardoning and release on humanitarian grounds on 20 January of U Ohn Myint and on 11 February of Ma Thida, but notes at the same time a significant increase in the number of political prisoners during 1998;

 

(d)   The efforts currently being undertaken by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for a visit to Myanmar;

 

2.    Reaffirms the need to provide adequate protection and assistance for persons fleeing from Myanmar and, in this context, takes note with appreciation of the efforts of the Government of Thailand in providing assistance and the expanded role played by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

 

3.    Expresses its grave concern:

 

(a)   At the continued closure of many institutions of higher education for political reasons for over two years;

 

(b)   That the composition and working procedures of the National Convention do not permit either members of Parliament_elect or representatives of the ethnic minorities to express their views freely, and is concerned that the National Convention is not working towards national reconciliation;

 

(c)   At the widespread and systematic use of forced labour, as indicated in the report of the Commission of Inquiry set up under article 26 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization and the failure of the Government so far to implement the Commission's recommendation that it ensure the cessation by the authorities, and in particular the military, of such practices;

 

(d)   That the Government of Myanmar refuses to cooperate with, and has not yet agreed to a visit by, the Special Rapporteur;

 

4.    Deplores:

 

(a)   The continuing violations of human rights in Myanmar, as reported by the Special Rapporteur, including extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (particularly in areas of ethnic tension) and enforced disappearances, torture, abuse of women and children by government agents, arbitrary seizures of land and property, and the imposition of oppressive measures directed in particular at ethnic and religious minorities, including systematic programmes of forced relocation, destruction of crops and fields, and the widespread use of forced labour, including for work on infrastructure projects and as porters for the army;

 

(b)   The wide disrespect of the rule of law, including increasing numbers of arbitrary and politically motivated arrests and detentions, detentions without trial, sometimes without the knowledge of the families of detainees, and the abuse of the judicial process, including trial of detainees


in secrecy without proper legal representation, and the inhuman treatment of prisoners, leading to illness and deaths in custody, as reported by the Special Rapporteur;

 

(c)   The violations of the rights of persons belonging to minorities, including the systematic programmes of forced relocations directed against ethnic minorities, notably in Karen, Karenni, Rakhine and Shan States and in Tennasserim Division, resulting in displaced persons and flows of refugees to neighbouring countries, thus creating problems for the countries concerned, and particularly the condition of statelessness, the confiscation of land and the restrictions on movement faced by returning Rohingya refugees, which have contributed to movements out of the country;

 

(d)   The continuing violations of the rights of women, especially women who are refugees, internally displaced women and women belonging to ethnic minorities or the political opposition, in particular forced labour, sexual violence and exploitation, including rape, as reported by the Special Rapporteur;

 

(e)   The continuing violations of the rights of children, in particular through the lack of conformity of the existing legal framework with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, through conscription of children into forced labour programmes, through their military and sexual exploitation and through discrimination against children belonging to ethnic and religious minority groups;

 

(f)   The escalation in the persecution of the democratic opposition, particularly members and supporters of the National League for Democracy, as well as threats of deportation, arrest and physical violence against Aung San Suu Kyi, and the continued harassment, arrest and detention of National League for Democracy and other democratic group activists, including elected representatives to the Parliament, students, trade unionists and members of religious orders, for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of movement, expression, assembly and association, the harsh long_term prison sentences imposed on National League for Democracy supporters and at the Government's use of intimidatory methods to force elected representatives and  National League for Democracy members to resign from their positions and to dissolve their party offices;

 

(g)   The severe restrictions on the freedoms of opinion, expression, assembly and association, the restrictions on citizens' access to information, including censorship controls on all forms of domestic media and many international publications, and the restrictions imposed on citizens wishing to travel within the country and abroad, including the denial of passports on political grounds, and gross interference in private life, family, home or correspondence;

 

5.    Calls upon the Government of Myanmar:

 

(a)   To establish a constructive dialogue with the United Nations system, including the human rights mechanisms, for the effective promotion and protection of human rights in the country;

 


(b)   To continue to cooperate with the Secretary_General or his representative and to broaden this dialogue, including through providing access to any person deemed appropriate by them, and to implement their recommendations;

 

(c)   To consider becoming a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol;

 

6.    Urges the Government of Myanmar to cooperate fully, and without further delay, with the Special Rapporteur, to allow him, without preconditions, to conduct a field mission and to establish direct contacts with the Government and all other relevant sectors of society, and thus to enable him fully to discharge his mandate;

 

7.    Strongly urges the Government of Myanmar:

 

(a)   To implement fully the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur;

 

(b)   To ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of expression, association, movement and assembly, the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial judiciary and the protection of the rights of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, and to put an end to violations of the right to life and integrity of the human being, to the practices of torture, abuse of women, forced labour and forced relocations and to enforced disappearances and summary executions;

 

(c)   To take urgent and meaningful measures to ensure the establishment of democracy in accordance with the will of the people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990 and, to this end, to engage immediately and unconditionally in a genuine and substantive dialogue with the leaders of political parties, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and of ethnic minorities with the aim of achieving national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy, and to ensure that political parties and non-governmental organizations can function freely, and in this context notes that the National League for Democracy has established a committee to represent temporarily members of Parliament elected in 1990 who are prevented by the authorities from exercising their democratic mandate conferred on them by the people of Myanmar;

 

(d)   To take all appropriate measures to allow all citizens to participate freely in the political process, in accordance with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to accelerate the process of transition to democracy, in particular through the transfer of power to democratically elected representatives;

 

(e)   To release immediately and unconditionally those detained for political reasons, including those in “government guest houses”, and to ensure their physical integrity and to permit them to participate in a meaningful process of national reconciliation;


(f)   Urgently to improve conditions of detention and to allow the competent international humanitarian organization to communicate freely and confidentially with prisoners;

 

(g)   To ensure the safety and well-being of all political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to permit unrestricted communication with and physical access to Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders;

 

(h)   To fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by bringing national legislation and practice into conformity with these conventions;

 

(i)   And all other parties to the hostilities in Myanmar to respect fully their obligations under international humanitarian law, including article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, to halt the use of weapons against the civilian population, to protect all civilians, including children, women and persons belonging to ethnic or religious minorities, from violations of humanitarian law and to avail themselves of services offered by impartial humanitarian bodies;

 

(j)   To fulfil its obligations as a State party to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and to the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87) of the International Labour Organization and to cooperate with the International Labour Organization, in particular by implementing the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry;

 

(k)   To cease the laying of landmines, in particular as a means of ensuring forced relocation, and to desist from the forced conscription of civilians to serve as human minesweepers, as indicated in the report of the Commission of Inquiry; 

 

(l)   To end the enforced displacement of persons and other causes of refugee flows to neighbouring countries and to create conditions conducive to their voluntary return and full reintegration in safety and dignity, including returnees who have not been granted rights of full citizenship, in close cooperation with the international community, through the United Nations system and its specialized agencies, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations;

 

(m)   To fulfil its obligations to end impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations, including members of the military, and to investigate and prosecute alleged violations committed by government agents in all circumstances;

 

8.    Decides:

 

(a)   To extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, as contained in Commission resolution 1992/58 of 3 March 1992, for a further year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session, and to keep a gender perspective in mind when seeking and analysing information;

 


(b)   To request the Secretary_General to continue to give all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur to enable him to discharge his mandate fully, and to pursue all efforts to ensure that the Special Rapporteur is authorized to visit Myanmar;

 

(c)   To request the Secretary_General to continue his discussions with the Government on the situation of human rights and the restoration of democracy and with anyone he may consider appropriate in order to assist in the implementation of General Assembly resolution 53/162 and of the present resolution;

 

(d)   To request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to cooperate with the Director_General of the International Labour Office with a view to identifying ways in which their offices might usefully collaborate for the improvement of the human rights situation in Myanmar;

 

(e)   To request the Secretary_General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all relevant parts of the United Nations system;

 

(f)   To continue its consideration of this question at its

fifty_sixth session.

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

1999/18.  The situation of human rights in the Federal Republic of

    Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the Republic of Croatia

    and Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Recalling all relevant resolutions on this subject, in particular its own resolution 1998/79 of 22 April 1998, as well as all relevant resolutions and statements of the Security Council,

 

Expressing its full support for the General Framework for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the “Framework Agreement”) and the annexes thereto (together, the “Peace Agreement”) which, inter alia, committed the parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to respect fully human rights, and for the Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium,

 

Reaffirming the territorial integrity of all States in the region, within their internationally recognized borders,

 

Taking note of the reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, together, the countries of the mandate,

 


Taking note also of the final decision of 5 March 1999 of the arbitration tribunal on Brcko and noting the obligation of the Federation and Republika Srpska entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the award fully, including with respect to enabling minority refugee returns in both entities,

 

Expressing its appreciation for the ongoing important work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and its field operation in the region,

 

Shocked and horrified by ongoing massacres and other brutal repressive measures committed by Serbian security and paramilitary forces in Kosovo with the intent of ethnic cleansing, in clear violation of international human rights standards and international humanitarian law and resulting in the loss of lives and a massive humanitarian tragedy affecting the entire region,

 

Mindful in this context that development of early warning procedures to identify patterns of gross and persistent violations of human rights in a systematic way could contribute to conflict prevention and the full enjoyment of all human rights by all,

 

                               I.  Introduction

 

1.    Stresses once again the crucial role that progress in promoting and protecting human rights has to play in the success of the Peace Agreement and underlines the obligations of the parties under the Framework Agreement to secure for all persons within their jurisdiction the highest level of international norms and standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

 

2.    Stresses the need to focus international human rights efforts in the countries of the mandate on the core problems of:

 

(a)   Lack of full respect for the human rights of all individuals, without any distinction;

 

(b)   Massive forced expulsions and obstruction of return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes in safety and in dignity, and return to them of property and occupancy rights of which they were deprived;

 

(c)   Lack of resources for capacity_building in the areas of rule of law and administration of justice, and lack of independence of the judiciary;

 

(d)   Lack of respect for the freedoms of expression and association and for the freedom and independence of the media;

 

(e)   Continuing obstruction of the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;

 

(f)   Missing persons;

 


3.    Appeals once more to the international community to support such efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights and insists that the parties act to promote and protect democratic institutions of government, the rule of law and effective administration of justice at all levels in their respective countries, to further ensure freedom of expression and of the media, to allow and encourage freedom of association, including with respect to political parties, to provide appropriate protection and assistance to refugees and displaced persons until they are able to return to their homes in safety and in dignity and to foster a culture of respect for human rights;

 

4.    Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary_General to take concerted action with the assistance of the international community to develop early_warning procedures in the field of human rights with a view to identifying situations that could lead to conflict or humanitarian tragedy, and requests the High Commissioner and the Secretary_General to report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session on their efforts;

 

          II.  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)

 

5.    Expresses its grave concern at the ongoing serious violations of human rights and the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) caused by the repressive policies and measures of the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) at all levels, including the highest leaders, and also of authorities at all levels in Serbia;

 

6.    Condemns the continued repression of the independent media, the passage of the Serbian Law on Public Information and, in particular, the slaying of Mr. Slavko Curuvija, publisher and director of the Belgrade Dnevni Telegraf, and also the forcible closing of independent newspapers and radio stations;

 

7.    Regrets that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) has not complied with the recommendations of the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe regarding fostering democracy and the rule of law;

 

8.    Also regrets the express refusal of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to allow a visit by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;

 

9.    Calls upon authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro):

 

(a)   To comply with all previous resolutions of the Commission and with the recommendations contained in the reports of the Special Rapporteur and to cooperate with other relevant mechanisms of the Commission;

 

(b)   To comply fully with its obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;

 

(c)   To institutionalize democratic norms of governance, especially in regard to respect for the principle of free and fair elections, the rule of law, the administration of justice, the promotion and protection of free and independent media and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,


and calls upon the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) specifically to repeal repressive laws on universities and the media;

 

(d)   To end torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons in detention, as documented in the reports of the Special Rapporteur and other reports, and to bring those responsible to justice;

 

(e)   To repeal the 1989 Serbian Law on Special Conditions for Real Property Transactions and the 1998 Serbian Law on Public Information and to apply all other legislation without discrimination;

 

(f)   To respect the rights of all persons belonging to minority groups, especially in the Sandjak and Vojvodina, including the Hungarian and Croatian national minorities, and equally of persons belonging to the Muslim minority and to the Bulgarian national minority, and to support the unconditional return of the long-term missions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as called for by the Security Council in its resolutions 855 (1993) of 9 August 1993 and 1160 (1998) of 31 March 1998;

 

10.   Welcomes positive developments in Montenegro with regard to the democratic process, in particular to the freedom of the media and to the efforts to give shelter to Kosovars;

 

11.   Also welcomes the selection by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of nine organizations from civil society to participate in the Assisting Communities Together Programme;

 

12.   Calls upon the international community:

 

(a)   To help the countries of the mandate establish appropriate safeguards to ensure the security and fair treatment upon return of those who sought temporary protection and asylum, including appropriate measures by Governments, such as legal guarantees and follow-up mechanisms, to ensure the right of all those persons to return to their homes in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in safety and dignity;

 

(b)   To continue to support existing national democratic forces and non-governmental organizations in their efforts to build a civil society and achieve multi-party democracy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and to provide resources for capacity_building in the administration of justice;

 

                                 III.  Kosovo

 

13.   Calls upon the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), especially its President and the political leadership:

 

(a)   To ensure a verifiable stop to all military action and the immediate ending of violence and repression against the civilian population of Kosovo;

 


(b)   To ensure the withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, Ministry of Interior police and paramilitary forces;

 

(c)   To agree to the stationing of an international military peacekeeping presence;

 

(d)   To agree to the voluntary, unconditional return of all internally displaced persons and refugees in safety and dignity and to provide unhindered access to them by humanitarian aid organizations;

 

(e)   To work, on the basis of the Rambouillet agreements, on the establishment of a political framework agreement for Kosovo, in conformity with international law and the Charter of the United Nations;

 

14.   Condemns the grave, horrendous and ongoing war crimes and abuses of human rights in Kosovo, especially the violent repression of non-violent expression of political views, systematic terrorization of ethnic Albanians and others, torture, deaths in detention, summary executions and illegal detention of ethnic Albanian citizens, widespread destruction of homes, property and villages, and systematic targeting of the civilian population of Kosovo by Serbian forces, resulting in mass forced displacement, expulsion, rape and harsh living conditions of the civilian population, as well as the harassment, intimidation and closure of independent media outlets in Kosovo by the Serbian authorities;

 

15.   Also condemns the escalation of the Serbian military offensive against the civilian population of Kosovo in recent weeks, which has led to further ethnic cleansing in the region, massacres and gross violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law inflicted upon the Kosovars, including destruction of personal identity documents, records, further destruction of houses and property, as well as agricultural capacity, with the aim of preventing their return, deplores the recent discovery of mass graves and condemns harassment and obstruction of humanitarian aid delivery from any quarter; 

 

16.   Underscores the grave concern of Member States regarding ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity;

 

17.   Condemns abuses by elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army, in particular killings in violation of international humanitarian law, enforced disappearances and abduction and detention of Serbian police, as well as Serb and Albanian civilians;

 

18.   Emphasizes that those found responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law, other war crimes and crimes against humanity will be held accountable by the international community and will not escape justice;

 

19.   Insists that the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the ethnic Albanian leadership in Kosovo condemn acts of terrorism, refrain from all acts of violence, encourage the pursuit of political ends through peaceful means, act with respect for the rights and dignity of all persons belonging to minority groups and respect international human rights standards and international humanitarian law;


20.   Also insists that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) implement a ceasefire, demilitarize the province and cooperate with the implementation force as demanded by the Contact Group, respect the democratic process and act immediately to make possible the establishment of genuine democratic self-governance in Kosovo, especially by acceptance of a settlement on the basis of the Rambouillet agreements, with representatives of the ethnic Albanian community, and ensure that all the residents of the region are guaranteed equal treatment and protection regardless of ethnic affiliation, and calls upon all individuals or groups in Kosovo to resolve the crisis there through peaceful means;

 

21.   Insists that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro):

 

(a)   Take immediate action, in view of the escalating violence in Kosovo, to put an end to the continuing repression of and prevent violence against the ethnic Albanian population and other communities living in Kosovo, as well as to end torture, beatings, brutality, warrantless searches, arbitrary detention, unfair trials and arbitrary, unjustified evictions and dismissals, large_scale demolition of houses and scorched earth tactics;

 

(b)   Release all political detainees, guarantee the right to voluntary return in safety and dignity of all refugees and displaced persons to Kosovo and respect fully all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, including for the Albanian_language media, freedom of expression or assembly, freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination in the field of education and information and, in particular, improve the situation of ethnic Albanian women and children;

 

(c)   Allow the establishment of democratic institutions in Kosovo;

 

(d)   Abide by its international obligations under common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949;

 

(e)   Cooperate with international humanitarian organizations in dealing with the issue of missing persons in Kosovo and also ensure that non_governmental organizations may operate freely without harassment or unduly burdensome requirements;

 

22.   Welcomes the recent initiative of the High Commissioner to investigate human rights violations and atrocities committed in Kosovo, and requests that the Special Rapporteur, the Personal Representative of the High Commissioner and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights investigative teams cooperate to the extent appropriate with the international bodies charged with bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice;

 

23.   Calls upon the authorities in Belgrade to work closely with and support the mission to Kosovo of the personal representative of the Chairman_in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe;

 

24.   Emphasizes once again that improvement in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Kosovo, as well as in


the rest of its territory, will assist the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in establishing a full range of relations with the international community;

 

25.   Expresses grave concern over the overwhelming humanitarian crisis in Kosovo and the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians, which has placed a massive burden on the surrounding countries, calls upon the international community to take immediate efforts to relieve this burden, expresses its appreciation to those countries that have offered assistance or that have offered to accept refugees, commends the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations for their response to this crisis and encourages the international community to strengthen its actions, especially in the field of coordination of all humanitarian efforts;

 

                           IV.  Republic of Croatia

 

26.   Welcomes the cooperation of the Government of the Republic of Croatia with the Special Rapporteur and takes note of the request of the Government of the Republic of Croatia for technical cooperation and assistance programmes and of the positive response thereto by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, urges the Government and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conclude an agreement as soon as possible and looks forward to the effects of those programmes on the situation of human rights and the rule of law;

 

27.   Calls upon the Government of the Republic of Croatia to undertake greater efforts to adhere to democratic principles including through legislation and implementation of electoral reform and to continue its efforts to attain the highest level of compliance with international norms and standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the rights of persons belonging to minority groups, especially by:

 

(a)   Full and fair implementation of its Programme for the Return and Accommodation of Displaced Persons, Refugees and Resettled Persons and its  programme for the reconstruction of war-affected settlements and its earlier Programme on the Establishment of Confidence, Acceleration of Return and Normalization of Life in the War_affected Areas and continuing cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with the civilian police monitors in Croatia mandated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and with other relevant organizations to that end, as well as by dialogue and cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and through it with the Republika Srpska;

 

(b)   Full cooperation with and implementation of the recommendations of the international organizations operating in the Republic of Croatia, in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe operations in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium and in former United Nations protected areas, especially by respecting the human rights, including the property rights, of all and:

 


            (i)   Ending incidents of harassment, looting and physical attacks against displaced Serbs and other minorities, and speedily arresting those committing or instigating such acts aimed at preventing the return of Croatian Serbs or others to their homes and, in particular, fully investigating allegations of individual involvement by Croatian police or members of the military, whether on or off duty;

 

           (ii)   Ensuring the non-discriminatory application of the amnesty law and by developing and strengthening all possible measures for confidence_building, including by providing regular information to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia about domestic war crimes prosecutions;

 

          (iii)   Ending any form of discrimination by Croatian authorities in the areas of property rights, documentation of citizenship and identity, employment, education, pension and health care, among others;

 

(c)   Respecting freedom of association and of the press, including by taking concrete steps to allow for the establishment of independent media and full access by the opposition to State electronic media channels and, in particular, by ceasing harassment of free and independent media;

 

(d)   Respecting the right of non-governmental organizations to operate without restrictions, and welcomes in this regard the establishment of a government office for cooperation with non-governmental organizations and a continuation of this dialogue;

 

(e)   Undertaking serious judicial reform and guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary;

 

(f)   Within the context of obligations undertaken with the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, pursuit of the equal application of the law to all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political affiliation, the swift and complete implementation of judicial decisions and implementation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in all governmental practices;

 

(g)   Continuing to fulfil the rights and guarantees pledged in its letter of 13 January 1997 addressed to the President of the Security Council concerning the completion of the peaceful reintegration of the region under the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium into the  Republic of Croatia (S/1997/27), inter alia, the pledge to guarantee representation of Serbs at various levels of local, regional and national government;

 

(h)   Continuing its cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and complying with all his recommendations and cooperating also with the Croatian Ombudsman;

 

28.   Endorses the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur in his report (E/CN.4/1999/42, paras. 72_78) in particular that:


(a)   The Government foster the return of Serbs to their former homes;

 

(b)   The judiciary be provided with adequate resources and court proceedings be open to the public;

 

(c)   Labour rights cases be promptly and fairly resolved;

 

(d)   Affirmative measures be taken to improve the representation of women in decision‑making positions;

 

(e)   Due attention be paid to the importance of free political debate in a democratic society;

 

29.   Calls upon the international community:

 

(a)   To support the involvement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in human rights monitoring in the region of Eastern Slavonia, in close cooperation with other international organizations and in close consultation with the Government of the Republic of Croatia;

 

(b)   To continue to provide for an international presence, as recommended by the Special Rapporteur, through support of initiatives advanced by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the European Community Monitoring Mission and other international organizations, including the programme of technical cooperation envisaged by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

 

                          V.  Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

30.   Takes note of the progress made in some areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementation of the Peace Agreement and improvement in respect for human rights, and commends the High Representative in this regard;

 

31.   Expresses its serious concern about continuing human rights violations within Bosnia and Herzegovina and continuing obstruction of the full implementation of the human rights provisions of the Peace Agreement;

 

32.   Emphasizes once more that the primary responsibility for ensuring the progressive achievement of democratic goals and building a tolerant, multi‑ethnic society lies with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular through the central Government and the governments of both entities, as well as through, inter alia, municipal and cantonal authorities, religious communities, humanitarian organizations and non‑governmental organizations;

 

33.   Underlines the obligation of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels to implement the arbitration decision for Brcko and the recommendations and decisions of the High Representative and the decisions of the Commission on Human Rights for Bosnia and Herzegovina and its two parts, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman and the Human Rights Chamber, and the decisions of the Commission on Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons;

 


34.   Calls upon all parties to cease obstruction of the work of the common institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

 

35.   Condemns in the strongest terms the intimidation and perpetration of violence against minority refugees and internally displaced persons returning to their homes, the destruction of their homes and all other acts designed to discourage their voluntary return, and calls for the authorities to conduct vigorous investigations to determine responsibility for such acts and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice;

 

36.   Calls upon, in this context, officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including those of the Republika Srpska and the Federation, to cooperate with relevant international humanitarian agencies and their neighbours to facilitate such voluntary returns;

 

37.   Endorses the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur in his report (ibid., paras. 29_35), especially that:

 

(a)   Authorities and political leaders cease undermining efforts to ensure the right to return and, to that end, that divisions along ethnic lines be eliminated, manipulation of returnees and displaced persons be stopped and high priority given to the situation of “floaters” in Banja Luka and other municipalities in the Republika Srpska;

 

(b)   Local actors, including non_governmental organizations, should be more involved in human rights work;

 

38.   Emphasizes the views of the General Assembly, contained in paragraphs 18 and 19 of its resolution 53/163 of 9 December 1998, concerning the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons and on cooperation with the Office of the High Representative, the Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

 

        VI.  International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

 

39.   Calls upon all States and, in particular, all parties to the Peace Agreement, especially the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), to meet their obligations to cooperate fully with the Tribunal, noting that there is no valid constitutional or statutory reason for failure to cooperate, and urges all States and the Secretary‑General to support the Tribunal to the fullest extent possible, in particular by helping to ensure that persons indicted by the Tribunal stand trial before it and by continuing to make available to the Tribunal, as a matter of urgency, adequate resources to aid in the fulfilment of its mandate;

 

40.   Calls upon all indicted persons to surrender voluntarily to the custody of the Tribunal, as required by the Peace Agreement;

 

41.   Welcomes the decision by the Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska to allow the Tribunal to open an office in Banja Luka and urges the government of the Republika Srpska to fulfil its clear legal obligations, including full cooperation with the Tribunal as it has promised;

 


42.   Urges all parties, including the Government of Croatia, to respect the “rules of the road”, agreed in Rome on 18 February 1996, including through submission of cases to the Prosecutor of the Tribunal under the “rules of the road”;

 

43.   Urgently calls once again upon the competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including those of the Federation and in particular in the Republika Srpska, and the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to apprehend and surrender for prosecution all persons indicted by the Tribunal, as required by Security Council resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993 and the statement by the President of the Security Council on 8 May 1996;

 

44.   Notes with dismay that the large majority of those indictees still at large, including Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Milan Martic, appear to be living in the Republika Srpska or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) while Zeljko Raznatovic, known as “Arkan”, and the “Vukovar three” are known to be present in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro);

 

45.   Stresses the evidence that the most senior leaders of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) are responsible for the continuing refusal of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to meet its obligations to cooperate with the Tribunal and demands that the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) comply with their obligation to cooperate with the Tribunal, including with regard to events in Kosovo, on the basis of resolution 1160 (1998) of the Security Council and all its subsequent resolutions on the subject, including 1207 (1998) of 17 November 1998, and commends the Office of the Prosecutor of the Tribunal for its efforts to gather information relating to the violence in Kosovo;

 

46.   Demands, in accordance with Security Council resolution 827 (1993) and the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and, in particular, permit immediate access to all parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) including Kosovo, including by the prompt issuance of requested visas to officials of the Tribunal to conduct investigations into atrocities there and for any other purpose allowed under the Tribunal's Statute;

 

47.   Urges all parties in the region to respect the primacy of the Tribunal in all cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and condemns the extra‑legal proceedings undertaken by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) against the “Vukovar three”;

 

48.   Calls upon the international community to give the Tribunal every appropriate help to bring into custody suspects indicted by it;

 


                             VII.  Missing persons

 

49.   Expresses its satisfaction with the progress made in the exhumation of remains and the identification of missing persons, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but stresses that further progress and assistance of the international community in all aspects, particularly with technical and financial resources, is required;

 

50.   Welcomes the increased level of cooperation in the joint exhumation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Office of the High Representative and the International Commission on Missing Persons in the Former Yugoslavia and urges that the cooperation continue;

 

51.   Insists that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) authorities and Kosovar Albanians cooperate with international humanitarian organizations in dealing with the issue of missing persons in Kosovo;

 

                           VIII.  Special Rapporteur

 

52.   Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/1999/42);

 

53.   Decides to renew for one year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

 

54.   Requests the Special Rapporteur, in addition to the activities mandated in its resolutions 1994/72 of 9 March 1994, 1996/71 of 23 April 1996 and 1997/57 of 15 April 1997:

 

(a)   To work vigorously in support of the initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate human rights violations and atrocities committed in Kosovo;

 

(b)   To pay particular attention to discrimination against persons belonging to ethnic minorities and displaced persons, refugees and returnees who fall within his mandate, with specific reference to their economic, social and cultural rights;

 

(c)   To address human rights issues that transcend the borders between the States covered by his mandate and which can be addressed only through concerted action in more than one country;

 

(d)   To work with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on behalf of the United Nations in dealing with the question of missing persons and to include in his report to the Commission information about activities concerning missing persons in the former Yugoslavia;

 

55.   Requests that the Special Rapporteur carry out missions to:

 

(a)   Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Republika Srpska;

 


(b)   The Republic of Croatia, including Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium;

 

(c)   The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), including to Kosovo, as well as to Sandjak and Vojvodina;

 

56.   Requests the Special Rapporteur to report to the Commission at its fifty‑sixth session on the work carried out in fulfilment of his mandate, and to make interim reports as appropriate about his work in support of the Kosovo initiative of the High Commissioner, and to present interim reports to the General Assembly at its fifty‑fourth session;

 

57.   Requests the Secretary‑General to continue to make the Special Rapporteur's reports available to the Security Council, to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to other international organizations concerned with human rights and humanitarian questions;

 

58.   Urges the Secretary‑General, within existing resources, to make all necessary resources available for the Special Rapporteur to carry out his mandate successfully and, in particular, to provide him with adequate staff based in those territories to ensure effective continuous monitoring of the human rights situation in the countries of the mandate and coordination with

other international organizations involved.

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                             [Adopted by a roll_call vote of 46 votes to 1,

                                        with 6 abstentions.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

1999/19.  Situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea

          and assistance in the field of human rights

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Recalling its resolution 1998/71 of 21 April 1998,

 

Guided by the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

 

Reaffirming that all States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in this field,

 

Considering that, since the adoption by the Economic and Social Council of its decision 1993/277 on 28 July 1993 and the appointment of Mr. Alejandro Artucio as Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has benefited from the advisory services of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and that the Special Rapporteur has visited the country nine times, as indicated in his reports (E/CN.4/1996/67 and Add.1, E/CN.4/1997/54, E/CN.4/1998/73 and Add.1 and E/CN.4/1999/41),

 


Noting that Equatorial Guinea is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocols thereto, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

 

Welcoming the political will on the part of the Government of Equatorial Guinea to continue to make progress in the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and its pledge to take definitive steps in this direction, as a priority in its programme of good governance,

 

Noting the continuing existence of deficiencies and conditions that lead to violations and abuses of human rights,

 

Noting also that the Government and the opposition political parties had renewed their dialogue after the April 1997 agreements and that the participation of the latter in the national political life has to be enlarged, so that the transition process to democracy can succeed,

 

Noting with interest the efforts of the Government of Equatorial Guinea to establish, in cooperation with international non_governmental organizations, a centre for the promotion of human rights and democracy to strengthen the national capacity to promote human rights,

 

Recalling that international cooperation in the field of human rights is one of the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and welcoming the stated willingness of the Government of Equatorial Guinea to continue to cooperate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,

 

1.    Expresses its gratitude to the Special Rapporteur and welcomes his report (E/CN.4/1999/41), as well as the understanding, assistance and cordiality which the authorities of Equatorial Guinea have extended to him in the discharge of his mandate;

 

2.    Encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea to ensure the independence and effectiveness of the national commission on human rights, in accordance with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, and to authorize the public registration and freedom of activity of non_governmental organizations in the fields of human rights and social affairs;

 

3.    Recognizes that the elections held on 6 March 1999 were organized and conducted in a peaceful and calm atmosphere but takes note with concern that some flaws and irregularities were observed during the electoral process, and therefore calls upon the Government of Equatorial Guinea to continue the dialogue with all political parties and to ensure the independence and effectiveness of the national electoral commission, so as to guarantee fair, transparent and democratic conditions in the future;

 

4.    Encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea to strengthen its efforts to improve the conditions of prisoners and detainees, in accordance with the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur;

 


5.    Also encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea to pursue the efforts which it has already undertaken to integrate women effectively into the process of socio_economic, cultural and political development of the country;

 

6.    Further encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea to promote the necessary conditions for the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights of the child;

 

7.    Recommends that the Government of Equatorial Guinea ratify the basic international human rights instruments, in particular the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

 

8.    Encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea to strengthen further its efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in its programme of priorities in the fields of democracy, human rights and governance and, in particular:

 

(a)   To strengthen its efforts to improve both the functioning of the judiciary and the training of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police and security forces, in order to guarantee an independent and effective administration of justice, and to limit military courts strictly to trying military offences committed by military personnel;

 

(b)   To publish regularly laws, decrees and other governmental acts;

 

(c)   To reiterate its instructions to the forces of law and order not to order or make arbitrary arrests and to respect the right of individuals to security, physical integrity and freedom;

 

(d)   To take the necessary measures to avoid acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

 

(e)   To strengthen its efforts to investigate and impose criminal and disciplinary penalties on those responsible for violations of human rights;

 

9.    Encourages the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in conjunction and with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, to elaborate a comprehensive programme of technical assistance in the field of human rights, in particular with a view to enhancing the administration of justice and the capacity of the civil society, and calls upon the international community to make contributions to the relevant fund for this purpose;

 

10.   Decides to appoint a special representative of the Commission for one year and requests him to monitor the situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea and to report to the Commission at its fifty_sixth session, keeping in mind the need to apply a gender perspective in the reporting process, including in collecting information and making recommendations;

 


11.   Requests the Special Representative to include in his/her report recommendations on the implementation of the programme of technical assistance, with particular emphasis on human rights, the administration of justice and the legislative reforms and the strengthening of the capacity of non_governmental organizations, as well as other groups of the civil society;

 

12.   Requests the Secretary_General to give the Special Representative all necessary assistance to enable him/her to discharge the mandate fully;

 

13.   Decides to continue its examination of the situation of human rights in Equatorial Guinea at its fifty_sixth session;

 

14.   Recommends the following draft decision to the Economic and Social Council for adoption:

 

            [For the text, see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision 8.]

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

                 1999/20.  Situation of human rights in Rwanda

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and other applicable human rights and humanitarian law standards,

 

Recalling its resolution 1998/69 of 21 April 1998 and relevant previous resolutions and noting General Assembly resolution 53/156 of 9 December 1998,

 

Reaffirming that the promotion and protection of human rights are necessary for sustaining the process of national reconstruction and reconciliation in Rwanda,

 

Taking into account the regional dimension of the human rights issues in the Great Lakes region, while underlining the primary responsibility of States for the promotion and protection of human rights,

 

Noting with satisfaction the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to promote and protect respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as to eliminate impunity, the progress made towards the development of a State governed on the basis of the rule of law, and efforts undertaken to consolidate peace and stability and promote unity and reconciliation,

 

Welcoming the progress made by the Government of Rwanda in rebuilding the country's system of administration of justice and the efforts made to address the problem of the very large number of detainees awaiting trial,

 

1.    Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Rwanda (E/CN.4/1999/33), the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of the Human Rights Field


Operation in Rwanda (A/53/367, annex) and the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993 (E/CN.4/1999/9);

 

2.    Commends the Government of Rwanda for the cooperation and assistance extended to the Special Representative;

 

3.    Welcomes the continuing efforts of the Government of Rwanda to build a State based on the rule of law and the guarantee of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments;

 

4.    Reiterates its strong condemnation of the crime of genocide and the crimes against humanity which were committed in Rwanda in 1994;

 

5.    Reaffirms that all persons who committed or authorized acts of genocide or other grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are individually responsible and accountable for those violations;

 

6.    Expresses concern that most of the perpetrators of the genocide and other gross violations of human rights continue to evade justice;

 

7.    Reiterates its request that all States cooperate fully with the Government of Rwanda and the International Tribunal for Rwanda in ensuring that all those responsible for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and other grave violations of human rights are brought to justice in accordance with international principles of due process;

 

8.    Notes the efforts which the International Tribunal for Rwanda has made to improve its performance and encourages further measures to enhance its efficiency;

 

9.    Expresses its concern over the effectiveness of the witness protection programme of the International Tribunal for Rwanda and calls for the improvement of the witness protection programme as a matter of urgency;

 

10.   Notes the indications of improvement in the human rights situation in Rwanda since the last session of the Commission, expresses concern at continued violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and urges the Government of Rwanda to continue to investigate and prosecute such violations;

 

11.   Recognizes that the promotion and protection of human rights for all are essential for achieving stability and security in the Great Lakes region;

 

12.   Reiterates its sympathy and solidarity with genocide survivors, commends the Government of Rwanda for establishing a fund to assist them, commends those Governments that have contributed to the fund and again urges the international community to contribute generously;

 


13.   Takes note with great concern of:

 

(a)   The report of the International Commission of Inquiry (Rwanda) on the sale, supply and shipment of arms and related material in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa (S/1998/1096, annex);

 

(b)   The report of the Investigative Team of the Secretary_General (S/1998/581, annex) and calls upon the Government of Rwanda to respond to this report;

 

14.   Condemns the illegal sale and distribution of arms and all other forms of assistance to former members of the Rwandan armed forces, Interahamwe and other insurgent groups which have a negative impact on human rights and undermine peace and stability in Rwanda and the region;

 

15.   Notes that the Government of Rwanda is regrouping scattered rural populations in the country, including in the north_west, and urges the Government of Rwanda to respect human rights principles and to do its utmost to minimize any elements of coercion in the implementation of the resettlement programme;

 

16.   Reiterates its concern at the conditions of detention in many communal detention centres and some prisons in Rwanda, calls on the Government of Rwanda to continue in its efforts to ensure that persons in detention are treated in a manner which respects their human rights and emphasizes the need for greater attention and resources to be directed to this problem, and again urges the international community to assist the Government of Rwanda in this area;

 

17.   Encourages the continuing efforts of the Government of Rwanda to reduce the prison population by releasing minors, elderly prisoners, prisoners suffering from terminal illnesses and suspects with incomplete files who were detained for their alleged involvement in genocide and other abuses of human rights, and reaffirms the urgent need to complete a dossier for every detainee with a view to identifying those who should be released immediately, early or conditionally;

 

18.   Encourages the Government of Rwanda in its campaign of sensitization aimed at promoting the rule of law, respect for human rights and reconciliation;

 

19.   Welcomes the continuation of domestic trials of those suspected of genocide and crimes against humanity and the improvements that have been made in the trial process, and encourages the Government of Rwanda, with the support of the international community, to strengthen the capacity of the independent judicial system;

 

20.   Urges the Government of Rwanda and invites the International  Tribunal for Rwanda to give utmost priority to the prosecution and punishment of crimes of sexual violence committed against women, in line with the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and welcomes the decision of the International Tribunal for Rwanda to give a broad definition to acts of sexual violence;

 


21.   Welcomes and encourages the deliberations now ongoing in Rwanda to determine new mechanisms to handle the large caseload of detainees awaiting trial on genocide and related charges in a more expeditious manner and in conformity with the law and international human rights standards;

 

22.   Reiterates its appeal to the international community to provide financial and technical assistance to the Government of Rwanda within a mutually agreed framework of cooperation to help strengthen the protection of genocide survivors and witnesses and the administration of justice, including with regard to adequate access to legal representation, to prosecute those responsible for genocide and other violations of human rights and to promote the rule of law in Rwanda, and notes with appreciation assistance already provided by some members of the donor community;

 

23.   Welcomes the proposal of the Government of Rwanda to ensure greater legal access of women to their husbands' and parents' property, in particular through the proposed Law on Matrimonial Property and Succession;

 

24.   Commends the Government of Rwanda on its continued efforts to improve the situation of children and encourages it to continue further with these efforts, guided by a concern for the best interests of children, as specified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

 

25.   Regrets that no agreement could be reached on a new mandate for the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda, which consequently led to the withdrawal of the Field Operation from the country on 28 July 1998, leaving Rwanda with no external independent human rights monitoring capacity, and encourages the Government of Rwanda to seek the cooperation of Governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and non_governmental organizations to provide, within a mutually agreed framework of cooperation, financial and technical support necessary for the reconstruction of human rights infrastructure generally and the effective functioning of the National Human Rights Commission in particular;

 

26.   Welcomes the adoption by the National Assembly of Rwanda of a bill creating the National Human Rights Commission as provided for in the Basic Law of Rwanda and urges the Government of Rwanda to take speedy and appropriate action to enable the Commission to begin functioning independently and effectively, in accordance with recognized international norms;

 

27.   Encourages the members of the National Human Rights Commission to organize as soon as possible, with the assistance of the Special Representative, a round_table meeting aimed at assisting the National Human Rights Commission to develop a plan of action for the promotion and better protection of human rights in Rwanda, urges the Government of Rwanda to work with the Special Representative to facilitate this meeting and calls on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and on the international community to provide all necessary assistance within a mutually agreed upon framework of cooperation;

 

28.   Encourages the Government of Rwanda to provide its full support to the mandate of the National Human Rights Commission to enable it to monitor human rights in the country effectively and independently, in accordance with internationally recognized norms;


29.   Urges the Government of Rwanda to work with interested Governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to facilitate the development of a national human rights monitoring capacity, including the training of national human rights monitors;

 

30.   Welcomes the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to promoting national unity and reconciliation, encourages the Government of Rwanda to continue its efforts in that field, commends the establishment of the National Commission for Unity and Reconciliation and urges that international support be provided to enable the Commission to achieve its objectives;

 

31.   Recommends that the international community continue to provide development assistance for the reconstruction and long_term stability of Rwanda;

 

32.   Commends the Special Representative for his work, decides to extend his mandate for a further year, requests him to report to the General Assembly at its fifty_fourth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session, in accordance with his mandate, and requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide him with such financial assistance as he may require;

 

33.   Calls for close regular consultation between the Special Representative and the Government of Rwanda, the National Human Rights Commission, and all relevant national institutions, regarding the functioning of the National Human Rights Commission;

 

34.   Recommends the following draft decision to the Economic and Social Council for adoption:

 

           [For the text, see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision 9. ]

 

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                                   [Adopted without a vote.  See chap. IX.]

 

 

             1999/21.  Human rights and unilateral coercive measures

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Recalling the purposes and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

 

Reaffirming the pertinent principles and provisions contained in the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974, in particular article 32 which declares that no State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights,

 


Recalling its resolution 1998/11 of 9 April 1998 and noting General Assembly resolution 53/141 of 9 December 1998,

 

Taking note with interest of the report of the Secretary_General on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (E/CN.4/1999/44 and Add.1_2),

 

Recognizing and reiterating the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated character of all human rights and, in this regard, reaffirming the right to development as an integral part of all human rights,

 

Expressing its concern about the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures in the field of international relations, trade, investment and cooperation,

 

Recalling that the World Conference on Human Rights called upon States to refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to trade relations among States and impedes the full realization of all human rights,

 

Deeply concerned that, despite the recommendations adopted on this issue by the General Assembly and United Nations conferences and contrary to general international law and the Charter of the United Nations, unilateral coercive measures continue to be promulgated and implemented with all their negative implications for the social_humanitarian activities of developing countries, including their extraterritorial effects, thereby creating additional obstacles to the full enjoyment of all human rights by peoples and individuals,

 

1.    Urges all States to refrain from adopting or implementing unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, in particular those of a coercive nature with extraterritorial effects, which create obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding the full realization of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, in particular the right of individuals and peoples to development;

 

2.    Rejects the application of such measures as tools for political or economic pressure against any country, particularly against developing countries, because of their negative effects on the realization of all human rights of vast sectors of their populations, inter alia children, women, the elderly, disabled and ill people;

 

3.    Reaffirms, in this context, the right of all peoples to self_determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development;

 

4.    Also reaffirms that essential goods such as food and medicines should not be used as tools for political coercion, and that under no circumstances should people be deprived of their own means of substance and development;

 


5.    Underlines that unilateral coercive measures are one of the major obstacles to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development and, in this regard, calls upon all States to avoid the unilateral imposition of economic coercive measures and the extraterritorial application of domestic laws which run counter to the principles of free trade and hamper the development of developing countries, as recognized by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Right to Development in its most recent report;

 

6.    Invites the new open_ended working group on the right to development, which will meet after the fifty_fifth session of the Commission on Human Rights, to give due consideration to the question of human rights and the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures;

 

7.    Invites all Special Rapporteurs and existing thematic mechanisms of the Commission in the field of economic, social and cultural rights to pay due attention, within the scope of their respective mandates, to the negative impact and consequences of unilateral coercive measures;

 

8.    Decides to give due consideration to the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures in its task concerning the implementation of the right to development;

 

9.    Requests:

 

(a)   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in discharging her functions in relation to the promotion, realization and protection of the right to development, to pay due attention and give urgent consideration to the present resolution;

 

(b)   The Secretary_General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and seek their views and information on the implications and negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on their populations, and to submit a report thereon to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty_sixth session;

 

10.   Decides to examine this question, on a priority basis, at its

fifty_sixth session under the same agenda item.

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999

                            [Adopted by a roll-call vote of 37 votes to 10,

                                         with 6 abstentions.  See chap. X.]

 

 

  1999/22.  Effects on the full enjoyment of human rights of the

economic adjustment policies arising from foreign

debt and, in particular, on the implementation of

the Declaration on the Right to Development

 

The Commission on Human Rights,

 

Recalling that the purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the full promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

 

Reaffirming the Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 41/128 of 4 December 1986, and the


resolutions and decisions adopted by the United Nations in connection with the problem of the foreign debt of the developing countries, particularly Commission resolution 1998/24 of 17 April 1998,

 

Bearing in mind that the absolute amounts attained by the foreign debt and debt service of the developing nations indicate the persistent seriousness of this situation, that the latest episodes of financial crisis in Asia and other regions have caused this situation to deteriorate further, and that the foreign debt burden is becoming increasingly unbearable for a considerable number of developing countries,

 

Aware that the serious problem of the foreign debt burden remains one of the most critical factors adversely affecting economic, social, scientific and technical development and living standards in many developing countries, with serious effects of a social nature,

 

Noting the inter_institutional meeting of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with the Secretary_General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the heads of the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, other United Nations specialized agencies and the special rapporteurs or experts of the Commission dealing with foreign debt related issues;

 

Stressing that the economic globalization process creates new challenges, risks and uncertainties for the implementation and consolidation of development strategies,

 

Expressing its concern that, despite repeated rescheduling of debt, developing countries continue to pay out more each year than the actual amount they receive in official development assistance,

 

Acknowledging that, in spite of the fact that debt reduction schemes have helped reduce debt, many highly indebted poor countries are still left with the bulk of their debt,

 

Considering that the measures for alleviating the debt problem, of both official and private origin, have not achieved an effective, equitable, development_oriented and durable solution to the outstanding debt and debt service of a large number of developing countries, especially the poorest and heavily indebted countries,

 

Bearing in mind the relationship between the heavy foreign debt burden and the considerable increase in poverty which is apparent at the world level and is especially large in Africa,

 

Recognizing that foreign debt constitutes one of the main obstacles preventing the developing countries from fully enjoying their right to development,

 

1.    Stresses that structural adjustment policies have serious implications for the ability of the developing countries to abide by the


Declaration on the Right to Development and to formulate national development policies that aim to improve the economic, social and cultural rights of their citizens;

 

2.    Also stresses the importance of continuing to implement immediate, effective and durable actions for alleviating the burdens of debt and debt_service of the developing countries with debt problems, in the framework of the realization of economic, social and cultural rights;

 

3.    Affirms that the permanent solution to the foreign debt problem lies in the establishment of a just and equitable international economic order which guarantees the developing countries, inter alia, better market conditions and commodity prices, stabilization of exchange rates and interest rates, easier access to financial and capital markets, adequate flows of new financial resources and easier access to the technology of the developed countries;

 

4.    Stresses the need for the economic programmes arising from  foreign debt to take account of the specific characteristics, conditions and needs of the debtor countries and the need to incorporate the social dimension of development;

 

5.    Affirms that the exercise of the basic rights of the people of debtor countries to food, housing, clothing, employment, education, health services and a healthy environment cannot be subordinated to the implementation of structural adjustment policies and economic reforms arising from the debt;

 

6.    Emphasizes the important need for initiatives on foreign debt, in particular in the debt initiative for the heavily indebted poor countries and the decision of the Paris Club to go beyond the Naples terms, to be implemented completely and flexibly, and at the same time notes with concern the rigidity of the eligibility criteria approved by the international creditor community in the context of those initiatives, which is becoming a source of greater concern in the light of the latest symptoms of the international financial crisis;

 

7.    Also emphasizes the need for new financial flows to debtor developing countries from all sources, in addition to debt relief measures that include debt cancellation, and urges creditor countries and the international financial institutions to increase concessional financial

assistance on favourable terms, as a means of supporting the implementation of the economic reforms, combating poverty, and achieving sustained economic growth and sustainable development;

 

8.    Requests the Special Rapporteur on the effects of foreign debt on the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights to present an analytical report to the Commission, on an annual basis, on the implementation of the present resolution, paying particular attention to:

 

(a)   The negative effects of the foreign debt and the policies adopted to face it on the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights in developing countries;

 


(b)   Measures taken by Governments, the private sector and international financial institutions to alleviate such effects in developing countries, especially the poorest and heavily indebted countries;

 

9.    Requests the Secretary_General to provide the Special Rapporteur with all necessary assistance, in particular the staff and resources required to perform his functions;

 

10.   Urges Governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, non_governmental organizations and the private sector to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur in the discharge of his mandate;

 

11.   Calls upon Governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, non_governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, to take appropriate measures and action for the implementation of the commitments, agreements and decisions of the major United Nations conferences and summits organized since the beginning of the 1990s on developments related to the question of external debt;

 

12.   Also calls upon Governments, international financial institutions and the private sector to consider the possibility of cancelling or reducing significantly the debt of the heavily_indebted poor countries, giving priority to countries emerging from devastating civil wars or that have been devastated by natural disasters;

 

13.   Recognizes that there is a need for more transparency, participation by all States and consideration of the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights in the deliberations and activities of international and regional financial institutions;

 

14.   Considers that, in order to find a durable solution to the debt problem, there is a need for a political dialogue between creditor and debtor countries within the United Nations system, based on the principle of shared interests and responsibilities;

 

15.   Reiterates its request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to pay particular attention to the problem of the debt burden of developing countries, in particular of the least developed countries, and especially the social impact of the measures arising from the foreign debt;

 

16.   Decides to continue its consideration of this matter at its

fifty_sixth session under the appropriate agenda item.

 

                                                               52nd meeting

                                                              23 April 1999