United Nations

A/50/678


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 October 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (b)


       HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS,
       INCLUDING ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING
       THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND
FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS

Strengthening of the Centre for Human Rights
of the Secretariat

Report of the Secretary-General


1.   In its  resolution 49/195  of 23 December 1994  on strengthening of the
Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, the General Assembly:

    "...

  "Taking into  account also the  establishment of  the post  of the  United
Nations High Commissioner for  Human Rights, as well  as the mandate for the
post,  including its coordinating  role and  its overall  supervision of the
Centre, as  well as the  request by the  General Assembly  in its resolution
48/141 for appropriate staff and resources  to enable the High  Commissioner
to fulfil his mandate,

    "...

  "Noting that in the Vienna  Declaration and Programme of Action, the World
Conference on  Human Rights  stressed  the importance  of strengthening  the
Centre for Human Rights,

  "Noting also  that the  difficult financial  situation of  the Centre  has
created  considerable  obstacles  to  the  implementation  of  the   various
procedures and mechanisms  and has  negatively influenced  the servicing  by
the Secretariat of the bodies concerned,

    "...


95-32341 (E)   021195/...
*9532341*
    "2.   Requests the  Secretary-General and  Member States  to ensure that
appropriate  additional  financial,  material  and  personnel  resources are

provided in  1994-1995 from  within the  programme budget  for the  biennium
1994-1995 to enable  the Centre and the High  Commissioner to carry out,  in
full and on time the respective mandates assigned  to them by the  competent
bodies dealing with human rights;

  "3.  Calls  upon the  Secretary-General to include  in his submission  for
the proposed programme budget for the  biennium 1996-1997, giving due regard
to development  and other priority activities  of the  United Nations, human
and  financial  resources  for  United  Nations  human  rights   activities,
adequate  to respond  to the  increase in  mandated activities  in order  to
enable the  Centre and the  High Commissioner to carry  out their respective
mandates efficiently and effectively;

  "4.   Requests the  Secretary-General to make  available additional  human
and financial resources (a)  to the High Commissioner  so as to  enhance his
ability  to coordinate  effectively human  rights promotion  and  protection
activities throughout the United Nations system,  including the provision of
advisory  services and  technical assistance;  (b)  to the  Centre so  as to
strengthen its  ability  to discharge  all  its  mandates,  as well  as  its
ability  to deal  with administrative  and budgetary  matters, including the
provision of advisory services; (c) to the High Commissioner and the  Centre
so as  to enhance their ability to carry out mandated operational activities
and to  coordinate  efficiently with  other  relevant  parts of  the  United
Nations system on logistical and administrative questions;

    "...

  "6.  Requests  the Secretary-General  to submit an  interim report to  the
Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-first session and a final report  to
the  General Assembly at  its fiftieth session  on the  strengthening of the
Centre and on the measures taken to implement the present resolution."

2.  The present report is submitted pursuant to that request.

3.  In connection with the establishment  of the post of the  United Nations
High  Commissioner  for  Human  Rights  the  Secretary-General  submitted  a
statement of programme  budget implications (A/C.5/48/61), indicating  that,
while the  High Commissioner would draw  on the resources  of the Centre  to
fulfil  his  tasks,  a  number  of  additional  posts  (one Under-Secretary-
General, two  P-5 and  three General  Service posts)  and operational  funds
would  be required,  totalling $1,471,400.    The  General Assembly  did not
approve these posts at its fortyeighth session.  Instead,  it authorized the
Secretary-General to enter into  commitments of up to US$ 1,471,400 and,  in
connection with  the establishment of the  office of  the High Commissioner,
decided  to consider  at its  resumed  fortyeighth session  such  additional
appropriation as  might be  necessary, not  to exceed  $1,471,400.   At that
session,  the Assembly decided  to defer  consideration of  this question to
its   forty-ninth  session.      The  Secretary-General,   in   his   report
(A/C.5/49/53) to the forty-ninth session of the  General Assembly, proposed,
on the basis  of experience, that  instead of the six  above-mentioned posts
nine posts be provided for the High Commissioner  and his office (one Under-
Secretary-General,  two P-5, one  P-4 and  three General  Service for Geneva
and one  D-1 and one  General Service post  for the  New York office).   The
Secretary-General indicated  in that report that  it was  estimated that the
revised requirements  of the High Commissioner,  as defined  above, could be
met from within the  balance of the  amount for which the  Secretary-General
was authorized to enter into commitment, i.e., $1,471,400.

4.    Regarding  the  implementation  of  the  Vienna  Declaration  and  the
Programme of Action, endorsed by resolution  48/121 of the General Assembly,
it will  be  recalled  that in  the related  statement  of programme  budget
implications (A/C.5/48/46),  the Secretary-General  indicated that one  P-5,
one  P-4 and  two  General Service  posts  would  be  required, as  well  as
operational  funds  totalling $1,167,500.    The  General Assembly  did  not
approve these posts at  its fortyeighth session.  Instead it authorized  the
Secretary-General to enter  into all  the commitments  necessary within  the

above  amount  in respect  of  the  full  implementation  of the  activities
envisaged  in  the  resolution  and  decided  to  consider  such  additional
appropriation  as might be  necessary and  not to  exceed $1,167,500  at its
resumed forty-eighth  session.   At that  session, the  Assembly decided  to
defer  consideration  of the  question  to  its  forty-ninth  session.   The
Secretary-General in  his report (A/C.5/49/53) to the forty-ninth session of
the  General  Assembly  requested   the  appropriation  of   the  amount  of
$1,167,500.

5.   Concerning  the continuing  United  Nations  human rights  presence  in
Cambodia,  the  General   Assembly  at  its  forty-eighth  session  did  not
appropriate  the  additional  resources  of  $1,834,100  requested  by   the
Secretary-General  in his report (A/C.5/48/78).  Instead,  the Assembly took
note of the recommendations of the  Advisory Committee on Administrative and
Budgetary Questions contained  in its report (A/48/7/Add.12) and  authorized
the Secretary-General to enter  into additional commitments up to $1,834,100
under section 21 of the programme budget for the biennium 1994-1995 for  the
financing of human rights activities in  Cambodia.  The Secretary-General in
his report (A/C.5/49/53) to the forty-ninth  session of the General Assembly
requested the appropriation of $1,834,100 for that purpose.

6.   In summary, in  his report  to the  forty-ninth session of  the General
Assembly (A/C.5/49/53) the  Secretary-General requested an appropriation  of
$4,473,000  under   section  21  of  the  programme  budget  for  1994-1995,
representing  the level  of  resources  for which  commitment authority  had
initially been extended  in respect of the  Office of the High  Commissioner
for  Human  Rights,  the  implementation  of  the  Vienna  Declaration   and
Programme of Action and the continued human rights presence in Cambodia.

7.    The  General  Assembly,  at   its  forty-ninth  session,  decided   to
appropriate, on  an exceptional basis,  $4,473,000 under  section 21,  Human
rights, on  the understanding  that the  posts requested  by the  Secretary-
General in  his report (A/C.5/49/53) for the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, the  Centre for Human  Rights and the human rights  office
in Cambodia  were approved  on a temporary  basis, that all  posts shall  be
subject to  a detailed  review by  the Advisory  Committee  and the  General
Assembly at the earliest opportunity at the resumed forty-ninth session.

 8.    The Secretary-General,  in  his  proposed  programme  budget for  the
biennium 1996-1997 (A/50/6/Rev.1) under section 21, Human rights,  requested
(a)  the establishment of  a new P-5  post to  strengthen the administrative
function of the  Centre; (b) the  establishment of a new P-3  post to assist
the High  Commissioner;  (c) the  conversion  of  the 21  temporary  regular
budget posts approved for 1994-1995 to  the category of established  regular
budget  posts  (including  the  Under-Secretary-General  post  of  the  High
Commissioner, four Professional and four General  Service posts for the High
Commissioner's Office, two  Professional and  two General Service posts  for
the  implementation of the  Vienna Declaration  and Programme  of Action and
eight  Professional  posts for  the  Cambodia  field  office);  and (d)  the
redeployment and  downgrading of  a D-2  post from  Executive Direction  and
Management to the D-1 level  to head the International Instruments Branch of
the Centre for Human Rights.

9.  The Advisory Committee on  Administrative and Budgetary Questions, which
considered  the proposed  programme budget of the  Secretary-General for the
biennium 1996-1997 in August  1995, concluded that with the exception of the
Under-Secretary-General  post  of the  High  Commissioner,  one P-5  and two
General  Service posts in the Office of the  High Commissioner, the decision
to  convert the remaining  17 temporary  posts, approved  in 1994-1995, into
established posts  in 1996-1997  should be deferred until  the restructuring
of the programme of  work of the Centre and the identification of priorities
were completed.  With  regard to the proposal for two new established  posts
in 1996-1997, the Committee did not agree with  the establishment of the new
P-3  post  in the  Office  of the  High  Commissioner,  but  recommended the
establishment of  the new  P-5 post  to discharge  all the  functions of  an
administrative executive officer of the Centre.


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