United Nations

A/51/561


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 October 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/561
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (b)


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

              Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances

                        Report of the Secretary-General


1.   At its forty-ninth session, the General Assembly adopted
resolution 49/193 of 23 December 1994 entitled "Question of enforced
or involuntary disappearances", in which it reiterated its invitation
to all Governments to take appropriate legislative or other steps to
prevent and suppress the practice of enforced disappearances, in
keeping with the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearances, and to take action to that end at the
national and regional levels and in cooperation with the United
Nations.  It also encouraged States to provide concrete information on
measures taken to give effect to the Declaration, as well as obstacles
encountered, and requested all States to consider the possibility of
disseminating the text of the Declaration in their respective national
languages and to facilitate its dissemination in the national and
local languages.  In conclusion, the Assembly requested the
Secretary-General to keep it informed of the steps he takes to secure
the widespread dissemination and promotion of the Declaration and to
submit to it at its fifty-first session a report on the steps taken to
implement the resolution.

2.   In conformity with General Assembly resolution 49/193, the
Department of Public Information has distributed Fact Sheet No. 6
concerning enforced or involuntary disappearances, published by the
Centre for Human Rights, and which contains the full text of the
Declaration.  It is also in the process of publishing a booklet on the
Declaration which is to be distributed to, among others, United
Nations peacekeeping offices and United Nations specialized agencies. 
In addition, the Department's Visitors' Services Section makes the
Declaration available to the general public and educational institutes
upon request.  The text of the Declaration is also available on the
Internet under the section on General Assembly resolutions.  The
Department's Development and Human Rights Section also distributes
copies of the Declaration upon request.

3.   In the field, United Nations information centres and services and
United Nations offices are provided with copies of publications
containing the Declaration, which they keep in their reference
libraries for consultation by interested students, researchers and
academicians.  They also distribute copies to media and
non-governmental organizations and at special events such as the
annual celebration of Human Rights Day.

4.   For the remainder of the current biennium, the Department plans to
issue a special backgrounder on the question of enforced
disappearances.  Every opportunity will be used to promote the
elements of the Declaration in briefings and events dealing with the
United Nations and human rights, both at Headquarters and through
United Nations information centres and services.

5.   The field offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights have also actively distributed the Declaration to local
non-governmental organizations and other interested parties.  The
Declaration is also part of the training projects on the
administration of justice that are being developed in the framework of
the human rights's advisory services, technical assistance and
information programme.


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