United Nations

A/51/619/Add.1


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

29 November 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                              

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


                    HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  IMPLEMENTATION
                          OF HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS

                   Report of the Third Committee (Part II) *

(*  The report of the Committee on agenda item 110 will be issued in
six parts, under the symbol A/51/619 and Add.1-5.)


                  Rapporteur:  Ms. Victoria SANDRU (Romania)


                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   At its 3rd plenary meeting, on 20 September 1996, the General
Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to
include in the agenda of its fifty-first session the item entitled
"Human rights questions:  implementation of human rights instruments"
and to allocate it to the Third Committee.

2.   The Committee considered the item at its 36th, 37th, 42nd, 43rd,
45th, 46th and 49th meetings, on 13, 14, 18 to 20 and 22 November
1996.  An account of the Committee's discussion is contained in the
relevant summary records (A/C.3/51/SR.36, 37, 42, 43, 45, 46 and 49).

3.   For the documents before the Committee under this item, see
A/51/619.

4.   At the 36th meeting, on 13 November, the Assistant
Secretary-General for Human Rights made an introductory statement (see
A/C.3/51/SR.36).


                        II.  CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS

                      A.  Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.32

5.   At the 42nd meeting, on 18 November, the representative of Mexico,
on behalf of Argentina, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba,
Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guyana, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico,
Morocco, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Sri Lanka,
Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay, introduced a draft resolution entitled
"International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families" (A/C.3/51/L.32). 
Subsequently, Nigeria and Yemen joined in sponsoring the draft
resolution.

6.   At the 46th meeting, on 20 November, the representative of Mexico
made a statement (see A/C.3/51/SR.46).

7.   At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.3/51/L.32 without a vote (see para. 27, draft resolution I).


                      B.  Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.33

8.   At the 45th meeting, on 20 November, the representative of
Denmark, on behalf of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada,
Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta,
Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, introduced a draft resolution entitled
"Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment" (A/C.3/51/L.33).  Subsequently, Argentina, Costa Rica,
Co^te d'Ivoire, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, San Marino and South
Africa joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

9.   In introducing the draft resolution, the representative of Denmark
orally revised it as follows:

     (a) In operative paragraph 1, the words "Commends the Committee
against Torture for its excellent report" were replaced by the words
"Welcomes the report of the Committee against Torture"; 

     (b) In operative paragraph 7, the words "including Member States"
were inserted after the words "of all concerned";

     (c) In operative paragraph 9, the words "Office of the" were
inserted before the words "High Commissioner" and the words "Human
Rights and the Secretariat" were replaced by the words "Human
Rights/Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat";

     (d) In operative paragraph 12, the word "optional" was inserted
between the words "draft" and "protocol" and the words "establishing a
preventive system of regular visits to places of detention" after the
words "Convention against Torture" were deleted;

10.  At the 49th meeting, on 22 November, the representative of Denmark
further orally revised operative paragraph 20 of the draft resolution
by replacing the words "developing countries" with the words
"recipient countries" and the words "to include in their bilateral
development cooperation programmes" with the words "to consider
including in their bilateral programmes".

11.  At the same meeting, the representative of Egypt made a statement
(see A/C.3/51/SR.49).

12.  Also at the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.3/51/L.33, as orally revised, without a vote (see para. 27, draft
resolution II).

13.  After the adoption of the draft resolution, the representative of
the United States of America made a statement (see A/C.3/51/SR.49).


                 C.  Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.34 and Rev.1

14.  At the 43rd meeting, on 19 November, the representative of Canada,
on behalf of Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada,
Chile, Co^te d'Ivoire, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia,
Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of
Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland introduced a draft resolution entitled
"Effective implementation of international instruments on human
rights, including reporting obligations under international
instruments on human rights" (A/C.3/51/L.34), which read:

         "The General Assembly,

         "Recalling its resolution 50/170 of 22 December 1995, as well
     as other relevant resolutions,

         "Recalling also the relevant paragraphs of the Vienna
     Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World
     Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 1/

         "Reaffirming that the full and effective implementation of
     United Nations human rights instruments is of major importance to
     the efforts of the Organization, pursuant to the Charter of the
     United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2/
     to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights
     and fundamental freedoms,

         "Considering that the effective functioning of the treaty
     bodies  established pursuant to United Nations human rights
     instruments is indispensable for the full and effective
     implementation of such instruments,

         "Conscious of the importance of coordination of the human
     rights promotion and protection activities of the United Nations
     bodies active in the field of human rights,

         "Noting with appreciation the initiatives taken by a number
     of treaty bodies to elaborate early-warning measures and urgent
     procedures, within their mandates, with a view to preventing the
     occurrence, or reoccurrence, of serious human rights violations,

         "Expressing concern that the underresourcing of the Centre
     for Human Rights of the Secretariat is one impediment to the human
     rights treaty bodies in their ability to carry out their mandates
     effectively,

         "Reaffirming its responsibility to ensure the effective
     functioning of human rights treaty bodies, and reaffirming also
     the importance of:

         "(a) Ensuring the effective functioning of the periodic
     reporting by States parties to these instruments;

         "(b) Securing sufficient financial, human and information
     resources to overcome existing difficulties with their effective
     functioning;

         "(c) Promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness through
     better coordination of the activities of the United Nations bodies
     active in the field of human rights, taking into account the need
     to avoid unnecessary duplication and overlapping of their mandates
     and tasks;

         "(d) Addressing questions of both reporting obligations and
     financial implications whenever elaborating any further
     instruments on human rights;

         "Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
     effective implementation of international instruments on human
     rights, including reporting obligations under international
     instruments on human rights, 3/

         "1.   Welcomes the report of the persons chairing the human
     rights treaty bodies on their seventh meeting, held at Geneva from
     16 to 20 September 1996, 4/ and takes note of their conclusions
     and recommendations;

         "2.   Encourages greater efforts to identify measures for more
     effective implementation of the United Nations human rights
     instruments;

         "3.   Emphasizes the need to ensure financing and adequate
     staff and information resources for the operations of the human
     rights treaty bodies and, with this in mind:

         "(a) Reiterates its request that the Secretary-General provide
     adequate resources in respect of each treaty body;

         "(b) Calls upon the Secretary-General to make the most
     efficient use of existing resources and to seek the resources
     necessary to give the treaty bodies adequate administrative
     support, access to technical expertise and access to appropriate
     databases and on-line information services;

         "(c) Requests that the Secretary-General report on this
     question to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-third
     session and to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session;

         "4.   Welcomes the continuing efforts by the treaty bodies and
     the Secretary-General aimed at streamlining, rationalizing and
     otherwise improving reporting procedures, and urges the treaty
     bodies and the meetings of persons chairing the treaty bodies to
     continue to examine ways of reducing the duplication of reporting
     required under the different instruments, without impairing the
     quality of reporting, and of generally reducing the reporting
     burden on Member States;

         "5.   Requests the Secretary-General to prepare a detailed
     analytical study comparing the provisions of the International
     Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 5/ the
     International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,5 the
     International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
     Discrimination, 6/ the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
     of Discrimination against Women, 7/ the Convention on the Rights
     of the Child 8/ and the Convention against Torture and Other
     Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 9/ with a
     view to identifying duplication of reporting required under these
     instruments;

         "6.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
     Rights to encourage the independent expert to finalize his interim
     report on possible long-term approaches to enhancing the effective
     operation of the human rights treaty system 10/ in time for the
     final report to be considered by the Commission on Human Rights,
     as requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/120 of
     20 December 1993, at its fifty-third session;

         "7.   Urges States parties to contribute, individually and
     through meetings of States parties, to identifying and
     implementing ways of further streamlining, rationalizing, avoiding
     duplication in and otherwise improving reporting procedures;

         "8.   Expresses concern about the increasing backlog of reports
     on implementation by States parties to United Nations instruments
     on human rights and about delays in consideration of reports by
     the treaty bodies;

         "9.   Also expresses concern about the large number of overdue
     reports under the United Nations instruments on human rights, and
     again urges States parties to make every effort to meet their
     reporting obligations;

         "10. Invites States parties that have been unable to comply
     with the requirements to submit their initial report to avail
     themselves of technical assistance;

         "11. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
     Rights to ensure that the revised Manual on Human Rights Reporting
     is available in all official languages at the earliest
     opportunity;

         "12. Encourages the efforts of the human rights treaty bodies
     to examine the progress made in achieving the fulfilment of human
     rights treaty undertakings by all States parties, without
     exception;

         "13. Urges States parties to address, as a matter of priority,
     at their next scheduled meetings, the issue of States parties
     consistently not complying with their reporting obligations;

         "14. Urges all States parties whose reports have been examined
     by treaty bodies to provide adequate follow-up to the observations
     and final comments of the treaty bodies on their reports;

         "15. Encourages the treaty bodies to continue to identify
     specific possibilities for technical assistance in the regular
     course of their work of reviewing the periodic reports of States
     parties;

         "16. Welcomes the recommendation by the meeting of persons
     chairing the human rights bodies that treaty bodies urge each
     State party to translate, publish and make widely available in its
     territory the full text of the concluding observations on its
     reports to the treaty-monitoring bodies, and request the United
     Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to make every effort to
     ensure that recent reports and the summary records of committee
     discussions pertaining to them, as well as concluding observations
     and final comments of the treaty bodies, are made available in the
     United Nations information centres in the countries submitting
     those reports;

         "17. Also welcomes the contribution to the work of the human
     rights treaty bodies made by the specialized agencies and other
     United Nations bodies, and invites the specialized agencies, other
     United Nations bodies and the treaty bodies to continue to pursue
     further cooperation between them;

         "18. Endorses the recommendation of the persons chairing the
     human rights treaty bodies that efforts continue to be made to
     enhance existing cooperation between the human rights treaty
     bodies and the special rapporteurs, representatives, experts and
     working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and the
     Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
     Minorities; 11/

         "19. Recognizes the important role played by non-governmental
     organizations in the effective implementation of all human rights
     instruments, and encourages the exchange of information between
     the human rights treaty bodies and such organizations;

         "20. Takes note of the recommendation by the persons chairing
     the human rights treaty bodies that any new human rights treaty
     should allow for simplified amendment of its procedural
     provisions; 12/

         "21. Encourages the Economic and Social Council, as well as
     its functional commissions and their subsidiary bodies, and other
     United Nations bodies and specialized agencies to consider taking
     measures that would facilitate the participation by
     representatives of the human rights treaty bodies in their
     meetings;

         "22. Welcomes the continuing emphasis by the persons chairing
     the human rights treaty bodies that the enjoyment of the human
     rights of women should be monitored closely by each treaty body
     within the purview of its mandate, and in this regard endorses the
     recommendation by the meeting of the persons chairing the human
     rights treaty bodies that each treaty body continue to consider
     how it might most effectively incorporate gender perspectives in
     its work practices; 13/

         "23. Also welcomes all appropriate measures the human rights
     treaty bodies may take, within their mandates, in response to
     situations of massive human rights violations, including bringing
     those violations to the attention of the United Nations High
     Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General and the
     competent bodies of the United Nations in the field of human
     rights, and requests the High Commissioner, acting within his
     mandate, to coordinate and consult throughout the United Nations
     system in this regard;

         "24. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
     Assembly at its fifty-second session on measures taken to
     implement the present resolution and on obstacles to its
     implementation;

         "25. Decides to continue giving priority consideration, at its
     fifty-second session, to the conclusions and recommendations of
     the meetings of persons chairing human rights treaty bodies, in
     the light of the deliberations of the Commission on Human Rights,
     under the item entitled 'Human rights questions'."

15.  In introducing the draft resolution, the representative of Canada
orally revised it as follows:

     (a) In operative paragraph 4, the words "rendering more
transparent" were inserted after the word "rationalizing";

     (b) In operative paragraph 6, the words "in accordance with his
mandate" were inserted after the words "High Commissioner for Human
Rights";

     (c) In operative paragraph 15, the words "to be provided at the
request of the State concerned" were inserted after the words
"technical assistance";

     (d) In operative paragraph 18, the words "existing cooperation"
were replaced by the words "coordination and cooperation";

     (e) After operative paragraph 19, a new paragraph was added,
which read:

         "Recalls, with regard to the election of the members of the
     human rights treaty bodies, the importance of giving consideration
     to equitable geographic distribution of membership and to the
     representation of the principal legal systems, and of bearing in
     mind that the members shall be elected and serve in their personal
     capacity and shall be of high moral character and recognized
     competence in the field of human rights";

     (f) In operative paragraph 21, the words "to consider taking
measures that would facilitate" were replaced by the words "to
consider opportunities for".
  
16.  At its 49th meeting, on 22 November, the Committee had before it a
revised draft resolution (A/C.3/51/L.34/Rev.1), submitted by the
sponsors of draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.34.

17.  Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand,
the Russian Federation, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine and
the United States of America joined in sponsoring the revised draft
resolution.

18.  At the same meeting, the representative of Canada orally revised
the draft resolution as follows:

     (a) In operative paragraph 5, the words "from within existing
resources" before the words "a detailed analytical study" were
deleted;

     (b) In operative paragraph 18, the word "Endorses" was replaced
by the word "Welcomes";

     (c) Operative paragraph 21 was deleted;

     (d) In operative paragraph 22, the words "opportunities for the
participation" were replaced by the words "the feasibility of
participation".

19.  Also at the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.3/51/L.34/Rev.1, as orally revised, without a vote (see para. 27,
draft resolution III).

20.  After the adoption of the draft resolution, the representative of
Japan made a statement (see A/C.3/51/SR.49).


                 D.  Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.35 and Rev.1

21.  At the 43rd meeting, on 19 November, the representative of Poland,
on behalf of Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Germany, Hungary,
Italy, Malta, Panama, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania,
Slovakia, South Africa and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
introduced a draft resolution entitled "Commemoration of the fiftieth
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
(A/C.3/51/L.35), which read:

         "The General Assembly,

         "Recalling that, in adopting the Universal Declaration of
     Human Rights 14/ on 10 December 1948, it recognized the
     inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members
     of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and
     peace in the world,

         "Considering that the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration
     provides an opportunity for the United Nations and its States
     Members to redouble their efforts to promote awareness and
     strengthened observance of the rights set out in the Declaration,

         "Recognizing the Declaration as the source of inspiration and
     the basis of subsequent progress, and taking note of the
     improvements in the field of human rights that have occurred
     during the past five decades owing to national and international
     solidarity and efforts,

         "Concerned that international human rights standards are not
     fully and universally respected and that human rights continue to
     be violated in all parts of the world, and that people still
     suffer misery and are deprived of the full enjoyment of their
     civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, and
     convinced of the necessity to respect fundamental human rights in
     all situations and to strengthen United Nations efforts in this
     regard,

         "Recalling the significance and the message of the Vienna
     Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World
     Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 15/

         "Having considered the report of the United Nations High
     Commissioner for Human Rights, 16/ in particular chapter IX
     thereof entitled '1998:  Human Rights Year', in which proposals to
     celebrate the fiftieth anniversary were made, including convening
     of a ceremonial meeting of the General Assembly, and welcoming the
     intention of the High Commissioner to facilitate cooperation
     between various initiatives aimed at the commemoration of the
     fiftieth anniversary,

         "1.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
     Rights to continue to coordinate the preparations for the fiftieth
     anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, bearing
     in mind the provisions set out in the Vienna Declaration and
     Programme of Action for evaluation and follow-up;

         "2.   Invites Governments to review and assess the progress
     that has been made in the field of human rights since the adoption
     of the Declaration, to identify obstacles and ways in which they
     can be overcome to achieve progress in this area, to undertake
     additional efforts and to develop programmes of education and
     information, with a view to disseminating the text of the
     Declaration and arriving at a better understanding of the
     universal message;

         "3.   Invites the human rights treaty bodies to give
     appropriate attention, within their mandates and methods of work,
     to the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
     Rights and to reflect on their possible contribution to the
     preparations;

         "4.   Endorses the intention of the relevant United Nations
     organs and agencies, in the light of the purposes set forth in the
     Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to make an assessment of
     and to put forward pertinent conclusions on the state of
     implementation and impact of existing international human rights
     instruments;

         "5.   Calls upon the relevant United Nations organs and
     agencies, in coordination with the High Commissioner, to mark the
     anniversary by intensifying their own contributions to United
     Nations system-wide efforts to promote and protect human rights;

         "6.   Invites non-governmental organizations and national
     institutions to participate fully in the preparations for the
     fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
     to intensify their campaign for greater understanding and better
     use of the Declaration, and to communicate their observations and
     recommendations to the High Commissioner;

         "7.   Decides to convene, during its fifty-third session, a
     ceremonial one-day meeting on 10 December and to review during its
     fifty-second session the state of preparations for the anniversary
     and to consider appropriate measures in this regard, including its
     own contribution."

22.  In introducing the draft resolution, the representative of Poland
orally revised it as follows: 

     (a) In the third preambular paragraph, the words "and taking note
of the improvements" and "that have occurred during the past five
decades owing to national and international solidarity and efforts"
were deleted;

     (b) In the fourth preambular paragraph, the words "to respect
fundamental human rights" were replaced by the words "to respect human
rights and fundamental freedoms";  

     (c) After the fifth preambular paragraph, a new preambular
paragraph was added, which read:

         "Recalling its decision 48/416 of 10 December 1993, in which
     the Assembly decided to include in the provisional agenda of its
     fifty-third session an item entitled 'Fiftieth anniversary of the
     Universal Declaration of Human Rights'";

     (d) After operative paragraph 6, a new paragraph was added, which
read:

         "Requests the Secretary-General to include in his proposed
     programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999 appropriate activities
     to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration";

     (e) Operative paragraph 7 was divided into two paragraphs,
reading as follows:

         "Decides to convene, during its fifty-third session, a
     one-day plenary meeting, on 10 December 1998, to celebrate the
     fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
     Rights";

         "Also decides to review, during its fifty-second session, the
     state of preparations for the anniversary and to consider
     appropriate measures in this regard, including its own
     contribution".

23.  At its 46th meeting, on 20 November, the Committee had before it a
revised draft resolution (A/C.3/51/L.35/Rev.1), submitted by the
sponsors of draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.35. 

24.  Austria, Canada, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Guatemala,
Japan, Kyrgyzstan, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal,
Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and
Venezuela joined in sponsoring the revised draft resolution.

25.  At the same meeting, the representatives of Mali and Poland made
statements (see A/C.3/51/SR.46).

26.  Also at the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.3/51/L.35/Rev.1 without a vote (see para. 27, draft
resolution IV).


                 III.  RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE THIRD COMMITTEE

27.  The Third Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of
the following draft resolutions:


                              DRAFT RESOLUTION I

          International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
               All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

     The General Assembly,

     Reaffirming once more the permanent validity of the principles and norms
set forth in the basic instruments regarding the international protection of
human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 17/
the International Covenants on Human Rights, 18/ the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 19/
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women 20/ and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 21/

     Bearing in mind the principles and norms established within the
framework of the International Labour Organization and the importance of the
work done in connection with migrant workers and members of their families in
other specialized agencies and in various organs of the United Nations,

     Reiterating that, despite the existence of an already established body
of principles and norms, there is a need to make further efforts to improve
the situation and to guarantee respect for the human rights and dignity of all
migrant workers and members of their families,

     Aware of the situation of migrant workers and members of their families
and the marked increase in migratory movements that has occurred, especially
in certain parts of the world,

     Considering that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 22/ all
States are urged to guarantee the protection of the human rights of all
migrant workers and members of their families,

     Underlining the importance of the creation and promotion of conditions
to foster greater harmony and tolerance between migrant workers and the rest
of the society of the State in which they reside, with the aim of eliminating
the growing manifestations of racism and xenophobia taking place in segments
of many societies and perpetrated by individuals or groups against migrant
workers,

     Recalling its resolution 45/158 of 18 December 1990, by which it adopted
and opened for signature ratification and accession the International
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members
of Their Families,

     Bearing in mind that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
States are invited to consider the possibility of signing and ratifying the
Convention at the earliest possible time,

     Recalling that, in its resolution 50/169 of 22 December 1995, it
requested the Secretary-General to submit to it at its fifty-first session a
report on the status of the Convention,

     1.  Expresses its deep concern at the growing manifestations of racism,
xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and inhuman or degrading
treatment directed against migrant workers in different parts of the world;

     2.  Welcomes the signature or ratification of, or accession to, the
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant
Workers and Members of Their Families by some Member States;

     3.  Calls upon all Member States to consider signing and ratifying or
acceding to the Convention as a matter of priority and expresses the hope that
it will enter into force at an early date;

     4.  Requests the Secretary-General to provide all facilities and
assistance necessary for the promotion of the Convention through the World
Public Information Campaign on Human Rights and the programme of advisory
services in the field of human rights;

     5.  Invites the organizations and agencies of the United Nations system
and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to intensify their
efforts with a view to disseminating information on and promoting
understanding of the Convention;

     6.  Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General 23/ and
requests him to submit to it at its fifty-second session an updated report on
the status of the Convention;

     7.  Decides to consider the report of the Secretary-General at its
fifty-second session under the sub-item entitled "Implementation of human
rights instruments".


                              DRAFT RESOLUTION II

                 Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
                            treatment or punishment

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 24/
article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 25/
the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 26/
and its resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984, by which it adopted and opened
for signature, ratification and accession the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and all its
subsequent relevant resolutions,

     Recalling its resolution 36/151 of 16 December 1981, in which it noted
with deep concern that acts of torture took place in various countries,
recognized the need to provide assistance to the victims in a purely
humanitarian spirit and established the United Nations Voluntary Fund for
Victims of Torture,

     Recalling the recommendation in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,
27/ that high priority should be given to provision of the necessary resources
to assistance to victims of torture and effective remedies for their physical,
psychological and social rehabilitation, inter alia, by additional
contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture,

     Noting with satisfaction the existence and rapid expansion of an
international network of centres for the rehabilitation of torture victims,
which plays an important role in providing assistance to victims of torture,
and the collaboration of the Fund with the centres,

     1.  Welcomes the report of the Committee against Torture, 28/
submitted in accordance with the provision of article 24 of the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

     2.  Notes with appreciation that during the present reporting period,
eight States have become party to the Convention, increasing the number of
States parties to one hundred;

     3.  Urges all States that have not yet done so to become parties to the
Convention as a matter of priority;

     4.  Invites all States ratifying or acceding to the Convention and those
States that are parties to the Convention and that have not yet done so to
consider joining the States parties that have already made the declarations
provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Convention, and to consider the
possibility of withdrawing their reservations to article 20;

     5.  Urges States parties to comply strictly with their obligations under
the Convention, including their obligation to submit reports in accordance
with article 19 of the Convention in view of the high number of reports not
submitted;

     6.  Calls on all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special
Rapporteur on Torture in the performance of his task, and to supply all
necessary information requested by him and to react appropriately to his
urgent appeals;

     7.  Approves the methods of work employed by the Special Rapporteur, in
particular as regards urgent appeals, reiterates his need to be able to
respond effectively to credible and reliable information that comes before him
and invites him to continue to seek the views and comments of all concerned,
including Member States, in the elaboration of his report and expresses its
appreciation of the continuing discrete and independent way in which he
carries out his work;

     8.  Stresses the need for regular exchanges of views between the
Committee against Torture, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other
relevant United Nations mechanisms and bodies, with a view to enhancing
further their effectiveness and cooperation on issues relating to torture,
inter alia, by improving their coordination;

     9.  Commends the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre
for Human Rights of the Secretariat for support to States in preparing
national reports to the Committee;

     10. Urges States parties to take fully into account the conclusions and
recommendations made by the Committee after consideration of their reports;

     11. Urges all States parties to the Convention to notify the Secretary-
General of their acceptance of the amendments to articles 17 and 18 of the
Convention as soon as possible;

     12. Encourages the open-ended working group of the Commission on Human
Rights on the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the Convention
against Torture to intensify its deliberations with a view to an early
conclusion of its work;

     13. Expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the Governments,
organizations and individuals that have already contributed to the United
Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture;

     14. Appeals to all Governments, organizations and individuals in a
position to do so to respond favourably to requests for contributions to the
Fund, if possible on a regular basis and annually before the meeting of the
Board of Trustees of the Fund and if possible also with a substantial increase
in the level of contributions so that consideration may be given to the
ever-increasing demand for assistance;

     15. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit to all Governments the
appeals of the General Assembly for contributions to the Fund;

     16. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to include the Fund on an
annual basis among the programmes for which funds are pledged at the United
Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities;

     17. Expresses its appreciation to the Board of Trustees of the Fund for
the work it has accomplished;

     18. Requests the Secretary-General to assist the Board of Trustees of
the Fund in its appeal for contributions and its efforts to make better known
the existence of the Fund and the financial means currently available to it,
as well as its assessment of the global need for international funding of
rehabilitation services for torture victims and in this effort to make use of
all existing possibilities, including the preparation, production and
dissemination of information materials;

     19. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the provision of adequate
staff and facilities for the bodies and mechanisms that combat torture,
corresponding to the strong support expressed by Member States for combating
torture;

     20. Invites donor countries and recipient countries that so agree to
consider including in their bilateral programmes and projects relating to the
training of armed forces and police personnel, as well as health-care
personnel, matters relating to the protection of human rights and the
prevention of torture;

     21. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission on Human
Rights at its fifty-third session and to the General Assembly at its
fifty-third session a report on the status of the Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as a
report on the operations of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims
of Torture;

     22. Decides to consider the reports of the Secretary-General and of the
Committee against Torture at its fifty-third session under the sub-item
entitled "Implementation of human rights instruments".


                             DRAFT RESOLUTION III

             Effective implementation of international instruments on
             human rights, including reporting obligations under
                   international instruments on human rights

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolution 50/170 of 22 December 1995, as well as other
relevant resolutions,

     Recalling also the relevant paragraphs of the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on
25 June 1993, 29/

     Reaffirming that the full and effective implementation of United Nations
human rights instruments is of major importance to the efforts of the
Organization, pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, 30/ to promote universal respect for and
observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

     Considering that the effective functioning of the treaty bodies 
established pursuant to United Nations human rights instruments is
indispensable for the full and effective implementation of such instruments,

     Conscious of the importance of coordination of the human rights
promotion and protection activities of the United Nations bodies active in the
field of human rights,

     Noting with appreciation the initiatives taken by a number of treaty
bodies to elaborate early-warning measures and urgent procedures, within their
mandates, with a view to preventing the occurrence, or reoccurrence, of
serious human rights violations,

     Expressing concern that the underresourcing of the Centre for Human
Rights of the Secretariat is one impediment to the human rights treaty bodies
in their ability to carry out their mandates effectively,

     Reaffirming its responsibility to ensure the effective functioning of
human rights treaty bodies, and reaffirming also the importance of:

     (a) Ensuring the effective functioning of the periodic reporting by
States parties to these instruments;

     (b) Securing sufficient financial, human and information resources to
overcome existing difficulties with their effective functioning;

     (c) Promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness through better
coordination of the activities of the United Nations bodies active in the
field of human rights, taking into account the need to avoid unnecessary
duplication and overlapping of their mandates and tasks;

     (d) Addressing questions of both reporting obligations and financial
implications whenever elaborating any further instruments on human rights,

     Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the effective
implementation of international instruments on human rights, including
reporting obligations under international instruments on human rights, 31/

     1.  Welcomes the report of the persons chairing the human rights treaty
bodies on their seventh meeting, held at Geneva from 16 to
20 September 1996, 32/ and takes note of their conclusions and
recommendations;

     2.  Encourages greater efforts to identify measures for more effective
implementation of the United Nations human rights instruments;

     3.  Emphasizes the need to ensure financing and adequate staff and
information resources for the operations of the human rights treaty bodies
and, with this in mind:

     (a) Reiterates its request that the Secretary-General provide adequate
resources in respect of each treaty body;

     (b) Calls upon the Secretary-General to make the most efficient use of
existing resources and to seek the resources necessary to give the treaty
bodies adequate administrative support, access to technical expertise and
access to appropriate databases and on-line information services;

     (c) Requests that the Secretary-General report on this question to the
Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-third session and to the General
Assembly at its fifty-second session;

     4.  Welcomes the continuing efforts by the treaty bodies and the
Secretary-General aimed at streamlining, rationalizing, rendering more
transparent and otherwise improving reporting procedures, and urges the treaty
bodies and the meetings of persons chairing the treaty bodies to continue to
examine ways of reducing the duplication of reporting required under the
different instruments, without impairing the quality of reporting, and of
generally reducing the reporting burden on Member States;

     5.  Requests the Secretary-General to prepare a detailed analytical
study comparing the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, 33/ the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights,33 the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination, 34/ the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 35/ the Convention on the Rights
of the Child 36/ and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 37/ with a view to
identifying duplication of reporting required under these instruments;

     6.  Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in
accordance with his mandate, to encourage the independent expert to finalize
his interim report on possible long-term approaches to enhancing the effective
operation of the human rights treaty system 38/ in time for the final
report to be considered by the Commission on Human Rights, as requested by the
General Assembly in its resolution 48/120 of 20 December 1993, at its fifty-
third session;

     7.  Urges States parties to contribute, individually and through
meetings of States parties, to identifying and implementing ways of further
streamlining, rationalizing, avoiding duplication in and otherwise improving
reporting procedures;

     8.  Expresses concern about the increasing backlog of reports on the
implementation by States parties of United Nations instruments on human rights
and about delays in consideration of reports by the treaty bodies;

     9.  Also expresses concern about the large number of overdue reports
under the United Nations instruments on human rights, and again urges States
parties to make every effort to meet their reporting obligations;

     10. Invites States parties that have been unable to comply with the
requirements to submit their initial report to avail themselves of technical
assistance;

     11. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to
ensure that the revised Manual on Human Rights Reporting is available in all
official languages at the earliest opportunity;

     12. Encourages the efforts of the human rights treaty bodies to examine
the progress made in achieving the fulfilment of human rights treaty
undertakings by all States parties, without exception;

     13. Urges States parties to address, as a matter of priority, at their
next scheduled meetings, the issue of States parties consistently not
complying with their reporting obligations;

     14. Urges all States parties whose reports have been examined by treaty
bodies to provide adequate follow-up to the observations and final comments of
the treaty bodies on their reports;

     15. Encourages the treaty bodies to continue to identify specific
possibilities for technical assistance, to be provided at the request of the
State concerned, in the regular course of their work of reviewing the periodic
reports of States parties;

     16. Welcomes the recommendation by the meeting of persons chairing the
human rights bodies that treaty bodies urge each State party to translate,
publish and make widely available in its territory the full text of the
concluding observations on its reports to the treaty-monitoring bodies, and
request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to make every
effort to ensure that recent reports and the summary records of committee
discussions pertaining to them, as well as concluding observations and final
comments of the treaty bodies, are made available in the United Nations
information centres in the countries submitting those reports;

     17. Also welcomes the contribution to the work of the human rights
treaty bodies made by the specialized agencies and other United Nations
bodies, and invites the specialized agencies, other United Nations bodies and
the treaty bodies to continue to pursue further cooperation between them;

     18. Welcomes the recommendation of the persons chairing the human rights
treaty bodies that efforts continue to be made to enhance coordination and
cooperation between the human rights treaty bodies and the special
rapporteurs, representatives, experts and working groups of the Commission on
Human Rights and the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities; 39/

     19. Recognizes the important role played by non-governmental
organizations in the effective implementation of all human rights instruments,
and encourages the exchange of information between the human rights treaty
bodies and such organizations;

     20. Recalls, with regard to the election of the members of the human
rights treaty bodies, the importance of giving consideration to equitable
geographic distribution of membership and to the representation of the
principal legal systems, and of bearing in mind that the members shall be
elected and serve in their personal capacity and shall be of high moral
character and recognized competence in the field of human rights;

     21. Encourages the Economic and Social Council, as well as its
functional commissions and their subsidiary bodies, and other United Nations
bodies and specialized agencies to consider the feasibility of participation
by representatives of the human rights treaty bodies in their meetings;

     22. Welcomes the continuing emphasis by the persons chairing the human
rights treaty bodies that the enjoyment of the human rights of women should be
monitored closely by each treaty body within the purview of its mandate, and
in this regard endorses the recommendation by the meeting of the persons
chairing the human rights treaty bodies that each treaty body continue to
consider how it might most effectively incorporate gender perspectives in its
work practices; 40/

     23. Also welcomes all appropriate measures the human rights treaty
bodies may take, within their mandates, in response to situations of massive
human rights violations, including bringing those violations to the attention
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-
General and the competent bodies of the United Nations in the field of human
rights, and requests the High Commissioner, acting within his mandate, to
coordinate and consult throughout the United Nations system in this regard;

     24. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at
its fifty-second session on measures taken to implement the present resolution
and on obstacles to its implementation;

     25. Decides to continue giving priority consideration, at its fifty-
second session, to the conclusions and recommendations of the meetings of
persons chairing human rights treaty bodies, in the light of the deliberations
of the Commission on Human Rights, under the item entitled "Human rights
questions".


                              DRAFT RESOLUTION IV

               Commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the
                     Universal Declaration of Human Rights

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling that, in adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
41/ on 10 December 1948, it recognized the inherent dignity and equal and
inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world,

     Considering that the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration provides an
opportunity for the United Nations and its States Members to redouble their
efforts to promote awareness and strengthened observance of the rights set out
in the Declaration,

     Recognizing the Declaration as the source of inspiration and the basis
of subsequent progress in the field of human rights,

     Concerned that international human rights standards are not fully and
universally respected and that human rights continue to be violated in all
parts of the world, and that people still suffer misery and are deprived of
the full enjoyment of their civil, cultural, economic, political and social
rights, and convinced of the necessity to respect human rights and fundamental
freedoms in all situations and to strengthen United Nations efforts in this
regard,

     Recalling the significance and the message of the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on
25 June 1993, 42/

     Recalling also its decision 48/416 of 10 December 1993, in which the
Assembly decided to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-third
session an item entitled "Fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights", 

     Having considered the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights, 43/ in particular chapter IX thereof entitled "1998:  Human
Rights Year", in which proposals to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary were
made, including the convening of a ceremonial meeting of the General Assembly,
and welcoming the intention of the High Commissioner to facilitate cooperation
between various initiatives aimed at the commemoration of the fiftieth
anniversary,

     1.  Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to
continue to coordinate the preparations for the fiftieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, bearing in mind the provisions set out
in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for evaluation and follow-
up;

     2.  Invites Governments to review and assess the progress that has been
made in the field of human rights since the adoption of the Declaration, to
identify obstacles and ways in which they can be overcome to achieve progress
in this area, to undertake additional efforts and to develop programmes of
education and information, with a view to disseminating the text of the
Declaration and arriving at a better understanding of the universal message;

     3.  Invites the human rights treaty bodies to give appropriate
attention, within their mandates and methods of work, to the fiftieth
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to reflect on
their possible contribution to the preparations;

     4.  Endorses the intention of the relevant United Nations organs and
agencies, in the light of the purposes set forth in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, to make an assessment of and to put forward pertinent
conclusions on the state of implementation and impact of existing
international human rights instruments;

     5.  Calls upon the relevant United Nations organs and agencies, in
coordination with the High Commissioner, to mark the anniversary by
intensifying their own contributions to United Nations system-wide efforts to
promote and protect human rights;

     6.  Invites non-governmental organizations and national institutions to
participate fully in the preparations for the fiftieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to intensify their campaign for greater
understanding and better use of the Declaration, and to communicate their
observations and recommendations to the High Commissioner;

     7.  Requests the Secretary-General to include in the proposed programme
budget for the biennium 1998-1999 appropriate activities to celebrate the
fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration;

     8.  Decides to convene, during its fifty-third session, a one-day
plenary meeting, on 10 December 1998, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; also decides to review during its
fifty-second session the state of preparations for the anniversary and to
consider appropriate measures in this regard, including its own contribution.


                                     -----


                                     Notes

1/   Report of the World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 14-25 June 1993
(A/CONF.157/24 (Part I)), chap. III.

2/   Resolution 217 A (III).

3/   A/51/425.

4/   A/51/482, annex.

5/   Resolution 217 A (III).

6/   Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.

7/   Resolution 34/180, annex.

8/   Resolution 44/25, annex.

9/   Resolution 39/46, annex.

10/  A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.1/Rev.1.

11/  A/51/482, annex, para. 53.

12/  Ibid., para. 25.

13/  Ibid., para. 60.

14/  Resolution 217 A (III).

15/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

16/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 36 (A/51/36).

17/  Resolution 217 A (III).

18/  Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

19/  Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.

20/  Resolution 38/180, annex.

21/  Resolution 44/25, annex.

22/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

23/  A/51/415.

24/  Resolution 217 A (III).

25/  See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

26/  Resolution 3452 (XXX), annex.

27/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

28/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 4 (A/51/44).

29/  Report of the World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 14-25 June 1993
(A/CONF.157/24 (Part I)), chap. III.

30/  Resolution 217 A (III).

31/  A/51/425.

32/  A/51/482, annex.

33/  Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex. 

34/  Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.

35/  Resolution 34/180, annex.

36/  Resolution 44/25, annex.

37/  Resolution 39/46, annex.

38/  A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.1/Rev.1.

39/  A/51/482, annex, para. 53.

40/  Ibid., para. 60.

41/  Resolution 217 A (III).

42/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

43/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 36 (A/51/36).

 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org