United Nations

A/51/641


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

1 November 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/641
                                                              

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

            Strengthening of the Office of the United Nations High
             Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights

                        Report of the Secretary-General


1.In its resolution 50/187 of 22 December 1995 on the strengthening of
the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights/Centre for Human Rights, the General Assembly, 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 and taking into account 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
Assembly in its resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993 for appropriate
staff and resources to enable the High Commissioner to fulfil his
mandate, requested the Secretary-General to make available additional
human and financial resources, within the overall regular budget of
the United Nations, to enhance the capability of the High Commissioner
and of the Centre to fulfil effectively their respective mandates and
also requested him to submit an interim report to the Commission on
Human Rights at its fifty-second session and a final report to the
Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the
resolution.  The present report is submitted pursuant to that request.

2.   In connection with the establishment of the post of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by the General Assembly in
its resolution 48/141, 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
Assembly did not approve those posts at its forty-eighth session, but
authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments of up to
$1,471,400 and in connection with the establishment of the office of
the High Commissioner decided to consider such additional
appropriation as might be necessary and not to exceed $1,471,400 at
its resumed forty-eighth session.  At that session, the Assembly
decided to defer consideration of the question to its forty-ninth
session.  In his report to the Assembly at its forty-ninth session
(A/C.5/49/53), the Secretary-General, on the basis of experience,
proposed that instead of the six above-mentioned posts (one Under-
Secretary-General, two P-5 and three General Service 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,
that is, $1,471,400.

3.   Regarding the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and the
Programme of Action, endorsed by the General Assembly in its
resolution 48/121, 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
Assembly did not approve those posts at its forty-eighth session, but
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 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.  In his report to the Assembly at its
forty-ninth session (A/C.5/49/53), the Secretary-General requested the
appropriation of the amount of $1,167,500.

4.   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 of 31 May 1994 (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, Human
rights, of the programme budget for the biennium 1994-1995 1/ for the
financing of human rights activities in Cambodia.  In his report to
the Assembly at its forty-ninth session (A/C.5/49/53), the Secretary-
General requested the appropriation of $1,834,100 for that purpose.

5.   In summary, in his report to the General Assembly at its forty-
ninth session (A/C.5/49/53), the Secretary-General requested an
appropriation of $4,473,000 under section 21 of the programme budget
for the biennium 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 Plan of Action and the human rights
presence in Cambodia.

6.   At its forty-ninth session, the General Assembly decided to
appropriate, on an exceptional basis, $4,473,000 under section 21 on
the understanding that the posts requested by the Secretary-General
for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Centre
for Human Rights and the human rights presence in Cambodia had been
approved on a temporary basis and that all posts would be subject to a
detailed review by the Advisory Committee and the Assembly at the
earliest opportunity at the resumed forty-ninth session.

7.   In section 21 of the proposed programme budget for the biennium
1996-1997, 2/ the Secretary-General 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 post of the High Commissioner at the
Under-Secretary-General level, 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.

8.   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 results of the restructuring of
the programme of work of the Centre and identification of priorities
was 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 in the Centre.

9.   The General Assembly, by its resolution 50/214, taking into
account the ongoing process of restructuring of the Centre for Human
Rights, decided that the Secretary-General should report by 31 March
1996 to it at its resumed fiftieth session, making proposals on the
appropriate level and distribution of resources for the Centre for
Human Rights, and endorsed, pending consideration of that report, the
recommendations of the Advisory Committee as contained in its first
report on the proposed programme budget, as outlined above.

10.  The Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly at its
resumed fiftieth session the report requested by it in its resolution
50/214 entitled "Restructuring the Centre for Human Rights"
(A/C.5/50/71).  Additional information was submitted to the Assembly
during its fifty-first session (A/C.5/50/71/Add.1).

11.  In its resolution 1996/82 of 24 April 1996, the Commission on
Human Rights, taking note of the report of the Secretary-General 3/
supported and encouraged the efforts of the Secretary-General to
enhance the role and further improve the functioning of the Centre for
Human Rights, under the overall supervision of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights and requested the Secretary-General to make available
additional human and financial resources, from within the overall
regular budget of the United Nations, and to enhance the capability of
the High Commissioner and the Centre to fulfil their mandates
effectively.

12.  Finally, it is noted that, in the context of achieving the savings
mandated by the General Assembly, 12 posts of the Centre for Human
Rights (1 D-1, 1 P-5, 3 P-4, 3 P-3 and 4 GS (Other level)) have been
frozen until the end of the biennium 1996-1997.


                                     Notes

     1/  Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-eighth
Session, Supplement No. 6 (A/48/6/Rev. 1), vol. II.

     2/  Ibid., Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 6 (A/50/6/Rev.1),
vol. II.

     3/  E/CN.4/1996/116.


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