United Nations

A/RES/48/141


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

20 December 1993

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                  A/RES/48/141
                                                  85th plenary meeting
                                                  20 December 1993
 
            High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of
                             all human rights
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming its commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter
of the United Nations,
 
      Emphasizing the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the
Charter, to promote and encourage respect for all human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
 
      Emphasizing the need to observe the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and for the full implementation of the human rights instruments,
including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the
Declaration on the Right to Development,
 
      Reaffirming that the right to development is a universal and inalienable
right which is a fundamental part of the rights of the human person,
 
      Considering that the promotion and the protection of all human rights is
one of the priorities of the international community,
 
      Recalling that one of the purposes of the United Nations enshrined in
the Charter is to achieve international cooperation in promoting and
encouraging respect for human rights,
 
      Reaffirming the commitment  made under Article 56 of the Charter to take
joint and separate action in cooperation with the United Nations for the
achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55 of the Charter,
 
      Emphasizing the need for the promotion and protection of all human
rights to be guided by the principles of impartiality, objectivity and
non-selectivity, in the spirit of constructive international dialogue and
cooperation,
 
      Aware that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent
and interrelated and that as such they should be given the same emphasis,
 
      Affirming its commitment to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from
14 to 25 June 1993,
 
      Convinced that the World Conference on Human Rights made an important
contribution to the cause of human rights and that its recommendations should
be implemented through effective action by all States, the competent organs of
the United Nations and the specialized agencies, in cooperation with
non-governmental organizations,
 
      Acknowledging the importance of strengthening the provision of advisory
services and technical assistance by the Centre for Human Rights of the
Secretariat and other relevant programmes and bodies of the United Nations
system for the purpose of the promotion and protection of all human rights,
 
      Determined to adapt, strengthen and streamline the existing mechanisms
to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms while
avoiding unnecessary duplication,
 
      Recognizing that the activities of the United Nations in the field of
human rights should be rationalized and enhanced in order to strengthen the
United Nations machinery in this field and to further the objectives of
universal respect for observance of international human rights standards,
 
      Reaffirming that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council
and the Commission on Human Rights are the responsible organs for decision-
and policy-making for the promotion and protection of all human rights,
 
      Reaffirming the necessity for a continued adaptation of the United
Nations human rights machinery to the current and future needs in the
promotion and protection of human rights and the need to improve its
coordination, efficiency and effectiveness, as reflected in the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action and within the framework of a balanced and
sustainable development for all people,
 
      Having considered the recommendation contained in paragraph 18 of
section II of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
 
      1.    Decides to create the post of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights;
 
      2.    Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall:
 
      (a)   Be a person of high moral standing and personal integrity and
shall possess expertise, including in the field of human rights, and the
general knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures necessary for
impartial, objective, non-selective and effective performance of the duties of
the High Commissioner;
 
      (b)   Be appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and
approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation,
and have a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for
another fixed term of four years;
 
      (c)   Be of the rank of Under-Secretary-General;
 
      3.    Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall:
 
      (a)   Function within the framework of the Charter of the United
Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other international
instruments of human rights and international law, including the obligations,
within this framework, to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and
domestic jurisdiction of States and to promote the universal respect for and
observance of all human rights, in the recognition that, in the framework of
the purposes and principles of the Charter, the promotion and protection of
all human rights is a legitimate concern of the international community;
 
      (b)   Be guided by the recognition that all human rights - civil,
cultural, economic, political and social - are universal, indivisible,
interdependent and interrelated and that, while the significance of national
and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious
backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of
their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all
human rights and fundamental freedoms;
 
      (c)   Recognize the importance of promoting a balanced and sustainable
development for all people and of ensuring realization of the right to
development, as established in the Declaration on the Right to Development;
 
      4.    Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall be the
United Nations official with principal responsibility for United Nations human
rights activities under the direction and authority of the Secretary-General;
within the framework of the overall competence, authority and decisions of the
General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human
Rights, the High Commissioner's responsibilities shall be:
 
      (a)   To promote and protect the effective enjoyment by all of all
civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights;
 
      (b)   To carry out the tasks assigned to him/her by the competent bodies
of the United Nations system in the field of human rights and to make
recommendations to them with a view to improving the promotion and protection
of all human rights;
 
      (c)   To promote and protect the realization of the right to development
and to enhance support from relevant bodies of the United Nations system for
this purpose;
 
      (d)   To provide, through the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat
and other appropriate institutions, advisory services and technical and
financial assistance, at the request of the State concerned and, where
appropriate, the regional human rights organizations, with a view to
supporting actions and programmes in the field of human rights;
 
      (e)   To coordinate relevant United Nations education and public
information programmes in the field of human rights;
 
      (f)   To play an active role in removing the current obstacles and in
meeting the challenges to the full realization of all human rights and in
preventing the continuation of human rights violations throughout the world,
as reflected in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action;
 
      (g)   To engage in a dialogue with all Governments in the implementation
of his/her mandate with a view to securing respect for all human rights;
 
      (h)   To enhance international cooperation for the promotion and
protection of all human rights;
 
      (i)   To coordinate the human rights promotion and protection activities
throughout the United Nations system;
 
      (j)   To rationalize, adapt, strengthen and streamline the United
Nations machinery in the field of human rights with a view to improving its
efficiency and effectiveness;
 
      (k)   To carry out overall supervision of the Centre for Human Rights;
 
      5.    Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report annually
on his/her activities, in accordance with his/her mandate, to the Commission
on Human Rights and, through the Economic and Social Council, to the General
Assembly;
 
      6.    Decides that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
shall be located at Geneva and shall have a liaison office in New York;
 
      7.    Requests the Secretary-General to provide appropriate staff and
resources, within the existing and future regular budgets of the United
Nations, to enable the High Commissioner to fulfil his/her mandate, without
diverting resources from the development programmes and activities of the
United Nations;
 
      8.    Also requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its forty-ninth session on the implementation of the present
resolution.