United Nations

A/RES/49/146


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

23 December 1994

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                              A/RES/49/146
                                              94th plenary meeting
                                              23 December 1994
 
 
 
 
            49/146.  Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Reaffirming its objectives set forth in the Charter of the United
Nations to achieve international cooperation in solving problems of an
economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and
encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
 
      Reaffirming also its firm determination and its commitment to eradicate
totally and unconditionally racism in all its forms and racial discrimination,
 
      Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the
Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted by the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on 14 December 1960,
 
      Recalling also the outcome of the two World Conferences to Combat Racism
and Racial Discrimination, held at Geneva in 1978 and 1983,
 
      Welcoming the outcome of the World Conference on Human Rights, held at
Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, and, in particular, the attention given in the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action to the elimination of racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance,
 
      Taking note of the recommendation of the Subcommission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to the Commission on Human Rights
to examine at its fifty-first session the possibility of convening a world
conference against racism, racial and ethnic discrimination, xenophobia and
other related contemporary forms of intolerance, to take place in 1997,
 
      Stressing the importance of the activities of the Special Rapporteur of
the Commission on Human Rights on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,
 
      Recalling its resolution 38/14 of 22 November 1983, the annex to which
contains the Programme of Action for the Second Decade to Combat Racism and
Racial Discrimination,
 
      Noting with grave concern that despite the efforts of the international
community, the principal objectives of the two Decades for Action to Combat
Racism and Racial Discrimination have not been attained and that millions of
human beings continue to this day to be the victims of varied forms of racism
and racial discrimination,
 
      Deeply concerned about the current trend of the evolution of racism into
discriminatory practices based on culture, nationality, religion or language,
 
      Recalling, in particular, its resolution 48/91 of 20 December 1993, by
which it proclaimed the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial
Discrimination,
 
      Having considered the note submitted by the Secretary-General within the
framework of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Third
Decade,
 
      Firmly convinced of the need to take more effective and sustained
measures at the national and international levels for the elimination of all
forms of racism and racial discrimination,
 
      Welcoming South Africa's peaceful transition to a democratic and
non-racial society,
 
      Recognizing the importance of strengthening national legislation and
institutions for the promotion of racial harmony,
 
      Deeply concerned about the fact that the phenomenon of racism and racial
discrimination against migrant workers continues to increase despite efforts
undertaken by the international community to improve the protection of the
human rights of migrant workers and members of their families,
 
      Recalling the adoption at its forty-fifth session of the International
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members
of Their Families,
 
      Acknowledging that indigenous people are at times victims of particular
forms of racism and racial discrimination,
 
      1.    Declares once again that all forms of racism and racial
discrimination, whether in their institutionalized form or resulting from
official doctrines of racial superiority or exclusivity, such as ethnic
cleansing, are among the most serious violations of human rights in the
contemporary world and must be combated by all available means;
 
      2.    Welcomes the proclamation of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and
Racial Discrimination, which began in 1993, adopts the revised Programme of
Action for the Third Decade contained in the annex to the present resolution,
and requests the Secretary-General to make a further review of the Programme
of Action with a view to making it more effective and action-oriented;
 
      3.    Calls upon Governments to cooperate more closely with the Special
Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on contemporary forms of racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to enable him to
fulfil his mandate;
 
      4.    Urges all Governments to take all necessary measures to combat new
forms of racism, in particular by adapting constantly the means provided to
combat them, especially in the legislative, administrative, educational and
information fields;
 
      5.    Decides that the international community in general and the United
Nations in particular should give the highest priority to programmes for
combating racism and racial discrimination and should intensify their efforts,
during the Third Decade, to provide assistance and relief to the victims of
racism and all forms of racial discrimination;
 
      6.    Requests the Secretary-General to continue to accord special
attention to the situation of migrant workers and members of their families
and to include regularly in his reports all information on such workers;
 
      7.    Calls upon all Member States to consider signing and ratifying or
acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as a matter of priority;
 
      8.    Requests the Secretary-General to continue the study on the
effects of racial discrimination on the children of minorities, in particular
those of migrant workers, in the fields of education, training and employment,
and to submit, inter alia, specific recommendations for the implementation of
measures to combat the effects of that discrimination;
 
      9.    Urges the Secretary-General, United Nations bodies, the
specialized agencies, all Governments, intergovernmental organizations and
relevant non-governmental organizations, in implementing the Programme of
Action for the Third Decade, to pay particular attention to the situation of
indigenous people;
 
      10.   Requests the Secretary-General to revise and finalize the draft
model legislation for the guidance of Governments in the enactment of further
legislation against racial discrimination, in the light of comments made by
members of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its
fortieth and forty-first sessions, and to publish and distribute the text as
soon as possible;
 
      11.   Renews its invitation to the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization to expedite the preparation of teaching
materials and teaching aids to promote teaching, training and educational
activities on human rights and against racism and racial discrimination, with
particular emphasis on activities at the primary and secondary levels of
education;
 
      12.   Considers that all the parts of the Programme of Action for the
Third Decade should be given equal attention in order to attain the objectives
of the Third Decade;
 
      13.   Regrets that some of the activities scheduled for the Second
Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination have not been implemented
for lack of adequate resources;
 
      14.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the necessary
financial resources are provided for the implementation of the activities of
the Third Decade during the biennium 1994-1995;
 
      15.   Also requests the Secretary-General to accord the highest priority
to the activities of the Programme of Action for the Third Decade;
 
      16.   Further requests the Secretary-General to submit each year to the
Economic and Social Council a detailed report on all activities of United
Nations bodies and the specialized agencies, containing an analysis of
information received on such activities to combat racism and racial
discrimination;
 
      17.   Invites the Secretary-General to submit proposals to the General
Assembly with a view to supplementing, if necessary, the Programme of Action
for the Third Decade;
 
      18.   Invites all Governments, United Nations bodies, the specialized
agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as interested
non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and
Social Council, to participate fully in the Third Decade;
 
      19.   Invites all Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations and individuals in a position to do so to contribute generously
to the Trust Fund for the Programme for the Decade for Action to Combat Racism
and Racial Discrimination, and to this end requests the Secretary-General to
continue to undertake appropriate contacts and initiatives;
 
      20.   Decides to keep the item entitled "Elimination of racism and
racial discrimination" on its agenda and to consider it as a matter of the
highest priority at its fiftieth session.
 
 
 
                                     ANNEX
 
              Revised Programme of Action for the Third Decade to
              Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003)
 
 
                                 INTRODUCTION
 
1.    The goals and objectives of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial
Discrimination are those adopted by the General Assembly for the first Decade
and contained in paragraph 8 of the annex to its resolution 3057 (XXVIII) of 2
November 1973:
 
            "The ultimate goals of the Decade are to promote human rights and
      fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind on grounds
      of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, especially by
      eradicating racial prejudice, racism and racial discrimination; to
      arrest any expansion of racist policies, to eliminate the persistence of
      racist policies and to counteract the emergence of alliances based on
      mutual espousal of racism and racial discrimination; to resist any
      policy and practices which lead to the strengthening of the racist
      regimes and contribute to the sustainment of racism and racial
      discrimination; to identify, isolate and dispel the fallacious and
      mythical beliefs, policies and practices that contribute to racism and
      racial discrimination; and to put an end to racist regimes."
 
2.    In drawing up suggested elements for the Programme of Action for the
Third Decade, account has been taken of the fact that current global economic
conditions have caused many Member States to call for budgetary restraint,
which in turn requires a conservative approach to the number and type of
programmes of action that may be considered at this time.  The Secretary-
General also took into account the relevant suggestions made by the Committee
on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its forty-first session.  The
elements presented below have been suggested as those which are essential,
should resources be made available to implement them.
 
 
            MEASURES TO REMEDY THE LEGACY OF CULTURAL, ECONOMIC AND
                     SOCIAL DISPARITIES LEFT BY APARTHEID
 
3.    The successful peaceful transition of South Africa to a democratic and
non-racial society with human rights safeguarded by an entrenched Charter of
Fundamental Rights has nevertheless left cultural, economic and social
inequalities reflecting historical deprivation.  Corrective action by human
rights bodies will make a constructive contribution.
 
 
                       ACTION AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
 
4.    During the discussion at the substantive session of 1992 of the Economic
and Social Council concerning the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial
Discrimination, many delegations expressed their concern with regard to new
expressions of racism, racial discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia in
various parts of the world.  In particular, these affect minorities, ethnic
groups, migrant workers, indigenous populations, nomads, immigrants and
refugees.
 
5.    The biggest contribution to the elimination of racial discrimination
will be that which results from the actions of States within their own
territories.  International action undertaken as part of any programme for the
Third Decade should therefore be directed so as to assist States to act
effectively.  The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination has established standards for States, and every
opportunity should be seized to ensure that these are universally accepted and
applied. 
 
6.    The General Assembly should consider more effective action to ensure
that all States parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination fulfil their reporting and financial
obligations.  National action against racism and racial discrimination should
be monitored and improved by requesting an expert member of the Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to prepare a report on obstacles
encountered with respect to the effective implementation of the Convention by
States parties and suggestions for remedial measures.
 
7.    The General Assembly requests the Secretary-General to organize regional
workshops and seminars.  A team from the Committee should be invited to
monitor these meetings.  The following themes are suggested for the seminars:
 
      (a)   Seminar to assess the experience gained in the implementation of
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination.  The seminar would also assess the efficiency of national
legislation and recourse procedures available to victims of racism;
 
      (b)   Seminar on the eradication of incitement to racial hatred and
discrimination, including the prohibition of propaganda activities and of
organizations involved in them;
 
      (c)   Seminar on the right to equal treatment before tribunals and other
judicial institutions, including the provision of reparation for damages
suffered as a result of discrimination;
 
      (d)   Seminar on the transmission of racial inequality from one
generation to another, with special reference to the children of migrant
workers and the appearance of new forms of segregation;
 
      (e)   Seminar on immigration and racism;
 
      (f)   Seminar on international cooperation in the elimination of racial
discrimination, including cooperation between States, the contribution of
non-governmental organizations, national and regional institutions, United
Nations bodies and petitions to treaty-monitoring bodies;
 
      (g)   Seminar on the enactment of national legislation to combat racism
and racial discrimination affecting ethnic groups, migrant workers and
refugees in all parts of the world;
 
      (h)   Seminar on flows of refugees resulting from ethnic conflicts or
political restructuring of multi-ethnic societies in socio-economic transition
and their link to racism in the host country;
 
      (i)   Training course on national legislation prohibiting racial
discrimination for nationals from countries with and without such legislation;
 
      (j)   Regional seminars on nationalism, ethno-nationalism and human
rights could also provide an opportunity for broadening knowledge of the
causes of today's ethnic conflicts, particularly of the so-called policy of
ethnic cleansing, in order to provide solutions;
 
      (k)   Seminar for educational and training experts, including
non-governmental organizations, in cooperation with the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other appropriate
organizations, aimed at the development of educational materials and training
courses for teachers and other opinion leaders on eliminating prejudice and
fostering tolerance.
 
8.    The General Assembly requests the Department of Public Information of
the Secretariat to undertake specific activities that could be carried out by
Governments and relevant national non-governmental organizations to
commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
on 21 March each year.  Support should be sought from artists, as well as
religious leaders, trade unions, enterprises and political parties, to
sensitize the population to the evils of racism and racial discrimination.
 
9.    The Department of Public Information should also publish its posters for
the Third Decade and informative brochures on the activities planned for the
Decade.  Documentary films and reports, as well as radio broadcasts on the
damaging effects of racism and racial discrimination, should, moreover, be
considered.
 
10.   In cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization and the Department of Public Information, the General
Assembly supports the organization of a seminar on the role of mass media in
combating or disseminating racist ideas.
 
11.   In cooperation with the International Labour Organisation, the
possibility of organizing a seminar on the role of trade unions in combating
racism and racial discrimination in employment should be explored.
 
12.   The General Assembly invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization to expedite the preparation of teaching materials
and teaching aids to promote teaching, training and educational activities
against racism and racial discrimination, with particular emphasis on
activities at the primary and secondary levels of education.
 
13.   The General Assembly calls upon Member States to make special efforts:
 
      (a)   To promote the aim of non-discrimination in all educational
programmes and policies;
 
      (b)   To give special attention to the civic education of teachers.  It
is essential that teachers be aware of the principles and essential content of
the legal texts relevant to racism and racial discrimination and of how to
deal with the problem of relations between children belonging to different
communities;
 
      (c)   To teach contemporary history at an early age, presenting children
with an accurate picture of the crimes committed by fascist and other
totalitarian regimes, and more particularly of the crimes of apartheid and
genocide;
 
      (d)   To ensure that curricula and textbooks reflect anti-racist
principles and promote intercultural education.
 
                  ACTION AT THE NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS
 
14.   The following questions are addressed in the context of action to be
undertaken at the national and regional levels:  have there been any
successful national models to eliminate racism and racial prejudices that
could be recommended to States, for example, for educating children, or
principles of equality to tackle racism against migrant workers, ethnic
minorities or indigenous peoples?  What kind of affirmative action programmes
are there at the national or regional level to redress discrimination against
specific groups?
 
15.   The General Assembly recommends that States that have not yet done so
adopt, ratify and implement legislation prohibiting racism and racial
discrimination, such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on the
Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their
Families.
 
16.   The General Assembly recommends that Member States review their national
programmes to combat racial discrimination and its effects in order to
identify and to seize opportunities to close gaps between different groups,
and especially to undertake housing, educational and employment programmes
that have proved to be successful in combating racial discrimination and
xenophobia.
 
17.   The General Assembly recommends that Member States encourage the
participation of journalist and human rights advocates from minority groups
and communities in the mass media.  Radio and television programmes should
increase the number of broadcasts produced by and in cooperation with racial
and cultural minority groups.  Multicultural activities of the media should
also be encouraged where they can contribute to the suppression of racism and
xenophobia.
 
18.   The General Assembly recommends that regional organizations cooperate
closely with United Nations efforts to combat racism and racial
discrimination.  Regional organizations dealing with human rights issues could
mobilize public opinion in their regions against the evils of racism and
racial prejudices directed towards disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups.
These institutions could serve an important function in assisting Governments
to enact national legislation against racial discrimination and promote
adoption and application of international conventions.  Regional human rights
commissions should be called upon to publicize widely basic texts on existing
human rights instruments.
 
 
                          BASIC RESEARCH AND STUDIES
 
19.   The long-term viability of the United Nations programme against racism
and racial discrimination will depend in part on continuing research into the
causes of racism and into the new manifestations of racism and racial
discrimination.  The General Assembly may wish to examine the importance of
preparing studies on racism.  The following are some aspects to be studied:
 
      (a)   Application of article 2 of the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  Such a study might assist
States to learn from one another the national measures taken to implement the
Convention;
 
      (b)   Economic factors contributing to the perpetuation of racism and
racial discrimination;
 
      (c)   Integration or preservation of cultural identity in a multiracial
or multi-ethnic society;
 
      (d)   Political rights, including the participation of various racial
groups in political processes and their representation in government service;
 
      (e)   Civil rights, including migration, nationality and freedom of
opinion and association;
 
      (f)   Educational measures to combat racial prejudice and discrimination
and to propagate the principles of the United Nations;
 
      (g)   Socio-economic costs of racism and racial discrimination;
 
      (h)   Global integration and the question of racism and the nation
State;
 
      (i)   National mechanisms against racism and racial discrimination in
the fields of immigration, employment, salary, housing, education and
ownership of property.
 
                          COORDINATION AND REPORTING
 
20.   It may be relevant to recall that, in its resolution 38/14 of 22
November 1983, in which it proclaimed the Second Decade to Combat Racism and
Racial Discrimination, the General Assembly charged the Economic and Social
Council with coordinating the implementation of the Programme of Action for
the Second Decade and evaluating the activities.  The Assembly decides that
the following steps should be taken to strengthen the United Nations input
into the Third Decade:
 
      (a)   The General Assembly entrusts the Economic and Social Council and
the Commission on Human Rights, in cooperation with the Secretary-General,
with the responsibility for coordinating the programmes and evaluating the
activities undertaken in connection with the Third Decade;
 
      (b)   The Secretary-General is invited to provide specific information
on activities against racism, to be contained in one annual report, which
should be comprehensive in nature and allow a general overview of all mandated
activities.  This will facilitate coordination and evaluation;
 
      (c)   An open-ended working group of the Commission on Human Rights, or
other appropriate arrangement under the Commission, may be established to
review Decade-related information on the basis of the annual report referred
to above, as well as relevant studies and reports of seminars, to assist the
Commission in formulating appropriate recommendations to the Economic and
Social Council on particular activities, allocation of priorities and so on.
 
21.   Furthermore, an inter-agency meeting should be organized immediately
after the proclamation of the Third Decade, with a view to planning working
meetings and other activities.
 
                       REGULAR SYSTEM-WIDE CONSULTATIONS
 
22.   Annual consultations between the United Nations, specialized agencies
and non-governmental organizations should take place to review and plan
Decade-related activities.  In this framework, the Centre for Human Rights of
the Secretariat should organize inter-agency meetings to consider and discuss
further measures to strengthen the coordination and cooperation of programmes
related to the issues of combating racism and racial discrimination.
 
23.   The Centre for Human Rights should also strengthen the relationship with
non-governmental organizations fighting against racism and racial
discrimination by holding consultations and briefings with the
non-governmental organizations.  Such meetings could help them to initiate,
develop and present proposals regarding the struggle against racism and racial
discrimination.
 
24.   The Secretary-General should include the activities to be carried out
during the Decade, as well as the related resource requirements, in the
proposed programme budgets, which will be submitted biennially, during the
Decade, starting with the proposed programme budget for the biennium
1994-1995.