United Nations

A/RES/50/170


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

26 February 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (a)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/635/Add.1)]


            50/170.     Effective implementation of
                        international instruments on human
                        rights, including reporting
                        obligations under international
                        instruments on human rights

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolution 49/178 of 23 December 1994, 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/

      Welcoming the call in the Platform for Action, adopted by the
Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995, both for
intensified efforts to integrate the equal status and the human rights
of all women and girls into the mainstream of United Nations system-
wide activities and to address these issues regularly and
systematically throughout relevant bodies and mechanisms, and for the
related actions to be taken by, inter alia, the human rights treaty-
monitoring bodies,  2/

      Taking note of the recommendations proposed by the expert group
on the integration of gender perspectives into United Nations human
rights activities and programmes, which met at Geneva from 3 to 7 July
1995,  3/

      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,  4/ 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,

      Recalling the reports of the five meetings of persons chairing
the human rights treaty bodies, held from 1988 to 1994,

      Expressing concern about the non-fulfilment by many States
parties of their financial obligations under the relevant United
Nations instruments on human rights,

      Also 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 established pursuant to
instruments adopted by the General Assembly, and in this connection
further reaffirming 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,

      1.    Welcomes the report of the persons chairing the human rights
treaty bodies on their sixth meeting, held at Geneva from 18 to
22 September 1995,  5/ and takes note of their conclusions and
recommendations; 

      2.    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-second session and to
the General Assembly at its fifty-first session;

      3.    Welcomes efforts to identify measures for more effective
implementation of the United Nations human rights instruments, and in
this regard takes note with interest of the plan of action of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to strengthen the
implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

      4.    Urges States parties to notify the Secretary-General, as
depository of the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination  6/ and the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment,  7/ of their acceptance of the amendments approved by
the States parties and the General Assembly in its resolution 47/111
of 16 December 1992;

      5.    Calls upon all States parties to fulfil without delay and in
full their financial obligations, including their arrears, under the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment until the amendments
enter into force;

      6.    Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the
necessary measures to ensure that the two committees established under
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment meet as scheduled until
the amendments enter into force;

      7.    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 human rights 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, including through:

      (a)   Identifying where cross-referencing can be used in report
writing;

      (b)   Recommending, where appropriate, the designation of specific
national administrative units to coordinate reports to all treaty
bodies;

      (c)   Establishing coordination between the treaty bodies and the
International Labour Organization to identify overlap between their
respective instruments and conventions;

      (d)   Considering the utility of single comprehensive reports and
of replacing periodic reports with specifically tailored reports and
thematic reports;

      8.    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;

      9.    Encourages the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, in accordance with his mandate, to request the independent
expert to finalize his interim report on possible long-term approaches
to enhancing the effective operation of the human rights treaty
system  8/ in time for the final report to be considered by the
Commission on Human Rights, as requested by the General Assembly in
resolution 48/120 of 20 December 1993, at its fifty-second session;

      10.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to ensure, from within existing resources, that the revision of
the United Nations Manual on Human Rights Reporting is completed as
soon as possible, that the revised manual is available in all official
languages at the earliest opportunity and that due regard is paid to
the recommendations concerning the manual made by the fifth meeting of
persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies;

      11.   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, and again urges States parties to make every effort to
meet their reporting obligations;

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

      13.   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;

      14.   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;

      15.   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;

      16.   Welcomes the emphasis placed by the persons chairing the
human rights treaty bodies and by the Commission on Human Rights on
the importance of technical assistance and advisory services, and to
this end:

      (a)   Welcomes the plans of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights to report regularly to the Commission on possible
technical assistance projects identified by the treaty bodies;

      (b)   Encourages the treaty bodies to continue to identify
possibilities for technical assistance in the regular course of their
work of reviewing the periodic reports of States parties;

      17.   Welcomes also the recommendation by the meeting of persons
chairing the human rights treaty 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 requests 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;

      18.   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, bearing in mind the responsibilities of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the desirability
of avoiding unnecessary duplication;

      19.   Invites the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to consult the human rights treaty bodies in his efforts to
promote cooperation with regional intergovernmental organizations
where appropriate for the promotion and protection of human rights;

      20.   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;

      21.   Endorses the recommendation of the persons chairing the
human rights treaty bodies that each treaty body, in its examination
of States' reports, place emphasis on the implementation by States
parties of their obligations regarding human rights education and the
provision of public information on human rights;

      22.   Welcomes the emphasis by the persons chairing the human
rights treaty bodies that the enjoyment of the human rights of women
should be closely monitored by each treaty body within the competence
of its mandate;

      23.   Welcomes also 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-first 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-first 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".


                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


                                     Notes

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

2/          A/CONF.177/20, chap. I, resolution 1, annex II, paras. 221
and 231.

3/          See A/50/505, annex, para. 34.

4/          Resolution 217 A (III).

5/          A/50/505, annex.

6/          Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.

7/          Resolution 39/46, annex.

8/          A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.11/Rev.1.

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: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org