United Nations

A/RES/50/176


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

27 February 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (b)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/635/Add.2)]


            50/176.     National institutions for the
                        promotion and protection of human rights

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and
the Commission on Human Rights concerning national institutions for
the promotion and protection of human rights,

      Stressing the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights,  1/ the International Covenants on Human Rights  2/ and
other international instruments for promoting respect for and
observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

      Convinced of the important role national institutions play in
promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in
developing and enhancing public awareness of those rights and
freedoms,

      Mindful in this regard of the guidelines on the structure and
functioning of national and local institutions for the promotion and
protection of human rights endorsed by the General Assembly in its
resolution 33/46 of 14 December 1978,

      Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,  3/
in which the World Conference on Human Rights reaffirmed the important
and constructive role played by national institutions for the
promotion and protection of human rights, in particular in their
advisory capacity to the competent authorities, their role in
remedying human rights violations, in the dissemination of human
rights information and in education in human rights,

      Noting the diverse approaches adopted throughout the world for
the promotion and protection of human rights at the national level,
emphasizing the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of
all human rights, and emphasizing and recognizing the value of such
approaches to promoting universal respect for and observance of human
rights and fundamental freedoms,

      Recalling the principles relating to the status of national
institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, as
contained in the annex to General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20
December 1993, and recognizing the need for their continued
dissemination,

      Welcoming the growing interest shown worldwide in the creation
and strengthening of independent and pluralistic national
institutions,

      Recognizing that the United Nations plays an important role in
assisting the development of national institutions,

      Noting with satisfaction the constructive participation of
representatives of a number of national institutions for the promotion
and protection of human rights in international seminars and
workshops, 

      1.    Takes note with satisfaction of the updated report of the
Secretary-General;  4/

      2.    Reaffirms the importance of the development of effective,
independent and pluralistic national institutions for the promotion
and protection of human rights in keeping with the Vienna Declaration
and Programme of Action and, inter alia, the principles relating to
the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection
of human rights contained in the annex to General Assembly resolution
48/134, and recognizes that it is the right of each State to choose
the framework that is best suited to its particular needs at the
national level;

      3.    Encourages Member States to establish or, where they already
exist, to strengthen national institutions for the promotion and
protection of human rights, as outlined in the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, and, where appropriate, to incorporate those
elements in national development plans or in their preparation of
national action plans;

      4.    Encourages national institutions for the promotion and
protection of human rights established by Member States to prevent and
combat all violations of human rights as enumerated in the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action and relevant international
instruments;

      5.    Affirms the role of national institutions, where they exist,
as appropriate agencies for the dissemination of human rights
materials and public information activities, including those of the
United Nations;

      6.    Requests the Secretary-General to give high priority to
requests from Member States for assistance in the establishment and
strengthening of national institutions for the promotion and
protection of human rights as part of the programme of advisory
services and technical assistance in the field of human rights, and
invites Governments to contribute to the United Nations Voluntary Fund
for Advisory Services and Technical Assistance in the Field of Human
Rights for these purposes;

      7.    Notes the role of the coordinating committee created by
national institutions at the second International Workshop on National
Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, held at
Tunis from 13 to 17 December 1993, in close cooperation with the
Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, to assist Governments and
institutions, when requested, to follow up on relevant resolutions and
recommendations concerning the strengthening of national institutions;

      8.    Also notes the importance of finding an appropriate form of
participation by national institutions in relevant United Nations
meetings dealing with human rights;

      9.    Recognizes the important and constructive role that non-
governmental organizations may play, in cooperation with national
institutions, for the better promotion and protection of human rights;

      10.   Encourages all Member States to take appropriate steps to
promote the exchange of information and experience concerning the
establishment and effective operation of such national institutions;

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its fifty-second session on the implementation of the
present resolution.


                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


                                     Notes

1/          Resolution 217 A (III).

2/          Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

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

4/          A/50/452.

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