United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 March 1996


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (b)


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

            50/182.     Human rights and mass exoduses

      The General Assembly,

      Deeply disturbed by the escalating scale and magnitude of
exoduses of refugees and displacements of population in many regions
of the world and by the human suffering of millions of refugees and
displaced persons,

      Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, as well as those of
the Commission on Human Rights, in particular Commission resolution
1995/88 of 8 March 1995,  1/ and the conclusions of the World
Conference on Human Rights,  2/ which recognized that gross
violations of human rights, including in armed conflicts, are among
the multiple and complex factors leading to displacement of people,
and the need for a comprehensive approach by the international
community to address root causes and effects of movements of refugees
and other displaced persons and the strengthening of emergency
preparedness and response mechanisms,

      Conscious of the fact that mass exoduses of populations are
caused by multiple and complex factors, such as human rights
violations, political, ethnic and economic conflicts, famine,
insecurity, violence, poverty and environmental degradation, which
indicate that any approach to early warning requires an intersectoral
and multidisciplinary approach,

      Noting that the Secretary-General, in his report entitled "An
Agenda for Peace",  3/ identifies the protection of human rights and
the promotion of economic well-being as important elements of peace,
security and development,

      Noting the continuation of the inter-agency consultations on
early warning regarding new mass flows of refugees and displaced

      Recognizing the important aspects of complementarity between the
system for the protection of human rights and humanitarian action, and
that humanitarian agencies make an important contribution to the
achievement of human rights,

      Stressing the need for strengthening international cooperation
aimed at averting new massive flows of refugees while providing
durable solutions to actual refugee situations,

      Recognizing that the human rights machinery of the United
Nations, including the mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights
and the human rights treaty bodies, has important capabilities to
address human rights violations that cause movements of refugees and
displaced persons or prevent durable solutions to their plight,

      Recognizing also that women and children constitute approximately
80 per cent of most refugee populations and that, in addition to the
problems and needs they share with all refugees, women and girls in
such circumstances are vulnerable to gender-based discrimination and
gender-specific violence and exploitation,

      Reiterating that development and rehabilitation assistance is
essential in addressing some of the causes of mass exoduses and also
in the context of the development of prevention strategies,

      Welcoming the continuing efforts of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees to meet the protection and assistance needs
of refugees and other persons of concern to her Office worldwide,

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

      2.    Recalls with satisfaction its endorsement, in its resolution
41/70 of 3 December 1986, of the call upon all States to promote human
rights and fundamental freedoms and to refrain from denying these to
individuals in their population because of nationality, ethnicity,
race, religion or language;

      3.    Strongly deplores ethnic and other forms of intolerance as
one of the major causes of forced migratory movements, and urges
States to take all necessary steps to ensure respect for human rights,
especially the rights of persons belonging to minorities;

      4.    Invites again all Governments and intergovernmental,
humanitarian and non-governmental organizations concerned to intensify
their cooperation and assistance in worldwide efforts to address the
serious problems resulting from mass exoduses of refugees and
displaced persons and the causes of such exoduses;

      5.    Encourages States that have not already done so to consider
acceding to the 1951 Convention  5/ and the 1967 Protocol  6/
relating to the Status of Refugees and to other relevant regional
refugee instruments, as applicable, and relevant international human
rights instruments;

      6.    Notes with appreciation the contribution made by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human
Rights of the Secretariat to the development of the humanitarian
early-warning system of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the
Secretariat, and takes note of ongoing consultations in this regard;

      7.    Invites the special rapporteurs, special representatives and
working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and the United
Nations human rights treaty bodies, acting within their mandates, to
continue seeking information, where appropriate, on problems resulting
in mass exoduses of populations or impeding their voluntary return
home and, where appropriate, to include such information, together
with recommendations thereon, in their reports and to bring such
information to the attention of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights, for appropriate action within his mandate, in
consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

      8.    Requests all United Nations bodies, including the human
rights treaty bodies, the specialized agencies and governmental,
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to cooperate
fully with all mechanisms of the Commission and, in particular, to
provide them with all relevant information in their possession on the
human rights situations creating or affecting refugees and displaced

      9.    Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, in accordance with his mandate, as set out in General Assembly
resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, and in cooperation with the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to pay attention to
situations that cause or threaten to cause mass exoduses and to
address effectively such situations through emergency preparedness and
response mechanisms, including information-sharing with United Nations
early-warning mechanisms, and the provision of technical advice,
expertise and cooperation;

      10.   Invites the Secretary-General to attach high priority and to
make available the necessary resources within the regular budget of
the United Nations for the consolidation and strengthening of
emergency preparedness and response mechanisms, including early-
warning activities in the humanitarian area, for the purpose of
ensuring, inter alia, that effective action is taken to identify all
multiple and complex factors, including human rights violations, that
contribute to mass outflows of persons;

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to prepare and submit to the
General Assembly at its fifty-second session a report containing
detailed information on the programmatic, institutional,
administrative, financial and managerial efforts instituted to enhance
the capacity of the United Nations to avert new flows of refugees and
to tackle the root causes of such outflows;

      12.   Decides to continue its consideration of this question at
its fifty-second session.

                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


1/          See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1995, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/1995/23 and Corr.1 and 2),
chap. II, sect. A.

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

3/          A/47/277-S/24111.

4/          A/50/566.

5/          United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545.

6/          Ibid., vol. 606, No. 8791.

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