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)]

            50/185.     Strengthening the role of the United
                        Nations in enhancing the effectiveness
                        of the principle of periodic and
                        genuine elections and the promotion of

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its previous resolutions on the subject, especially
resolutions 48/131 of 20 December 1993 and 49/190 of 23 December 1994,

      Recalling also the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,  1/
especially the recognition therein that assistance provided upon the
request of Governments for the conduct of free and fair elections,
including assistance in the human rights aspects of elections and
public information about elections, is of particular importance in the
strengthening and building of institutions relating to human rights
and the strengthening of a pluralistic civil society, and that special
emphasis should be given to measures that assist in achieving those
goals,  2/

      Reaffirming that electoral assistance and support for the
promotion of democratization are provided only at the specific request
of the Member State concerned,

      Recognizing the usefulness of a comprehensive and balanced
approach in the activities carried out by the United Nations in this
field in order to contribute to the strengthening of both democracy
and human rights within the country concerned,

      Welcoming the support provided by States to the electoral
assistance activities of the United Nations, inter alia, through the
provision of experts and electoral observers, as well as through
contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Electoral

      Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on
enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine
elections,  3/

      Noting the continuing high level and evolving nature of requests
for electoral assistance by Member States,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on United
Nations activities aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the
principle of periodic and genuine elections; 3/

      2.    Commends the electoral assistance provided to Member States
at their request by the United Nations, requests that such assistance
continue on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the guidelines on
electoral assistance, recognizing that the fundamental responsibility
of organizing free and fair elections lies with Governments, and also
requests the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of
Political Affairs of the Secretariat to continue to inform Member
States on a regular basis about the requests received, responses given
to those requests and the nature of the assistance provided;

      3.    Requests that the United Nations continue its efforts to
ensure, before undertaking to provide electoral assistance to a
requesting State, that there is adequate time to organize and carry
out an effective mission for providing such assistance, that
conditions exist to allow a free and fair election and that provisions
can be made for adequate and comprehensive reporting of the results of
the mission;

      4.    Commends the steps taken by the United Nations to ensure the
continuation and consolidation of the democratization process in
certain Member States requesting assistance, including the provision
of assistance before and after elections have taken place and needs-
assessment missions aimed at recommending programmes which might
contribute to the consolidating of the democratization process, and
requests that such efforts be strengthened;

      5.    Recommends that the Electoral Assistance Division provide
post- election assistance, as appropriate, to requesting States and
electoral institutions, in order to contribute to the stability and
continuity of their electoral processes, as provided for in the report
of the Secretary-General, and that it study, in cooperation with
relevant United Nations offices, ways of defining more clearly the
activities related to democratic consolidation which the United
Nations might usefully undertake in assisting the efforts of
interested States in this regard;

      6.    Requests the Secretary-General to take further steps to
support States which request assistance by, inter alia, enabling the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with
his mandate and through the Centre for Human Rights of the
Secretariat, to support democratization activities related to human
rights concerns, including human rights training and education,
assistance for human rights-related legislative reform, strengthening
and reform of the judiciary, assistance to national human rights
institutions and advisory services on treaty accession, reporting and
international obligations as related to human rights;

      7.    Commends the programmes of assistance carried out by the
United Nations Development Programme for civil service reform and for
governance, especially those for strengthening participation and
linkages between concerned sectors of society and Governments;

      8.    Recalls the establishment by the Secretary-General of the
United Nations Trust Fund for Electoral Observation, and calls upon
Member States to consider contributing to the Fund;

      9.    Stresses the importance of coordination within the United
Nations system, including cooperation with the Centre for Human
Rights, the Department for Development Support and Management Services
of the Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme, which
provide advisory services and technical assistance to requesting
Member States, and encourages the Electoral Assistance Division to
strengthen its collaboration with the Centre, including through an
exchange of personnel when appropriate, and with the Department and
the Programme and to continue to inform them of requests submitted in
the area of electoral assistance;

      10.   Notes with appreciation additional efforts being made to
enhance cooperation with other international, governmental and
non-governmental organizations in order to facilitate more
comprehensive and need-specific responses to requests for electoral

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Electoral
Assistance Division with adequate human and financial resources, under
the regular budget of the Organization and within existing resources,
to allow it to carry out its mandate, and to continue to ensure that
the Centre for Human Rights is able to respond, within its mandate and
in close coordination with the Electoral Assistance Division, to the
increasing number of requests from Member States for advisory

      12.   Notes the evolution in the nature of requests for assistance
and the growing need for specific types of expert assistance aimed at
supporting and strengthening the existing capability of the requesting
Government, in particular through enhancing the capacity of electoral

      13.   Recommends that the Secretary-General consider ways to
continue to improve coordination and to strengthen further the efforts
of the Electoral Assistance Division, the Centre for Human Rights and
the United Nations system in general to respond to its increased and
evolving responsibilities and enlarged mandate in the field of
electoral assistance and democratization as reflected in the present
resolution, and to include his recommendations in this regard in his
report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session;

      14.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its fifty-second session on the implementation of
resolution 49/190 and the present resolution, in particular on the
status of requests from Member States for electoral assistance and
verification, and on his efforts to enhance the Organization's support
of the democratization process in Member States.

                                                          99th plenary meeting
                                                              22 December 1995


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

2/          Ibid., sect. II, para. 67.

3/          A/50/736.

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