United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

12 December 1996


                                                   82nd plenary meeting
                                                   12 December 1996
            51/108. Situation of human rights in Afghanistan
      The General Assembly,
      Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepted
humanitarian rules, as set out in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and
the Additional Protocols thereto, of 1977,
      Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and
protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations
they have freely undertaken under the various international instruments,
      Recalling that Afghanistan is a party to the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of the
Child and that it has signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women,
      Recalling all its relevant resolutions, as well as the resolutions of
the Commission on Human Rights and the decisions of the Economic and Social
      Welcoming the special emphasis that the United Nations Special Mission
to Afghanistan has placed on human rights issues in its discussions with the
Afghan parties,
      1.    Takes note with appreciation of the interim report of the Special
Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights
in Afghanistan and of the conclusions and recommendations contained therein;
      2.    Expresses concern at the numerous and consistent reports of human
rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law and human rights, including
the rights to life, liberty and security of person, freedom from torture and
from other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and
freedom of opinion, expression and association;
      3.    Expresses its deep concern at the intensification of armed
hostilities in Afghanistan, and calls on all parties involved immediately to
cease such hostilities and to engage in a political dialogue aimed at
achieving national reconciliation;
      4.    Calls on all the Afghan parties fully to respect and act in
accordance with all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of
gender, ethnicity or religion, in particular the right to life, liberty and
security of person and freedom of opinion and expression;
      5.    Urges all the Afghan parties fully to respect accepted
humanitarian rules and act in accordance with all human rights and fundamental
freedoms, including the rights of women and children, and calls upon the
Afghan authorities to take measures to ensure the effective participation of
women in social, political and cultural life throughout the country;
      6.    Deeply deplores the grave deterioration of the human rights of
women noted by the Special Rapporteur in his report, and urges the Afghan
authorities immediately to restore respect for all human rights of women,
including the right of women to work and the right of girls to education
without discrimination, and calls upon Afghanistan to ratify the Convention on
the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, to which it is a signatory;
      7.    Urges all the Afghan parties to work closely with the United
Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan with a view to achieving a
comprehensive political solution leading to the eventual establishment of a
democratic Government elected through free and fair elections based on the
right to self-determination of the peoples of Afghanistan;
      8.    Demands that all Afghan parties fulfil their obligations and
commitments regarding the safety of United Nations personnel and other
international personnel as well as their premises in Afghanistan and cooperate
fully with the United Nations and associated bodies as well as with other
humanitarian organizations and agencies;
      9.    Strongly urges all parties to the conflict to take all necessary
measures to ensure the safety of all personnel of humanitarian organizations
and representatives of the media in Afghanistan;
      10.   Endorses the Special Rapporteur's condemnation of the abduction
from United Nations premises of the former President of Afghanistan, Mr.
Najibullah, and of his brother, and of their subsequent summary execution;
      11.   Urges the Afghan authorities to provide efficient and effective
remedies to the victims of grave violations of human rights and of accepted
humanitarian rules and to bring their perpetrators to trial in accordance with
internationally accepted standards;
      12.   Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization to entrust the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the
Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in
Case of Illicit Appropriation with the mandate, upon the invitation and with
the cooperation of the Afghan authorities, of examining ways and means to
restore the Kabul Museum, including through the tracing of the country's
stolen articles, to propose measures aimed at preventing the illicit import,
export and transfer of ownership of artefacts belonging to the Kabul Museum
and to report thereon to the Executive Board of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization;
      13.   Appeals to Member States and to the international community to
provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and to
the Afghan refugees in the neighbouring countries, pending, and with a view to
encouraging, their voluntary repatriation;
      14.   Urges the authorities in Afghanistan to continue to extend their
cooperation to the Commission on Human Rights and to its Special Rapporteur;
      15.   Requests the Secretary-General to give all necessary assistance to
the Special Rapporteur;
      16.   Decides to keep the situation of human rights in Afghanistan under
consideration at its fifty-second session, in the light of additional elements
provided by the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social