United Nations

A/RES/51/114


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

7 March 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (c)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

      [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/619/Add.3 and Corr.1)]


            51/114.     Situation of human rights in Rwanda


      The General Assembly,

      Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, 1/ the International Covenants on Human
Rights, 2/ the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide 3/ and other applicable standards of human rights
and humanitarian law,

      Recalling its resolutions 50/57 of 12 December 1995 and 50/200 of
22 December 1995, and taking note of Security Council resolutions
1050 (1996) of 8 March 1996, 1078 (1996) of 9 November 1996 and
1080 (1996) of 15 November 1996, and of Commission on Human Rights
resolution 1996/76 of 23 April 1996, 4/

      Deeply concerned by the reports of the Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights and of the Human Rights Field Operation in
Rwanda that genocide and systematic and widespread violations of
international humanitarian law, including crimes against humanity and
grave violations and abuses of human rights, were committed in Rwanda,

      Recognizing that effective action must be taken to ensure that
the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity are promptly
brought to justice, and noting in this regard that legislation to
govern the prosecution of those accused of genocide or crimes against
humanity entered into force on 1 September 1996,

      Noting with concern the implications of the current humanitarian
crisis in the region,

      Welcoming the fact that considerable numbers of refugees have
recently returned to Rwanda, and affirming the readiness of the
international community to assist the Government of Rwanda in
reintegrating these returnees,

      Recognizing that effective action to prevent further violations
of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be a central and
integral element of the overall Rwandan and United Nations responses
to the situation in Rwanda and that a strengthened human rights
component is indispensable to the peace process and post-conflict
reconstruction of Rwanda,

      Welcoming contributions made by Member States and the European
Union to the costs of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda,

      Welcoming also the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to
protect and promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
to eliminate impunity and to facilitate the process of the voluntary
and safe return, resettlement and reintegration of refugees, as
reaffirmed in the agreements reached at Nairobi, Bujumbura and Cairo
in 1995 and at Tunis and Arusha in 1996, and urging Governments in the
region to work, in cooperation with the international community, to
find durable solutions to the refugee crisis,

      Stressing its concern that the United Nations should continue to
play an active role in assisting the Government of Rwanda in
facilitating the voluntary and orderly return of refugees and the
reintegration of returnees, in promoting reconciliation, in
consolidating a climate of confidence and stability, and in promoting
the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Rwanda,

      Reaffirming the link between the voluntary return of refugees to
their homes and the normalization of the situation in Rwanda, and
concerned that acts of intimidation and violence directed against
refugees, particularly by the former Rwandan authorities, have
prevented refugees from returning to their homes,

      Noting the United Nations support for all efforts to reduce
tension and restore stability in the Great Lakes region, including
initiatives of the Organization of African Unity, States in the region
and international organizations, and reiterating the urgent need for
an international conference on peace, security and development in the
Great Lakes region, under the auspices of the United Nations and the
Organization of African Unity, to address the problems of the region
in a comprehensive manner,

      1.    Welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights on the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda 5/ and
the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human
Rights; 6/

                                       I

      2.    Condemns in the strongest terms the acts of genocide,
violations of international humanitarian law and all violations and
abuses of human rights that have taken place in Rwanda, as well as
cross-border violence in the region;

      3.    Expresses its deep concern at the intense suffering of the
victims of genocide and crimes against humanity, recognizes the
ongoing suffering of their survivors, particularly the extremely high
number of traumatized children and women victims of rape and sexual
violence, and urges the international community to provide adequate
assistance to them and to note the priorities identified by the
Government of Rwanda in this area;

      4.    Reaffirms that all persons who committed or authorized acts
of genocide or other grave violations of international humanitarian
law and those who are responsible for grave violations of human rights
are individually responsible and accountable for those violations, and
that the international community must exert every effort, in
cooperation with national and international tribunals, to bring those
responsible to justice, in accordance with international principles of
due process;

      5.    Urges all States to cooperate fully, without delay, with the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan
Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such Violations Committed
in the Territory of Neighbouring States, between 1 January and 31
December 1994, taking into account the obligations contained in
Security Council resolutions 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994 and
978 (1995) of 27 February 1995, and encourages the Secretary-General
to facilitate the activities of the Tribunal to the greatest extent
possible;

                                      II

      6.    Encourages the further efforts of the Government of Rwanda
to reconstruct the civil administration and the social, legal,
economic and human rights infrastructure of Rwanda, and in this regard
welcomes the commitments made by the Government of Rwanda to restore
the rule of law and protect and promote respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms;

      7.    Invites all States, the organizations and bodies of the
United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations to continue and to intensify their contributions of
financial and technical support to accelerate the efforts of the
Government of Rwanda to, inter alia, restore the judicial system,
promote reconciliation through the recently established Commission for
National Reconciliation and safely reintegrate returning refugees in
conditions of safety and dignity, including addressing competing
claims to housing and property;

      8.    Notes with concern the human rights situation in Rwanda as
described in the report of the Special Rapporteur, and urges the
Government of Rwanda to take all necessary measures in response to the
recommendations therein;

      9.    Expresses grave concern at reports from the Human Rights
Field Operation in Rwanda of killings of civilians during attacks on
survivors and witnesses of genocide, apparently by militias and
insurgents opposed to the Government of Rwanda, and at the reports of
the Field Operation which state that civilians have been killed during
military search operations by the Rwandese Patriotic Army;

      10.   Encourages the Government of Rwanda to continue in its
efforts to further strengthen the judicial system, including its
independence, and urges in particular that the processing of the cases
of those in detention be brought to a conclusion expeditiously;

      11.   Notes with deep concern the reports of the Human Rights
Field Operation in Rwanda which state that government officials
without legal authority to arrest or imprison continue to do so in
several parts of the country, that detainees are held for very long
periods before trial and that acute overcrowding threatens the safety
of those in detention;

      12.   Invites the Government of Rwanda to continue efforts to
involve, without any discrimination, all citizens not responsible for
genocide or other grave violations of international humanitarian law
in its administrative, judicial, political and security structures;

      13.   Emphasizes the importance it attaches to the safety and
security of all people in Rwanda, including United Nations personnel
and other international staff serving in the country;

      14.   Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Rwanda,
neighbouring countries, the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees and the international community to resolve
the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and calls upon all parties to take
all appropriate measures to ensure the return, resettlement and
reintegration of former refugees in conditions of safety and dignity;

      15.   Commends and encourages the efforts of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees as well as the United Nations Development
Programme and other United Nations offices and organizations to
coordinate their efforts to ensure respect for and protection of the
human rights of refugees during their return, resettlement and
reintegration;

                                      III

      16.   Welcomes the measures taken by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, working in cooperation with and
assisting the Government of Rwanda, to put in place the Human Rights
Field Operation in Rwanda, the objectives of which were described in
resolution 50/200, and requests the High Commissioner to continue to
report regularly on the activities of the Field Operation and to
continue to cooperate and share information with the Special
Rapporteur, in order to assist him in fulfilling his mandate; 

      17.   Welcomes also the cooperation the Government of Rwanda has
extended to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the
Special Rapporteur and the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and
the acceptance by the Government of Rwanda of the deployment of human
rights field officers throughout the country and, with a view to
further strengthening a climate of mutual confidence and enabling
authorities in Rwanda to take immediate action on the findings of the
Field Operation, encourages dialogue on human rights issues between
the Field Operation and the appropriate authorities at the level of
commune, prefecture, and relevant government ministries;

      18.   Commends the contribution of human rights officers and the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the promotion and
protection of human rights in Rwanda, recognizes that a strong human
rights component is an integral and indispensable element of the
United Nations response to the situation in Rwanda, and encourages all
agencies and organizations of the United Nations system active in
Rwanda to coordinate closely with the Field Operation;

      19.   Recognizes the importance of the Human Rights Field
Operation in Rwanda in contributing to reconciliation and the
establishment of confidence in the country, recommends the
strengthening of its presence throughout Rwanda as well as the
allocation of sufficient funds and logistical support for that
purpose, taking into account the need to train local human rights
observers and deploy a sufficient number of human rights field
officers, recognizes also the need for programmes of technical
assistance and advisory services for and in consultation with the
Government of Rwanda and for Rwandan human rights organizations, and
notes in particular the importance of strengthening the institutional
capacity of the Rwandan judiciary and the urgent need for adequate
resources in this area;

      20.   Calls upon all States to respond to the appeal of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and contribute urgently to
the costs of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and to work
for lasting solutions to its financing problems, including through the
regular budget of the United Nations;

      21.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to report on the activities of the Human Rights Field Operation
in Rwanda to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-third session
and to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session.


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    Resolution 2200 A (XXII), annex.

3/    Resolution 260 A (III).

4/    See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1996,
Supplement No. 3 (E/1996/23), chap. II, sect. A.

5/    A/51/478, annex.

6/    A/51/657.

 

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: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org