United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 February 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 109


               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/618)]

            51/83.      Use of mercenaries as a means of
                        violating human rights and impeding
                        the exercise of the right of peoples
                        to self-determination

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 49/150 of 23 December 1994 and 50/138
of 21 December 1995,

      Recalling also all of its relevant resolutions in which,
inter alia, it condemned any State that permitted or tolerated the
recruitment, financing, training, assembly, transit and use of
mercenaries with the objective of overthrowing the Governments of
States Members of the United Nations, especially those of developing
countries, or of fighting against national liberation movements, and
recalling further the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,
the Economic and Social Council and the Organization of African Unity,

      Reaffirming the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter
of the United Nations concerning the strict observance of the
principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial
integrity of States and self-determination of peoples,

      Alarmed and concerned about the danger which the activities of
mercenaries constitute to peace and security in developing countries,
particularly in Africa and in small States, where democratically
elected Governments have been overthrown by mercenaries or through
mercenary international criminal activities,

      Deeply concerned about the loss of life, the substantial damage
to property and the negative effects on the polity and economies of
affected countries resulting from mercenary aggression and criminal

      Convinced that it is necessary for Member States to ratify the
International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and
Training of Mercenaries, 1/ adopted by the General Assembly in
1989, and to develop and maintain international cooperation among
States for the prevention, prosecution and punishment of mercenary

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights on the use of mercenaries as a means of
impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination 2/
concerning the use of mercenaries and mercenary-related activities
to topple sovereign Governments and to violate the human rights of
peoples and impede the exercise of self-determination despite
resolution 50/138;

      2.    Reaffirms that the use of mercenaries and their recruitment,
financing and training are causes for grave concern to all States and
violate the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the
United Nations;

      3.    Urges all States to take the necessary steps and to exercise
the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of
mercenaries and to take necessary legislative measures to ensure that
their territories and other territories under their control, as well
as their nationals, are not used for the recruitment, assembly,
financing, training and transit of mercenaries for the planning of
activities designed to destabilize or overthrow the Government or
threaten the territorial integrity and political unity of sovereign
States or to promote secession or fight the national liberation
movements struggling against colonial or other forms of alien
domination or occupation;

      4.    Calls upon all States that have not yet done so to consider
taking necessary action to sign or to ratify the International
Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of

      5.    Urges all States to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur in
the fulfilment of his mandate;

      6.    Requests the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, as
a matter of priority, to publicize the adverse effects of mercenary
activities on the right to self-determination and, when requested
where necessary, to render advisory services to States that are
affected by the activities of mercenaries;

      7.    Requests the Special Rapporteur to report, with specific
recommendations, his findings on the use of mercenaries to undermine
the right of peoples to self-determination to the General Assembly at
its fifty-second session.

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


1/    Resolution 44/34, annex.

2/    See A/51/392.


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