United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

7 February 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (a)


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

            51/86.      Torture and other cruel, inhuman or
                        degrading treatment or punishment

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, 1/ article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, 2/ the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons
from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment 3/ and its resolution 39/46 of
10 December 1984, by which it adopted and opened for signature,
ratification and accession the Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and all its
subsequent relevant resolutions,

      Recalling its resolution 36/151 of 16 December 1981, in which it
noted with deep concern that acts of torture took place in various
countries, recognized the need to provide assistance to the victims in
a purely humanitarian spirit and established the United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture,

      Recalling the recommendation in the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights
on 25 June 1993, 4/ that high priority should be given to providing
the necessary resources for assistance to victims of torture and
effective remedies for their physical, psychological and social
rehabilitation, inter alia, by additional contributions to the Fund,

      Noting with satisfaction the existence and rapid expansion of an
international network of centres for the rehabilitation of torture
victims, which plays an important role in providing assistance to
victims of torture, and the collaboration of the Fund with the

      1.    Welcomes the report of the Committee against Torture, 5/
submitted in accordance with the provision of article 24 of the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment;

      2.    Notes with appreciation that during the present reporting
period, eight States have become parties to the Convention, increasing
the number of States parties to one hundred;

      3.    Urges all States that have not yet done so to become parties
to the Convention as a matter of priority;

      4.    Invites all States ratifying or acceding to the Convention
and those States which are parties to the Convention and which have
not yet done so to consider joining the States parties that have
already made the declarations provided for in articles 21 and 22 of
the Convention and to consider the possibility of withdrawing their
reservations to article 20;

      5.    Urges States parties to comply strictly with their
obligations under the Convention, including their obligation to submit
reports in accordance with article 19 of the Convention, in view of
the high number of reports not submitted;

      6.    Calls upon all Governments to cooperate with and assist the
Special Rapporteur on questions relating to torture in the performance
of his task and to supply all necessary information requested by him
and to react appropriately to his urgent appeals;

      7.    Approves the methods of work employed by the Special
Rapporteur, in particular as regards urgent appeals, reiterates his
need to be able to respond effectively to credible and reliable
information that comes before him, invites him to continue to seek the
views and comments of all concerned, including Member States, in the
elaboration of his report, and expresses its appreciation of the
continuing discrete and independent way in which he carries out his

      8.    Stresses the need for regular exchanges of views between the
Committee against Torture, the Special Rapporteur and other relevant
United Nations mechanisms and bodies, with a view to enhancing further
their effectiveness and cooperation on issues relating to torture,
inter alia, by improving their coordination;

      9.    Commends the office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat for the
support given to States in the preparation of national reports to the

      10.   Urges States parties to take fully into account the
conclusions and recommendations made by the Committee after its
consideration of their reports;

      11.   Urges all States parties to the Convention to notify the
Secretary-General of their acceptance of the amendments to articles 17
and 18 of the Convention as soon as possible;

     12.    Encourages the open-ended working group of the Commission on
Human Rights on the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the
Convention to intensify its deliberations with a view to an early
conclusion of its work;

      13.   Expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the Governments,
organizations and individuals that have already contributed to the
United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture;

      14.   Appeals to all Governments, organizations and individuals in
a position to do so to respond favourably to requests for
contributions to the Fund, if possible on a regular basis and annually
before the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Fund and if
possible also with a substantial increase in the level of
contributions, so that consideration may be given to the
ever-increasing demand for assistance;

      15.   Requests the Secretary-General to transmit to all
Governments the appeals of the General Assembly for contributions to
the Fund;

      16.   Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to include
the Fund on an annual basis among the programmes for which funds are
pledged at the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development

      17.   Expresses its appreciation to the Board of Trustees of the
Fund for the work it has accomplished;

      18.   Requests the Secretary-General to assist the Board of
Trustees of the Fund in its appeal for contributions and its efforts
to make better known the existence of the Fund and the financial means
currently available to it, as well as in its assessment of the global
need for international funding of rehabilitation services for torture
victims and, in this effort, to make use of all existing
possibilities, including the preparation, production and dissemination
of information materials;

      19.   Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the provision
of adequate staff and facilities for the bodies and mechanisms that
combat torture, corresponding to the strong support expressed by
Member States for combating torture;

      20.   Invites donor countries and recipient countries that so
agree to consider including in their bilateral programmes and projects
relating to the training of armed forces and police personnel, as well
as health-care personnel, matters relating to the protection of human
rights and the prevention of torture;

      21.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission
on Human Rights at its fifty-third session and to the General Assembly
at its fifty-third session a report on the status of the Convention as
well as a report on the operations of the Fund;

      22.   Decides to consider the reports of the Secretary-General and
the Committee against Torture at its fifty-third session under the
sub-item entitled "Implementation of human rights instruments".

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3/    Resolution 3452 (XXX), annex.

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

5/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 44 (A/51/44).


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