United Nations

A/RES/51/90


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (b)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

            [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/619/Add.2)]


            51/90.      Strengthening of the office of the
                        United Nations High Commissioner for
                        Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights


      The General Assembly,

      Recalling, inter alia, its resolutions 48/141 of 20 December 1993
and 50/187 of 22 December 1995, and bearing in mind all relevant
resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on
Human Rights, including Commission resolution 1996/82 of 24 April
1996, 1/

      Recalling the request to the Secretary-General contained in
paragraph 37 of its resolution 50/214 of 23 December 1995 to establish
within the biennium 1996-1997 a new branch whose primary
responsibilities would include the promotion and protection of the
right to development,

      Reaffirming that the promotion and protection of all human rights
and fundamental freedoms must be considered as a priority objective of
the United Nations in accordance with its purposes and principles, in
particular the purpose of international cooperation,

      Recalling that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action, the World Conference on Human Rights stressed the importance
of strengthening the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, 2/

      Taking into account the fact that, in the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights requested
the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to take immediate steps
to increase substantially the resources for the human rights
programme, from within the existing and future regular budgets of the
United Nations, and to take urgent steps to seek increased
extrabudgetary resources, 3/

      Taking into account also the establishment of the post of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the
mandate for the post, including its coordinating role and its overall
supervision of the Centre, as well as the request by the General
Assembly in resolution 48/141 for appropriate staff and resources to
enable the High Commissioner to fulfil his mandate,

      Noting with concern that the response to the above-mentioned
requests has not been commensurate with the needs, resulting in a
serious and continuing imbalance between the mandates assigned to the
High Commissioner and the Centre by the competent bodies of the United
Nations system in the field of human rights and the resources
available to fulfil all of those mandates,

      Taking into account the fact that the responsibilities of the
High Commissioner include engaging in a dialogue with all Governments
in the implementation of his mandate with a view to the promotion and
protection of all human rights, and rationalizing, adapting,
strengthening and streamlining the United Nations machinery in the
field of human rights with a view to improving its efficiency and
effectiveness,

      Taking into account also the fact that, in the Vienna Declaration
and Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights urged
United Nations organs, bodies and the specialized agencies whose
activities deal with human rights to cooperate in order to strengthen,
rationalize and streamline their activities, taking into account the
need to avoid unnecessary duplication, 4/

      Bearing in mind that Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of
the United Nations states that the paramount consideration in the
employment of the staff of the Secretariat and in the determination of
the conditions of the service shall be the necessity of securing the
highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and that
due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff of
the Secretariat on as wide a geographical basis as possible;

      Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
strengthening of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights, 5/ and the note by the
Secretary-General on the composition of the staff of the Centre, 6/
as well as the report of the High Commissioner, 7/

      Taking note with appreciation of the information provided by the
High Commissioner with regard to the restructuring of the Centre with
a view to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Centre
and ensuring that all its mandates can be implemented,

      Considering that this process should contribute to the
strengthening of the functional framework for integrated and
consolidated activities of the Secretariat in the field of human
rights,

      Emphasizing that, while further improvement in the functioning
and efficiency of the Centre, together with a strong emphasis on good
management practices, is needed in order to enable the Centre to
fulfil all mandates entrusted to it and cope with its constantly
increasing workload, good management practices need to be complemented
by resources commensurate with mandates,

      1.    Supports and encourages the efforts of the Secretary-General
to enhance the role and further improve the functioning of the Centre
for Human Rights, as an integral part of the Secretariat of the United
Nations, under the overall supervision of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights;

      2.    Reiterates the need to ensure that all the necessary human,
financial, material and personnel resources are provided from the
regular budget of the United Nations without delay to the United
Nations human rights programme to enable it to carry out its mandates
efficiently, effectively and expeditiously, having due regard to the
need to finance and implement activities of the United Nations
relating to development;

      3.    Requests the Secretary-General to enhance the capability of
the High Commissioner and the Centre to fulfil effectively their
mandates and their ability to carry out mandated operational
activities and to coordinate efficiently with other relevant
departments of the Secretariat, as well as other organs, bodies and
specialized agencies of the United Nations system, including on
logistical and administrative questions;

      4.    Supports fully the Secretary-General and the High
Commissioner in their efforts to strengthen the human rights
activities of the United Nations, inter alia, through reorganization
of the structure of the Centre to improve its efficiency and
effectiveness;

      5.    Encourages increased cooperation and coordination on human
rights issues between the High Commissioner, acting within his
mandate, and other departments and offices of the Secretariat;

      6.    Emphasizes the need for full participation of the office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human
Rights in all mechanisms related to the follow-up to major United
Nations conferences, in particular the inter-agency task forces
established for this purpose;

      7.    Requests the High Commissioner to continue to provide
information and exchange of views with all States on a regular basis
on the ongoing process of restructuring the Centre, inter alia,
through informal open briefing sessions;

      8.    Encourages the High Commissioner, within his mandate as set
out in General Assembly resolution 48/141, to continue to play an
active role in promoting and protecting human rights, including by
preventing human rights violations throughout the world, and in this
context requests the Secretary-General to support activities proposed
by the High Commissioner;

      9.    Decides to continue its consideration of this question at
its fifty-second session under the item entitled "Human rights
questions".


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

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

2/    A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III, sect. II, para. 13.

3/    Ibid., para. 9.

4/    Ibid., para. 1.

5/    A/51/641.

6/    A/51/650.

7/    A/51/36; see Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-
first Session, Supplement No. 36.

 

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