United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

28 February 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (b)


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

            51/94.      Question of enforced or involuntary

      The General Assembly,

      Guided by the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of
the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1/ the
International Covenants on Human Rights 2/ and the other relevant
international human rights instruments,

      Recalling its resolution 33/173 of 20 December 1978 concerning
disappeared persons and its resolutions 46/125 of 17 December 1991,
47/132 of 18 December 1992 and 49/193 of 23 December 1994 on the
question of enforced or involuntary disappearances,

      Recalling also its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992
proclaiming the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearance as a body of principles for all States,

      Expressing concern that, according to the Working Group on
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the practice of a number of
States can run counter to the Declaration,

      Deeply concerned, in particular, by the intensification of
enforced disappearances in various regions of the world and by the
growing number of reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and
intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons
who have disappeared,

      Convinced that further efforts are needed to promote wider
awareness of and respect for the Declaration, and taking note in this
regard of the report of the Secretary-General, 3/

      Bearing in mind Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/30 of
19 April 1996, 4/

      1.    Reaffirms that any act of enforced disappearance is an
offence to human dignity and a grave and flagrant violation of the
human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights 1/ and reaffirmed and developed in other
international instruments in this field, as well as a violation of the
rules of international law;

      2.    Reiterates its invitation to all Governments to take
appropriate legislative or other steps to prevent and suppress the
practice of enforced disappearances, in keeping with the Declaration
on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and to
take action to that end at the national and regional levels and in
cooperation with the United Nations, including through technical

      3.    Calls upon Governments to take steps to ensure that, when a
state of emergency is introduced, the protection of human rights is
ensured, in particular as regards the prevention of enforced

      4.    Reminds Governments of the need to ensure that their
competent authorities conduct prompt and impartial inquiries in all
circumstances, whenever there is reason to believe that an enforced
disappearance has occurred in territory under their jurisdiction, and
that, if allegations are confirmed, perpetrators should be prosecuted;

      5.    Once again urges the Governments concerned to take steps to
protect the families of disappeared persons against any intimidation
or ill-treatment to which they might be subjected;

      6.    Encourages States, as some have already done, to provide
concrete information on measures taken to give effect to the
Declaration, as well as obstacles encountered;

      7.    Requests all States to consider the possibility of
disseminating the text of the Declaration in their respective national
languages and to facilitate its dissemination in the national and
local languages;

      8.    Notes the action taken by non-governmental organizations to
encourage implementation of the Declaration, and invites them to
continue to facilitate its dissemination and to contribute to the work
of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of

      9.    Expresses its appreciation to the Working Group on Enforced
or Involuntary Disappearances for its humanitarian work;

      10.   Requests the Working Group, in the continued exercise of its
mandate, to take into account the provisions of the Declaration and to
modify its working methods, if necessary;

      11.   Recalls that the primary role of the Working Group, as
described in its reports, is to act as a channel of communication
between the families of disappeared persons and the Governments
concerned, with a view to ensuring that sufficiently documented and
clearly identified individual cases are investigated, and to ascertain
whether such information falls under its mandate and contains the
required elements, and invites the Group to continue to seek the views
and comments of all concerned, including Member States, in preparing
its report;

      12.   Invites the Working Group to identify obstacles to the
realization of the provisions of the Declaration, to recommend ways of
overcoming those obstacles and, in this regard, to continue a dialogue
with Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental

      13.   Further encourages the Working Group to continue to consider
the question of impunity, in close collaboration with the rapporteur
appointed by the Subcommission and with due regard for the relevant
provisions of the Declaration;

      14.   Requests the Working Group to pay the utmost attention to
cases of children subjected to enforced disappearance and children of
disappeared persons and to cooperate closely with the Governments
concerned to search for and identify those children;

      15.   Appeals to the Governments concerned, in particular those
which have not yet replied to the communications transmitted by the
Working Group, to cooperate fully with it and, in particular, to reply
promptly to its requests for information so that, while respecting its
working methods based on discretion, it may perform its strictly
humanitarian role;

      16.   Encourages the Governments concerned to give serious
consideration to inviting the Working Group to visit their countries
so as to enable the Group to fulfil its mandate even more effectively;

      17.   Expresses its profound thanks to the many Governments that
have cooperated with the Working Group and replied to its requests for
information, and to the Governments that have invited the Group to
visit their countries, asks them to give all necessary attention to
the recommendations of the Group, and invites them to inform the Group
of any action they take on those recommendations;

      18.   Calls upon the Commission on Human Rights to continue to
study this question as a matter of priority and to take any steps it
may deem necessary to the pursuit of the task of the Working Group and
to the follow-up of its recommendations when it considers the report
to be submitted by the Working Group to the Commission at its fifty-
third session;

      19.   Renews its requests to the Secretary-General to continue to
provide the Working Group with all the facilities it requires to
perform its functions, especially for carrying out missions and
following them up;

      20.   Requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed of the
steps he takes to secure the widespread dissemination and promotion of
the Declaration;

      21.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to it at its
fifty-third session a report on the steps taken to implement the
present resolution;

      22.   Decides to consider the question of enforced disappearances,
and in particular the implementation of the Declaration, at its fifty-
third session under the sub-item entitled "Human rights questions,
including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment
of human rights and fundamental freedoms".

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3/    A/51/561.

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


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