United Nations

A/RES/51/96


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

3 March 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)]


                 51/96.      Strengthening of the rule of law


      The General Assembly,

      Recalling that, by adopting the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, 1/ Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in
cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal
respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

      Firmly convinced that the rule of law is an essential factor in
the protection of human rights, as stressed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and should continue to attract the
attention of the international community,

      Convinced that through their own national legal and judicial
systems States must provide appropriate civil, criminal and
administrative remedies for violations of human rights,

      Recognizing the importance of the role that can be played by the
Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat in supporting national
efforts to strengthen the institutions of the rule of law,

      Bearing in mind that, in its resolution 48/141 of
20 December 1993, the General Assembly entrusted the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights with, inter alia, providing through
the Centre and other appropriate institutions advisory services and
technical and financial assistance in the field of human rights,
enhancing international cooperation for the promotion and protection
of all human rights and coordinating human rights activities
throughout the United Nations system,

      Recalling the recommendation of the World Conference on Human
Rights that a comprehensive programme be established within the United
Nations and under the coordination of the Centre with a view to
helping States in the task of building and strengthening adequate
national structures that have a direct impact on the overall
observance of human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law, 2/

      Recognizing that the High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights
remains the focal point for coordinating system-wide attention for
human rights, democracy and the rule of law,

      Recalling its resolution 50/179 of 22 December 1995, and taking
note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/56 of
19 April 1996, 3/

      1.    Takes note with satisfaction of the report of the Secretary-
General; 4/

      2.    Takes note with interest of the proposals contained in the
report of the Secretary-General for strengthening the programme of
advisory services and technical assistance of the Centre for Human
Rights of the Secretariat in order to comply fully with the
recommendations of the World Conference on Human Rights concerning
assistance to States in strengthening their institutions which uphold
the rule of law;

      3.    Praises the efforts made by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre to accomplish their ever-
increasing tasks with the limited financial and personnel resources at
their disposal;

      4.    Expresses its deep concern at the scarcity of means at the
disposal of the Centre for the fulfilment of its tasks;

      5.    Notes that the programme of advisory services and technical
assistance does not have assistance funds sufficient to provide any
substantial financial assistance to national projects that have a
direct impact on the realization of human rights and the maintenance
of the rule of law in countries that are committed to those ends but
that face economic hardship;

      6.    Welcomes the consultations and contacts initiated by the
High Commissioner with other relevant bodies and programmes of the
United Nations system aiming at the enhancement of inter-agency
coordination and cooperation in providing assistance for the
strengthening of the rule of law;

      7.    Encourages the High Commissioner to pursue these
consultations, taking into account the need to explore new synergies
with other organs and agencies of the United Nations system with a
view to obtaining increased financial assistance for human rights and
the rule of law;

      8.    Also encourages the High Commissioner to continue to explore
the possibility of further contact with and support of financial
institutions, acting within their mandates, with a view to obtaining
technical and financial means to strengthen the capacity of the Centre
to provide assistance to national projects aiming at the realization
of human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law;

      9.    Requests the High Commissioner to accord high priority to
the technical cooperation activities undertaken by the Centre with
regard to the rule of law;

      10.   Takes note with appreciation of the proposal of the High
Commissioner to convene a high-level meeting of relevant United
Nations agencies and programmes, in order to analyse means,
modalities, financing and allocation of responsibilities for the
implementation of a comprehensive United Nations programme of
assistance for the rule of law, taking into account the experience of
the technical cooperation programme of the Centre;

      11.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the
General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the results of the
contacts established in accordance with the present resolution, as
well as on any other developments pertaining to the implementation of
the above-mentioned recommendation of the World Conference on Human
Rights.


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 217 A (III).

2/    See A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III, sect. II, para. 69.

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

4/    A/51/555.

 

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