United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

3 March 1997


Fifty-first session
Agenda item 110 (b)


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

                 51/97.      Human rights and extreme poverty

      The General Assembly,

      Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  1/ the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2/ the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2/ and
other human rights instruments adopted by the United Nations,

      Considering the relevant provisions of the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights
on 25 June 1993, 3/ and of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social
Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social
Development, adopted by the World Summit on 12 March 1995, 4/ 

      Recalling its resolutions 44/148 of 15 December 1989, 44/212 of
22 December 1989, 45/199 of 21 December 1990, 49/179 of 23 December
1994 and other relevant resolutions,

      Recalling also its resolutions 47/196 of 22 December 1992, by
which it declared 17 October International Day for the Eradication of
Poverty, 48/183 of 21 December 1993, by which it proclaimed 1996
International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, and 50/107 of 20
December 1995, by which it proclaimed the first United Nations Decade
for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006),

      Bearing in mind Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1992/11 of
21 February 1992, 5/ 1993/13 of 26 February 1993, 6/ 1994/12 of
25 February 1994, 7/ 1995/16 of 24 February 1995 8/ and 1996/10
of 11 April 1996, 9/ as well as resolution 1996/23 of 29 August
1996 of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities, 10/

      Recalling its resolution 47/134 of 18 December 1992, in which it
reaffirmed that extreme poverty and exclusion from society constituted
a violation of human dignity and stressed the need for a complete and
in-depth study of extreme poverty, based on the experience and the
thoughts of the poorest,

      Recognizing that the existence of widespread extreme poverty
inhibits the full and effective enjoyment of human rights and might,
in some situations, constitute a threat to the right to life,

      Deeply concerned that extreme poverty continues to spread in all
countries of the world, regardless of their economic, social and
cultural situation, and seriously affects the most vulnerable and
disadvantaged individuals, families and groups, who are thus hindered
in the exercise of their human rights and their fundamental freedoms,

      Recognizing that the elimination of widespread poverty and the
full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights are
interrelated goals,

      Welcoming the work of the Special Rapporteur on the question of
human rights and extreme poverty, and taking into account his final
report,  11/

      1.    Reaffirms that extreme poverty and exclusion from society
constitute a violation of human dignity and that urgent national and
international action is therefore required to eliminate them;

      2.    Reaffirms also that, in accordance with the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, 3/ it is essential for States to
foster participation by the poorest people in the decision-making
process in the communities in which they live, in the promotion of
human rights and in efforts to combat extreme poverty;

      3.    Notes with satisfaction that the Special Rapporteur, in the
process of preparing his final report, 11/ has implemented the
recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights by paying special
attention to the efforts of the poorest themselves and the conditions
in which they can convey their experiences;

      4.    Again calls upon States, the specialized agencies, United
Nations bodies and other international organizations, including
intergovernmental organizations, to give the necessary attention to
this problem and to the necessary follow-up to the recommendations of
the Special Rapporteur as contained in his final report;

      5.    Invites the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, within the framework of the implementation of the United
Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, to give appropriate
attention to the question of human rights and extreme poverty;

      6.    Notes with appreciation the specific action taken by the
United Nations Children's Fund to mitigate the effects of extreme
poverty on children and the efforts of the United Nations Development
Programme to give priority to the search for some means of alleviating
poverty within the framework of the relevant resolutions, and urges
them to continue in this work;

      7.    Decides to consider this question further 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/    See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

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

4/    A/CONF.166/9, chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.

5/    See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1992,
Supplement No. 2 (E/1992/22), chap. II, sect. A.

6/    Ibid., 1993, Supplement No. 3 (E/1993/23), chap. II, sect. A.

7/    Ibid., 1994, Supplement No. 4 and corrigendum (E/1994/24 and
Corr.1), chap. II, sect. A.

8/    Ibid., 1995, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/1995/23 and
Corr.1 and 2), chap. II, sect. A.

9/    Ibid., 1996, Supplement No. 3 (E/1996/23), chap. II, sect. A.

10/   See E/CN.4/1997/2-E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/41, chap. II, sect. A.

11/   E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/13.


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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
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