STATES URGED TO EXERCISE UTMOST VIGILANCE AGAINST MENACE POSED BY MERCENARIES, UNDER TEXT APPROVED BY THIRD COMMITTEE

5 November 1998
GA/SHC/3498

STATES URGED TO EXERCISE UTMOST VIGILANCE AGAINST MENACE POSED BY MERCENARIES, UNDER TEXT APPROVED BY THIRD COMMITTEE

5 November 1998

Press ReleaseGA/SHC/3498

STATES URGED TO EXERCISE UTMOST VIGILANCE AGAINST MENACE POSED BY MERCENARIES, UNDER TEXT APPROVED BY THIRD COMMITTEE

19981105 Committee Approves Four Other Texts, Continues Discussion of Human Rights Questions

The General Assembly would urge all States to take the necessary steps and to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries, by the terms of a draft resolution approved this afternoon by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 17 against, with 28 abstentions. (For details of the vote, see Annex.) Four other draft resolutions were approved by the Committee without votes this afternoon.

By further terms of the draft on mercenaries, States would be urged to take necessary legislative measures to ensure that their territories and other territories under their control, as well as their nationals, were not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries.

A statement in explanation of position after the vote on that text was made by the representative of Austria on behalf of the European Union.

By the terms of another draft approved this afternoon, the Assembly would reaffirm that the universal realization of the right of all peoples to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights. It would declare its opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, and call upon those States responsible to cease immediately military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories.

The Assembly would urge States to take all necessary measures and to institute legal reforms to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by the girl child of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, by another text approved. It would urge States to enact and enforce legislation protecting girls from all forms of violence, including female infanticide, female genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, incest, sexual exploitation, child prostitution and child pornography.

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By the terms of a draft resolution that was approved on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, the Assembly would consider sponsoring one or more existing institutions of higher education in each region as centres of excellence.

By the terms of a text on the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations also approved this afternoon, the Assembly would decide that the Fund should also be used to assist representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to participate in the deliberations of the open-ended inter- sessional ad hoc working group of the Commission on Human Rights on that topic.

Also this afternoon, a number of draft texts were introduced.

The representative of Uruguay introduced an eight-part draft on the rights of the child, by which the Assembly would urge all States to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child and urge them to withdraw reservations. By terms of a text on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, introduced by Slovenia's representative, the Assembly would urge States to ratify or accede to the Convention.

The representative of Indonesia, on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, introduced two draft resolutions on the elimination of racism. By the terms of one, the Assembly would urge all governments to take necessary measures to combat new forms of racism, and by the other, it would call upon all States to review and, where necessary, revise their immigration policies with a view to eliminating all discriminatory policies and practices against migrants.

By the terms of a draft introduced by the representative of Mexico, the Assembly would express its deep concern at the growing manifestations of racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and inhuman or degrading treatment directed against migrant workers in different parts of the world.

By terms of a draft resolution on the effective implementation of international human rights instruments, introduced by the representative of Canada, the General Assembly would emphasize the need to ensure for them financing and adequate staff and information resources.

The General Assembly would urge all States to become parties to the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as a matter of priority, under the terms of a draft resolution introduced by the representative of Denmark. The Committee also continued its discussion of human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives.

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In the context of that discussion, Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said a major step in promoting the implementation of the right to development was the upgrading of economic, social and cultural rights. Increased support to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would allow the conventional human rights machinery to achieve a more balanced approach to the two sets of human rights.

Statements were also made during this afternoon's meeting by the representatives of Slovakia, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Eritrea, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda spoke in right of reply.

Representatives of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also spoke.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 6 November, to continue its consideration of human rights questions.

Committee Work Programme

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met this afternoon to continue its consideration of alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives. (For background information on reports before the Committee, see Press Release GA/SHC/3494 of 4 November.)

The Committee was also scheduled to take action on draft resolutions on the girl child, universal realization of the rights of peoples to self- determination, use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights, International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.

In addition, it would also hear the introduction of draft proposals under the items promotion and protection of the rights of children, elimination of racism and racial discrimination and implementation of human rights instruments.

Drafts for Action

By the terms of a 90-Power draft on the girl child (document A/C.3/53/L.15), the Assembly would stress the need for full and urgent implementation of the rights of the girl child as guaranteed to her under all human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It would urge States to take all necessary measures and to institute legal reforms to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by the girl child of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to take effective action against violations of those rights and freedoms.

States would also be urged to base programmes and policies for the girl child on the rights of the child, the responsibilities and duties of the parents and the evolving capacity of the girl child; and to prepare programmes for the girl child as part of their national action plans in order to implement fully the Beijing Platform for Action. They would be further urged to enact and enforce legislation protecting girls from all forms of violence, including female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, female genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, incest, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Assembly would further call upon all States and organizations to set goals and to develop and implement gender-sensitive strategies to address the rights and needs of children; to take into account the rights and particular needs of the girl child, especially in education, health and nutrition, and to eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against the girl child; to generate social support for the enforcement of laws on the minimum legal age

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for marriage, in particular by providing educational opportunities for girls; to give attention to the rights and needs of adolescent girls, which call for special action for their protection from sexual and economic exploitation and abuse, harmful traditional and cultural practices, teenage pregnancy and vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS; to review teaching materials, including textbooks, to promote self-esteem of women and girls through positive self-images and to revise these materials; to take measures to increase awareness of the potential of the girl child and to promote gender-sensitive socialization of boys and girls from early childhood; and to provide adequate infrastructure and support services to respond to the needs of the survivors of violence against women and girls, and to assist them towards full recovery and reintegration into society.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would urge States to eliminate all barriers so as to enable girls, without exception, to develop their full potential and skills through equal access to education and training; and to take special measures for the protection of children, in particular to protect girls from rape and other forms of sexual abuse and gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict. It would also urge States to implement measures to protect women and girls from all forms of violence, and would request all States to implement, on an urgent basis, measures to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation.

Governments would be called upon to encourage efforts by civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including women's organizations, to establish community-based groups or local communities that could assist with the safety and welfare of children by further terms of the text, and the Commission on Human Rights would be requested to pay particular attention to all the human rights of the girl child.

Under other terms of the draft, the Secretary-General would be requested, as Chairman of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), to ensure that all organizations and bodies of the United Nations system take into account the rights and the particular needs of the girl child, especially in education, health and nutrition, and eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against the girl child in the implementation of the outcomes of all recent global conferences, in particular the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, and of the system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women for the period 1996-2001.

The draft resolution is sponsored by: Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece,

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Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

By the terms of a draft text on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.1/53/L.16), the General Assembly would reaffirm that the universalization of the right of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights and for the preservation and promotion of such rights.

It would also declare its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since those have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world; and it would call upon those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories and all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would deplore the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of those acts, and reaffirm their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour. The Assembly would also request the Commission on Human Rights to continue to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation.

The draft is sponsored by Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Togo and the United Arab Emirates.

By the terms of a draft resolution on use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/53/L.17), the Assembly would urge all States to take the necessary steps and to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries and to take necessary legislative measures to ensure that their territories and other territories under their control, as well as their nationals, are not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries for the planning of activities designed to destabilize or overthrow the government of any State, threaten the territorial integrity and political unity of sovereign States, promote secession, or fight the national liberation

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movements struggling against colonial or other forms of alien domination or occupation.

It would also call upon all States that have not yet done so to consider taking the necessary action to sign or to ratify the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.

It would welcome the cooperation extended by those countries that have invited the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, and would urge all States to cooperate fully with him in the fulfilment of his mandate.

The Assembly would welcome the adoption by some States of national legislation that restricts the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries, and would invite States to investigate the possibility of mercenary involvement whenever criminal acts of a terrorist nature occur on their territories. Under further terms of the draft, the Secretary-General would be requested to invite governments to make proposals towards a clearer definition of mercenaries.

The draft is sponsored by Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Swaziland and Togo.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (document A/C.3/53/L.19), the General Assembly would consider sponsoring, in each region, one or more existing institutions of higher education as centres of excellence, by conducting relevant studies. It would invite the Commission on Human Rights to recommend appropriate means of implementation.

The Assembly would request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as coordinator for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, to continue to promote the objectives of the Decade; to organize the workshop for research and higher education institutions focusing on indigenous issues in education; to consider the dissemination of information on the situation, cultures, languages, rights and aspirations of indigenous people and the organization of projects, special events, exhibitions and other activities targeting the public; and to report to the Assembly on the implementation of the Decade's programme of the activities.

The Assembly would also urge governments to participate actively in the ad hoc working group to elaborate and consider further proposals for the possible establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people within the United Nations system.

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Further, the Assembly would encourage governments to support the Decade by preparing relevant programmes and reports; giving indigenous people greater responsibility for their own affairs and an effective voice in decisions that affect them; establishing national committees or other mechanisms involving indigenous people to ensure that the objectives and the activities of the Decade are planned and implemented on the basis of full partnership with the indigenous people; and by contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for the International Decade for the World's Indigenous People and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.

In addition, the Assembly would invite United Nations financial and developmental institutions to give increased priority and resources to improving the conditions of indigenous people with particular emphasis on the needs of those in developing countries; to launch special projects to strengthen their community-level initiatives and to facilitate the exchange of information and expertise among indigenous people and other relevant experts; and to designate focal points for coordination of activities related to the Decade with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Assembly would request the High Commissioner to submit a report on the implementation of the programme of activities of the Decade at its fifty- fourth session.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Solomon Islands, Spain and Sweden.

Under the provisions of a draft resolution on the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations (document A/C.3/53/L.20), the Assembly would decide that the Fund should also be used to assist representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to participate in the deliberations of the open-ended intersessional ad hoc working group of the Commission on Human Rights. It would request the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of Member States and to invite them to consider contributing to the Fund.

The draft is sponsored by Australia, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Solomon Islands, Spain and Sweden.

Drafts for Introduction

By terms of a draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/53/L.14/Rev.1), the General Assembly would express profound concern that the situation of children in many parts of the world remained critical and

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would urge all States to sign and ratify or accede to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Further, by part I of the draft on implementing the Convention, the Assembly would welcome the unprecedented number of 191 States that had ratified the Convention and would express concern at the great number of reservations to it, urging States to withdraw them. It would also call upon States to ensure that education of children be directed to the development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to publicize the principles and provisions of the Convention and to take the measures leading to an increase in membership of the Committee on the Rights of the Child from 10 to 18 experts. The Secretary-General would be requested to take steps to strengthen the implementation of the Convention. The positive results of cooperation between the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) would be welcomed.

By part II of the draft, on children with disabilities, the Assembly would call upon States to take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by children with disabilities, including through legislation. It would also call upon States to make education accessible to children with special needs to enable their full social integration and individual development and would call for States to provide disaggregated data on the needs of children with disabilities and on measures taken to ensure their enjoyment of rights.

With regard to measures for preventing and eradicating the sale of children and of their sexual exploitation and abuse as called for in part III of the draft, the Assembly would call upon States to adopt effective national, bilateral and multilateral measures against such acts and to criminalize all forms of sexual exploitation of children, including that of commercial sexual exploitation. It would also call upon States to condemn and penalize all offenders, local or foreign, while ensuring that children victims of the practice were not penalized. Further, it would call upon States to enact and enforce appropriate laws and to design and implement policies and programmes to protect children. They would be urged to adopt special measures for cases of child sex tourism, criminalizing the acts of those involved, in both the countries of origin and the countries of destination.

By part IV of the draft, on protection of children affected by armed conflict, the Assembly would welcome the report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in particular his efforts to raise worldwide awareness, to mobilize official and public opinion for the protection of children affected by armed conflict and to undertake field visits to promote respect for children's rights and needs in conflict and post-conflict situations.

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By other terms of the draft, the Assembly would call upon the Special Representative and all relevant parts of the United Nations system to continue to develop a common approach on the rights, protection and welfare of children affected by armed conflict, placing the issue within the mainstream of United Nations policy-making and programme activities. It would urge States and other parties to armed conflict to adopt measures ending the use of children as soldiers and ensuring their demobilization, recalling the qualification in the Statute of the International Criminal Court that would make conscription or enlistment of child soldiers a war crime. Further, the Assembly would urge States to ensure effective measures for the rehabilitation, recovery and reintegration into society of children affected by armed conflict. Finally, the Assembly would condemn the abduction of children in situations of armed conflicts and would urge States, international organizations and other concerned parties to take all appropriate measures to secure the unconditional release of all abducted children.

By part V of the draft, on refugee and internally displaced children, the Assembly would urge governments to pay particular attention to the situation of refugee and internally displaced children by continuing to design and improve the implementation of policies and programmes for their care and well-being with the necessary international cooperation. It would call upon all States and other parties to armed conflicts to recognize the particular vulnerability of refugee and internally displaced children to the damaging effects of such conflicts, stressing the special vulnerability of child-headed households. It would call upon governments and United Nations bodies to give such situations urgent attention and to enhance protection and assistance mechanisms and to involve women and youth in the design, delivery and monitoring of measures taken to that effect.

With regard to elimination of exploitation of child labour as called for in part VI of the draft, the Assembly would call upon States to take actions for the progressive and effective elimination of all forms of exploitation of child labour, urging them to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, such as forced labour, bonded labour and other forms of slavery. It would also call upon States to ratify and implement the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning the abolition of forced labour and the minimum age for employment, including for particularly hazardous work for children. The Assembly would call on States to set specific target dates for eliminating child labour and ensuring the enforcement of laws and legislation, as well as fulfilment of obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ILO standards. It would call upon all States to assess the magnitude, nature and causes of the exploitation of child labour and to develop and implement strategies for combating those practices through international cooperation.

By terms of part VII of the draft, on children living or working in the streets, the Assembly would call upon governments to take measures to ensure

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the reintegration of those children into society by providing for such needs as nutrition, shelter, health care and education. It would also strongly urge governments to take urgent measures to prevent the killing, torture or violence against such children, to bring perpetrators of such actions to justice and to ensure compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other instruments. It would call upon the international community to support the efforts of States to improve the situation of such children, and encourage requests for technical advice and assistance on initiatives aimed at improving their situation.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Andorra, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

By terms of a draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/53/L.18/Rev.1), the General Assembly would emphasize the obligation of States parties to the Convention to take legislative, judicial and other measures to secure full implementation of the Convention's provisions. It would also stress the importance of enabling the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to function smoothly with all necessary facilities.

By part I of the resolution, the Assembly would call upon States to fulfil their reporting obligations on measures taken to implement the Convention, expressing concern at the great number of overdue reports. It would encourage the Secretariat to extend technical assistance in preparing reports to those States whose reports are seriously overdue. The Assembly would also invite the Committee to give high priority to preparing for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance by working with the Commission on Human Rights, acting as the preparatory committee for the Conference.

By part II of the resolution, the Assembly would express profound concern that financial obligations of States parties to the Convention had not been fulfilled and would strongly appeal to those in arrears to fulfil their outstanding financial obligations. It would also strongly urge States to accelerate domestic ratification procedures of the amendment concerning financing of the Committee.

Finally, on the status of the Convention as called for in part III of the draft, the Assembly would urge States to become parties to the Convention and limit their reservations to it.

The draft is sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech

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Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom.

By terms of a draft resolution on the Third Decade to Combat Racism and the convening of the World Conference against Racism (document A/C.3/53/L.24), the Assembly would note with grave concern that the objectives of the previous Decades had not been achieved and that millions of people continue to be victims of varied forms of racism. It would also express deep concern about the fact that racism against migrant workers continues to increase, despite international efforts to improve the protection of the rights of migrants and their families.

Therefore, in implementing the Programme of Action for the Third Decade, the Assembly would urge all governments to take all necessary measures to combat new forms of racism and would urge States to limit the extent of any reservations lodged to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It would also urge the Secretary-General, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, governments, intergovernmental organizations and relevant NGOs to pay particular attention to the situation of indigenous people. It would strongly underline the importance of education as a significant means of preventing and eradicating racism and racial discrimination and of creating awareness of principles of human rights. Finally, the Assembly would strongly appeal for generous contributions to the Trust Fund.

With regard to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, the Assembly would request the Secretary- General to prepare reports relative to the Conference; to designate the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to assume the main responsibility in preparations for the Conference; and to consider providing the necessary financial and technical assistance for convening regional preparatory meetings. The High Commissioner would be requested to carry out consultations, as well as to devise and implement, with the Department of Public Information (DPI), a world information campaign related to the Conference; and urged to assist States and regional organizations to undertake initiatives, including meetings. The Commission on Human Rights would be requested to present, before the end of the fifty-third session of the General Assembly, a concrete proposal for the date and venue of the World Conference.

Finally, by that resolution, the Assembly would proclaim the year 2001 as the International Year of Mobilization against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and it would keep the item entitled "Elimination of racism and racial discrimination" as a high priority item on its agenda.

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The draft is sponsored by Indonesia (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), Mexico and Turkey.

By the terms of a draft resolution on measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/53/L.25), the General Assembly would express its profound concern about and would condemn all forms of racism and racial discrimination, in particular all racist violence, as well as xenophobia and related intolerance against migrant workers and members of their families, and persons belonging to minorities and members of vulnerable groups in many societies.

The Assembly would call upon all States to review and, where necessary, revise their immigration policies with a view to eliminating all discriminatory policies and practices against migrants which are inconsistent with relevant international human rights instruments. It would categorically deplore the misuse of print, audio-visual and electronic media and new communication technologies, including the Internet, to incite violence motivated by racial hatred.

By other terms of the draft, the Assembly would call upon all governments and intergovernmental organizations, with the assistance of NGOs, to supply relevant information to the Special Rapporteur on racism to enable him to fulfil his mandate. Further, it would commend NGOs for the action that they have taken against racism and racial discrimination and for the continuous support and assistance that they have provided to the victims of racism and racial discrimination.

The Assembly would urge all governments to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, with a view to enabling him to fulfil his mandate, including examining incidents of contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, among other things, against Blacks, Arabs and Muslims, xenophobia, negrophobia, anti-Semitism and related intolerance.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Indonesia (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China), Germany and Turkey.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (document A/C.3/53/L.21), the General Assembly would consider that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, all States are urged to guarantee the protection of the human rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

By the terms of that draft, the Assembly would express its deep concern at the growing manifestations of racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and inhuman or degrading treatment directed against migrant workers in different parts of the world. It would call upon all Member States

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to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the Convention as a matter of priority, and at an early date.

The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to provide all the facilities and assistance necessary for the promotion of the Convention through the World Public Information Campaign on Human Rights and the programme of advisory services in the field of human rights. Further, it would welcome the launching of the global campaign for the entry into force of the Convention, and invite the organizations and agencies of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to intensify their efforts to disseminate information on, and promoting understanding of, the Convention.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Argentina, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Uganda and Uruguay.

By terms of a draft resolution on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (document A/C.3/53/L.23), the Assembly would urge all States to become parties to the Convention against Torture as a matter of priority and to comply strictly with their obligations under it, including the submission of reports. It would urge States parties to the Convention to take fully into account the conclusions and recommendations made by the Committee against Torture after its consideration of their reports. The Assembly would stress the need for regular exchanges of views between all relevant parties with a view to enhancing effectiveness and cooperation on issues related to torture.

Requesting the Secretary-General to assist the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture in its appeal for contributions, the Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to ensure the provision of adequate staff and facilities for the bodies and mechanisms combating torture and assisting its victims. Further, the Assembly would invite countries to integrate matters related to the prevention of torture into their programmes and projects related to the training of security forces.

The draft is sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom.

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Introduction of Drafts

IMELDA SMOLCIE (Uruguay) introduced the draft resolution on the rights of the child. The following countries joined as co-sponsors: Australia, Algeria, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, China, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Indonesia, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

She then announced a number of corrections to the text. First, in the preambular part, in preambular paragraph 9, a comma should be added in the first line after the word "debate". In section I, in operative paragraph 9, in the sixth line, the phrase "of the High Commissioner for Human Rights aimed at strengthening the implementation of the Convention" should be deleted. In section III, in operative paragraph 12, in the last line, "sexually" should be added before the word "abuse". In section IV, in operative paragraph 1, in the second line, the phrase "including the use of children as soldiers in such situations" should be deleted. In operative paragraph 4, in the second line, the word "common" should be replaced by the word "concerted". In operative paragraph 10, the phrase "and effective disarmament" should be added after the end of the paragraph. In section VI, in operative paragraph 5, in the second line, the second word "of" should be deleted.

ANTON TABONE (Malta) said he wished to add his name to the list of co-sponsors.

SANJA STIGLIC (Slovenia) introduced the draft resolution entitled "International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination", which she said was prepared jointly by Belgium and Slovenia. The first part of the draft related to the work of Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The second part referred to the financial situation of the Committee, which was of great concern. The third part was on the status of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The resolution had been traditionally adopted by consensus, and she hoped it would be adopted without a vote.

ALI HACHANI (Tunisia), the Committee Chairman, then announced that Antigua and Barbuda, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mongolia, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan and the Republic of Moldova had joined as co-sponsors.

ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMMED FACHIR (Indonesia), on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, introduced a draft resolution on the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and the convening of a World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

He made the following oral amendments: in the first line of operative paragraph 8, the word "reservations" should be "reservation". In the second line, the word "such" should be deleted. In the third line of that paragraph,

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the word "reservations" should also be singular. In the fourth line of operative paragraph 14, after the words "its recommendations", the rest of the paragraph (starting from the word "including") should be deleted and replaced by the words "for responsible use of the Internet". Operative paragraph 14 would then read "Welcomes the convening, at Geneva from 10 to 14 November 1997, of a seminar on the role of the Internet with regard to the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and invites the Commission on Human Rights to consider its recommendations for responsible use of the Internet."

He said the following countries had also joined as co-sponsors: Finland, France, Japan, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Italy and Mali also announced their intention to join as co-sponsors.

He then introduced a draft resolution on measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. He said the following countries had joined as co-sponsors: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

ELEAZAR RUIZ (Mexico) introduced the draft on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

DEBORAH CHATSIS (Canada) introduced the draft resolution on effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, including reporting obligations under international instruments on human rights. She said the following countries had joined as co-sponsors of the draft: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

KIRSTEN GEELAN (Denmark) introduced the draft resolution on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Cyprus, Madagascar, Malta, United States and Venezuela had joined as co-sponsors. Combating torture was a high priority for Denmark, and she hoped the draft would be adopted without a vote.

Statements on Human Rights Questions, Situations

BACRE WALY NDIAYE, Director, New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said one of the major steps in meaningfully promoting the implementation of the right to development was the upgrading of economic, social and cultural rights. An ongoing process of "upgrading" and integrating all human rights in the activities of the Commission on Human Rights would contribute to the promotion of the right to development and to its implementation within the human rights programmes and the United Nations system. Also, increased support to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, through the imminent implementation of a Plan of Action, would allow the conventional human rights

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machinery to achieve a more balanced approach to the two sets of human rights. With regard to increased cooperation between the parts of the United Nations system, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Office of the High Commissioner and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

He said the rule of law was not only the most effective guarantor for the realization of all human rights, but a fundamental element for sustainable development and an important tool for conflict prevention. That notion was central to the work of the United Nations Programme of Advisory Services and Technical Assistance in the field of human rights, which, during the past year, carried out related support activities in more than 50 countries at the request of governments.

Regarding the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), the proclamation of the Decade had not yet mobilized an adequate supplementary effort in the area of human rights education, training and public information, particularly in terms of human and financial resources, he said. However, the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had encouraged more partners to undertake ad hoc or long-term educational initiatives. It was imperative that efforts made in that context continued beyond 10 December. The success of the Decade would require a stronger commitment to its objectives on the part of the international community and a strengthening of the partnership between governmental and non-governmental actors.

BARBARA TUHOVCAKOVA (Slovakia) said the role of international treaties had been increased through constructive dialogue. Her Government appreciated the work of the Special Rapporteur and also believed the efforts of non- governmental organizations should be engaged, particularly in education for human rights. In her country, activities were being developed at the International Centre for Human Rights, an independent institute. That Centre carried out activities in scientific research and education. Because of the importance of establishing the conditions necessary for the effective implementation of human rights, a vice-prime minister for human rights and development had been created.

Her country supported the efforts of the international community to ratify the core human rights instruments, she said. Even though her country was bound by regional commitments, the abolition of the death penalty was important in the framework of human rights. The promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom was fundamental for Slovakia's legal system. It would do all it could to strengthen its democratic institutions.

MOHAMMED BERJEES TAHIR (Pakistan) said the people living under foreign occupation had been a particular target of gross human rights violations by occupying Powers. The people of Jammu and Kashmir, who were struggling for their right to self-determination, had been subjected to the most atrocious

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human rights violations by Indian occupation forces. For more than 50 years, and in total defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, India had been using repressive tactics to perpetuate its illegal occupation of the State through coercion, intimidation and deceit.

Kashmir was occupied by more than 650,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces, he said. The State had become one of the most densely soldiered territories on earth. In its blind desire to keep Kashmir under its illegal occupation, India had violated each and every principle of international human rights law. Moreover, leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), which was the sole representative organization of the Kashmiri people, has been consistently subjected to arbitrary detention and harassment. In the last nine years,more than 60,000 Kashmiri men, women and children had been killed mercilessly. Over 35,000 were languishing in jails, while thousands more had been injured or maimed for life.

India had created cadres of mercenaries, officially described as "friendlies", to teach Kashmiris a lesson, he said. Women and girls had been a particular target of the Indian security forces and government-sponsored mercenaries. Rape had been used as a weapon of war. During the past 10 years, more than 5,000 women had been raped and molested by Indian security forces. Torture was also commonly used by Indian occupation forces as an instrument to suppress Kashmiris. Kashmiri human rights activists reported that during 1997 more than 410 people had died while they were held in custody by Indian security forces. In its 1998 report, Amnesty International stated that disappearances continued to be reported and the fate of hundreds of people who disappeared in previous years remained unknown.

LAMIA MEKHEMAR (Egypt) said that Egypt would continue to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. On the legal procedures governing capital punishment, the Special Rapporteur had said the responses she had received from the Government of Egypt had not sufficiently answered her questions. The Special Rapporteur had pointed out, correctly, that capital punishment was not internationally prohibited. The reference points in adopting capital punishment were international laws.

Egyptian legislation contained many safeguards for those condemned to capital punishment to preserve their dignity, she said. Those safeguards included legislation that contained more far-reaching provisions and protections than were laid down in international minimum standards. There were also protections to ensure the guilt of a person before they were sentenced to capital punishment. A sentence of capital punishment required a unanimous agreement of judges, and the sentence had to be endorsed by the highest religious authority.

The Special Rapporteur had said the response from the Government had not been sufficient to cover all safeguards and guarantees, she said. In any

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case, it would have been appropriate to wait for the full response from the Government. That dialogue was continuing.

SAMER ANTON NABER (Jordan) said political and economic differences had sometimes made consensus elusive, but consensus-building was critical in times of transition. As a first step, his Government recognized the two principles that cross-cut human rights: the universality of human rights; and the indivisibility of all rights. Human rights were universal, in that they were possessed by all members of the human family and formed a core minimum standard binding on all States.

He said it was vital to remember, however, that the process of implementing international human rights obligations was influenced by historical, cultural and socio-economic development, which shaped policies and measures adopted at the local level. In that context, regional human rights instruments could play an important bridging role in complementing and strengthening universal norms.

International monitoring of human rights touched upon the sensitive issue of State sovereignty, he said. Yet, the international community should never forget that sovereignty did not, in any way, give license to brutalize, to disempower or deny human dignity. If human rights criteria were to be the foundation of justice in the world, their monitoring should not be subjected to parochial whims. His Government commended the efforts of the High Commissioner to establish benchmarks for social and cultural rights.

Tolerance and respect for human rights were embodied in the Jordanian Constitution and local codes, he said. Jordan's ratification of 17 human rights conventions was of utmost importance in that respect. Nevertheless, the norms of those instruments achieved their real significance when translated into codes that guided the values and daily lives of citizens. His Government had created a specialized unit for human rights, directly attached to the office of the Prime Minister, to receive and follow up on information and complaints related to human rights. The unit will also review public policy on human rights, to keep it in line with international standards and developments.

AMARE TEKLE (Eritrea) said that since May, Ethiopia had been perpetrating gross violations of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Eritreans residing in Ethiopia and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin. They were based on a pernicious and racist doctrine, expounded by none other than Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, which stated that any foreign national, whether Eritrean or Japanese, lived in Ethiopia because of the goodwill of the Ethiopian Government. If they were told to go because the Government did not like the colour of their eyes, they would have to go. The Meles doctrine had, to date, resulted in the expulsion of more than 30,000 and the detention of over 5,000 ethnic Eritreans and the displacement of about 160,000.

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Those acts had been committed without any due process of law, and without any right of appeal, he said. Ethiopia was violating several provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Ethiopian crimes against humanity were attested to by verifiable third party reports, that provided compelling and overwhelming proof. He cited reports by the Prime Minister of Sweden, the United States Government, the European Heads of Mission Report, Amnesty International, and the United Nations Secretary-General, among others.

He said the reports also made it clear that, in stark contrast to Ethiopia's policies, there was not a single verifiable case of an illegal, abusive or hostile action taken against Ethiopian residents in Eritrea. No State could claim derogation from the essential obligations entailed in the Geneva Conventions on grounds of a State emergency.

It was the duty of the international community to act decisively when crimes were committed at such an alarming scale and in such an odious manner as was taking place in Ethiopia, he said. At the very least, the Third Committee should send a clear message of disapprobation of Ethiopia's malicious illegalities and of its sympathy with the victims by denouncing the Ethiopian Government's gross violation of human rights and its incitement of national hatred, as well as by taking other appropriate action, including compensation for loss of property and money.

TUN MYAT, speaking on behalf of the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said that his organization was operating in extremely insecure areas and that 15 WFP staff had been murdered or killed in accidents since 1997. In numerous other incidents, humanitarian personnel were subjected to threats, bodily harm, hostage-taking, rape, armed robbery and looting. Universal remedies were hard to determine in an ever more complex political environment.

The two Conventions on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies, which granted functional immunity to the officials and experts on mission, had not been ratified by all Member States, he continued. There were also gaps in protection in the existing conventions on the safety of international personnel. Each Member State was responsible for ensuring the safety of humanitarian aid workers operating on its territory, and there should be effective enforcement of international humanitarian law. The International Criminal Court had the potential of becoming the first body of law with teeth.

Other supportive instruments were peacekeeping forces, international police, United Nations guards and human rights observers with clear-cut mandates to monitor and document violations, he said. The Emergency Relief Coordinator should be fully involved in elaborating the options to safeguard humanitarian activities. The ACC had recognized the need for coordinated security measures under the aegis of the Office of the United Nations Security

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Coordinator, which included institution of a security budget in each organization; field security officers; criteria for temporary suspension of activities for security reasons; cooperation in the field between peacekeeping operations and United Nations organizations; and security training.

Security required an appropriate technical input, and the WFP, together with other United Nations agencies, had taken the lead in developing Minimum Security Communications Standards for United Nations humanitarian operations. The 1998 conference of the International Telecommunication Union was expected to adopt a resolution of the use of telecommunications for safety and security of personnel in the field.

GAMALIEL NDARUZANIYE (Burundi) said his country was emerging from the crisis of five years ago. His Government had been trying to generate consensus and had tried to settle the dispute through dialogue since 1996. The Government had given clear impetus to the negotiations so far reached. Meanwhile, a working committee had been established, including eminent persons, who would, from December 1998, be preparing for the fourth round of negotiations. But the impetus to seek peace and dialogue faced many obstacles. First, there was the economic blockade imposed on his country for the last 13 months. That blockade was also a violation of human rights regarding the situation of pregnant women, peasants without fertilisers, children with no textbooks and no right of expression. The blockade had to be lifted, he stressed.

Burundi had cooperated with the Special Rapporteur and with the High Commissioner for Human Rights. His Government had established a mission for human rights in the country. Local committees were carrying educational programmes through simple posters to raise awareness of human rights. Also, the monitoring of human rights and human rights education, and the justice system were all functioning satisfactorily. International lawyers had been engaged, and he hoped there would be an end to impunity. He noted the establishment of the International Court for crimes of that nature.

There was also the question of detainees, he said. With an increase in the number of prisoners, the situation in prisons and in camps of displaced persons represented a humanitarian tragedy. If nothing was done, there would be great suffering. He would invite all partners to work with his Government, and warned against the creation of a climate of distrust.

NINA SIBAL, of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said her organizations's General Conference, at its most recent session last November, approved the Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy. The Framework was the "most relevant and most appropriate way of bringing up to date the objectives, strategies and approaches in the field of education for international understanding". It also emphasized the importance of education for human rights and democracy. It proposed new education policies, measures, programmes

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and actions, which has resulted in renewed obligations on Ministers of Education to develop human rights education as an integral part of the entire educational process.

She said the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action had become UNESCO's guide for the implementation of activities in the field of human rights. Her organization aimed at contributing to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture. In that way, it hoped to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law and human rights and fundamental freedoms, without distinction by race, sex, language or religion.

She went on to say that the main purpose of her organization's Plan of Action with regard to the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to give new impetus to human rights education, as an important precondition for ensuring respect for all human rights. It was also necessary to mobilize the public in support of human rights and to assess the state of implementation of those rights, particularly those that were within the UNESCO's fields of competence. The priority needs of countries in transition, which had started along the road to democratic reform, should also be taken into account.

ANDRE MWAMBA KAPANGA (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said the reports of the special rapporteurs and special representatives should not stir sterile debate in the Committee. The report on the situation of human rights in his country illustrated the subjectivity of the Special Rapporteur. The Rapporteur would render great service by not including what he was in doubt about. The Assembly should also call to book outside consultants if they failed to carry out their responsibility. In preparing the report, the Special Rapporteur had not even consulted his Government and, thus, the report was a tendentious one, produced in haste, and based on unsubstantiated allegations. The international community should remember that troops had gone in pursuit of Hutu refugees. It might ask what would happen to Hutu refugees who did not want to return.

His country's President had invited the Organization to collect evidence of the allegations levelled, he said. The soldiers of the occupation forces had committed all manners of violations, which his Government had been charged with. He would not justify his Government's actions against the allegations made by the Special Rapporteur. The Democratic Republic of the Congo wanted to see respect for human rights, including the recommendations for creating a Congolese commission on human rights. His Government called for the fulfilment of the reconstruction of the Congo, for the full enjoyment of the rights for the Congolese people. Those perpetrating violations against the Congolese population should be punished.

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Action

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the girl child (document A/C.3/53/L.15), as orally revised by the representative of Namibia.

KATE STARR NEWELL, Committee Secretary, read out the oral revisions to the text:

In operative paragraph 19, the words "calls upon" should be replaced by the word "requests" and the words "when considering the rights of women, in particular those relating to economic resources" should be deleted. The paragraph would then read, "Requests the Commission on Human Rights to pay particular attention to all the human rights of the girl child;"

The representative of Namibia said that, in addition to the co-sponsors listed, the following countries had joined as co-sponsors: United States, Liechtenstein, China, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Algeria, Argentina, Paraguay and Thailand.

She also made a further amendment to operative paragraph 19, removing the word "all".

The Republic of Moldova, Republic of Korea, Turkmenistan, Central African Republic, Poland, Guyana, India, Philippines, Peru, Guinea-Bissau, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Equatorial Guinea, Armenia, Fiji, Senegal and Nepal also joined as co-sponsors.

The resolution was approved without a vote.

Next, the Committee took up the draft on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (document A/C.3/53/L.19).

The representative of Denmark said that Armenia, Colombia, Croatia, Panama and Peru had joined as additional co-sponsors.

The representatives of Turkmenistan, Guyana, Philippines and Botswana, also joined as co-sponsors.

The resolution was approved without a vote.

The resolution on the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations (document A/C.3/53/L.20) was taken up next.

The representative of Denmark said the following countries had joined as co-sponsors: Colombia, Panama and Peru.

The draft was approved without a vote.

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Before concluding consideration of the agenda item on the programme of activities of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, the CHAIRMAN proposed that the Committee recommend to the General Assembly that it take note of the report of the Secretary-General on the status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.

Next, the Committee took up the draft entitled universal realization of the right to peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/53/L.16).

The representative of Pakistan said that Thailand had also joined the list of co-sponsors.

The resolution was approved without a vote.

The Committee then turned to the resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/53/L.17).

The representative of Cuba made the following oral amendment to the fifth preambular paragraph: after the word "States" at the end of the paragraph, the words "and also elsewhere", should be added, so that the paragraph would read, "Alarmed and concerned about the danger that the activities of mercenaries constitute to peace and security in developing countries, particularly in Africa and in small States, and also elsewhere."

The representative of India indicated his wish to become a co-sponsor of the draft.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 93 in favour to 17 against, with 28 abstentions. (See Annex for details of the voting.)

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, said the Union had welcomed the information provided by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, and it shared many of his concerns. The Union recognized that mercenaries were sometimes involved in the activities of terrorists, and condemned that involvement.

She said the Union had also cooperated with the Special Rapporteur in his research. Nevertheless, it had not supported the draft, and would have welcomed further talks on issues associated with it. For example, the European Union had doubts about whether the use of mercenaries necessarily constituted a violation of the right of peoples to self-determination. She was also not certain that the Third Committee should be discussing the issue, or whether it should be taken up by the plenary. Issues such as the relationship between mercenaries and terrorism were not always clear.

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Right of reply

ZENON MUKONGO NGAY (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said he had been indignant following the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday. States should avoid making discourteous comments to other Member States, he said, singling out the United States. The United States representative should recognize that thousands of children had been deprived of vaccinations for small pox and poliomyelitis, due to the cutting off of water and supplies to Kinshasa. Those who believed they were victims of a second genocide were committing atrocities, including the beheading of foetuses and the drinking of their amniotic fluid.

He would not respond to the Rwandan representative's defamatory words, he said. The constant theme was that of genocide against the group in Kigali; whereas genocide had been committed by Rwandans on Rwandans. The discourse of hatred should cease.

PIERRE EMMANUEL UBALIJORO (Rwanda) said the Democratic Republic of the Congo had resorted to the rhetoric of genocide, which had led to untold tragedy. The problem was President Laurent Kabila's own intransigence. His allegations that the Democratic Republic had been affected by the external actions of Uganda and Rwanda provided him with a smokescreen for the problems in his country. The President had denied citizenship to the Tutsis, for example. Congolese officials had incited the public to be involved in the killings of Tutsis. President Kabila had incited people to pick up traditional weapons to kill Tutsis, thus inciting genocide.

Also, as Uganda and Rwanda had close relations with the United States, the Congolese had resorted to anti-American rhetoric. President Kabila had proclaimed the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to be a fight against Western conspiracy. It was high time that that kind of criminal orientation was halted.

(annex follows)

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Third Committee Press Release GA/SHC/3498 36th Meeting (PM) 5 November 1998

ANNEX

Vote on Use of Mercenaries

The draft resolution on use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/53/L.17) was approved by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 17 against, with 28 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Honduras, Israel, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.