THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 14 TEXTS FOR ACTION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY

19 November 2007
GA/SHC/3908

THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 14 TEXTS FOR ACTION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY

19 November 2007
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3908
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly

Third Committee

48th Meeting (AM)


THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 14 TEXTS FOR ACTION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY


Acting in most cases without a vote, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today approved 14 draft resolutions that would have the General Assembly address issues as varied as the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), violence against women migrant workers, efforts to end obstetric fistula, and promotion of the rights of disabled persons.


Four of those drafts, however, on globalization and its impact on human rights; human rights and unilateral coercive measures; the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for enjoying human rights; and respect for the principles in the Charter of the United Nations, were approved through recorded votes.


A draft on globalization and human rights was approved by a vote of 112 in favour to 52 against, with 3 abstentions ( Brazil, Chile, Brazil, Senegal).  (See Annex I).  The representative of Egypt, its main sponsor, said its aim was to close a gap between globalization and the enjoyment of human rights.  Portugal’s representative, on behalf of the European Union, said, however, that globalization was multidimensional, and a means to promote growth and prosperity worldwide.


Another text on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, which was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions,would have the Assembly strongly object to the extraterritorial nature of such measures which also threaten the sovereignty of States (see Annex II).


Yet, another draft, on the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all, was approved by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 52 against, with 6 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Samoa, Singapore).  (See Annex III.)  By that text, the Assembly would solemnly declare that the world’s people have a sacred right to peace, and that each State has a fundamental obligation to preserve and promote peace.


The final text, which went to a recorded vote today, was on respect for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms.  It was approved by 102 in favour to 53 against, with 11 abstentions (see Annex IV).


A draft resolution, on enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, approved without a vote, would have the Assembly decide to increase the number of members of that Committee from 72 to 76 States.  By the terms of another draft on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Assembly would emphasize that the protection of refugees -- as well as the prevention of statelessness and the protection of internally displaced persons -- is primarily the responsibilities of States.

A revised draft, on violence against women migrant workers, approved as orally amended, would have the Assembly urge concerned Governments to enhance bilateral, regional, interregional and international cooperation to address violence against women migrant workers, in accordance with internationally agreed human rights standards.  Another text, on supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula, would have the Assembly stress the need to address the social issues that contribute to the problem, such as early pregnancy, lack of or inadequate girls’ education and poverty, as well as low status of women and girls.


Yet, another text, on human rights and cultural diversity, was approved as orally amended, and would see the Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and the promotion of and respect for cultural diversity, as well as human rights, and to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.


By the terms of an approved text, on human rights in the administration of justice, the Assembly would invite States to make use of technical assistance offered by the relevant United Nations programmes to strengthen national capacities and infrastructures in the field of the administration of justice.  Another approved draft, on effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, would have the Assembly decide to continue its consideration of that issue at its sixty-third session.


A text, on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, would see the Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights.  A draft, on strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity, would have the Assembly call upon all Member States to base the promotion and protection of human rights on the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international instruments, and to refrain from activities that are inconsistent with that international framework.


Yet, another draft, on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, would have the Assembly ask the United Nations, as well as invite intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to continue efforts to disseminate accessible information on the Convention and the Optional Protocol, to promote their understanding, to prepare for their entry into force, and to assist States parties in implementing their obligations under those instruments.


Action on a draft, on combating defamation of religions, and on another text, on implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, was deferred to a later date.  A draft resolution, on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons; another titled, From rhetoric to reality: a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; and a third, on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, were also introduced to the Committee today for future action.


The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 20 November, to take action on more draft resolutions, including texts addressing the human rights situations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar.


Background


The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to hear the introduction of draft resolutions on Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/62/L.82); from rhetoric to reality:  a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/62/L.65); and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.63).


The Committee was also going to take action on a number of draft resolutions.


A draft resolution on Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.64) would have the General Assembly decide to increase the number of members of this Committee from 72 to 76 States and request the Economic and Social Council to elect the additional members at its resumed 2008 organizational session.


The draft resolution on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (document A/C.3/62/L.67) would see the Third Committee endorse the report of the UNHCR Committee.  It would have the Assembly re-emphasize that the protection of refugees -- as well as the prevention of statelessness and the protection of internally displaced persons -- is primarily the responsibility of States, whose cooperation, action and political resolve are required to enable the agency to fulfil its functions.  The Assembly would encourage UNHCR to pursue its efforts to strengthen its capacity to adequately respond to emergencies.  It would go on to strongly condemn attacks on refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons, as well as acts that threaten to their personal security and well-being, and would call upon all concerned States and, where applicable, parties involved in an armed conflict to take all necessary measures to ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.  The refoulement and unlawful expulsion of refugees and asylum-seekers would be deplored.  Concern would also be expressed for the millions of refugees in protracted situations, and the importance of achieving durable solutions to refugee problems recognized.


A draft resolution on Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/62/L.10) would have the Assembly urge developed countries that have not yet done so in accordance with their commitments, to make concrete efforts towards meeting the targets of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of their GNP to least developed countries, and encourages developing countries to build on the progress achieved in ensuring that official development assistance is used effectively to help meet development goals and targets.


A draft resolution on Violence against women migrant workers (document A/C.3/62/L.14/Rev.1) would have the Assembly urge concerned Governments to enhance bilateral, regional, interregional and international cooperation to address violence against women migrant workers, in accordance with internationally agreed human rights standards, as well as to strengthen efforts to reduce their vulnerability and to provide sustainable development alternatives to migration for in countries of origin.


A draft resolution on Supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula (document A/C.3/62/L.21/Rev.1) would have the Assembly stress the need to address the social issues that contribute to the problem of obstetric fistula, such as early pregnancy, lack of or inadequate girls’ education and poverty, as well as low status of women and girls.  It would further have the Assembly stress the obligation of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls.


A draft resolution on Combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/62/L.35) would have the Assembly express deep concern about the negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance, as well as discrimination in matters of religion or belief in some regions of the world.  It would further call upon the Assembly to note, with deep concern, the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, as well as the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001.  The draft would also have the Assembly emphasize that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which should be exercised with responsibility and may, therefore, be subject to limitations according to law which are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals, as well as respect for religions and beliefs.


By the terms of a draft resolution on Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.48), the Assembly would urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights; they would also be urged to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  The Assembly would go on to reaffirm that the promotion, protection and full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms should be guided by the principles of universality, non-selectivity, objectivity and transparency, in a manner consistent with the purposes and principles set out in the United Nations Charter.  Member States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations would be called upon to pursue a constructive dialogue for the enhancement of understanding and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, with non-governmental organizations being encouraged to contribute to that endeavour.


A draft resolution on Human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/62/L.50) would have the Assembly strongly object to the extraterritorial nature of such measures which also threaten the sovereignty of States.  The Assembly would, therefore, call upon all Member States to neither recognize these measures nor apply them, as well as to take administrative or legislative measures to counteract the extraterritorial applications or effects of unilateral coercive measures.  Further, the text would have the Assembly condemn the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of unilateral coercive measures.  It would reject these measures with all their extraterritorial effects as tools for political or economic pressure against any country, particularly developing nations, adopted to preventing these States from exercising their right to decide, of their own free will, their own political, economic and social systems.


A draft resolution entitled Promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (document A/C.3/62/L.52) would have the Assembly solemnly declare that the world’s peoples have a sacred right to peace and that the preservation and promotion of peace is a fundamental obligation of each State.  It would further have the Assembly call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out a constructive dialogue and consultations with Member States, the specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations on how the Commission on Human Rights could work for the promotion of an international environment conducive to the full realization of the right of peoples to peace, and encourage non-governmental organizations to contribute actively to this endeavour.


A draft resolution on Strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity (document A/C.3/62/L.54) would have the Assembly call upon all Member States to base the promotion and protection of human rights on the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international instruments, and to refrain from activities that are inconsistent with this international framework.  It would reaffirm that the promotion, protection and full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms should be guided by the principles of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity, and should not be used for political ends.  It would ask all human rights bodies within the United Nations, as well as special rapporteurs and representatives, independent experts and working groups, to duly take account of the resolution in carrying out their mandates; it would also stress the continuing need for impartial and objective information on the political, economic and social situations and events of all countries.


The draft resolution entitled Respect for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms and in solving international problems of a humanitarian character (document A/C.3/62/L.55) would have the Assembly reaffirm that responsibility for managing worldwide economic and social development, the promotion and protection of human rights, and threats to international peace and security should be exercised multilaterally, with the United Nations playing the central role.  Member States would be called upon to refrain from enacting or enforcing unilateral coercive measures as tools of political, military or economic pressure against any country, in particular against developing countries, which would prevent those countries from exercising their right to decide, of their own free will, their own political, economic and social systems.


Other draft resolutions on which the Committee was taking action included Globalization and its impact on the full employment of all human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.31), Human rights and cultural diversity (document A/C.3/62/L.39), Human rights in the administration of justice (document A/C.3/62/L.45), Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (document A/C.3/62/L.46), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (document A/C.3/62/L.36/Rev.1).  (For more information on these drafts, please see Press Release GA/SHC/3905, dated 14 November 2007, and Press Release GA/SHC/3906, dated 15 November 2007.)


Introduction of Draft Resolutions


The Committee first turned to the draft resolution on Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/62/L.82), introduced by the representative of Angola, on behalf of the African Group of States.  He said the text was an annual one to address the needs of 14.2 million people in Africa who were refugees, returnees and displaced.  Although conditions had improved in some parts of Africa over the past year, namely in the south and west, the rest of the continent was still susceptible to conflict and natural disasters.  The number of people fleeing their homes to live in deplorable conditions in camps had grown.  The situation of children was highlighted in the current text, in the hope that States, UNHCR and other actors would strengthen protection of children who were asylum-seekers, refugees, internally displaced, returnees or stateless.


Introducing a draft entitled From rhetoric to reality:  a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/62/L.65), the representative of Pakistan, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said tackling war and intolerance was the greatest challenge facing the United Nations and the human race.  The Durban Declaration had been a solid basis for the international community to work together for the total elimination of all forms of racism.  The world, however, was seeing a resurgence of racism and intolerance, with new forms taking shape.  The time for rhetoric was over; States had to guarantee remedies and safeguards to better protect the victims of such attitudes.


Next, the representative of Egypt introduced the draft resolution on The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.63), saying that, for over four decades, the people of Palestine had been denied their basic human rights and their right to self-determination in flagrant violation of international law.  The denial of their legitimate aspiration for self-determination by oppressive and brutal means had compelled certain Member States to call for the fulfilment of that inalienable right until fully realized.


He said the text was the same as last year’s except for one new preambular paragraph, which touched on the need to respect and preserve the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since the Palestinian people could only establish a viable State alongside Israel on such territory.


Various international instruments reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and were appropriately recalled in the draft’s preambular section, he said.  That section also recalled the July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which said the wall impeded the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.  In addition, the preambular section also stressed the urgent need to resume negotiations on the basis of previous agreements and the need for the speedy achievement of a just and comprehensive peace settlement.


He urged all States and the United Nations to continue supporting the Palestinian people in the early achievement of self-determination, and hoped that Member States would send a message of solidarity by adopting the resolution by consensus.


Actions on Draft Resolutions


The Committee then approved without a vote, a draft resolution on Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/62/L.64).


The Committee then took action on the draft resolution on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (document A/C.3/62/L.67).  The representative of Denmark, the main sponsor, speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, noted that this omnibus draft had 129 co-sponsors.  She made an oral amendment to operative paragraph 18 that would recognize the need to address “the root causes of refugee movements in order to avert new flows of refugees”.  The text was a humanitarian resolution that emphasized the protection of refugees and others of concern to UNHCR.  The General Assembly had always adopted the resolution by consensus, and she hoped that would again be the case.


The representative of Cuba, referring to a reference to regional organizations in line 6 of operative paragraph 19, said his delegation would have preferred the inclusion of the words “as appropriate”, as Cuba was not a member of the Inter-American organization for the Latin American continent.


The Committee then approved the draft without a vote, as orally revised.


The representative of Syria said her delegation had joined consensus based on the need to provide decent living conditions for refugees and internally displaced persons until they could return home.  Refugees were not only a humanitarian issue, but also a political one.  Although her country was not a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugeesor its 1967 Optional Protocol, it would continue to cooperate with the United Nations and UNHCR.  There were now more than 2 million refugees in Syria, a number equal to 12 per cent of the total population; no international assistance had been given to her country despite a number of international conferences that had been held to address the issue.


The representative of Venezuela said it was highly significant that draft had been approved by consensus.  The work of UNHCR was highly relevant.  The resolution underscored the need to address root causes in order to avert migrant flow; for Venezuela, that was a transcendental issue and it had been reflected in the text.


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/62/L.10).  Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the representative of Pakistan asked that action be taken on Wednesday because consultations on the text were still under way.  The Committee then deferred action until said date.


Turning to a draft resolution on Violence against women migrant workers (document A/C.3/62/L.14/Rev.1), the representative of the Philippines said the “improved” text before the Committee also stressed the importance of shared responsibility, in cooperation with international bodies and civil society organizations, to address violence against women who migrated all over the world.  Whether documented or undocumented, the human rights of migrant workers should be protected.


The Committee then adopted the resolution without a vote.


Before taking action on the following draft resolution -- Supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula (document A/C.3/62L.21/Rev.1) -- the representative of Senegal said the aim of Millennium Development Goal 5 was to reduce maternal mortality.  Yet, one woman died from pregnancy complications every minute.  Obstetric fistulas further complicated delivery, and 2 million women lived with that condition while millions more developed it every year.  Health systems were incapable of meeting the needs of sufferers, and, for that reason, Senegal had decided to present the present text.  Its goal was to educate the public about obstetric fistulas, and it was supported by 128 counties.  Others were encouraged to support the cause.  He hoped the text would be adopted by consensus.


The Committee then approved the resolution without a vote.


In a general statement after action, the representative of the United States said she understood that references to the Beijing Declaration and its related Platform for Action, as well as their five- and 10-year reviews did not create any rights, and, in particular, did not create or recognize the right to abortion.  Her country understood that the resolution did not imply that States must implement obligations under human rights instruments to which they were not a party.  Nevertheless, the United States joined in the call for full and urgent implementation by States of obligations under instruments to which they were a party.


She said the United States understood that there was international consensus on the term “sexual and reproductive health”; it did not include abortion or constitute support, endorsement or promotion of abortion or the use of abortifacients.  Her delegation was happy that the resolution contained a provision that clarified that the “Global Campaign” of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided a way for Member States to contribute to ending obstetric fistula.  The United States, however, did not interpret the language in that provision as creating a new internationally agreed Millennium Development Goal.


The representative of Egypt, the main sponsor of the draft resolution on Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.31), said the draft had amassed 63 co-sponsors.  It was not meant to prejudge the course of globalization or to pass value judgements.  Rather, it was an honest attempt to grasp the multidimensional aspects of globalization and to search for ways that would optimize the enjoyment of all human rights.


The representative of Belarus said that the link between globalization and human rights was at the heart of the text, which focused on the need to develop equitable globalization.


The Chairman, RAYMOND WOLFE ( Jamaica), said a recorded vote has been requested.


The representative of Egypt asked which delegation had requested the vote.


The CHAIRMAN replied the United States.


The draft was then approved by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 52 against, with 3 abstentions ( Brazil, Chile, Senegal).  (See Annex I.)


In a statement of explanation of vote after action, the representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, said her regional group could not support the resolution.  Dealing with globalization and its effects in a comprehensive manner was high on the Union’s agenda.  As in the past, the draft in essence said that globalization had a negative effect on all human rights.  Globalization was multidimensional; it could offer the means to address the most acute problems of our time, including extreme poverty.  While the benefits of globalization had not been evenly shared, it was a way to promote growth and prosperity all over the world, with an ensuing positive impact on human rights.  Also, there were some human rights and fundamental freedoms that were unaffected by globalization.


The representative of Gabon explained that he had only just arrived in the meeting room, and said that his delegation would have voted in favour.


The CHAIRMAN said his remark would be duly noted.


Turning to the draft text on Combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/62/L.35), the representative of Pakistan said consultations were still going on and requested that action be taken tomorrow.  It was so decided.


Taking up the draft resolution on Human rights and cultural diversity (document A/C.3/62/L.39), the Secretary, MONCEF KHANE, made some oral amendments, including a revision to the preambular paragraph “welcoming the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, held in Tehran on 3 and 4 September 2007, and the contribution of its Declaration and Programme of Action to the promotion of respect for cultural diversity”, to read “taking note of the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, held in Tehran on 3 and 4 September 2007”.  In addition, preambular paragraphs 14, 17 and 20 were to be deleted.  Also, operative paragraph 14 was revised to read “stresses the necessity of freely using the media and new information and communication technologies to create the conditions for renewed dialogue among cultures and civilizations”.


The representative of Iran said respect for diversity facilitated the universal promotion and protection of human rights.  The draft before the Committee was almost the same as that of the previous year, which had been adopted by consensus.  The adoption of the present text would be an important step in strengthening tolerance between and within nations, and since it had always been adopted by consensus, he said he hoped the same spirit would continue to guide the Third Committee as it took action.


The representative of Belarus said dialogue on human rights could be conducted effectively only if there was respect for the historical, cultural and religious particularities of States.  Any resolution on the issue should, therefore, strengthen the importance of that approach.  Belarus welcomed references to the Non-Aligned Movement meeting of September and valued the outcome of that conference, which was the first of its kind on the issue now before the Committee.  She supported the resolution’s goals and hoped that it would be adopted by consensus.


The Committee then adopted the resolution without a vote, as orally amended.


In a statement after action, the representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said she understood the purpose of the resolution was to recognize that, with all its diversity, the world shared a set of universal values.  Those included recognition of the inherent dignity and equal, as well as inalienable, rights of all members of the human family as a basis for freedom, justice and peace.  All human rights were universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.


She said the Union further understood that the main sponsors of the draft were committed to the fact that no culture, belief, religion of doctrine might stand above the fundamental freedoms of each and every individual, including the right to life; freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; freedom of religion or belief (which included the right to change religion or belief); and the right not to be discriminated against on any grounds.  In addition, no one might invoke cultural diversity to infringe on human rights or to limit their scope, as that would amount to cultural relativism.


She said States had a duty to promote the rights of all individuals regardless of political, economic and cultural systems.  The European Union welcomed the entry into force of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), which recognized that cultural diversity presupposed the recognition of equal dignity of, and respect for, all cultures, including the cultures of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples.


Finally, she said the European Union wished to acknowledge the willingness of the resolution’s sponsors to delete a reference to documents issued during the recent ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, as well as quotes from those documents, since the event was held outside the United Nations framework and so did not have any bearing on States outside the Movement.  She voiced appreciation for the sponsors’ efforts to streamline the text and to accommodate the Union’s pressing concerns.  Her regional group recognized, as a significant improvement, the stress on the need to freely use the media and new information and communications technologies.  It was based on those reasons that the European Union had joined the consensus.


The representative of the United States noted that her Government had interpreted operative paragraph 3 of the text on recognizing the right of everyone to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, as well as its applications, as one that incorporated the principle of “on mutually agreed terms”.  Such a right could only be achieved in conjunction with the right of everyone to the protection of the moral and material interest resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he or she was the author, as reflected in article 27.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on Human rights in the administration of justice (document A/C.3/62/L.45).  The representative of Austria, the main sponsor, explained that the draft was mainly procedural; it referred to the last report of the Secretary-General on the issue at hand and invited the Human Rights Council to continue its consideration of the topic.


The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.


As the Committee moved to take action on a text on Effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (document A/C.3/62/L.46), the representative of Austria explained that the draft would see the General Assembly -- taking into account ongoing work on the issue at the Human Rights Council in Geneva -- continue to consider the topic at its next session.


The Committee approved the draft without a vote.


The Committee then decided to take action on a draft entitled Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.48).  The representative of Cuba, speaking also on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the text would reaffirm a commitment to promote international cooperation as set forth in the Charter and other instruments.  It would also reaffirm that the promotion, protection and full realization of human rights, as well as fundamental freedoms, should be guided by the principles of universality, non-selectivity, objectivity and transparency.


The draft was then approved without a vote.


Turning to a draft on Human rights and unilateral coercive measures(document A/C.3/62/L.50), the representative of Cuba, again on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that such measures had a negative impact on trade and cooperation.  For a number of countries, such actions had been harmful, impeding the full realization of socio-economic rights while undermining the well-being of affected populations.  Despite recommendations from the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and other bodies, unilateral coercive measures continued to be applied.  The Non-Aligned Movement believed the draft should be adopted to put an end to such situations.


The CHAIRMAN said a recorded vote had been requested.


The Committee then approved the draft by a vote of 122 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions (see Annex II).


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the Promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (document A/C.3/62/L.52), for which a recorded vote had been requested.


The draft was approved by a vote of 114 in favour to 52 against, with 6 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Samoa, Singapore) (see Annex III).


In an explanation of the vote after action, the representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said she understood that the text assumed that peace was a prerequisite for the realization and fulfilment of human rights.  The resolution, however, only considered obligations and relationships between States in promoting peace, but not the obligation of States towards their citizens, which was the core mandate of the Third Committee, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.  While it was true that peace and the realization of human rights were linked, that issue should be dealt in the proper forums, which was already happening.  That was why the European Union did not support the resolution.


Turning to a draft resolution on Strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity (document A/C.3/62/L.54), the representative of Cuba said international cooperation in the human rights field could not be effectively implemented if States did not exercise non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity.  Furthermore, international cooperation in that field should provide effective and practical contributions to the prevention of mass violations of human rights, as well as to reinforce peace and security.  All delegations were urged to lend their support to the draft.


The Committee then adopted the resolution without a vote.


Turning to the draft entitled Respect for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms and in solving international problems of a humanitarian character (document A/C.3/62/L.55), the representative of Cuba said it should be seen as a reflection of the solemn commitment made by Member States to the Charter vis-à-vis human rights.  As a firm supporter of multilateralism, his delegation urged cooperation for human rights and strict adherence to international norms.  He urged all Member States to vote in favour.


The CHAIRMAN said that a recorded vote had been requested.


The draft was then approved by a vote of 102 in favour, 53 against, with 11 abstentions (see Annex IV).


The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, making a comment about “always the usual suspects”, said her regional group was opposed to selective quotation from the Charter.  It was also unconvinced that the Third Committee was the proper forum to address the issue, as it touched on other agenda items.  Also, Cuba had regrettably not been open to discussing the draft.


The Committee then took the final action for the day on a draft on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (document A/C.3/62/L.36/Rev.1), with the Secretary making a statement on programme budget implications.


The representative of Mexico, speaking also on behalf of New Zealand and Sweden, recalled how two thirds of Member States had already signed the Convention, just seven months after it had been opened for signature.  That represented unprecedented support, as well as a sign of the international community’s clear commitment to the issue.  It was important for countries that had not yet signed the instrument and its Optional Protocol to do so, so that they could come into force as soon as possible, once they had been ratified by at least 20 States.


The representative of Australia recalled how her country had signed the Convention on the day it had opened for signature, and that the process in her country towards ratification was continuing.


The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.


(annexes follow)


ANNEX I


Vote on Globalization and Its Impact on Full Enjoyment of All Human Rights


The resolution on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights (document A/C.3/62/L.31) was approved by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 52 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Brazil, Chile, Singapore.


Absent:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX I)


ANNEX II


Vote on Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures


The resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/62/L.50) was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, UNITED STAT.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Fiji, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX II)


ANNEX III


Vote on Promotion of Peace as Vital Requirement for Full Enjoyment of All Human Rights by All


The resolution on the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (document A/C.3/62/L.52) was approved by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 52 against, with 6 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Samoa, Singapore.


Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Fiji, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


(END OF ANNEX III)


ANNEX IV


Vote on Respect for Purposes and Principles Contained in Charter of United Nations


The resolution on the respect for the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms and in solving international problems of a humanitarian character (document A/C.3/62/L.55) was approved by a recorded vote of 102 in favour to 53 against, with 11 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, Nauru, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Uruguay.


Absent:  Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Fiji, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.