GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 52 RESOLUTIONS, 6 DECISIONS RECOMMENDED BY THIRD COMMITTEE ON WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES

GA/10801
18 December 2008

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 52 RESOLUTIONS, 6 DECISIONS RECOMMENDED BY THIRD COMMITTEE ON WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES

18 December 2008
General Assembly
GA/10801
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Plenary

70th & 71st Meetings (AM & PM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 52 RESOLUTIONS, 6 DECISIONS RECOMMENDED BY THIRD COMMITTEE


ON WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES


Texts Address, Among Others, Death Penalty Moratorium, Right to Development,

Religious Defamation, Human Rights in Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea


Updated texts on the right to development and the right to food were among 52 resolutions and 6 decisions adopted by the General Assembly today on the recommendation of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), aimed at strengthening international human rights norms, just as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enter its seventh decade.


Their adoption followed the Assembly’s approval on Human Rights Day of an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, also on the Third Committee’s recommendation.  Once in force, the Protocol will pave the way for the monitoring body for the Covenant, established in 1985, to consider complaints by individuals with respect to violations of those rights.  A similar mechanism for civil and political rights has existed since 1976, under the oversight of the Human Rights Committee.


Further steering the course towards increased “justiciability” of social, economic and cultural rights was today’s passage of an updated resolution on the right to development -- by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 4 against (Marshall Islands, Palau, Ukraine, United States), with 2 abstentions (Canada, Israel).  (For details of the vote, see annex IX)


That resolution, 1 of 16 adopted by recorded vote, gave due recognition to the high-level task force of the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the right to development, which had begun developing a set of criteria to evaluate progress towards implementation of Millen