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The United Nations Charter begins with these words:"We the Peoples of the United Nations determined...

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,


in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women..."This acknowledgement of the importance of human rights by all
States which ratify the United Nations Charter has done much to stimulate the large ammount of international law protecting human rights now in
place.While there was considerable accademic acceptance of international human rights law from an early date, and some national constitutions
specifically provided for the protection of human rights of their citizens, developement of human rights has generally been subsequent to the United
Nations Charter.
The impact of international human rights on the international community is profound.For example, it has developed the role of the individual as a
subject of international law: claims of title to territory cannot be made without some consideration of the rights of the inhabitants of that territory and it
has meant that a State’s sovereignty has been limited, as the treatment of an individual by a State is a matter of international concern and not a matter
purely for national jurisdiction. Human rights are a matter of international law, as the rights of humans do not depend on a individual’s nationality and
so the protection of these rights cannot be limited to the jurisdiction of any one State. Of course, national protection of human rights is vital, and many
States do specifically provide for such protection. Also, both the protection and the enforcement of international human rights, as with all international
law, can depend on national Courts.However, as most breaches of human rights are caused by a State acting against it’s citizens or against those in it’s
jurisdiction, much of international human rights law operates beyond the national legal system in order to afford redress to those whose human rights
are infringed and to provide a standard by which States can be judged objectively.
Ultimately, if human rights mean anything in international law, then the traditional international law of State-based jurisdictional exclusivity must give
way to a realisation that the rights of humans matter more than the rights of States.

General Assembly

The General Assembly is made up of 192 Member States. The States and the dates on which they became Members are listed in Press Release
ORG/1469 issued 3 July 2006.

Security Council

The Security Council has 15 members. The United Nations Charter designates five States as permanent members and the General Assembly
elects ten other members for two-year terms. The term of office for each non-permanent member of the Council ends on 31 December of the year
indicated in parentheses next to its name.

The five permanent members of the Security Council are China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.

The 10 non-permanent members of the Council in 2009 are Austria (2010), Burkina Faso (2009), Costa Rica (2009), Croatia (2009), Japan (2010),
Libya (2009), Mexico (2010), Turkey (2010), Uganda (2010) and Viet Nam (2009).

List of Human Rights Issues

22 January 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12060

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

U thant’s life of public service informed by vision of truly global


society, Spirit

of one world, says Secretary-General, in message to 100th birthday


event
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the event marking the centenary of the birth of U Thant, to be
delivered by Bishow Parajuli, United Nations Resident Coordinator, in Yangon, 22 January:

It is my great honour today to join the U Thant Institute and all who have gathered to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary
of the birth of U Thant, the third Secretary-General of the United Nations.

U Thant was thrust into the role of Secretary-General at a time of crisis following the untimely death of Dag Hammarskjld, and 


navigated the Organization through the 1960s. He put forth a vision of a truly global society, and emphasized the need, as he put it, to
understand each other and to develop a spirit of One World. It is this vision that has given the U Thant Institute its mission, Towards One 
World.

Beginning with his roots as a teacher and headmaster at the National School in Burma, Thant stressed throughout his life the
importance of learning about the world. As Secretary-General, he proposed the creation of both the United Nations University and the
United Nations Institute for Training and Research in the belief that education is vital to building a better future for all.

Thant is also remembered for focusing the world’s attention on the perilous state of the global environment with the launch of the
first Earth summit, in Stockholm, which led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme. He was also deeply
concerned about the widening gap between rich and poor nations, and it was under his leadership that the United Nations embarked on its
first development decade and welcomed dozens of new Asian and African States as Members of the Organization. The UN Development
Programme, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Industrial and Development Organization all came into being
during his tenure, underscoring the abiding interest of the United Nations in the economic and social well-being of all the world’s people.

Building on Hammarskjld’s example, Thant strengthened the role of the Secretary-General in world affairs. He helped to defuse the
Cuban missile crisis and end the civil war in the Congo, and worked actively toward a peaceful end to the Viet Nam War. He also advocated
strongly for decolonization and against apartheid in South Africa.

Thant’s patience and unassuming demeanour were valuable assets in his conduct of quiet diplomacy. His approach to global
challenges was also informed by a strong commitment to a practice of compassion and tolerance, bred of his devotion to Buddhism. I have
the greatest admiration for him and his achievements, and pay tribute to his life of public service. He left a legacy that will live on in the
history of the United Nations and the world in our work for peace.

United Nations University U Thant Distinguished Lecture Series

Tenzin Gyatso, H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama(website)

* *** *

31 December 2008

General Assembly
GA/PAL/1109

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Statement by bureau of committee on Palestinian rights on


situation in gaza strip
The following statement by the Bureau of the Committee of the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People on the situation in the Gaza Strip was issued in New York, 31 December:

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns in the
strongest possible terms deadly military assaults and destruction perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip
that have reportedly killed, by various accounts, more than 390 Palestinians. The number, which has been constantly growing
since Saturday, 27 December, includes many civilians, including women and children. Considering the high number of those
injured and the fact that the Israeli military operation is continuing, the death toll resulting from this escalation of violence is
likely to rise.

The Bureau of the Committee demands that Israel end, immediately and unconditionally, its brutal military campaign
against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The occupying Power should be held accountable for the killing and wounding
of the innocent civilian population in Gaza, including women and children, as a result of its massive missile attacks and heavy
artillery fire. All these actions have caused untold suffering to the Palestinian people, flagrantly violating norms of international
law. They are bound to spur further hatred, violence and mistrust. The Bureau of the Committee also demands that Israel
immediately open the Gaza border crossings in order to allow for delivery of emergency medical aid and other vital supplies to
those in desperate need. The tight blockade of the Gaza Strip in the course of the past year has already caused a humanitarian
catastrophe, as well as the heightened sense of anxiety, fear and despair among the Palestinian population.

The Bureau of the Committee wishes to emphasize that the Fourth Geneva Convention obligates an occupying Power to
protect the civilian population under its occupation, including through the provision of basic services, such as food and
medicines. The Bureau of the Committee has consistently condemned Palestinian rocket firing into Israel, but nothing can
justify the illegal collective punishment by Israel of the entire population of the Gaza Strip. The Bureau strongly believes that
actions by a few do not justify the collective punishment by Israel of the entire population of the Gaza Strip. The Bureau would
like to remind the Government of Israel that the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian
Territory has been repeatedly affirmed by the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Convention, as well as by the
United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. The Gaza Strip remains an Occupied Territory by virtue of the fact
that Israel fully controls every single aspect of the daily life of the Palestinian population. The international community must
urgently act against the violation of the Convention by Israel. In particular, we call on the High Contracting Parties of the
Fourth Geneva Convention to take urgent and decisive action to uphold their obligation, under article 1, to ï¿½respect and to 
ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances�.

The current situation is deeply disturbing. It is an unacceptable affront to the principles of international law and values
upheld by the United Nations. The Bureau of the Committee considers that it is the moral responsibility of all of us to see to it
that the bloodshed is stopped. Given the gravity of the situation, we firmly believe that it is incumbent on the Security Council
to exercise its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter. The Council should engage itself fully with a view to defusing
the crisis. Council Members should decide on tangible, effective and urgent steps aimed at protecting the civilian population,
bringing the bloodshed to an immediate end, ensuring that an immediate and permanent ceasefire is brought about, that
humanitarian assistance is provided, and that dialogue is encouraged between the parties. The Bureau of the Committee
believes that, in order to achieve this, the Council should work in close coordination with the Quartet and regional partners.
Such a consolidated effort should help avoid further casualties and de-escalate the situation on the ground. The Bureau of the
Committee continues to reiterate that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be based on taking the current
negotiations process forward, leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian State existing side by side with Israel in
peace and security.

* *** *

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 ï¿½justiciability� 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 Millennium Development Goal 8, ï¿½developing a global 
partnership for development�. Those criteria were understood by the Assembly as being potential building
blocks for the Human Rights Council to evolve a basis for considering a binding legal standard on the right to
development.

Another resolution that would strengthen the normative frameworks of positive rights was one on the right to
food, adopted by a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions (annex XIV). Past
versions had the Assembly recognize the millions of undernourished people worldwide, which was repeated again in
this year�s text. But, the present text also recognized the large numbers pushed into that situation because of the
world food crisis.

One of its provisions had the Assembly express concern that girls were twice as likely as boys to die from
malnutrition and preventable childhood diseases, and that twice as many women as men were estimated to suffer
from malnutrition. By the text, States were encouraged to address that issue through various measures, including
by giving women equal access to income, land and water to feed themselves and their families.

Controversy surrounding those texts at the time of their negotiation emerged again in the Assembly, with
some speakers saying that social, economic and cultural rights could only be realized progressively in line with a
country�s ability. Echoing a view expressed by several people, Australia�s delegate said the fulfilment of such 
rights required a balancing of State resources, which should be left to the States� discretion.

Mirroring the human rights discourse taking place outside the United Nations, the Assembly drew an explicit
link between human rights and extreme poverty, in a resolution of the same name, which called on States and the
United Nations system to give the issue ï¿½appropriate attention� and inviting the United Nations Human Rights 
Commissioner, Navi Pillay, to continue awarding it a high priority. At the same time, a resolution on globalization and
its impact on human rights, called on States to promote ï¿½equitable and environmentally sustainable economic 
growth�, so that globalization could occur in such a way that poverty could be systematically reduced. The text was
adopted by a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 54 against, with 4 abstentions ( Brazil, China, Singapore, Timor-
Leste). (annex VIII)

Moreover, the notion that democracy was key to better promotion and protection of human rights came
across in such resolutions as on the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa,
requesting additional funding to develop a culture of democracy and rule of law. In Third Committee meetings,
education was frequently seen as a corollary to building a rights-based culture, as evidenced through its resolution
on the International Year of Human Rights Learning, which officially began on 10 December. That text, adopted
today, had the Assembly reaffirm its conviction in the ability of every woman, man, youth and child to realize his or
her full human potential through learning, and being able to act on his or her knowledge.

However, even as it adopted resolutions supporting the proactive achievement of human rights, the
Assembly also adopted resolutions with the goal of preventing States from infringing on people�s rights -- for
instance through a resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty, adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to
46 against, with 34 abstentions. (annex VI)
Last year�s resolution on a moratorium passed amid great controversy in December 2007, and called on 
States to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. The present text was
kept simple and brief to engender as much support as possible, said the representative of Chile, speaking on behalf
of the resolution�s co-sponsors. It had the Assembly ï¿½welcoming� the global trend towards the abolition of 
capital punishment and also ï¿½welcoming� the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Secretary-
General�s report on the implementation of the 2007 resolution. It had the Assembly agreeing to take up the issue
again in two year�s time.

Even so, the resolution elicited protests from States with death penalty statutes, including Singapore, whose
representative argued the notion that the international community was moving towards consensus. She said the
death penalty was used by countries to protect their citizens, and that it was not a human rights issue, but an issue
of criminal justice.

Another resolution urging restraint was on combating defamation of religions, adopted by a recorded vote of
86 in favour to 53 against, with 42 abstentions. (annex VII) The resolution had the Assembly urge all States to
�provide adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from 
defamation of religions� and to ï¿½complement legal systems with intellectual and moral strategies to combat 
religious hatred and intolerance�.

In meetings of the Third Committee, arguments had centred on the best way to define the concept, so that it
would be easier to fight on a legal basis. Some States had said that the issue would have been better framed in
terms of combating the incitement to religious hatred, since it would leave individuals freer to exercise freedom of
speech with respect to religious beliefs. In the Assembly today, the representative of Cape Verde, who voted
against the text, said he believed the text had not struck the proper balance. He emphasized the need to guarantee
the full freedom of religion and belief, along with the freedom of choice for those who wanted to change their
religion.

The Assembly also urged legislative measures to help manage mercenary activity, by the terms of a 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. The text -- adopted by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 52 against, with 5 abstentions (Chile,
Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tonga) (annex III) -- had the Assembly urge Member States to ensure that their
territories and nationals were not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries
whose use could impede the right of people to self-determination, destabilize Governments, or dismember or impair
the territorial integrity or political unity of States.

Further by the text, the United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries was requested to strengthen
the international legal framework against the use of mercenaries begun by the Secretary-General�s Special 
Rapporteurs. In one report, the Special Rapporteur on mercenaries had proposed legal definition of mercenary, which
the Assembly asked to be taken into account.

As in previous years, the Assembly adopted country-specific resolutions on the Democratic People�s


Republic of Korea and Iran. Many delegates from developing countries challenged those texts, arguing that the
Human Rights Council, with its newly operational Universal Periodic Review mechanism, was now the most
appropriate forum to address such concerns. They also contended that such texts represented an attempt to meddle
in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. Both country-specific resolutions were adopted; on Iran by a recorded
vote of 69 in favour to 54 against with 57 abstentions (annex XXI); and on the Democratic People�s Republic of 
Korea by a recorded vote of 84 in favour to 22 against with 63 abstentions (annex XVII).

Other resolutions adopted by a recorded vote concerned the report of the Human Rights Council;
inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination,
xenophobia and related intolerance; the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; and equitable
geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies.

Also adopted by recorded vote were texts on human rights and unilateral coercive measures; extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions; respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of
family reunification; promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; as well as on programme
planning.

Other resolutions adopted by the Assembly today included texts on supporting efforts to end obstetric
fistula; combating trafficking in women and girls; strengthening the protection of migrants; building respect for the
right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family reunification; and dealing with missing
persons.

A resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar was deferred, because its budget implications were
not yet available. Three other resolutions were also deferred because of budget implications, including on global
efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the
comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; the
International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; and on the Committee on the
Rights of The Child.

In other business, the Assembly adopted a resolution deciding on the terms of office for General Assembly
members on the Peacebuilding Commission�s Organizational Committee. The representative of Japan, whose
country is Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said the Committee would be charged with naming the
chairmanship of the two new country-specific configurations dealing with the Central African Republic and Guinea-
Bissau.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution titled ï¿½Supporting the United Nations International School in 
enhancing international education and promoting multicultural interaction�, urging Member States to contribute 
to the School�s capital development fund to improve its facilities.

Speaking at the meeting were the representatives of United States, Israel, Senegal, Canada, Finland,
United Kingdom, Slovenia, Austria, Sweden, Turkey, Norway, Denmark, Argentina, Algeria, Peru, Syria, Uganda
(on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference), Egypt, Barbados, Tunisia, China, Ethiopia, Russian
Federation, Belarus, Iran, Venezuela, Pakistan, France and the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea.

The observer from the Holy See also spoke.

Third Committee reports were introduced by its Rapporteur, Khalid Alwafi of Saudi Arabia.

The Assembly will meet again tomorrow, 19 November, at 10 a.m. to take up a series of draft resolutions
recommended by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial). It is also expected to consider three resolutions
of the plenary.

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to consider a resolution on the election of seven members to the
Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission (document A/63/L.58). It was then expected to take
action on reports of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), listed below.

Refugees

The Committee�s report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to
refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions (document A/63/423) contains four draft
resolutions.

Draft resolution I, on the enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, approved without a vote on 18 November, would have the Assembly decide to
increase the number of members of this Committee from 76 to 78 States, and request the Economic and Social
Council to elect the additional members at its resumed 2009 organizational session. (For summary of the Third
Committee�s consideration, see Press Release GA/SHC/3938)

Draft resolution II on the new international humanitarian order, approved without a vote and as orally revised
on 20 November, would have the Assembly recognize the need for the further strengthening of national, regional and
international efforts to address humanitarian emergencies. It would have the Assembly urge Governments,
intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to extend cooperation
and support to the Secretary-General�s efforts to address the needs of populations requiring humanitarian 
assistance, as well as the safety and security of humanitarian workers from the United Nations and elsewhere. (Press
Release GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution III on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
approved without a vote and as orally revised on 11 November, would have the Assembly strongly condemn attacks 
on refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons, as well as acts that pose a threat to their personal
security and well-being. Further, it would note the importance of States and the Office of the High Commissioner
discussing and clarifying the role of the Office in mixed migratory flows, in order to better address protection needs
in that context, including by safeguarding access to asylum for those in need of international protection. (Press
Release GA/SHC/3937)
Draft resolution IV on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa, approved without a
vote as orally revised on 18 November, would have the Assembly call on States to take concrete action to pre-empt
internal displacement and to meet the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons, and appeal to
the international community to respond positively, in the spirit of solidarity and burden- and responsibility-sharing, to
the third-country resettlement needs of African refugees. (Press Release GA/SHC/3941)

Social Development

The Committee�s report on social development (document A/63/424) contains five draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities through the
implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, approved as orally revised by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to none against, with no
abstentions, on 25 November, would have the Assembly encourage States to ensure that their development
strategies, policies and programmes were inclusive of issues concerning persons with disabilities. It would encourage
them to use the objectives of the World Programme of Action and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities as a guide for their work. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3941 and GA/SHC/3942)

Draft resolution II on the follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, approved without a vote as
orally revised on 23 October, would have the Assembly encourage Governments to pay greater attention to
building capacity to eradicate poverty among older persons, in particular older women, by mainstreaming ageing
issues into poverty-eradication strategies and national development plans, and to include both ageing-specific
policies and ageing mainstreaming efforts in their national strategies. It would request the Secretary-General to
translate the guide to the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing into all official
languages of the United Nations and stress the need for additional capacity-building at the national level. (Press
Release GA/SHC/3926)

Draft resolution III on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and
of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly, approved without a vote and as orally revised on 20
November, would have the Assembly express a deep concern that the attainment of social development objectives
may be hindered by instability in global and national financial markets, as well as challenges brought about by the
ongoing fuel and food crises. Against that backdrop, the Assembly would urge developed countries that had not yet
done so to make concrete efforts towards meeting the targets of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) 
for official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries, and 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of their GNP to least
developed countries. (Press Release GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution IV on the follow-up to the implementation of the International Year of Volunteers, approved
without a vote and as orally revised on 23 October, would have the Assembly invite Governments to mobilize support 
for the research community to carry out more studies on the subject of volunteerism, and call for the United Nations
system to integrate volunteerism into its policies, programmes and reports. (Press Release GA/SHC/3926)

Draft resolution V on the United Nations Literacy Decade: Education for all, approved without a vote and as
orally revised on 23 October, would have the Assembly appeal to all Governments to develop reliable literacy data
and information for more inclusive policymaking and urge all Governments to take the lead in coordinating the
activities of the Decade. It would also request the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) to reinforce its coordinating role in the fight against illiteracy. (Press Release GA/SHC/3926)

Advancement of Women

The Committee�s report on advancement of women (document A/63/425) contains five draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women, approved
without a vote and as orally revised on 6 November, would have the Assembly urge States to end such impunity, by 
prosecuting and punishing all perpetrators. At the same time, it would call upon the international community to
support national efforts to promote the empowerment of women, and invite the Bretton Woods institutions and call
on United Nations bodies to intensify efforts. The draft would also have the Assembly recognize that violence against
women and girls persists in every country in the world and that it is a major impediment to achieving internationally
agreed development goals, in particular the Millennium Development Goals. (Press Release GA/SHC/3936)

Draft resolution II on trafficking in women and girls, approved without a vote and as orally revised on 21
November, would have the Assembly call upon Governments to discourage, with a view to eliminating, the demand
that fosters trafficking for all forms of exploitation, and to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons, while
ensuring that victims were not penalized for having been trafficked. It would have the General Assembly urge
Governments to devise, enforce and strengthen effective gender- and age-sensitive measures to combat and
eliminate all forms of trafficking in women and girls. (Press Release GA/SHC/3940)
Draft resolution III on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the
Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), approved without a vote and as orally revised on 20 November, would have
the Assembly acknowledge the contributions of the Institute in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of
women in the areas of security, international migration and governance and political participation. By the terms of
the text, the Assembly would call for the diversification of funding resources and invite Member States to continue to
provide assistance and support to the Institute through voluntary contributions and substantive involvement in its
projects and activities. (Press Release GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution IV on supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula, approved without a vote on 30 October,
would have the Assembly call on States and all relevant actors to strengthen the capacity of health systems, in
particular public health systems, to provide the essential services needed to prevent obstetric fistula and to treat
those cases that do occur by providing the continuum of services, including family planning, prenatal care, skilled
birth attendance, emergency obstetric care and postpartum care, to young women and girls, including those living in
poverty and in underserved rural areas where obstetric fistula is most common. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3931 and
GA/SHC/3937)

Draft resolution V on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General
Assembly, approved without a vote on 24 November, would have the Assembly, among other things, call upon
Governments, the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, and all sectors of civil 
society, including non-governmental organizations, as well as all women and men, to fully commit themselves and to 
intensify their contributions to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome 
of the twenty-third special session. (Press Release GA/SHC/3941)

Promotion, Protection of Children�s Rights

The Committee�s report on promotion and protection of the rights of children (document A/63/426)


contains a draft resolution on the rights of the child, approved by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against
(United States), with no abstentions, on 24 November, which would have the Assembly -- among other things -- call
upon States to create an environment conducive to the well-being of all children, including by strengthening
international cooperation in regard to the eradication of poverty, the right to education, the right to the enjoyment
of the highest attainable standard of health and the right to food. (Press Release GA/SHC/3941)

Indigenous Issues

The Committee�s report on indigenous issues (document A/63/427) contains one draft resolution and one
draft decision.

The draft resolution on indigenous issues, approved without a vote and as orally revised on 11 November,
would have the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to undertake an evaluation of progress made in
the achievement of the objectives of the Second International Decade of the World�s Indigenous People, 2005 to 
2015, and to present a midterm assessment report at the Assembly�s sixty-fifth session. It would further request
the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people to report on
the implementation of his mandate to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session, while recalling that, in
previous sessions of the Assembly, constructive dialogues were held with the first Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples. It would also decide to adjust the
mandate of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, so as to facilitate the participation of
representatives of indigenous peoples� organizations in the expert mechanism. (Press Release GA/SHC/3937)

The draft decision would have the General Assembly take note of the report of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights on the status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations
(document A/63/166).

Elimination of Racism and Racial Discrimination

The Committee�s report on the Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (document A/63/428)


contains three draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of
racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, approved as orally revised by a recorded vote of
122 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 54 abstentions, on 18 November, would have the Assembly express 
deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen SS, including by
erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi
past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those
who collaborated with the Nazi movement as participants of national liberation movements. In turn, it would express
concern at attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against
Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons. It
would emphasize the need to take measures to end those practices, and reaffirm that States parties to the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination were obliged -- among other things
-- to declare as a punishable offence the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred. (Press Release
GA/SHC/3938)

Draft resolution II, on global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and
Programme of Action, approved as orally revised by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 11 against, with 35
abstentions, on 25 November, would have the Assembly emphasize State responsibility to combat criminal acts
motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through various means. In the
section of the draft relating to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, the text would have the Assembly urge the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR) to maintain and issue regular updates on its website of a list of countries that had not yet
ratified the Convention and to encourage such countries to ratify it at the earliest. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3941
and GA/SHC/3942)

Draft resolution III, on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, approved by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to none against, with no abstentions, on 21
November, would have the Assembly call on States to fulfil their obligation, under the Convention, to submit their
periodic reports in due time. It would have the Assembly express its profound concern that a number of States
parties had not fulfilled their financial obligations, and would have it appeal strongly to States parties in arrears to
fulfil those obligations. The Assembly would strongly urge States parties to accelerate their domestic ratification
procedures with regard to the amendment to the Convention concerning the financing of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It would note the Committee�s request that the Assembly authorize an 
extension of its meeting time, which was currently only six weeks per year, and decide to authorize the Committee
to meet for an additional week per session as of 2010, as a temporary measure. (Press Release GA/SHC/3940)

Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

The Committee�s report on the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/63/429) contains three


draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, approved without
a vote on 18 November, would have the Assembly declare its firm opposition to acts of foreign military
intervention, aggression and occupation, while also calling on responsible States to cease their military intervention
in, and occupation of, foreign countries and territories, and all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and
maltreatment -- particularly the brutal and inhuman methods reportedly employed for the execution of those acts
against the people concerned. It would request the Human Rights Council 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. (Press Release GA/SHC/3938)

Draft resolution II, on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise
of the right of peoples to self-determination, approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 5
abstentions (Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tonga) on 24 November, would have the Assembly urge all States
to take legislative measures to ensure that their territories and nationals were not used for the recruitment, assembly,
financing, training and transit of mercenaries whose use could impede the right of people to self-determination,
destabilize Governments, or dismember or impair the territorial integrity or political unity of States. It would request
States to impose a ban on interventions by companies in armed conflicts or actions to destabilize constitutional
regimes, and would call on States that had not done so to consider acceding to, or ratifying, the International
Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3940
and GA/SHC/3941)

Draft resolution III on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, approved by a vote of 175 in
favour to 5 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 5
abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji), on 20 November, would have the Assembly
reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to an independent State of
Palestine. It would further urge all States and United Nations entities to continue to support and assist the
Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination. (Press Release GA/SHC/3939)

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

The Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document A/63/430) contains


one draft decision, which would have the Assembly take note of the following reports:
A note by the Secretary-General submitting the report of the chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies on
their nineteenth meeting (document A/63/280); the report of the Secretary-General on globalization and its impact on
the full enjoyment of all human rights (document A/63/259); the report of the Secretary-General on the protection of
migrants (document A/63/287); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on
the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document
A/63/223); and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right
of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (document A/63/263).

Also, a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of his Special Representative on the issue of
human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (document A/63/270); a note by the
Secretary-General transmitting the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and
lawyers (document A/63/271); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the interim report of the independent
expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty (document A/63/274); and a note by the Secretary-
General transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an
adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context (document A/63/275).

Also, a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of his Representative on the human rights of
internally displaced persons (document A/63/286); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (document A/63/288); a note by the Secretary-General
transmitting the report of the independent expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international
financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural
rights (document A/63/289); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights on the composition of the staff of the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights (document A/63/290); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the interim
report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education (document A/63/292); and a note by the Secretary-General
transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document
A/63/313).

Also, a note by the Secretary-General providing information on the work of the Human Rights Council
Advisory Committee relating to the right to development (document A/63/318); a note by the Secretary-General
transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories
occupied since 1967 (document A/63/236); and the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights (document A/63/36).

Addendum 1 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/63/430/Add.1) contains two draft resolutions on implementation of human rights instruments.

Draft resolution I on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, approved
without a vote on 18 November, would have the Assembly condemn any action or attempt by States or public officials
to legalize, authorize or acquiesce in torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under
any circumstances, including on grounds of national security or through judicial decisions. The draft emphasizes that
acts of torture in armed conflict are serious violations of international humanitarian law and, in that regard, constitute
war crimes. It further emphasizes that acts of torture can constitute crimes against humanity and that the
perpetrators of all acts of torture must be prosecuted and punished. The draft resolution would have the Assembly
strongly urge States to ensure that no statement made as a result of torture is invoked as evidence in any
proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made. It calls upon
States parties to the Convention against Torture to fulfil their obligation to submit for prosecution or extradite those
alleged to have committed acts of torture, and encourages other States to do likewise. (Press Release
GA/SHC/3938)

Draft resolution II on equitable geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies,
approved by a vote of 122 in favour to 53 against, with 4 abstentions (Brazil, Cape Verde, Timor-Leste, Ukraine), on
20 November, would have the Assembly call on States parties to United Nations human rights instruments to include a
debate on ways to ensure equitable geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies,
based on previous recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council. It
would recommend the introduction of ï¿½flexible procedures� when considering the possible establishment of a 
regional quota for the membership of each treaty body, where each of the five regional groups would be assigned a
quota in equivalent proportion to the number of States parties to the instrument that it represents; that there must be
provision for periodic revisions that reflect the relative changes in the geographical distribution of States parties; and
that automatic periodic revisions should be envisaged to avoid amending the text of the instrument when the quotas
were revised. (Press Release GA/SHC/3939)

Addendum 2 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/63/430/Add.2) contains 23 draft resolutions on human rights questions.

Draft resolution I on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, approved on 20 November by a
recorded vote of 105 in favour to 48 against, with 31 abstentions, would have the Assembly reaffirm its resolution 
62/149 of December 2007 on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and would welcome the decisions taken 
by an increasing number of States to apply a moratorium on executions, or to restrict the application of the death
penalty to the most serious crimes. The Assembly would welcome the Secretary-General�s report on the 
implementation of resolution 62/149 and its recommendations, and request him to provide a progress report at its
sixty-fifth session. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution II on the role of the Ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions in the
promotion and protection of human rights, approved without a vote on 6 November, would have the Assembly
recognize the important role those persons and institutions played, and underline the importance of their autonomy
and independence. It would also have the Assembly encourage Member States to consider the creation or the
strengthening of such roles to give serious consideration to implementing the recommendations and proposals of
their Ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions, with the aim of addressing claims of the
complainants, consistent with the principles of justice, equality and rule of law. The draft includes a request that
would have the Secretary-General report on the implementation of the resolution at the sixty-fifth session of the
General Assembly. (Press Release GA/SHC/3936)

Draft resolution III on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights, approved
without a vote as orally revised on 11 November, would have the Assembly reaffirm the important role that regional
arrangements play in promoting and protecting human rights, while also recognizing that progress in promoting and
protecting all human rights depends primarily on efforts made at the national and local levels. As such, it would invite
States in areas in which regional arrangements in the field of human rights do not yet exist to consider establishing
suitable regional machinery, and would request the Secretary-General to strengthen exchanges between the United
Nations and regional intergovernmental human rights organizations and to make adequate resources available to the
activities of the Office of the High Commissioner to promote regional arrangements. The draft would also request
the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to pay special attention to the most appropriate ways of assisting
countries of the various regions. (Press Release GA/SHC/3937)

Draft resolution IV on combating defamation of religions, approved as orally revised by a recorded vote of
85 in favour to 50 against, with 42 abstentions, on 24 November, would have the Assembly recognize that, in the
context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred had become
aggravating factors that contribute to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of members of target groups,
as well as their economic and social exclusion. In that respect, the Assembly would also express a deep concern
that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism, and would reiterate
the commitment of all States to the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The
text would have the Assembly note, with deep concern, the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of
religions, and deplore the use of print, audio-visual and electronic media to incite acts of violence, as well as
targeting of religious symbols. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3940 and GA/SHC/3941)

Draft resolution V on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, approved
without a vote on 20 November, would have the Assembly acknowledge the role of national institutions in the
strengthening of the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights in all sectors, and encourage
cooperation with the United Nations system, as well as with the World Bank, other international financial
institutions and non-governmental organizations. It would also urge the Secretary-General to continue to give high
priority to requests from Member States for assistance in the establishment and strengthening of national human
rights institutions and to continue to provide the necessary assistance for holding international and regional
meetings of national institutions. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution VI on the International Year of Human Rights Learning, recalls General Assembly
resolution 62/171, which proclaimed the year commencing on 10 December 2008 the International Year of Human
Rights Learning, and would have the Assembly reaffirm its conviction that every woman, man, youth and child can
realize his or her full human potential through learning about all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It would
also have the Assembly urge Member States to develop international strategies and/or regional, national and local
plans of action aimed at broad-based and sustained human rights learning at all levels, in coordination with civil
society, the private sector, academia and parliamentarians, and with the support of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council. (Press Release GA/SHC/3936)

Draft resolution VII on the effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to
National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, approved without a vote as orally revised on 20 November,
would have the Assembly urge States and the international community to promote and protect the rights of persons
belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, through the encouragement of conditions for the
promotion of their identity, the provision of adequate education and the facilitation of their participation in all
aspects of the political, economic, social, religious and cultural life of society. It would also urge States to take all
necessary constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to give effect to the Declaration, and would call
upon them to cooperate with the independent expert on minority issues. The draft also welcomes the establishment
of the Forum on Minority Issues and all relevant actors to participate actively in its inaugural session. (Press
Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution VIII on human rights and extreme poverty, approved without a vote on 11 November, would
have the General Assembly recognize that the eradication of extreme poverty was a major challenge within the
process of globalization and that it required coordinated and continued policies through decisive national action and
international cooperation. While expressing concern over today�s challenges, including those derived from the 
food crisis, the energy crisis and the financial crisis, the draft would have the Assembly encourage the international
community to strengthen its efforts to address challenges that are contributing to extreme poverty, and would call
upon States, United Nations bodies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to
continue to give appropriate attention to the links between human rights and extreme poverty. It also invites
relevant parties to contribute further to the consultations led by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the
draft guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights: the rights of the poor. (Press Release GA/SHC/3937)

Draft resolution IX on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, approved by a
recorded vote of 125 in favour to 53 against, with 3 abstentions (Brazil, Chile, Singapore), on 20 November, would 
have the Assembly recognize that, while globalization offers great opportunities, the fact that its benefits are very
unevenly shared and its costs unevenly distributed represents an aspect of the process that affects the full
enjoyment of all human rights, in particular in developing countries. The Assembly would underline the urgent need
to establish an equitable, transparent and democratic international system to strengthen and broaden the
participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and norm-setting, and underline the
need to continue to analyse the consequences of globalization for the full enjoyment of all human rights. (Press
Release GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution X on the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, approved
without a vote on 20 November, would have the Assembly note efforts of the Secretary-General and the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure the full implementation of relevant resolutions of the
General Assembly to provide sufficient funds and human resources for the Centre�s missions. It would request
the two officials to continue to provide additional funds and human resources within existing resources of the Office
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to enable the Centre to respond effectively
to growing needs in the promotion and protection of human rights and in developing a culture of democracy and rule
of law in the Central African subregion. (Press Release GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution XI on the right to development, approved by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against
(United States), with 2 abstentions (Canada, Israel), on 24 November, would have the Assembly endorse the
conclusions and recommendations adopted by consensus by the Working Group on the Right to Development of the
Human Rights Council at its ninth session, and have it support the realization of the mandate of the high-level task
force on the implementation of the Working Group, as renewed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 9/3. It
would stress the importance of the endorsement of the workplan for the task force for the period 2008-2010, which
would require that the criteria for the periodic evaluation of global partnerships be used, as appropriate, in the
elaboration of a comprehensive and coherent set of standards for the implementation of the right to development.
(Press Release GA/SHC/3941)

Draft resolution XII on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, approved by a recorded vote of 124
in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions, on 21 November, would have the Assembly reaffirm the right of all
peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their
economic, social and cultural development. Underlining that unilateral coercive measures were one of the major
obstacles to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the draft resolution would also
have the Assembly call on all States to avoid the unilateral imposition of economic coercive measures and the
extraterritorial application of domestic laws that run counter to the principles of free trade and hamper the
development of developing countries. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution XIII on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, approved
without a vote as orally revised on 21 November, would have the Assembly recognize that, in addition to individual
responsibilities, States had a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity
at the global level and, as such, it would have the Assembly urge all international actors to build an international
order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion and
respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights. It would also have the Assembly invite States and
relevant United Nations human rights mechanisms and procedures to continue to pay attention to the importance of
mutual cooperation, and request the Secretary-General to undertake consultations on ways and means to enhance
international cooperation in the United Nations human rights machinery. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and
GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution XIV on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or
belief, approved without a vote on 25 November, would have the Assembly urge States to step up efforts to eliminate 
discrimination based on religion or belief. To that end, the Assembly would have States ensure that their
constitutional and legislative systems provided adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of thought, conscience,
religion and belief, without distinction, by providing effective remedies in cases of violations of the right to freedom
of thought, conscience, religion or belief, or the right to practise one�s religion freely, including the right to change 
one�s religion or belief. Among other things, the resolution would have States ensure that no official documents
were withheld for reasons grounded in a person�s religion or belief, and that, if religious affiliation was mentioned 
in such documents, the individual had the right to refrain from disclosing that type of information, or to indicate
�other religion� or ï¿½no religion�. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3940 and GA/SHC/3942)
Draft resolution XV on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, approved on 24 November by a
recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, would have the Assembly reiterate the
obligation of all States to conduct exhaustive and impartial investigations into all suspected cases of extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions, to identify and bring to justice those responsible, while ensuring the right of every
person to a fair and public hearing. It would call upon all States in which the death penalty has not been abolished to
prevent extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions by complying with their obligations under relevant
provisions of international human rights instruments. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3941)

Draft resolution XVI on missing persons, approved without a vote as orally amended on 20 November,
would have the Assembly call on States party to an armed conflict to take measures to prevent persons from going
missing in connection with such conflict and account for persons reported missing as a result of such situations. It
would further call on those States to determine the identity and fate of persons reported missing in connection with
armed conflict and, to the greatest extent possible, provide their family members with information on their fate. It
would further urge States to encourage intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide
appropriate assistance as requested by concerned States, and would welcome, in that regard, the establishment and
efforts of commissions and working groups on missing persons. Without prejudice to States� efforts to determine 
the fate of missing persons in connection with armed conflicts, the draft resolution would have States take
appropriate steps in terms of the legal situation of missing persons and the needs of their family members -- their
social welfare, financial matters, family law and property rights. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution XVII on the protection of migrants, approved without a vote as orally revised on 21
November, would have the Assembly express concern about legislation and measures adopted by some States that
may restrict the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants. It would strongly condemn the manifestations
and acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against migrants and the stereotypes
often applied to them, and would reinforce the existing laws in order to eradicate impunity for those who commit
xenophobic and racist acts. At the same time, the draft would have the Assembly encourage all States to remove
obstacles that may prevent the safe, unrestricted and expeditious transfer of remittances of migrants to their
country of origin or to any other countries, and to consider measures to solve other problems that may impede such
transfers. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution XVIII on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering
terrorism, approved without a vote as orally revised on 25 November, would have the Assembly call on States not to 
resort to profiling based on stereotypes founded on grounds of discrimination prohibited by international law,
including on racial, ethnic and/or religious grounds. It would urge States, while countering terrorism, to ensure due
process guarantees. The Assembly would emphasize that targeted sanctions were a ï¿½significant tool� in 
countering terrorism and had a direct impact on targeted individuals and entities. It would recognize the need to
continue ensuring the efficiency and transparency of the United Nations targeted sanctions regime, and in that
regard, continue enhancement of efforts in support of these objectives as contained in Security Council resolution
1822 of 30 June 2008. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3941 and GA/SHC/3942)

Draft resolution XIX on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearance, approved without a vote on 21 November, would have the Assembly call on States that had not yet
done so to consider signing and ratifying the Convention as a matter of priority, and to consider the option provided
for in articles 31 and 32 of the Convention regarding the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. It would request
United Nations agencies and organizations, and invite intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, to continue undertaking efforts to disseminate
information on the Convention, to promote its understanding, to prepare for its entry into force and to assist States
parties in implementing their obligations under that instrument. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution XX on the right to food, approved on 24 November by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1
against ( United States), with no abstentions, would have the Assembly reaffirm that hunger constitutes an outrage
and a violation of human dignity, requiring the adoption of urgent measures at the national, regional and
international level, for its elimination. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3940 and GA/SHC/3941)

Draft resolution XXI on respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of
family reunification, approved on 20 November by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Palau,
United States), with 60 abstentions, would have the Assembly call on all States to guarantee the universally
recognized freedom of travel to all foreign nationals legally residing in their territory, and reaffirm that all
Governments -- particularly of receiving countries -- must recognize the vital importance of family reunification and
promote its incorporation into national legislation, so as to ensure protection of the unity of families of documented
migrants. It would call on States to allow, in conformity with international legislation, the free flow of financial
remittances by foreign nationals residing in their territory to relatives in the country of origin, and further call on
States to refrain from enacting, or to repeal existing laws, that adversely affect family reunification and the right to
send remittances. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution XXII on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, approved as orally
revised by a vote of 120 in favour to 52 against, with 7 abstentions (Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Timor-
Leste, Vanuatu), on 21 November, would have the Assembly affirm that everyone is entitled to a democratic and
equitable international order, and would also affirm that such an international order will foster the full realization of
all human rights for all. It would call on Member States to fulfil their commitment expressed at the World
Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to maximize the benefits of
globalization by enhancing international cooperation to increase equality of opportunities for trade, economic growth
and sustainable development, among other things. It would have the Assembly request the Human Rights Council,
human rights treaty bodies, OHCHR and United Nations special mechanisms to make contributions towards the
implementation of the present resolution. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution XXIII, approved as orally revised on 25 November, would have the Assembly take note of a
decision taken by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in which it requests approval to meet in parallel
chambers. It would have the Assembly authorize that request for 10 working days during each of its three regular
sessions, and for five working days during the weeks of its pre-sessional meetings, between October 2009 and
January 2011. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3941 and GA/SHC/3942)

Addendum 3 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/63/430/Add.3) contains three draft resolutions on human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and
representatives.

Draft resolution I, on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea,


approved by a recorded vote of 95 in favour to 24 against, with 62 abstentions, on 21 November, would have the 
Assembly urge the Government of the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea to respect fully all human rights 
and fundamental freedoms by, among other things, immediately putting an end to the systematic, widespread and
grave violations of human rights mentioned in the resolution; by addressing the issue of impunity and ensuring that
those responsible for violations of human rights are brought to justice before an independent judiciary; by tackling
the root causes leading to refugee outflows and prosecuting those who exploited refugees by human smuggling,
trafficking and extortion, while not criminalizing the victims; and by extending its full cooperation to the Special
Rapporteur on the issue and to other United Nations human rights mechanisms. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and
GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution II, on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, approved by a vote of 89 in favour to 29
against, with 63 abstentions, on 21 November, would have the Assembly call on the Government of Myanmar to
reveal the whereabouts of persons detained or missing and to seize the opportunity of the Secretary-General�s 
good offices to cooperate fully with the good offices mission in the fulfilment of its responsibilities, namely, the
release of political prisoners and the commencement of a substantive dialogue on a democratic transition. It would
also have the Assembly call strongly on the Government to ensure safe and unhindered access to all parts of
Myanmar for the United Nations, international humanitarian organizations and their partners, to ensure that
humanitarian assistance was delivered to all persons in need. At the same time, it would call for all political
representatives and representatives of ethnic nationalities to be allowed to participate fully in the political
transition process and, to that end, for the Government to immediately resume a dialogue with all political actors.
(Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Draft resolution III on the situation of human rights in Iran, approved by a recorded vote of 70 in favour to
51 against, with 60 abstentions, on 21 November, would have the Assembly take note of the Secretary-
General�s report on that matter and call on the Government to address concerns such as eliminating the use of 
cruel or inhuman punishments; abolishing public executions and the executions of persons who were under 18 years
at the time of their offence; abolishing the use of stoning as a method of execution; and eliminating discrimination
against women and minorities, including by implementing the report of the Special Rapporteur on ways in which
Iran could emancipate the Baha�i community. It would also have the Assembly call on the Government to end
the harassment, intimidation and persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders, including by
releasing persons imprisoned arbitrarily or on the basis of their political views. It would further have the Assembly
call on the Government to uphold the rights to due process and to end impunity for human rights violations. The
draft would further call on the Government of Iran to facilitate visits to its territory of special procedures mandate
holders, and encourage the Government to continue exploring cooperation on human rights and justice reform with
the United Nations, including OHCHR. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940)

Addendum 4 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/63/430/Add.4) says that no action was taken by the Committee under the sub-item on the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action.

Addendum 5 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/63/430/Add.5) contains one draft resolution, on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the
Optional Protocol thereto, approved without a vote on 11 November. It would have the Assembly welcome the
entry into force of the Convention and its Optional Protocol, in May 2008, and welcome the fact that, to date, 136 
States have already signed the Convention and 41 States have ratified it. States that have not yet done so would be
called on to consider signing and ratifying the Convention and Protocol as a matter of priority and the Secretary-
General would be invited to intensify efforts to assist States in doing so, including by providing assistance with a
view to achieving universal adherence. The draft would also have the Assembly request further actions by the
Secretary-General to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the United Nations system, in accordance
with the Convention, and request United Nations agencies to strengthen efforts undertaken to disseminate
accessible information on the Convention and its Optional Protocol and to assist States parties with
implementation, while inviting intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to do the same. (Press
Release GA/SHC/3937)

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The Committee�s report on crime prevention and criminal justice (document A/63/431) contains four draft 


resolutions and one draft decision.

Draft resolution I on preparations for the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice, approved without a vote on 23 October, would have the Assembly decide to hold the Twelfth
Congress in Salvador, Brazil, from 12 to 19 April 2010 and also decide that the high-level segment of the Congress
be held during the last two days. It would further decide that the theme of the Twelfth Congress shall be
�Comprehensive strategies for global challenges: crime prevention and criminal justice systems and their
development in a changing world�. (Press Release GA/SHC/3926)

Draft resolution II on improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons, approved without
a vote and as orally revised on 20 November, would have the Assembly call upon Governments to criminalize 
trafficking in persons in all its forms, to take measures to criminalize child sex tourism, and to investigate,
prosecute, condemn and penalize traffickers and intermediaries, while providing protection and assistance to the
victims of trafficking with full respect for their human rights. It would invite Member States to continue
consideration of the advisability of a global plan of action on preventing trafficking in persons, prosecuting
traffickers and protecting and assisting victims of trafficking, which would achieve the full and effective
coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons, and ensure the full and effective implementation of all legal
instruments relevant to trafficking in persons. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/SHC/3939)

Draft resolution III on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity, approved without a vote on 1 November, would have
the Assembly urge the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to increase collaboration with
intergovernmental, international and regional organizations with transnational organized crime mandates, so as to
share best practices, while drawing attention to emerging policy issues identified in the Secretary-General�s 
report, which included, among other things, the sexual exploitation of children, economic fraud and identity theft,
international trafficking in forest products, and -- within the context of advisory services and technical assistance
� cybercrime, and would invite UNODC to explore ways to address those issues. Further by the text, it would
request UNODC to enhance its technical assistance to Member States to strengthen international cooperation in
preventing and combating terrorism by facilitating of the ratification and implementation of the universal
conventions and protocols related to terrorism, in close consultation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its
Executive Directorate. (Press Release GA/SHC/3937)

Draft resolution IV on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment
of Offenders, approved as orally revised without a vote on 23 October, would have the Assembly urge Member
States and civil society organizations to continue adopting practical measures to support the Institute and urge all
States that had not already done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime. (Press Release GA/SHC/3926)

The draft decision would have the Assembly takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General on
assistance in implementing the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism (document A/63/89) and on
improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons (document A/63/90).

International Drug Control

The Committee�s report on international drug control (document A/63/432) contains a draft resolution on


international cooperation against the world drug problem, approved without a vote on 11 November. It would have
the Assembly urge States and the United Nations to undertake actions to counter the world drug problem, based on
a grave concern over the serious threat that the problem continues to pose to public health, safety and the well-
being of humanity. It would urge all States to continue to promote and implement the outcomes of the twentieth
special session of the General Assembly, held in June 1998, including the allocation of adequate resources and the
development of clear and consistent national policies. The Assembly would encourage Member States to take
adequate national, regional and international measures to prevent criminal organizations involved in drug
trafficking from acquiring and using firearms and ammunition, with a view to guaranteeing security in all nations.
(Press Release GA/SHC/3937)

Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly

The Committee�s report on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/63/433)


contains one draft decision on the programme of work for the Third Committee for the sixty-fourth session of the
General Assembly (document A/C.3/63/L.76). It was approved without a vote on 26 November, subject to
modifications by the Secretary of the Committee, and would have the Committee take up 11 agenda items at its
next session. (Press Release GA/SHC/3943)

Programme Planning

A report on programme planning (document A/63/434) contains one draft decision, approved on 26
November by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Australia,
Canada). The text would have the Assembly decide to approve programme 19, Human rights, of the proposed
strategic framework for the period 2010-2011. (Press Release GA/SHC/3943)

Report of the Human Rights Council

A report on the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/63/435), contains a draft resolution
approved by the Committee without a vote on 18 November, recommending the adoption of the Optional Protocol to 
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Protocol was adopted by the Assembly on
10 December. (Press Releases GA/SHC/3938 and GA/10795)

Addendum 1 of that report (A/63/435/Add.1) contains a draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights
Council, approved on 25 November as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 117 to 5 against (Australia, Canada,
Israel, Palau, United States), with 55 abstentions. It would have the Assembly take note of the report and
acknowledge its recommendations. (Press Release GA/SHC/3942)

Action on Plenary Texts

The General Assembly began by adopting by consensus a resolution on the election by the General
Assembly of seven members of the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission: term of office
(document A/63/L.58), by which it decided that, beginning with the election to be held during the sixty-third session,
the terms for the General Assembly members on the Organizational Committee shall begin from 1 January, rather
than 23 June.

It also decided that the terms of office of the two Assembly members on the Committee due to expire on 22
June 2009 -� Georgia and Jamaica -� shall be extended to 31 December 2009. Finally by the text, the
Assembly invited other bodies with members on the Committee that have not yet done so to adjust the term of
office of their respective members so that the terms of all members can start from 1 January.

Welcoming the adoption, the representative of Japan thanked delegations for demonstrating flexibility
during negotiations on the text. The agreed upon arrangement was provisional, and would be applicable from 2009
to 2010. The arrangement beyond 2011 would be reviewed in conjunction with the general review of the
Peacebuilding Commission in 2010. The Chairmanship of country-specific configurations would be determined by
the Commission�s Organizational Committee next year, but it was understood that Belgium would be slated to
Chair the Central African Republic configuration, and Brazil the Guinea-Bissau configuration.

Action on Third Committee Texts

The Assembly then moved to take action on the Committee�s reports, introduced by Rapporteur KHALID 
ALWAFI ( Saudi Arabia). He said he understood that action would be deferred on the following resolutions pending
receipt of relevant Fifth Committee reports: ï¿½Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial 
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the
Durban Declaration and Programme of Action�; ï¿½International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of 
Racial Discrimination�; ï¿½Committee on the rights of the child�; and ï¿½Situation of human rights in 
Myanmar�.

He made an oral revision to the text of document A/63/430/Add.2, where ï¿½43rd meeting� should read 


�38 th meeting� on page 27. In document A/63/430/Add.5, on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, he provided revised numbers on the total number of State Signatories (137) and States Parties (45); as
well as State Signatories (80), and States Parties (27) to the Optional Protocol.

Refugees
The Assembly first took up the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions
relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions (document A/63/423), which
contained four draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on ï¿½enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees� was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II on a ï¿½new international humanitarian order� was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution III on the ï¿½Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)� 
was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution IV on ï¿½assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa� was also 
adopted with a vote.

Social Development

Next, the Assembly took up the Committee�s report on Social development (document A/63/424), which


contained five draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on ï¿½realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities through 
the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities� was adopted without a vote.

Speaking after action, the representative of the United States referred to the statements made by his
delegation during Third Committee negotiations on the draft. In particular, he noted that preambular paragraph 5
had been voted upon in the Committee and that 93 Members had voted against or abstained on including that
paragraph in the resolution.

The representative of Israel, speaking on the same text, said that, while Israel was fully committed to
advancing the rights of persons with disabilities, it held reservations regarding the resolution before the Assembly.
She expressed regret that certain elements of politicization were included in the text, in particular preambular
paragraph 5, and attempts to draw parallels between two different legal regimes -- human rights law and the law of
armed conflict -- were not welcome.

The Chair of the Assembly then reminded Member States that explanations should take place after all
drafts under the sub-item had been acted upon.

Draft resolution II on ï¿½follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing� was adopted without a 
vote.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III on the ï¿½implementation of the outcome of 
the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly�.

Draft resolution IV on ï¿½follow-up to the implementation of the International Year of Volunteers� was 
also adopted without a vote.

Finally, draft resolution V on ï¿½the United Nations Literacy Decade: Education for all� was adopted without 
a vote.

Advancement of Women

The Assembly then took up the Committee�s report on advancement of women (document A/63/425)


containing five draft resolutions.

The representative of Senegal took the floor to inform the Assembly that two preambular paragraphs, 5 and
12, had been left out of the resolution on obstetric fistula (document A/C.3/63/L.15/Rev.1), when it had been
approved in the Third Committee. He read into the record the text of those two paragraphs, one of which took note,
with appreciation, of the Secretary-General�s report on obstetric fistula and welcomed its conclusions and 
recommendations. The other paragraph, preambular 12, further welcomed ongoing partnerships between
stakeholders to address the multifaceted determinants of maternal mortality and the commitments announced at
the 2008 high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals to accelerate progress on Goal 5. While noting
that the draft had been approved by consensus, he asked that the two additional paragraphs be integrated into the
text, before its adoption by the Assembly.

Draft resolution I on ï¿½intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women� was 
adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II on ï¿½trafficking in women and girls� was adopted without a vote.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote draft resolution III on the ï¿½future operation of the 
International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)�.

Draft resolution IV on ï¿½supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula� was adopted without vote, as orally 
revised.

Draft resolution V on ï¿½follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of


the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General
Assembly� was adopted without a vote.

After action, the representative of the United States said his delegation would dissociate itself from the
decision taken on the draft resolution on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full
implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special
session of the General Assembly, for the reasons it had stated in the Third Committee sessions on 24 November.

Report of the Human Rights Council

The Committee�s report on the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/63/435), contained a


draft resolution recommending the adoption of on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights (document A/C.3/63/L.47), which was approved by the Committee without a vote on 18
November. The Optional Protocol was adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December.

The representative of Canada said that, as a State Party to two international covenants on human rights, it
was committed to the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political
rights. All human rights were universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The communications procedures
for economic, social and cultural rights gave her some concern, particularly since the Optional Protocol did not take
account of the need to defer to States when assessing policy choices and resource allocations. Some rights in the
Covenant were set out in such a broad manner that they could not be subjected to quasi-judicial assessments.

She said she understood that part I of the Covenant was not included within the scope of Optional Protocol.
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should follow the views of the Human Rights Council in
declining to consider communications relating to article I of the two covenants, including the provision on self-
determination, which was subject to State reporting processes as set out by the Covenant. It was a process she
supported. In view of the Protocol�s importance to many States, she had joined consensus despite those concerns.

The representative of Finland said his country attached great importance to the Protocol, which constituted
a significant step towards the full realization of human rights. He regarded the carefully drafted text as being well
balanced. All human rights were universal and indivisible; civil and political rights and economic, social and political
rights could not be separated from each other, since they were mutually reinforcing. The Protocol was an important
contribution to the human rights of individuals and took account of the interrelated nature of all rights. He hoped
that signatures and ratifications would follow speedily. His country would sign the Protocol soon.

The representative of the United Kingdom expressed several concerns about the Protocol. It had put on
record its position on certain aspects, including when the report had been approved in the Third Committee. All
human rights were universal, indivisible and mutually reinforcing, whether they were civil, political, economic, social
or cultural rights. However, economic, social and cultural rights did not lend themselves easily to third party
adjudication in the same way as civil and political rights. She was sceptical of a complaints mechanism in view of the
varying degrees of specifity with which the rights were drawn. She favoured an a la carte approach in that manner
to which such rights could apply. The Protocol would make it difficult for the United Kingdom to become a State
Party to the Covenant.

She added that the United Kingdom�s views on articles 8, 4.1 and amendments to articles 2 and 11 still 
held, and referred States to previous statements made on record in that regard.

The representative of Slovenia welcomed the adoption of the Optional Protocol during the sixtieth
anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calling it an impressive step forward in the full
realization of human rights. It had taken 60 years to catch up to the vision of human rights that had been laid out in
the Universal Declaration. The Optional Protocol would help build upon the progressive realization of economic,
social and cultural rights, and he commended all parties who had worked, over the years, to bring it to fruition.

The representative of Austria welcomed the creation of an individual communications procedure, as a


means to further strengthen economic, social and cultural rights. However, the mechanism could only be truly
viable if it had a broad membership and was fully implemented, and the text, therefore, should stress that matter.
While recognizing the work of Working Group on the matter, he underscored the fact that Austria understood that
the text on the Protocol recognized the variety of means available to States to implement the various elements of
the Covenant.

The representative of Australia said the purpose of the Optional Protocol was to establish an avenue for
redress for individual violations of economic, social and cultural rights. Its jurisdiction did not, therefore, cover
alleged violations having to do with collective rights, such as the right to self-determination. In those matters, the
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should not be called upon to adjudicate. It should also decline to
adjudicate on matters where the complainant had not suffered any clear damage or disadvantage, to ensure that the
Committee�s time was not wasted on spurious cases.

Continuing, she said that an individual complaint might reveal a serious issue of general importance, which
could then be considered under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant itself, or through the inquiry procedure set out in
article 11 of the Optional Protocol, as those mechanisms were designed specifically for those issues. In addition, she
drew attention to the ï¿½reasonableness test�, which said that States could choose from a range of options to 
implement the rights laid out in the Covenant, in accordance with the progressive realization of those rights. By their
nature, the fulfilment of those rights required a balancing of State resources, and Australia acknowledged the
discretion of States parties to adopt a wide range of policy measures to implement those rights.

The representative of the United States said that his delegation, while sceptical of the need for a protocol,
sought to engage constructively in producing an outcome coherent with the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights. The proponents of an Optional Protocol had long argued that the absence of a
complaints procedure for those rights relegated them to a type of second-class status. Those arguments were
premised on the view that economic, social and cultural rights were substantively identical to civil and political
rights and, therefore, must be ï¿½justiciable� in the same manner. Yet, while all rights were equally important,
the nature of rights was fundamentally different.

The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that those rights are to be progressively
realized, in accordance with available resources, he continued. Significant qualifications were not contained in the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Further, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights set forth
rights that were, at face value, difficult to adjudicate, such as ï¿½an adequate standard of living� and the 
�highest attainable standard of health�; violations of those rights were not apparent, nor was it easy to 
determine when they had been satisfactorily achieved.

That fundamental fact was not to say that the rights set out in the Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights were not important, as billions suffered daily from inadequate food, housing, water, sanitation and
other basic needs, he continued. Rather, it was apparent that the Covenant on those rights took a different
approach to rights, as confirmed in the texts of the respective covenants. At the same time, the United States did
not want to stand in the way of those States parties that might choose to avail themselves of the non-binding
communication procedure set out in the Optional Protocol, and it had, therefore, not stood in the way of consensus.

That said, his delegation continued to believe that an international committee of experts, no matter how
qualified, would struggle to adjudicate individual complaints in a manner that was consistent with the provisions of
the Covenant itself and respectful of the sovereign right of Governments to make difficult decisions with respect to
the allocation of scarce resources. He requested that his explanation be entered into the official records.

The representative of Sweden recalled his delegation�s explanation of position at the time of approval in 


the Third Committee.

The representative of Turkey said his country was fully committed to the progressive realization of the
rights set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. However, he asked to have
it placed on record Turkey�s concerns regarding the amended article 2. Also, Turkey would have preferred for
the opt-out approach to be maintained in article 2, since that option would have facilitated States to expand the
range of rights covered by the complaints procedure over time, as they progressively evolved with greater clarity in
domestic systems. Turkey would have also preferred to maintain the compromise reached in the Working Group on
the limited approach in articles 2 and 11. It was also the understanding of Turkey that the rights set forth in part I
of the Covenant were conferred upon peoples and could not be invoked in an individual complaints mechanism.

The representative of Norway expressed concerns regarding the Protocol, referring to a statement made on
18 November in the Third Committee.

The representative of Denmark said her country was strongly committed to the full realization of economic,
social and cultural rights, and believed that all rights were universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.
However, she was sceptical about the wisdom of a complaints mechanism for economic, social and cultural rights,
and found that a majority of rights in the Covenant did not carry legal effects. The progressive nature of their
realization made them insufficiently justiciable. Also, due to their broad and vague nature, she feared that the
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would function as a legislator in the area of economic, social
and cultural rights, and would play too strong a role in determining the allocation of resources within that sphere.
The allocation of resources was a national matter and the responsibility and prerogative of democratic and
popularly legitimate institutions.

The representative of Argentina repeated in all terms the explanation of vote made in the Third Committee
on 18 November.

Algeria�s representative said she was happy to see that the Human Rights Council and General 
Assembly had adopted the Protocol and congratulated the lead negotiator for efforts made to obtain consensus on
it. It was an ï¿½asset� that made it possible for economic, social and cultural rights to benefit from the same 
treatment given to civil and political rights through the justiciability of those rights. That achievement demonstrated
the international community�s will to protect human rights for all.

The Assembly then took up addendum 1 of the Committee�s report on the report of the Human Rights


Council (document A/63/435/Add.1), containing a draft resolution on the ï¿½report of the Human Rights 
Council�.

The Assembly adopted the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 7 against (Australia,
Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 58 abstentions. (For
details of the vote, see annex I)

The resolution had the Assembly take note of the report of the Human Rights Council of its sixth, seventh
and eighth session, as well as fifth, sixth and seventh special session (document A/63/53), and the report of its ninth
session (document A/63/53/Add.1) and acknowledges the recommendations contained therein.

Promotion, Protection of Children�s Rights

Next, the Assembly took up the Committee�s report on promotion and protection of the rights of children


(document A/63/426), containing a draft resolution on ï¿½the rights of the child�, which the Assembly deferred 
pending receipt of a Fifth Committee report.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision on ï¿½documents considered by the General Assembly in 
connection with the promotion of the rights of children�.

Indigenous Issues

The Assembly next turned to the Committee�s report on indigenous issues (document A/63/427), which


contained one draft resolution and one draft decision.

The Assembly adopted both the draft resolution on ï¿½indigenous issues� and the draft decision taking 
note of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the status of the United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations (document A/63/166).

Elimination of Racism and Racial Discrimination

The Assembly then took up the Third Committee�s report on the elimination of racism and racial


discrimination (document A/63/428), which contained three draft resolutions.
Action on draft resolution II on ï¿½global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, 
xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban
Declaration and Programme of Action� and draft resolution III on the ï¿½International Convention on the 
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination� were deferred pending receipt of a Fifth Committee report.

The Assembly then adopted draft resolution I on the ï¿½inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute 
to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance� by a 
recorded vote of 129 in favour to 2 against ( Marshall Islands, United States), with 54 abstentions. (annex II)

Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

Next, the Assembly took up the Committee�s report on the right of peoples to self-determination


(document A/63/429), which contained three draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I on the ï¿½universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination� was 
adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II on ï¿½the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the 
exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination� was adopted by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 52 
against, with 5 abstentions ( Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tonga). (annex III)

Draft resolution III on ï¿½the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination� was adopted by a 
recorded vote of 173 in favour to 5 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau,
United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu). (annex IV)

The representative of Peru explained that his delegation had missed the round of voting, but would have
voted in favour.

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

The Assembly then took up the Third Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human


rights (document A/63/430), and adopted the decision taking note of reports submitted under the item entitled
�promotion and protection of human rights�.

The Assembly then took up addendum 1 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of 
human rights (document A/63/430/Add.1), which contained two draft resolutions on implementation of human rights
instruments.

Draft resolution I on ï¿½torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment� was 
adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II on ï¿½equitable geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty 
bodies� was adopted by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 55 against, with 2 abstentions ( Brazil, Cape Verde).
(annex V)

The representative of the United Kingdom drew attention to explanation of position regarding the resolution
on torture given in the Third Committee, which outlined understanding on legal matters pertaining to the resolution.

The Assembly then moved to take up addendum 2 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and 
protection of human rights (document A/63/430/Add.2), which contained 23 draft resolutions.

The Vice-President reminded the Assembly that action on the ï¿½Committee on the Rights of the Child� 
would be deferred pending receipt of the associated Fifth Committee report.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote on the draft resolution on the moratorium on the use of the
death penalty, the representative of Syria said that United Nations Member States enjoyed the right to equality
and sovereignty. The exercise of that sovereign right must be conducted in full respect of all States. The resolution
before the Assembly was a clear intervention in the sovereign rights of States, as each State had the sovereign
right to choose its juridical, political, social and cultural systems. Asking States to stop the use of the death penalty
was a specific request to change a national system and, therefore, interfered with their sovereign rights.
Further, she said it ignored completely the human dignity of the victim -� or, in some cases, a large 
number of victims -- and disregarded their rights. The implementation of the death penalty was something to be
determined by the legislative authorities of each State. The abolition of the penalty could be seen as a reward for
the perpetrators of crimes, those who took the lives of others. When Member States joined the United Nations
they were admitted on the basis of equality, sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs, and those basic
principles should be maintained. If they were not, it would be a violation of the United Nations Charter. As such,
her delegation would vote against the draft resolution and encouraged others to do the same, in accordance with the
Charter.

The Assembly then took up draft resolution I on ï¿½moratorium on the use of the death penalty�, which 
was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 46 against, with 34 abstentions. (annex VI)

Next, the Assembly took up draft resolution II on the ï¿½role of the Ombudsman, mediator and other 
national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights�, which was adopted without a 
vote.

Draft resolution III on ï¿½regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights� was 
also adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution IV on ï¿½combating defamation of religions� was adopted by a recorded vote of 86 in 
favour to 53 against, with 42 abstentions. (annex VII)

The Assembly then adopted draft resolution V on ï¿½national institutions for the promotion and protection 
of human rights� without a vote.

Draft resolution VI on the ï¿½International Year of Human Rights Learning� was also adopted without a 
vote.

Also adopted without a vote was draft resolution VII on ï¿½the effective promotion of the Declaration on 
the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities�.

Draft resolution VIII on ï¿½human rights and extreme poverty� was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution IX on ï¿½globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights� was adopted 
by a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 54 against, with 4 abstentions ( Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Timor-Leste).
(annex VIII)

Draft resolution X on ï¿½the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa� 


was adopted without a vote.

By a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 4 against ( Marshall Islands, Palau, Ukraine, United States), with 2
abstentions ( Canada, Israel), the Assembly adopted draft resolution XI on the ï¿½right to development�. (annex
IX)

Draft resolution XII on ï¿½human rights and unilateral coercive measures� was adopted by a recorded 
vote of 132 in favour to 54 against, with no abstentions. (annex X)

Draft resolution XIII on the ï¿½enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights� 
was adopted without a vote.

Also adopted without a vote was draft resolution XIV on the ï¿½elimination of all forms of intolerance and of 
discrimination based on religion or belief�.

The Committee next turned to draft resolution XV on ï¿½extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions�.

The representative of Uganda, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference, proposed an
oral amendment to paragraph 6(b), involving the insertion of the words ï¿½peoples under foreign occupation� 
after the word ï¿½refugees�. She requested another amendment, where the words ï¿½including sexual 
orientation� would be replace by the word ï¿½whatsoever�.

The representative of Sweden said she regretted the call to amend the text, explaining that those same
amendments had been voted on -- and defeated -- in the Third Committee. To make it easier for all delegations to
state their positions, she proposed that the amendments be voted on. Along with the other co-sponsors to the
resolution, she intended to vote ï¿½no� to those amendments and appealed to others to do likewise.

The representative of Egypt, aligning himself with the statement by the Organization of Islamic Conference,
noted that the amendments just made were reflected on page 60 in document A/63/430/Add.2. He observed that
those amendments had been voted on separately by the Third Committee.

At the Vice-President�s request, the representative of Uganda repeated the proposed amendments, and


said she would not object to separate votes on each of those amendments.

Sweden�s representative noted the sudden nature of the call for a vote on amendments, but nevertheless 
explained the serious concerns she and other co-sponsors had with such amendments, as had been explained in the
Third Committee. A reference to foreign occupation was already in the paragraph in question. As for the proposal to
add the term ï¿½whatsoever� in place of ï¿½including sexual orientation�, she raised objections to that 
proposal, saying it was important to make a reference to killings based on sexual orientation, which was an
�extensive problem�. She appealed to all delegations to vote ï¿½no� to the proposed amendments.

The first oral amendment to paragraph 6(b) of draft resolution XV on ï¿½extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary 
executions� was rejected by a vote of 75 against to 71 in favour, with 22 abstentions. (annex XI)

The second oral amendment to the same paragraph was rejected by a vote of 78 against to 60 in favour, with 
28 abstentions. (annex XII)

Draft resolution XV on ï¿½extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions� was then adopted by a vote of 
127 in favour to none against, with 58 abstentions.. (annex XIII)

Draft resolution XVI on ï¿½missing persons� was adopted without a vote.

The Assembly then moved to adopt draft resolution XVII on the ï¿½protection of migrants�, without a 
vote.

Turning to draft resolution XVIII on the ï¿½protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while 
countering terrorism�, the representative of Mexico corrected an error in the Spanish version of the draft text.
Paragraph 29 should have been deleted. The text was then adopted without a vote as orally revised.

Draft resolution XIX on the ï¿½International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced 
Disappearance� was also adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution XX on the ï¿½right to food� was adopted by a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against 
( United States), with no abstentions. (annex XIV)

Draft resolution XXI on ï¿½respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of 
family reunification� was adopted by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, 
Palau, United States), with 60 abstentions. (annex XV)

Draft resolution XXII on the ï¿½promotion of a democratic and equitable international order� was adopted 
by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 55 against, with 7 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru,
Timor-Leste, Vanuatu). (annex XVI)

The representative of Syria, speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on the resolution on the
promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of counter-terrorism, said that Syria would
continue to cooperate with the United Nations system on the issue and in light of its national law. It was Syria�s 
understanding that the lists of individuals and entities in operative paragraphs 18 and 19 referred to the lists issued
by the Security Council.

The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking to the resolution on the right to development, recalled
the statement made by his country in Third Committee deliberations regarding the reference to indigenous peoples
in the text. Such wording could be seen as to establish collective rights within the resolution. Similarly, on the
resolution before the Assembly on the right to food, he also referred to his delegation�s explanation given in the 
Third Committee on the draft and the establishment of collective rights.

The representative of Singapore, speaking in explanation of vote on the resolution on a moratorium on the
use of the death penalty, noted that there was no international consensus on the death penalty and, for many
countries, the penalty was used in an effort to further protect its citizens. The use of the death penalty was not a
human rights issue, but rather a criminal justice issue. Further, the issue was divisive and controversial and should
not be taken up by the General Assembly. Nothing in the Charter authorized the United Nations to interfere in the
domestic matters of any State, as each country had the sovereign right to decide on the matter for themselves and
to establish their own national systems. Countries on either side of the argument had no right to impose their points
of view on others and she asked that Singapore�s opposition to the resolution and any attempt by one Member
State to impose its own values or beliefs on another be put on record.

The representative of Cape Verde, speaking on resolution IV on defamation of religions, said that was a text
which, at first glance, might draw easy agreement, since manhunts for religious or ethnic reasons, or murders due to
race or faith, were heinous problems. However, currently, there was a new political confrontation under way and there
were signs of a setback in overall discussions. There was a need to move forward on the issue and for the entire
international community to come together on the issue. Having reread the text and carefully looked at the fine print,
he noted a troubling reality of ï¿½dual language�, and said his delegation was frustrated by a long drafting 
procedure that had led to such meagre results. The text did not strike the proper balance on the subject and there
needed to be greater impartiality on delicate issues. There was a need to guarantee the full freedom of religion and
belief, along with the freedom of choice for those who wanted to change their religions. For all those reasons, Cape
Verde had voted against the text.

Turning to resolution XX on the right to food, he said his delegation had been unable to vote and it would
have voted for that resolution.

The representative of Egypt said he had voted against the resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty
because it went against the religious beliefs of some societies, as well as certain international legal documents.
Islam believed in the sanctity of life, and Islamic nations used the death penalty only for the most serious crimes
and with regard to due process. He noted that no international accord prohibited the death penalty, and the right to
seek pardon or a commutation was provided for under international law.

He said he believed the text should have centred on ensuring due process and ensuring that it was used
correctly. Indeed, international law restricted the use of the death penalty against minors. It was also not permitted
against pregnant women, in order to protect the right to life of the unborn child.

He said he believed that the resolution had been aimed at reinterpreting the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights in light of developments within certain countries, and reflected a narrow viewpoint. The
argument that this year�s resolution was ï¿½procedural� was not supportable by its title and provisions.
Indeed, the text dealt with the use of the death penalty and not its application, implying that its use by States that
still retained it was to serve certain political interests.

In addition, he said the text claimed that there was a trend towards abolition, based on the Secretary-
General�s report. That report had been based on unauthenticated information and used questionable methodology.
Moreover, the resolution failed to deal with extrajudicial executions. It disregarded the diversity in the world with
regard to societal rules. While some societies had chosen to abolish or apply a moratorium on the death penalty,
others had chosen to retain it, in full compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. No side
was more right than the other. All sides had decided freely, based on their sovereign right and based on specific
social and cultural needs. Neither side should be able to impose its views on the other. Human rights considerations
with regard to the death penalty could only be reconciled by the Human Rights Council through a comprehensive
debate and negotiation at the multilateral level.

The representative of Barbados drew attention to his Government�s explanation of vote on 20 November 


in the Third Committee. Capital punishment was lawful under international law and a national matter.

Tunisia�s representative said he would have voted ï¿½yes� to the second amendment on the resolution 
on extrajudicial killings.

The representative of Chile, who spoke on behalf of the co-sponsors of the resolution on a moratorium, said
the text�s adoption was a milestone in the move to improve human rights. Many countries had already abolished
the death penalty, either de jure or de facto, confirming a world trend towards its abolishment. That trend should
not be allowed to go in reverse.
He said the text had been widely negotiated through a new focus that was geared towards constructive
dialogue. That philosophy was reflected in the text�s simplicity and brevity. The reference to the item�s 
biennial nature was due to the proposals of some delegations.

China�s representative expressed regret over the draft�s adoption, saying that imposing the views of one 
side would not do anything to help resolve disagreements over the issue, but would further politicize the issue. For
that reason, China had voted against it in the Third Committee and had voted against it once again in the Assembly.
The decision to apply, limit or abolish the application of the death penalty was a national matter and not a question of
human rights.

She said the draft ran counter to the principle of non-interference and had set States against one another.
International law did not ban the death penalty and, indeed, there was no consensus on the issue. Article 6, paragraph
2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights said the death penalty could be used for serious crimes,
and that nations were free to decide when to suspend or abolish penalties in light of their needs. The death penalty
was a powerful deterrent in the case of the most serious crimes and enjoyed broad public support in China. Its use
was subject to strict control and was used for a narrow band of crimes. Further, minors below 18 years at the time of
crimes and pregnant women were not subject to it. In some cases, execution was delayed by two years, during which
the sentence could be commuted to a life sentence, if the accused did not commit any new crimes within that time.
Very few criminals had actually been put to death.

Limitations on its use were also imposed in the approval process, to ensure fairness, she said. The authority
to review the death penalty and exercise it fell to the Supreme People�s Court.

The representative of Algeria, explaining her delegation�s vote in favour of the resolution on 


extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and in favour of the amendments introduced by Uganda, expressed
hope that, in the future, the resolution would be amended so as to garner the broadest possible support and to be
adopted by consensus.

In a general statement, the representative of Argentina, speaking on behalf of a list of associated countries,
reaffirmed the principle of the universality of human rights, as established by the Universal Declaration. All human
beings were born free and equal in dignity and rights and all individuals had the right to enjoy their rights without
distinction. The principle of non-discrimination required that all human rights be applied to all human beings,
regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As such, he expressed a deep concern and alarm at the
ongoing exclusion, harassment, stigmatization and prejudice against individuals because of their sexual orientation
or gender identity.

Continuing, he condemned all human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity,
whenever or wherever they might occur, especially when those violations involved the use of the death penalty or
the use of torture or other cruel or inhuman treatment against the victims. He recalled the remarks made by 54
countries in 2006 asking the President of the Human Rights Council to provide an opportunity at a future session of
the Council for a discussion of those violations and welcomed the resolution adopted by the Organization of
American States on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, he urged all States to take all
necessary steps to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity did not become the reason for criminal
punishment, especially executions, arrests or detention. Human rights violations due to sexual orientation or
gender identity must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible be held accountable.

The representative of Syria, making a general statement on behalf of a list of associated countries,
responded to Argentina�s statement on the ï¿½so-called� notions of sexual orientation and gender identity. All
human rights were universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and no country
could claim that, within its borders, all human rights were fully realized at all times and for all individuals. Indeed,
Member States had jointly declared that the full realization of human rights for all remained a challenge, but that
they would not shy away from its magnitude. In that context, he expressed serious concern over attempts to
introduce some notions that had no legal foundation in any international human rights instrument. Even more
disturbing was the attempt to focus on certain persons, based on their sexual orientation and behaviours, while
ignoring the intolerance and discrimination that existed in all parts of the world, based on many other factors.

There was no legal ground for the statement of Argentina, he said, adding that it fell into matters that were
in the domestic jurisdiction of States. The ï¿½ominous usage� of the notion of orientation could be seen as to go 
beyond an individual�s sexual interest and could possibly legitimize many deplorable acts, such as paedophilia.
The idea that some behaviours were the result of genetic factors had been scientifically rebuffed and, as such, the
two notions of sexual orientation and gender identity should not be linked to existing human rights instruments.
While strongly deploring any form of discrimination, stigmatization or violence directed against communities or
individuals on any grounds, he reaffirmed article 29 of the Universal Declaration and the rights of Member States
to decide on morality, public order and the general welfare in society.

The universal rights laid out in the Declaration had been codified in other international human rights
instruments and he expressed his concern, once more, at attempts to create new rights that had not been agreed
upon by the general membership. Such an attempt seriously jeopardized the entire international human rights
framework. He called on all Member States to step up their efforts to eliminate all forms of racism, racial
intolerance, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and to avoid giving priority to the rights of certain
individuals, especially when that might come at the expense of others. In closing, he called for the family to be
further protected and promoted as the main unit of society and urged all States to intensify their efforts to
consolidate their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights for all, on an equal footing and
without exception.

The representative of Ethiopia noted that, on the resolution on the death penalty, his delegation had
mistakenly voted in favour, whereas it had meant to vote against the resolution.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that, to overcome negative trends in promoting and
protecting human rights, there was a need for international goodwill among all parties. International cooperation in
the human rights arena was imperative and such discussions should serve as a unifying factor in international
relations. Therefore, no subject should be injected into the agenda that could lead to confrontation or divisiveness,
and his delegation shared many of the concerns expressed in Syria�s statement on behalf of associated States.
The approach to the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity should be constructed within the context of
already existing international human rights instruments, since separating such discussion into discussions on an
individual group could lead to a greater burden in the workload of the Assembly.

The representative of Belarus said the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity was sensitive in
nature, complex and varied, and should not, therefore, be considered hastily. A prudent and considered approach
was most necessary in such a situation. Human rights should not lead to riffs or confrontations among Member
States and the discussion of those issues should take place in the context of equitable and mutually respectful
dialogue.

The observer for the Holy See, speaking in reference to the statement made by Argentina, expressed
appreciation for the attempts made in that declaration to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual
persons and its effort to urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against
them. At the same time, the wording of that statement went well beyond the above mentioned and shared intent. In
particular, the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity had no clear definition under international law. If
they were included in proclamations on fundamental rights or in their implementation, it could create serious
uncertainty and could undermine a State�s ability to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights 
conventions and standards. That said, the Holy See continued to advocate that discrimination against homosexual
persons should be avoided and he urged States to do away with criminal penalties against those groups.

The Assembly then took up addendum 3 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of 
human rights (document A/63/430/Add.3), which contained three draft resolutions on human rights situations and
reports of special rapporteurs and representatives. The Vice-President reminded the Assembly that draft
resolution II on the ï¿½situation of human rights in Myanmar� had been deferred pending receipt of a Fifth 
Committee report.

Turning to draft resolution I on the ï¿½situation of human rights in the Democratic People�s Republic of
Korea�, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 94 in favour to 22 against, with 63 abstentions. (annex
XVII)

It then took up draft resolution III on the ï¿½situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran�.

Before action was taken, the representative of Iran called for a motion of no action on the text. Citing voting
rule 116 of the rules of procedure, he said his country believed the Human Rights Council was the most competent
body to consider and monitor human rights, especially through its Universal Periodic Review mechanism.
Consideration by the Assembly of questions such as that contained in the draft resolution on Iran was unwarranted,
and should be excluded from the agenda today. The Assembly should resist Canada�s and other country�s 
manipulation of the United Nations system for their own political use, which affected the Organization�s 
credibility.

The representative of Venezuela said his delegation would express its firm disagreement with States that
sought to individually condemn others in a manner that was political and selective. Any action within the United
Nations framework should be oriented towards the promotion and protection of human rights, based on the
principle of dialogue. He asked the Assembly to consider the merits of conducting a comprehensive, exhaustive and
neutral investigation to determine human rights violations, as opposed to simply condemning them. Indeed, the
Human Rights Council had opened such a process of investigation, giving all parties the chance to objectively
present their cases without pressure. He went on to note that, in the case of the Gaza Strip, it would seem that the
Assembly had chosen to deal with the humanitarian crisis there, not by condemning anyone, but by launching an
investigation.
He would support the no-action motion proposed by the representative of Iran and appealed for support
from all other delegates.

The representative of Canada expressed deep disappointment over the introduction of a no-action motion in
the plenary debate, an extraordinary action that was designed to stifle debate. A no-action motion had already been
introduced during Third Committee deliberations and had been rejected. The Committee had then decided to
recommend the draft for adoption by the General Assembly. The use of the no-action motion in the Assembly, after
an identical motion had been attempted and failed in the Committee, signified a deep disregard for the Third
Committee and its procedures. While there may be different views on the substance of the resolution, Member
States should be united in its support for the work of the Third Committee and for the General Assembly as a whole.
Member States had consistently rejected no-action motions in similar circumstances in the past, and he encouraged
all States to vote against the no-action motion in order to allow the Assembly to vote on the merit of the resolution as
a whole.

The representative of Australia, speaking on behalf of associated countries, said United Nations bodies
should continue to be forums for addressing human rights situations wherever they occurred. She expressed
disappointment over the introduction of the no-action motion, saying that each resolution should be considered on
its merits and such motions should not be allowed to undermine the credibility of the Third Committee and of the
General Assembly. For those reasons, she opposed the introduction of the no-action motion and encouraged other
delegations to join hers in voting against the motion.

The representative of Pakistan expressed support for the no-action motion introduced by Iran. All human
rights were universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The international human rights agenda should be
addressed in a fair and balanced manner, based on dialogue and cooperation. Country-specific resolutions did not
encourage the better promotion of human rights or international cooperation. Instead, they reflected the
politicization of human rights issues and created artificial barriers to equal and constructive dialogue among
Member States. He urged other delegations to support the motion.

The Assembly then rejected the no-action motion by a recorded vote of 84 against to 69 in favour, with 25 


abstentions. (annex XVIII)

The representative of Iran then proposed two oral amendments -- to delete the operative paragraph 6, in
which the Secretary-General was requested to prepare a report on the situation in his country, and operative
paragraph 7, to request the continuation of the Assembly�s consideration of the agenda item. The campaign
against his country was of a political nature. Human rights could not be safeguarded through the application of
double standards.

The representative of Canada said he would vote against the proposed amendment for procedural and
substantive reasons. Procedurally, the last-minute amendment addressed concerns that had never before been raised
in the Third Committee, despite numerous opportunities to have done so. He questioned the opposition to paragraph
6, since the representative of Iran had often argued that information on human rights in the country, and upon which
discussions on the item was based, was inaccurate or out of date. There was no better way to resolve the debate than
to ask the Secretary-General to provide an update on the situation in the country. He also noted that, last year, the
General Assembly had rejected a similar late amendment to the plenary. He would vote ï¿½no� and encouraged 
others to do the same.

The representative of France said the Third Committee had had an opportunity to consider the present
resolution during its session, and delegations could have presented amendments at that time. The lack of progress
on human rights in Iran would seem to justify a report, and for the General Assembly to take up that item at its
next session. She would vote against both amendments.

The oral amendment proposed to operative paragraph 6 of the draft resolution on the human rights situation
in Iran was rejected by a vote of 72 against to 50 in favour, with 50 abstentions. (annex XIX)

The representative of Canada said that, once again, his delegation would vote against the amendment for
both the procedural reasons he had laid out in his previous statement and for substantive reasons. In terms of the
substance of the amendment before the Assembly, he noted that the resolution expressed its deep concern for the
human rights situation in the country, called on Iran to address those concerns and asked for a follow-up report on
the situation. With that in mind, it would be highly irregular for the General Assembly to not continue to examine
the issue at an upcoming session.

The oral amendment to operative paragraph 7 of the draft resolution on the human rights situation in Iran
was rejected by a recorded vote of 71 against to 50 in favour, with 51 abstentions. (annex XX)
The Assembly then moved to consider the text as a whole. Draft resolution III on the ï¿½situation of human 
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran� was adopted by a recorded vote of 69 in favour to 54 against, with 57 
abstentions. (annex XXI)

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea totally


rejected the resolution on his country that had just been passed. The resolution was the culmination of selectivity,
politicization and double standards and had little to do with the promotion and protection of human rights. Instead, the
resolution was nothing but a pretext for a change in the ideology, the system and the Government of the Democratic
People�s Republic of Korea. Such resolutions had no value and no meaning. Though they continued to be adopted,
his country would continue to provide for and support the people of the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea
through its own appropriate social systems.

Addendum 4 of the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of human rights (document 
A/62/430/Add.4) stated that no action was taken by the Committee on the Assembly item entitled comprehensive
implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The Assembly took note of
the addendum.

The Assembly then considered addendum 5 to the Committee�s report on the promotion and protection of 
human rights (document A/63/430/Add.5), containing a draft resolution on the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, which was adopted without a vote and as orally corrected by the
Rapporteur.

Next, the Assembly considered the Third Committee�s report on crime prevention and criminal justice


(document A/63/431), which contained four draft resolutions and one draft decision.

Draft resolution I on ï¿½preparations for the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and 
Criminal Justice� was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II on ï¿½improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons� was 
adopted without a vote.

The Assembly also adopted draft resolution III on ï¿½strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention 
and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity�, without a vote.

It also adopted draft resolution IV without a vote, on the ï¿½United Nations African Institute for the 
Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders�.

The Assembly then adopted the draft decision to take note of documents in connection with the question of
crime prevention and criminal justice.

The Assembly then took up the Committee�s report on international drug control (document A/63/432)


containing a draft resolution on ï¿½international cooperation against the world drug problem�, which was adopted 
without a vote.

The Assembly then took up the Committee�s report on the revitalization of the work of the General


Assembly (document A/63/433), adopting without a vote a draft decision to take note of the draft programme of
work for the Third Committee for the sixty-third session of the General Assembly.

Finally, the Assembly took up the Committee�s report on programme planning (document A/63/434),


which contained one draft decision on programme 19, human rights, of the proposed strategic framework for the
period 2010-2011. The draft was adopted by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, Marshall
Islands, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Australia, Canada). (annex XXII)

The Assembly Vice-President thanked the Chairman of the Third Committee, Frank Majoor of the
Netherlands, as well as delegates, for ï¿½a job well done.�

The Assembly then resumed its consideration of agenda item 45 on the Culture of Peace. During a high-
level meeting on the item on 12 and 13 November 2008, the Assembly had considered draft resolutions
A/63/L.24/Rev.1 and A/63/L.23. (See Press Releases GA/10782 and GA/10784)

The representative of Singapore then introduced a third draft resolution, on behalf of Egypt and the other co-
sponsors, on supporting the United Nations International School in enhancing international education and promoting
multicultural interaction (document A/63/L.55). The International School was dear to the hearts of many within the
United Nations family and was as culturally diverse as the United Nations itself, he said. Indeed, it employed a
multinational staff representing more than 70 countries and, although English was the primary medium of instruction,
all students studied French and Spanish, and had the option to study other languages, as well. The School strived to
promote an appreciation for the diverse cultural heritage of the student body, in line with principles of the United
Nations. After five years of planning, the Board of Trustees of the School had initiated a phased renovation plan and
the current resolution was aimed at supporting the fundraising efforts of the School, both symbolically and
practically. He stressed that the resolution did not oblige any Member State to contribute to the School, but it did
encourage those who could, to do so at will. He expressed hope that the resolution could be adopted by consensus.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution without a vote.

ANNEX I

Vote on Report of Human Rights Council

The draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council (document A/63/435/Add.1) was adopted by
a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 7 against, with 58 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros,
Congo, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, 
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala,
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, Papua New
Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint
Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria,
Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda,
United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia,
Zimbabwe.

Against: Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United
States.

Abstain: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria,
Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France,
Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United
Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Seychelles, Tuvalu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Practices Fuelling Racism

The draft resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms
of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/63/428) was adopted by a
recorded vote of 129 in favour to 2 against, with 54 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, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile,
China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic 
of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
Israel, 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, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman,
Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint
Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra
Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria,
Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu,
Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela,
Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Marshall Islands, United States.

Abstain: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada,
Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece,
Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United
Kingdom.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Micronesia (Federated
States of), Nauru, Seychelles.

ANNEX III

Vote on Mercenaries

The draft resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights (document A/63/429)
was adopted by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 52 against, with 5 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, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, China,
Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of 
Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger,
Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation,
Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname,
Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, 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, Marshall
Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Poland,
Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United
States.

Abstain: Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tonga.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Peru, Saint Kitts and
Nevis, Seychelles, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Self-Determination of Palestinian People

The draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (document A/63/429) was
adopted by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 5 against, with 7 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan,
Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica,
C�te d�Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, 
Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy,
Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, 
Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi,
Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro,
Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria,
Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar,
Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia,
Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu,
Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain: Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Seychelles.

ANNEX V

Vote on Geographical Distribution on Treaty Bodies

The draft resolution on equitable geographical distribution in the membership of human rights treaty bodies
(document A/63/430/Add.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 55 against, with 2 abstentions, as
follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina
Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa
Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican 
Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, 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, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman,
Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts
and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname,
Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia,
Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan,
Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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

Abstain: Brazil, Cape Verde.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Micronesia
(Federated States of), Seychelles.

ANNEX VI

Vote on Death Penalty Moratorium

The draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (document A/63/430/Add.2) was
adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 46 against, with 34 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium,
Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape
Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, 
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany,
Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius,
Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland,
Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and
Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland,
Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu,
Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Against: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei
Darussalam, China, Comoros, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, 
Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia,
Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,
Uganda, United States, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Bahrain, Belarus, Bhutan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cuba, Djibouti, Eritrea, Fiji,
Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lebanon,
Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam,
Zambia.

Absent: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Seychelles, Tunisia.

ANNEX VII

Vote on Combating Defamation of Religion

The draft resolution on combating defamation of religion (document A/63/430/Add.2) was adopted by a
recorded vote of 86 in favour to 53 against, with 42 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Comoros, C�te d�Ivoire, 
Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, 
Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan,
Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, 
Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman,
Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe,
Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname,
Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

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

Abstain: Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic,
Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti,
India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Panama, Papua
New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu,
United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zambia.

Absent: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Kiribati, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Solomon Islands.

ANNEX VIII

Vote on Globalization

The draft resolution on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights (document
A/63/430/A.2) was adopted by a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 54 against, with 4 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,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China,
Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of 
Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon,
Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger,
Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian
Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao
Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,
Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, 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, Marshall
Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, 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, Timor-Leste.

Absent: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Seychelles.

ANNEX IX

Vote on Right to Development

The draft resolution on the right to development (document A/63/430/Add.2) was adopted by a recorded vote
of 182 in favour to 4 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin,
Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia,
Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic 
People�s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El 
Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana,
Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao
People�s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, 
Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar,
Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan,
Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea,
Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia,
Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan,
Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Marshall Islands, Palau, Ukraine, United States.

Abstain: Canada, Israel.

Absent: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Seychelles.

ANNEX X

Vote on Unilateral Coercive Measures

The draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/63/430/Add.2) was
adopted by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 54 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, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad,
Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s 
Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, Nepal, Nicaragua,
Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian
Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi
Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia,
Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan,
Vanuatu, 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, Marshall
Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine,
United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain: None.

Absent: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Seychelles.

ANNEX XI

Vote on Oral Amendment I to Extrajudicial Executions

The first oral amendment to the draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
(document A/63/430/Add.2) was rejected by a recorded vote of 75 against to 71 in favour, with 22 abstentions, as
follows:

Against: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece,
Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of),
Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino,
Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay.

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, China, Comoros, C�te d�Ivoire, 
Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, 
Guinea, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali,
Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon
Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey,
Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Congo, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau,
Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi,
Mongolia, Rwanda, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United Republic of Tanzania.

Absent: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea,
Gabon, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Papua New Guinea,
Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tajikistan, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago,
Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

ANNEX XII

Vote on Oral Amendment II to Extrajudicial Executions

The second oral amendment to the draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
(document A/63/430/Add.2) was rejected by a recorded vote of 78 against to 60 in favour, with 28 abstentions, as
follows:

Against: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon,
Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States
of), Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino,
Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Brunei
Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, 
Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan,
Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia,
South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab
Emirates, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Congo,
C�te d�Ivoire, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic 
Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, Togo, Tonga, United Republic of Tanzania.

Absent: Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,
Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru,
Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Suriname, Tajikistan,
Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

ANNEX XIII

Vote on Extrajudicial Executions

The draft resolution on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions (document A/63/430/Add.2) was
adopted by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to none against, with 58 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad,
Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France,
Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti,
Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia,
Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and
Principe, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden,
Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga,
Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Against: None.

Abstain: Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Central African
Republic, China, C�te d�Ivoire, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, 
Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, 
Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman,
Pakistan, Palau, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi
Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago,
Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Viet Nam,
Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Absent: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Seychelles, Turkmenistan.

ANNEX XIV

Vote on Right to Food

The draft resolution on the right to food (document A/63/430/Add.2) was adopted by a recorded vote of 184 in
favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin,
Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros,
Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People�s 
Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea,
Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada,
Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s 
Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar,
Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan,
Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of
Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone,
Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname,
Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United
Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela,
Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: United States.

Abstain: None.

Absent: Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea,
Seychelles, Uganda.
ANNEX XV

Vote on Family Reunification

The draft resolution on respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family
reunification (document A/63/430/Add.2) was adopted by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 4 against, with 60
abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia,
Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa
Rica, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, 
Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya,
Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, 
Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar,
Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea,
Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia,
Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan,
Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

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

Absent: Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago.

ANNEX XVI

Vote on Equitable International Order

The draft resolution on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (document
A/63/430/Add.2) was adopted by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 55 against, with 7 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados,
Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo,
Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, 
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada,
Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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,
Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra
Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria,
Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, 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, Marshall
Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, 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, Peru, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu.

Absent: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Seychelles.

ANNEX XVII

Vote on Human Rights in Democratic People�s Republic of Korea

The draft resolution on human rights in the Democratic People�s Republic of Korea (document


A/63/430/Add.3) was adopted by a recorded vote of 94 in favour to 22 against, with 63 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Comoros,
Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France,
Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel,
Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of),
Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New
Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia,
Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of
Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Against: Algeria, Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guinea, 
Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Russian Federation, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam,
Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo,
C�te d�Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, 
Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, 
Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and
Principe, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand,
Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia.

Absent: Armenia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mongolia,
Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu.

ANNEX XVIII

Vote on No-Action Motion on Iran

The no-action motion on the draft resolution on human rights in Iran (document A/63/430/Add.3) was rejected
by a recorded vote of 84 against to 69 in favour, with 25 abstentions, as follows:

Against: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany,
Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea,
Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Ukraine,
United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.
In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus,
Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Congo, C�te 
d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, India, 
Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, 
Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar,
Russian Federation, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia,
Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Dominica,
Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Lesotho, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, United
Republic of Tanzania.

Absent: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iraq, Libya, Madagascar,
Maldives, Morocco, Seychelles, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Yemen.

ANNEX XIX

Vote on Oral Amendment to OP Para 6/Iran

The oral amendment to operate paragraph 6 of the draft resolution on human rights in Iran (document
A/63/430/Add.3) was rejected by a recorded vote of 72 against to 50 in favour, with 50 abstentions, as follows:

Against: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro,
Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova,
Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.

In favour: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam,
Central African Republic, China, Comoros, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of 
Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon,
Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation,
Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cape Verde, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, 
Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay,
Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra
Leone, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania,
Uruguay, Zambia.

Absent: Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon,
Georgia, Iraq, Madagascar, Maldives, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga,
Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Yemen.

ANNEX XX

Vote on Oral Amendment to OP Para 7/Iran

The oral amendment of operative paragraph 7 of the draft resolution on human rights in Iran (document
A/63/430/Add.3) was rejected by a recorded vote of 71 against to 50 in favour, with 51 abstentions, as follows:

Against: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro,
Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania,
Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.

In favour: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam,
Central African Republic, China, Comoros, C�te d�Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of 
Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon,
Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation,
Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cape Verde, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, 
Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea,
Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and
Principe, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of
Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia.

Absent: Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon,
Georgia, Iraq, Madagascar, Maldives, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga,
Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Yemen.

ANNEX XXI

Vote on Human Rights in Iran

The draft resolution on human rights in Iran (document A/63/430/Add.3) was adopted by a recorded vote of
69 in favour to 54 against, with 57 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador,
Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste,
Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.

Against: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, China, Comoros,
Congo, Cuba, Democratic People�s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, India, 
Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania,
Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal,
Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Abstain: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, C�te 
d�Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-
Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People�s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Mali, 
Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines,
Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and
Principe, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Uganda, United Arab
Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia.

Absent: Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iraq,
Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey.

ANNEX XXII

Vote on Programme Planning


The draft decision on programme planning (document A/63/434) was adopted by a recorded vote of 175 in
favour to 3 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia,
Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros,
Congo, Costa Rica, C�te d�Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People�s 
Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador,
Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece,
Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao
People�s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, 
Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay,
Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian
Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and
Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South
Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda,
Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan,
Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.

Abstain: Australia, Canada.

Absent: Bahrain, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Micronesia (Federated
States of), Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago,
Turkmenistan.

* *** *

10 December 2008

General Assembly
GA/10795

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Plenary & Human Rights Commemoration

65th & 66th Meetings (AM & PM)

General Assembly marks 60 years of universal


human rights declaration

by adopting its own, pledging to enhance dialogue


among peoples
Adoption of Optional Protocol to International Covenant

On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Caps Year-Long Worldwide Celebration

Making the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the landmark Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, United Nations Member States reaffirmed today their commitment to the full
realization of all human rights for all peoples, and pledged to enhance international cooperation and
dialogue among peoples and nations on the basis of mutual respect and understanding towards that
goal.

Capping the year-long worldwide celebration of the Universal Declaration, the General
Assembly adopted a Declaration of its own, which reaffirmed the indivisibility of all fundamental rights
and freedoms, pledging commitment to development and to the internationally-agreed development
goals, the fulfilment of which would be instrumental to the enjoyment of human rights. ï¿½We all have 
the duty to step up our efforts to promote and protect all human rights and to prevent, stop and redress
all human rights violations�, the Assembly declared.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees the political and civic rights of all
peoples, including the right to freedom from torture, poverty, homelessness and other forms of
oppression. Its architects include former United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Peng-chun
Chang, Ren� Cassin, John Humphrey and Charles Malik. The Assembly praised the Declaration as
a source of progressive development for all human rights, saying: ï¿½In an ever-changing world, the
Universal Declaration remains a relevant ethical compass that guides us in addressing the challenges
we face today.�

That was one of the highlights of the Assembly�s Human Rights Day 2008 schedule of 
events, which included two panel discussions on the state of human rights in the 60 years since the
adoption of the Universal Declaration, and an award ceremony during which Assembly President
Miguel d�Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua presented the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human 
Rights to Louise Arbour, Benazir Bhutto (posthumous), Ramsey Clark, Carolyn Gomes, Denis
Mukwege and Dorothy Stang (posthumous). Human Rights Watch was also a recipient of the Prize.

Acting on the recommendations of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), the
Assembly also unanimously adopted an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights (document A/63/435), recommending that it be opened for signature in 2009.
The Protocol gives any individual or group claiming to be the victim of a violation of any rights
recognized in the Covenant the right to submit a written communication for examination by the Geneva-
based Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, addressing the ceremony via video link from Poznan, Poland,
where he was attending the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, said the Universal
Declaration had been drafted amid utter destruction and destitution following the Holocaust and the
Second World War. ï¿½It reflects humanity�s aspirations for a future of prosperity, dignity and 
peaceful coexistence.�

Yet, while the international community had come a long way since the drafting of the
Declaration, ï¿½the reality is that we have not lived up to the Declaration�s vision -� at least not 
yet�, he said, adding that, since taking office, he had been ï¿½humbled and saddened� by having 
seen so many people whose human rights were being abused and not properly protected, including
through human trafficking, the exploitation of children, and a host of other ills. ï¿½And still, after all the 
lessons we profess to have learned, shocking acts of brutality against innocent people often go
unanswered�, he said.

�We cannot turn a blind eye to poverty, bigotry and repression. We have a collective


responsibility to reject indifference�, he continued, stressing that human rights -- indivisible and
interdependent -- must hold the whole world in solidarity. He went on to pay tribute to the individuals
who risked their lives defending the rights of others around the world, including human rights experts,
lawyers and journalists, as well as ï¿½ordinary people who find extraordinary courage and stand up for 
what is rightfully theirs, yours, mine and ours�.

In his opening remarks, Assembly President d�Escoto said the Universal Declaration was a 
recognized source of ethical and legal standards that called for respecting the dignity, freedom and
equality of all peoples. It taught that justice, solidarity and recognition of all peoples as members of the
human family were the values that should govern the new world order. Human rights were progressive,
he said, citing numerous examples of their transformational powers: the abolition of slavery and the
recognition of full equality between men and women, among them.

�Human rights are the paradigm for the twenty-first century�, he declared, urging renewed 
commitment to prevent their violation. ï¿½We must stop such violations and redress the historical 
damage we have caused to all those who have suffered abuses anywhere in the world.� The
Assembly could not tolerate that more than a billion people lived on less than a dollar a day; that 2.8
billion lived on less than two dollars; or that tens of thousands of women and children were victims of
human trafficking.

The challenge was to instil the letter and spirit of the Declaration into the hearts of decision-
makers, he said. If human rights were to be the future archetype, international relations would need to
be consistent with the rights to education, food, health, housing and clean water, among others. Despite
the many agreements, covenants and institutions, the Assembly must further strengthen human rights
oversight, monitoring and implementation mechanisms. States must work harder to implement human
rights treaties and end the ï¿½insolent opulence of the few� in order to eradicate poverty.

Recalling that article 1 of the Declaration stressed that ï¿½all human beings are born free and 
equal in dignity and rights�, Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human 
Rights, said those words resonated as widely today as they had in 1948. Thanks to the Universal
Declaration, all human rights were recognized as inherent and inalienable entitlements, rather than
privileges ï¿½magnanimously bestowed� at the caprice of the powerful.

Today, the principles embodied in the Declaration were echoed in the constitutions and laws of
more than 90 countries, while civil society everywhere had exerted vigilance over rights
implementation with growing influence, she said. The Declaration insisted on a common claim to a life
of dignity and envisaged a world in which everyone was protected from hunger, oppression and
violence. Sadly, however, that vision had been undermined by repression, discrimination and inequality.

Quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela, she said the Declaration was a
�shining beacon and inspiration� for millions of South Africans; proof that they were part of a 
great global movement against racism. Those words rang true today for everyone who still suffered
human rights violations. Having grown up a ï¿½second-class citizen� in apartheid South Africa, she
had seen the complete transformation of her country, which today had one of the world�s strongest 
constitutions. For too many people, the Universal Declaration remained an unfulfilled promise: crimes
against humanity were ongoing while rape and murder continued with impunity.

She said the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights was an instrument of singular importance. With its adoption today, the Assembly would close a
yawning gap in human rights protection, marking a milestone in the history of the universal human
rights system. She concluded by pointing out that the Universal Declaration was never intended to be a
mere ï¿½catalogue of hopes�, ringing in rhetoric but limping in deeds. It aimed to end brutality and
destruction. Sixty years after its passage, it was time to realize its promises.

In his remarks, Human Rights Council President Martin Ihoghian Uhomoibhi said the three-
year-old organ had made ï¿½good strides� in carrying out its mandate to promote and protect human 
rights and freedoms for all. It remained constantly seized of rights violations around the globe while, at
the same time, providing an invaluable space where the voices of the Universal Declaration�s 
defenders could be heard.

Under the Council�s ï¿½revolutionary� Universal Periodic Review mechanism, Member 
States had committed themselves to review of their human rights records by their peers, he said. That
initiative had ï¿½real potential for ensuring accountability and commitment by all States to 
international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration�. Stressing that it was
nevertheless regrettable that for many, ï¿½the picture of human rights is dismal and begs for 
remedy�, he concluded with a call for global solidarity, which was the key to overcoming ï¿½the 
pernicious crisis� of lagging political will to translate the Universal Declaration into reality for the 
benefit of all human beings.

Of the two informal interactive panel discussions held to mark the anniversary, the first centred
on the theme ï¿½Sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Lessons
learned�. The panellists were Dr. Gomes (Jamaica), lawyer, Executive Director of ï¿½Justice for 
Jamaica� and a recipient of the 2008 United Nations Human Rights Award; and Mary Robinson, 
former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights. Moderating the
discussion was Julia Dolly Joiner ( Gambia), African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs.

The second panel, titled ï¿½The full implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights: Challenges ahead and ways forward�, featured presentations by Maude Barlow (Canada), 
Senior Adviser on Water to the President of the General Assembly and National Chairperson of the
Council of Canadians; Ghassan Salam� (Lebanon), Professor of International Relations at the 
Institute for the Study of Public Policies; Lauri M�lksoo (Estonia), Adviser to the Office of the 
Ombudsman of Estonia; and Dr. Mukwege (Democratic Republic of the Congo), an obstetrician and
gynaecologist at Hospital Panzi and another recipient of the 2008 United Nations Human Rights
Award. The discussion was moderated by Eduardo Gonzalez ( Peru), a sociologist and Assistant
Director of the Americas Programme of the International Centre for Justice.
In other business, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution by which it took note of the report of
the Human Rights Council and endorsed its recommendations.

Also participating in the today�s ceremony were the representatives of Morocco (on behalf of 
the Group of African States), Thailand (on behalf of the Group of Asian States), Czech Republic (on
behalf of the Group of Eastern European States), Colombia (on behalf of the Group of Latin American
and Caribbean States), Israel (on behalf of the Group of Western European and Other States), United
States (as host country), France (on behalf of the European Union), Cuba (on behalf of the Non-Aligned
Movement), Egypt (on behalf of the Group of Arab States), Mexico (on behalf of the Rio Group),
Brazil (on behalf of the Southern Common Market, or MERCOSUR), Iceland (on behalf of the Nordic
States), Canada (also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), and Guyana (on behalf of the
Caribbean Community, or CARICOM).

Addressing the Assembly on behalf of the African Union was the Minister for Justice and
Constitutional Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, to take up the reports of its Sixth
Committee (Legal).

Panel Discussions

MIGUEL D�ESCOTO BROCKMANN ( Nicaragua), President of the General Assembly,


declared open the commemorative event devoted to the observance of the sixtieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying that panellists from various regions around the world
had been invited, including directors of United Nations institutions, former High Commissioners for
Human Rights and civil society leaders.

The responsibility for upholding human rights fell primarily within the purview of States, he said,
but they were not the only ones responsible for promoting and protecting those rights. Transnational
corporations, banks and other private sector institutions, the media and private individuals shared in
that responsibility.

He said dialogue was sorely needed among all those actors to find solutions to the problems of
environmental degradation, hunger and so on. He expressed hope that today�s debates would lead to 
General Assembly resolutions that would end the concentration of capital, wealth and knowledge in
favour of increased participation and democratization of institutions and revenues -- in short, creating a
world where all people would attain the maximum standards of living. Indeed, that proposition formed
the essence of the Universal Declaration.

Panel I

The first panel centred on the theme ï¿½Sixty years after the adoption of the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights: lessons learned,� involving panellists Carolyn Gomes ( Jamaica), 
lawyer and Executive Director of ï¿½Justice for Jamaica�, and Mary Robinson, former President of 
Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights. The discussion was moderated by Julia
Dolly Joiner ( Gambia), African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs.

Welcoming participants to the panel discussion, Ms. JOINER said the panel discussion was a
chance to share ideas in a world that was still grappling to realize commitments made sixty years ago at
the adoption of the Universal Declaration. People in conflict-ridden areas suffered from total disregard
for basic human rights. Rights taken for granted in some parts were not known to many in others,
where the ability to realize basic human rights was constrained by bad governance and the absence of
an independent judiciary and laws. Yet, amid those hiccups there were positive developments, which
ought to be recognized. The Declaration had inspired regional human rights instruments and
mechanisms that had led to a comprehensive system of legally binding treaties for their promotion and
protection. The progressive creation of human rights institutions had led to concerted efforts to address
conflict, poverty, and disease. Transitional institutions geared towards building peace in post conflict
situations were being founded. The Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights
Council could also be cited as a step in the right direction. It was now time to reflect on lessons learned.

Dr. GOMES observed that the remarkable vision set out in the Declaration�s preamble and 
thirty articles had demonstrated the ï¿½wholeness� of every right. Sixty years later, the vision
remained ï¿½fresh� and had the ability to inspire new generations, as was the case among the youth 
in her country. Yet, there was much misunderstanding of the integrity of that vision. There were some
that did not understand that ï¿½rights could not be separated from rights�, for instance, by allowing 
the right to vote and a fair trial, but not ensuring an adequate standard of living. Moreover, arguments
about political systems had appeared to retard the attainment of the vision, which was about ï¿½the 
entirety and not pieces�. Too little time was spent not teaching the vision, or giving people the
history that led to the vision. Ultimately, however, a vision was not enough. Individual action was the
basis for the Declaration�s realization, which should begin at home, she said.

Ms. ROBINSON remarked that the Declaration�s drafters might have been struck by the 
millions of people that had embraced the common standard they had crafted. They might also have
been struck by how little progress was actually made in realizing the Declaration�s vision. The
Eminent Jurists Panel established by the International Commission of Jurists, of which she was a part,
had been meeting for two years to consider the impact of counter-terrorism measures on human rights.
Governments were openly justifying departures from norms such as the absolute prohibition of torture,
or were claiming that secret detentions were legal. Moreover, new laws had the effect of closing space
for legitimate political and social dissent. Evidence suggested that counter-terrorism measures, initially
deemed as temporary, tended to become permanent over time. The Panel�s report would come out in 
February.

She went on to draw attention, as well, to shortfalls in support for women�s rights, but 
highlighted the greater role being played by businesses in the realm of human rights, which presented a
success. It was a testament to efforts by the United Nations Special Representative on Business and
Human Rights, John Ruggie, working alongside the Global Compact, supportive Governments and civil
society. Furthermore, an expert panel appointed by the Swiss Government, which she co-chaired with
Paulo S�rgio Pinheiro, last week launched a process to develop an agenda for human rights for the 
next decade. As part of that agenda, world leaders would be made to address the global economic
crisis, not only by stabilizing the international financial system but also by investing in social safety
nets. Also, a group of ï¿½Elders�, of which she was a member along with Nelson Mandela, was 
bringing organizations together to spread the Declaration�s vision, as part of the ï¿½Every Human 
Has Rights� campaign.

In the ensuing dialogue with panellists, speakers from the audience laid stress on ending
impunity for violators of human rights and enabling the process of reconciliation where it was needed. It
could be achieved through dialogue among cultures and civilizations, as underpinned by United Nations
mechanisms for protecting human rights. Some highlighted the increasingly innovative role being
played by the Security Council in addressing violations, where links were being drawn between peace,
security and human rights through ï¿½landmark� resolutions such as 1612 (2005) on children and 
armed conflict and 1820 (2008) on sexual violence in armed conflict. The international community must
exercise political will to implement such texts, they said. Similarly, the Universal Periodic Review
process within the framework of the Human Rights Council, depended on the commitment of States to
ensure a credible follow-up to recommendations coming out of that process.

Some speakers emphasized the equal importance of civil and political rights and economic and
social rights, saying they viewed international development assistance as one of the main instruments
to achieve that goal. Others said human rights education was the way forward, so that democracy could
be brought to all individuals by raising awareness about the worth and dignity inherent in each person.
Those speakers described what their countries were doing to bring human rights to far-flung areas
within their borders, resulting in reforms of existing institutions, and the creation of new legal
structures to disseminate information to make ï¿½individuals aware of their own dignity� so that 
people could say ï¿½no� whenever minimum standards were not being met. On that note, one
speaker remarked that today was the start of International Human Rights Learning Year.

The representative of a civil society organization said his work in documenting human rights
violations demonstrated how far human rights had come in sixty years. Human rights violators faced
more pressure today than in the past. The notion of human rights itself seemed to have entered the
mainstream, with many national constitutions including human rights protections within their provisions
and establishing corresponding Government ministries. But, recent years had also seen a
�trampling� on human rights in the context of the war on terror. In the worst human rights
situations, repression was still ï¿½the order of the day�. In that regard, some speakers paid tribute
to innovations at the legal level that led to the creation of the International Criminal Courts for the
former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which meant that tyrants could no longer feel free to ï¿½get away with 
murder�. Ending violations of human rights also meant ending foreign occupation, another said.
Perhaps more innovations would arise out of the financial crisis, which was challenging the prevailing
socio-economic order, said another, just as climate change justice was another challenge that would
require much more ï¿½togetherness� in the pursuit of human rights.

Speaking today were the Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Under-Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, along with the representatives of Belgium, Morocco, Benin, New
Zealand, Ireland, Venezuela, Slovenia, San Marino, Czech Republic and Syria. The representative of
Human Rights Watch also spoke.
Panel II

The second panel, entitled ï¿½the full implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights: challenges ahead and ways forward�, was moderated by Eduardo Gonzalez ( Peru), a
sociologist and Assistant Director of the Americas Programme of the International Centre for Justice.
The panellists included: Maude Barlow (Canada), Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the
United Nations General Assembly and National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians; Ghassan
Salam� (Lebanon), Professor of International Relations at the Institute for the Study of Public 
Policies; Lauri M�lksoo (Estonia), Advisor of the Office of the Ombudsman of Estonia; and Denis 
Mukwege (Democratic Republic of the Congo), an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Hospital Panzi and
a recipient of a 2008 United Nations Human Rights Award.

Welcoming participants, Mr. GONZALEZ said the panel would address how best to tackle the
myriad of human rights challenges facing the world today.

Ms. BARLOW then took the floor to urge nations to give priority to extending the human rights
established in the Universal Declaration to the right to water. Many communities had endured abuse,
poverty, hunger, and a lack of education and basic health care for decades. But, the assault on water
had been the great turning point for millions. Without it, there was no life. Water was a public trust, a
common heritage of people and nature, as well as a fundamental human right. Those principles had
become the great standpoint of the water justice movement and were shaping policies around the world
on global water supplies. The growth of a democratic water justice movement was a critical and positive
development that was bringing needed accountability, transparency and public oversight to the water
crisis. What was now needed was binding law to codify that States were obligated to deliver sufficient,
safe, accessible and affordable water as a public service. While ï¿½water for all, everywhere and 
always� appeared self-evident, many powerful forces had resisted that notion fiercely. A United
Nations covenant would set the framework for water as a social and cultural asset and would establish
the indispensable legal groundwork for a fair water distribution system.

A right to water covenant would oblige Governments to adopt measures restraining practices
that denied equal access to water, polluted source water or unsustainably extracted water resources,
she said, adding that ï¿½there is no human right to water without clean, available fresh water in the 
first place.� It would also give citizens a tool to hold their Governments accountable in domestic
courts and the ï¿½court of public opinion�, and opportunity to seek international redress. Within a
year of ratification, States would be expected to adopt plans of action, with targets, policies, indicators
and timeframes to realize those rights. States would also have to amend domestic law, including their
constitutions, to comply with the new rights, and rights� monitoring mechanisms would be set up, 
particularly to address the needs of marginalized groups. While water was not included in the Universal
Declaration, several important United Nations resolutions and international declarations had
recognized the right to water. Governments and communities in Uruguay, South Africa, Ecuador,
Ethiopia, Kenya, the European Union, India, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico were also taking the lead.

Mr. M�LKSOO then addressed participants. He said Eastern Europe had been a true


success story for the Universal Declaration. That transformation took two decades, beginning with the
1975 Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. History had shown the difficulty in
having universal human rights standards respected in Europe. The 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall had not
meant that the highest human rights standards could be immediately established in the East. But,
Europe had, in fact, developed a web of human rights instruments, such as the Council of Europe�s 
European Convention of Human Rights, providing a powerful normative tool to respect those rights.
Regional instruments created in the spirit of the Universal Declaration could also help. The creation of
national institutions like the Ombudsmen in Estonia, which was built on the Scandinavian model, was a
positive step. But making such institutions work successfully was a challenge and an exercise in
democratic culture. When they were, in fact, successful, the benefits would be reaped by generations to
come.

The international community could help move that process forward by encouraging and
empowering such institutions and giving society a greater voice, he said. That meant further
empowering progressive civil society and including them in the work of international institutions. The
world was changing and had further moved away from the Westphalian state system. Sovereignty did
not just involve States rights. It also involved the responsibility to protect and respect human rights. It
would be a huge challenge to implement that normative standard. But, if the international community
wanted to fully implement the Universal Declaration, then there must be real negative consequences
for States that violated human rights. The development of technology would pose new questions and
new challenges, such as the definition of a core concept of human rights and human dignity under new
conditions. Informal human rights dialogues would be needed. The Universal Declaration did not give
ready-made answers, but it was good that the world had a universal document that addressed the
challenges ahead.
Mr. SALAME said that, as the world looked back to when the Universal Declaration was
signed, it was increasingly surprised that an agreement had been reached at all, since there was a very
limited window of opportunity at that time to create one. He pointed to several politically ideological
clashes that had occurred over the past several decades, noting that the North-South alignment had
been transformed into an East-West polemic that almost paralyzed the United Nations for half a
century. During the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration, a better balance between
economic and political rights was called for. But, recent attempts to settle that tension through the
concept of human security had not been successful. One could only speculate if the present financial
crisis could bring Western liberals closer to the real spirit of the Universal Declaration. He pointed to
the clash between intervention and sovereignty, and the need for States, as part of sovereignty, to
recognize not only their duty to protect their citizens, but also the need for international rights� 
monitoring. That had led to the concept of the responsibility to protect.

The proliferation of States during the present century had led to a different reality of State
intervention worldwide, he said. The major challenge was not that States were too powerful, but that
they had been made too feeble in order to accommodate their motto of a leaner State. That conflicted
with the desire for capable, strong States to feed and protect people. He pointed to the clash between
human rights and nationalism. The Palestinian Authority might be a failed authority, but that did not
negate Palestinian rights to self- determination. Attempts to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict had
failed. Freeing Palestinians from Israeli jails was a positive step, but it was not a substitute for creating
a Palestinian State and giving full rights to Palestinians.

Dr. MUKWEGE, who was, this year, awarded a 2008 United Nations Human Rights Award,
expressed gratitude on behalf of the thousands of children and women victims of sexual violence
worldwide, who felt, thanks to the prize, that they now had a voice. Women�s and girls� bodies had 
been transformed into a battlefield. He implored nations to go after outlaws who perpetrated human
trafficking. All individuals had the right to life, freedom and individual security. To rape a women or
child was a mark of hostility against that person, her family and her entire community. The modus
operandi of the violators was to introduce objects into women�s vaginas, with the sole aim of 
destroying the source of life. He urged those who claimed that the situation in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo was due to its cultural past to realize that people had the right to social justice. Sexual
violence was a strategy of war, not just a weapon of war. There could not be salvation for humankind
unless the international community made it its mission to protect women worldwide. The most recent
events in North Kivu had created new victims of sexual of violence, who had been abused by armed
bands and forces.

All people who suffered human rights violations were entitled to protection, he said. ï¿½I am 
speaking on behalf of the many women and children who barely have a status higher than that of an
animal,� he said, stressing the plight of women and girls who had been torn from their families and 
subjected to sexual abuse by armed groups in the forests. He said he spoke on behalf of those who had
been forced by their perpetrators to return to their villages pregnant and infected with HIV/AIDS. All
people everywhere needed to be feminists and to protect womankind in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Bosnia, Darfur and elsewhere. Everyone should mobilize to protect people against violence. He
also spoke on behalf of adolescent children, who would bear their mothers� shame and humiliation of 
rape and abuse throughout their lives. He urged full application of the Universal Declaration and
Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). He urged effective support for all people working for peace
and human rights in the Great Lakes region, stressing that such assistance would help end the war
there that had killed more than 5 million people and during which more than 500,000 women had been
raped. That was a tragedy that had involved tremendous human rights abuses and had led to the
spilling of its victims� blood. It must end.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers from the audience shed light on efforts in their respective
countries to implement the Universal Declaration. They stressed that human rights were deeply tied to
democracy, transparency, justice and the rule of law. They noted the importance of the right of all to
development, particularly as the world grappled with the challenges of climate change and the energy
and food crisis. Those rights could best be achieved by implementing the Universal Declaration. Water
was also a cross-cutting problem, requiring practical solutions to make it a free common good, not a
private commodity. One speaker stressed that protecting people with disabilities was a major challenge
to national health care delivery systems and a cross-cutting issue that must be addressed effectively
through national policies in health care, economic development, justice, education and transport.

Canada�s representative said the international community must go beyond rhetoric. It must
fully implement Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) and respect the most basic tenants of
human rights. She asked the panellists to comment on the challenges associated with translating those
resolutions into progress on the ground.

The representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said that, although peaceful
elections had taken place in his country, they had been severely tested by the enemies of peace
working on behalf of several international interests. The conflict in his country was economic and
enterprises were seeking to illegally exploit it. When human rights activists intervened to denounce
human rights abuses, they must do so immediately and before the abuse spiralled out of control. He
asked Mr. Mukwege to comment on the role of human rights groups in that regard. In a similar vein,
the United States representative said Mr. Mukwege�s efforts had led, to some extent, to Council 
resolution 1820. He asked Mr. Mukwege if that work continued to have an impact on implementation
of the resolution.

The Observer for Palestine noted that the Universal Declaration was adopted about the same
time as United Nations resolutions on the Palestinian people�s right to self-determination. But those
rights continue to be violated, despite countless resolutions over the years, an advisory opinion of the
International Court of Justice, a decades-old peace process, the creation of the Palestinian Authority,
huge contributions by international organizations and donor countries, and civil society activism. None
of those steps had ended the Israeli occupation. What was the way forward on Palestine? Could the
panellists recommend any new actions or measures to enable Palestinians to fully realize their rights
and to end the occupation and all human rights violations of human rights that stemmed from it?

A representative of Amnesty International took the floor to urge Governments to halt and
prevent violations that drove poverty, accept the Millennium Development Goals as human rights
challenges, and recognize that human rights obligations extended beyond borders. She also called on
them to effectively implement the Assembly�s commitments to counter-terrorism, as well as to
vigorously defend the independence of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other
independent United Nations human rights experts, strengthen judicial institutions to end impunity and
fill the gaps in accountability mechanisms, and better protect human rights defenders.

In closing remarks, Mr. D�ESCOTO thanked participants for their input and said that human 
rights must, once and for all, be put into practice as the universal values that guide economic and social
policy, so that all people enjoyed the highest standards and quality of life. Economic, social, political,
cultural and environmental rights should be implemented simultaneously everywhere. The United
Nations should thoroughly review implementation of human rights agreements, covenants, declaration
and action plans. States should allocate more funds and strengthen political will to achieve full
enjoyment of human rights worldwide. He called for recognizing the right to water as a human right, not
as a commodity bought and sold. The right to water should unite the world to build a new sustainable
human development model.

Continuing, he said the twenty-first century should be declared ï¿½The Century for Human 


Rights�, laying the groundwork to end economic dictatorships, ideological forms of colonialism, 
gender-based violence and social violence, and discrimination on the grounds of culture, ethnicity,
gender and age. He called for unequivocally respecting the human rights of women, children, people
with disabilities, older people, indigenous people, people of African descent, and migrants and their
families. ï¿½Let human rights be our guide, from an ethical perspective, in building a new economic 
order,� he said.

The representatives of the Republic of Moldova, Indonesia, China, Colombia, Romania,


Dominica, Cuba, Maldives, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Venezuela and Syria also made statements, as
did the Observer for the Holy See.

Statements

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said the
Universal Declaration affirmed values shared by all and established basic standards in the field of
human rights. Enhanced international cooperation was essential to the full achievement of the
Declaration�s purposes, and particular attention should be given to building the capacity of 
developing countries in the human rights field. Despite the progress achieved, colonialism, poverty,
underdevelopment and racism prevailed, he said. The right to self-determination of people living under
foreign occupation also remained valid, and the African Group adhered fully to the principles of
sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference.

The African Group attached great importance to realizing all human rights for all peoples, he
stressed. The New Partnership for Africa�s Development (NEPAD) was a cornerstone initiative 
aimed at protecting the economic and social rights of Africans. The right to development was an
inalienable human right and the African Group opposed all forms of intolerance based on religion or
belief. There was also a need to promote inter-religious dialogue so as to foster unity among all
peoples. The African Group supported the Human Rights Council�s declaration on training and 
education in the field of human rights, and encouraged all States to contribute to the International Year
of Human Rights Learning.

DON PRAMUDWINAI (Thailand), speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, said his continent,
home to the planet�s largest and most ethnically, politically and culturally diverse populations, had 
embraced the noble ideal of human dignity contained in the Universal Declaration ï¿½because it is the 
ideal that finds resonance in all social and religious values across the continent�. In addition,
countries across the region had become parties to many of the core international human rights
instruments, while many had also incorporated elements and principles enshrined in the Universal
Declaration into their respective national legislation and institutions.

He went on to say that the Asian Group reaffirmed that all human rights were universal,
indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. Therefore, the international community must treat human
rights globally, in a fair and equal manner. It was the duty of all States, regardless of political,
economic and cultural systems, to promote fundamental freedoms. The processes of promoting and
protecting those rights should be conducted in conformity with the purposes and principles of the United
Nations Charter and international law. The Asian Group also stressed the need to promote
constructive dialogue and cooperation on human rights on the basis of mutual respect as the best way
to promote human rights. Finally, it was important to create an environment that would enable the
culture of human rights to thrive as a means of promoting peace, justice and tolerance.

MARTIN PALOU� (Czech Republic), speaking on behalf of the Group of Eastern European


States, said the Declaration had proved to be a living document and programme of action that had, over
the past 60 years, inspired nations, peoples and international organizations. Its sixtieth anniversary and
the annual marking of Human Rights Day provided an opportunity to highlight and celebrate
achievements and lessons learned from failures. To that end, Governments throughout Eastern Europe,
as well as non-governmental organizations, had embarked upon organizing a variety of events to
commemorate the anniversary of the landmark Declaration.

He said the Universal Declaration had had a tremendous impact on the recent history of the
Group of Eastern European States, which pledged to honour and uphold its tenets. Those principles
were still vital and would, therefore, remain a source of guidance to the international community in
protecting and advancing human rights around the world. The Eastern European Group also stressed
that human rights were a prerequisite for the well-being of all individuals and of humankind as a whole.
�Words must turn into deeds and the formal commitments of Governments must have a real impact 
in even the remotest corners of the world.�

CLAUDIA BLUM ( Colombia), speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and
Caribbean States, said the Universal Declaration strengthened the commitment of States to the
promotion of, and respect for, human rights and freedoms. Countries in the Latin American and
Caribbean regions had participated constructively in processes arising from the Universal Declaration,
and had been ï¿½committed actors� in the definition of different norms and standards, including the 
1968 proclamation of the International Year for Human Rights. The Group reaffirmed its commitment
to democracy and respect for human rights, and reiterated its adherence to both the Universal
Declaration and the Vienna Programme of Action.

She highlighted the contribution of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
underlined the special relevance of the right to development, while also reiterating the need to promote
concerted actions to eradicate poverty, and underlining the special relevance of the right to
development. Gender equality and women�s empowerment were a priority, and the Group had also 
worked resolutely to promote the rights of the child. Regarding the issue of migrants, the Group
highlighted the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of
Their Families. The Group also reaffirmed its commitment to work for the protection of the human
rights of indigenous peoples, emphasized the importance of education in human rights, and reaffirmed
the international community�s significant role in helping all peoples realize their human rights.

GABRIELA SHALEV (Israel), speaking on behalf of the Group of Western European and
Other States, said that the international community had been shocked by the atrocities of the Second
World War and the Holocaust. Determined to respond to that brutal attack on human dignity, the
United Nations had adopted the Universal Declaration, which reaffirmed faith in fundamental human
rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women. The
Declaration represented the highest aspirations of mankind and strove for a common understanding of
those rights and freedoms.

On the sixtieth anniversary of the Declaration, the international community must acknowledge
that for millions and millions of the world�s most vulnerable and disenfranchised people, the 
document remained an unfulfilled promise, she said. ï¿½For them, it is our shared responsibility to 
commit ourselves yet again to the full realization of the principles contained in the Declaration.� The
Group called on the Assembly to reaffirm that all States must fulfil their primary responsibility to
respect and protect the rights of all individuals, without distinction of any kind. In the end, human rights
were an expression of a common humanity and a common vision for a better and more just world.
ZALMAY KHALILZAD (United States), speaking on behalf of the host country, recalled that,
60 years ago today, States had recognized that all people were born free in dignity and human rights. It
was a monumental achievement, particularly because the world was recovering from the devastation of
the Second World War. From those trying times, courage and inspiration had arisen, thanks in part to
the efforts of former United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who had chaired the drafting of the
1947 International Bill of Human Rights. She had seen that human rights began ï¿½in small places�, 
close to home -� in places where every man, woman and child sought equal dignity without 
discrimination. The spirit and letter of the Declaration had guided countless millions in following their
conscience, practising their religions and living free from persecution.

While Ms. Roosevelt�s dedication to social justice was an example to all Americans, it also 
reminded the world of the great work left to be done, he continued. If the promise of the Declaration
was to be fulfilled, the global community could not stand by silently while others were deprived of their
human rights. Regrettably, some Governments had imposed constraints on their peoples� ability to 
exercise their fundamental freedoms -- people who had done no more than attempt to exercise those
rights. Indeed, some Governments continued to pressure civil society and the independent news media,
while using urgently needed humanitarian aid as a ï¿½political weapon�. As States rededicated
themselves to the Universal Declaration today, the United States called for holding all Governments
accountable for protecting, promoting and ensuring human rights for all.

MATHIAS MEINARD CHIKAWE, Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs of the
United Republic of Tanzania, speaking also on behalf of the African Union, said it might be an
understatement to describe the record of human rights in post-independence Africa as
�chequered�. Excesses by dictators had blighted the human rights landscape on the continent.
�War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide have happened on our watch; this should not be 
repeated.� The African Union was striving to rise to the challenge and leading the way towards
providing a framework for protecting and promoting human rights on the continent.

He said the regional body had adopted several instruments to that end, including the African
Charter on Human and Peoples� Rights (1981) and the African Court of Human and Peoples� 
Rights, which his country would be proud to host when it became operational. On the rights of women
and children, the African Union had established the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of
Women, as well as the Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. However, it might be futile to
preach human rights to people steeped in poverty and debilitated by hunger and diseases. ï¿½We have 
to address those challenges simultaneously to make the Declaration relevant and useful to ordinary
people in the betterment of their daily lives.�

JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the
bloc, founded on the principles of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms -- including those
of expression, conscience, democracy and the rule of law -� shared fully the values in which the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights was rooted. The universality and indivisibility of human rights,
the responsibility to defend those rights throughout the world, and the promotion of pluralistic
democracy and its effective guarantees for the rule of law were essential principles for the European
Union.

However, the European Union deplored the continuing flagrant violations of human rights in
many of the world�s regions, including on the basis of sexual orientation, he said. It reaffirmed that
the international community and all States, acting individually or collectively, had the legitimate and
permanent responsibility to protect and safeguard those rights throughout the world, particularly in the
context of the responsibility to protect, a concept endorsed by all Heads of States and Government at
the 2005 World Summit.

Paying tribute to the courage of human rights defenders, he described them as ï¿½those often 
anonymous women and men� who fought indefatigably to defend those universal values, sometimes 
at the cost of their own safety. ï¿½As we mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Convention on the 
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, combating the impunity of those responsible for
human rights violations must be a priority.� The European Union called on Member States that had
not yet done so to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

ILEANA N��EZ MORDOCHE (Cuba), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned


Movement, reaffirmed its abiding faith in, and strong commitment to, its founding principles, one of
which was respect for fundamental human rights. The Movement attached great importance to
promoting and protecting human rights, reaffirming that all human rights, notably the right to
development, were universal, inalienable, indivisible and interrelated. It unequivocally condemned the
systematic violation of human rights and the exploitation of human rights for political purposes,
including the selective targeting of nations for ï¿½extraneous considerations�, which should be 
prohibited. Adequate attention should be given to issues of foreign occupation, which engendered social
exclusion, as they could not be excluded from any meaningful discussion of human rights.
Indeed, the inalienable rights of all peoples, including those in Non-Self-Governing Territories
and under foreign occupation, remained valid, she continued. Democracy, good governance,
development and respect for human rights and freedoms were interdependent. The adoption of
coercive unilateral measures against developing countries flagrantly violated the basic rights of their
populations. It was essential that States promote efforts to combat extreme poverty and hunger. In that
context, the Non-Aligned Movement reiterated the need for adherence to core principles -� equity, 
non-discrimination and transparency -� and the effective participation of developing countries in 
norm-setting. The Movement had agreed on measures, including the protection of all human rights,
notably the right to development, in line with its founding principles and the United Nations Charter.

MAGED A. ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, stressed the
importance of ï¿½the right to development�, while noting also that it was imperative to avoid 
attached conditionality aimed at imposing controversial concepts or linking them to development
assistance. Moreover, there was a need to reinforce respect for the existing institutional balance
between the principal United Nations organs, particularly vis-�-vis the prerogatives of the General
Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in supervising the activities of the Human Rights
Council, special procedures and treaty bodies.

Reasserting the Arab Group�s commitment to the promotion of human rights at the national 
level, he said they also maintained that collaborative efforts in the field of human rights should be
based on common standards, rather than misguided attempts to impose one�s viewpoint or one�s 
own standards as international ones. It was also important not to limit the consideration of human rights
issues to those relating to civil and political rights, at the expense of the economic, social and cultural
rights that were among the top concerns of peoples in developing countries. An objective approach was
needed, based on the principles of international law, on an equal footing for all.

It was also necessary to enhance existing dialogue, on the basis of respect for cultural identities
and peculiarities, to deepen mutual understanding, respect and tolerance, he continued. That was
crucial to ending incitement to hatred, be it on racial or religious grounds. Serious international
dialogue should continue in order to strike the balance necessary for the promotion of the right to
freedom of expression in tandem with the right of the adherents of different religions to manifest their
religion and preserve their identity freely and without restrictions. Similarly, there was a need for
stronger commitment to human rights while countering terrorism on the basis of existing international
commitments, the latest of which was the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

He said the pursuit of universal respect for all human and peoples� rights would not 
materialize unless the international community totally divested itself of selectivity, politicization and
double standards in dealing with the question of the right of the Palestinian people and other Arab
peoples suffering under foreign occupation, to self-determination. It would only materialize when the
international community acted with solid determination to end incessant violations by the occupying
Power of its commitments under international law, on top of which came the Fourth Geneva
Convention.

CLAUDE HELLER (Mexico), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group and associating it with the
Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, said that, in recognizing that every individual was
entitled to all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Declaration�s adoption had marked the 
beginning of a profound transformation of the relationship between the individual and the State. The
Rio Group recognized the Declaration�s value for having underpinned the work of the United 
Nations, and for being a source of inspiration for the development of international human rights law,
including the latest instruments adopted by the General Assembly for the promotion and protection of
human rights -� the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on the protection of all 
persons from enforced disappearance, and the one from today, the Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Noting that no State could claim that human rights and fundamental freedoms were fully and
universally respected, he said the Universal Periodic Review mechanism constituted a significant
innovation in terms of the role of the United Nations in promoting and protecting human rights. That
new mechanism had great potential to enhance cooperation, collaboration and constructive dialogue
when addressing human rights situations wherever they might occur. The Rio Group paid tribute to the
treaty bodies helping States implement their obligations under the various human rights covenants,
conventions and protocols, as well as to human rights defenders, some of whom had sacrificed their
lives for the cause. The Rio Group also stressed the importance of adequate attention to poverty,
underdevelopment, marginalization, instability and other conditions amounting to social and economic
exclusion or violations of human dignity and human rights.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil), speaking on behalf of the Southern Common
Market (MERCOSUR), said it was not possible to consider human rights in the international sphere
without recognizing the fundamental importance of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on
Human Rights, adopted in 1993. The promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and
development had been fundamental pillars in the political and social affairs of MERCOSUR countries.

She said that those countries, while having faced and continuing to face many challenges in their
historic struggle for human dignity and freedom, nevertheless acknowledged that substantial progress
had been made at the institutional level and in raising awareness about the importance of preventing
human rights violations, punishing abusers, and ensuring reparations for victims. Among the
instruments and mechanisms adopted by MERCOSUR�s member States were the 2005 Asunci�n 
Protocol on the Commitment to the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, as well as the regular
meetings of the High-Level Authorities on Human Rights and related working groups. Within the
Organization of American States (OAS), MERCOSUR members had, among other activities,
contributed to the adoption of the Democratic Charter, and were currently participating in negotiations
on the Social Charter of the Americas.

HJALMAR HANNESSON (Iceland), speaking also on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Norway


and Sweden -- the Nordic countries -- reaffirmed the Universal Declaration as the cornerstone of
human rights, which were the foundation for safeguarding and advancing human dignity worldwide.
Over the years, human rights defenders had been crucial in bringing violations to the world�s 
attention and providing guidance on how to end them. The Universal Declaration had inspired national
and international efforts to place the protection of individuals at the centre of human development,
while contributing to the development of customary international law. Rights enshrined in the
Declaration had also been laid down in international human rights conventions.

Still, 60 years on, no country could claim to have fully realized the Declaration�s aspirations, 
he stressed. Millions of people still suffered violations of their civil, political, economic or social rights
at the hands of their Governments, or violations that Governments had the responsibility to prevent.
Crimes of genocide and other large-scale violations should be crimes of the past, not the present. The
international community and individual countries had the shared responsibility to take that work to the
next level. Governments must do everything possible to extend the protection of all human rights to
everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, political affiliation or any other status, including sexual
orientation. Ownership of the Universal Declaration must be shard by Governments, as well as those it
strove to protect. The Declaration must be brought to universal attention through human rights
education and learning.

JOHN MCNEE (Canada), speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand (CANZ),
expressed concern that, despite the global benchmark provided in the Universal Declaration, 60 years
since its adoption, discrimination and violations of human rights persisted. There were still serious and
overwhelming gaps between the universally endorsed standards and the practices of States in all
regions of the world.

The sixtieth anniversary provided an opportunity to acknowledge and address that gap between
the universally agreed standards and everyday practice, and to renew efforts and commitments to
human rights in the United Nations, he said. It was time that Member States focused their collective
resources on the full and effective implementation of the Universal Declaration and subsequent human
rights treaties to which a large number of them had voluntarily adhered. The CANZ Group called on all
Member States to redouble their efforts and engage with national, regional and multilateral institutions
to narrow the gap between the agreed human rights standards and the reality faced daily by millions of
people around the world.

GEORGE TALBOT (Guyana), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM),


said the societies comprising that grouping had been initially forged in an environment characterized by
the most pervasive violations of human rights. Indeed, the pernicious system of slavery and the
ensuing servitude had visited the worst indignities on the forebears of today�s CARICOM citizens.
� Caribbean peoples paid a heavy historical price for the assertion of the human rights and 
fundamental freedoms we enjoy today.� They were acutely aware that their present achievements
had been made possible not only through arduous struggle and sacrifice, but also by the actions and
goodwill of men and women from every nation.

He went on to say that the Universal Declaration was the common standard of achievement for
all peoples and nations. Great progress had been made in the individual and collective pursuit of that
standard throughout the CARICOM region. At the same time, challenges and gaps remained at every
level, in every nation and region. Many people remained mired in poverty, many others still faced
discrimination, and women continued to face increased violence, even as they became the targets of
rape and other forms of sexual exploitation in situations of conflict. With that in mind, CAROCOM
called for a comprehensive approach rooted in the indivisibility of all human rights, and in recognition
that all fundamental freedoms were interdependent.

* *** *
9 December 2008

Press Conference

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press conference by High Commissioner for Human Rights

While modern history’s most influential document on mankind and another leading
text had significantly expanded protections against violations of human rights, countries must
do more to prevent mass atrocities and educate citizens about their protections under the law,
Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a Headquarters
press conference this afternoon.

It is essential that we keep up the momentum, thereby enabling more and more
people to stand up and claim their rights, she said, noting that more than 90 countries had
adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most widely translated document
in history, and 140 had ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide.

She noted, however, that for many people, the legal recourse and protections called
for in those treaties remained an unfulfilled promise. I do not believe any country in the
world can sit back complacently when tens of millions of people around the world are still
unaware that they have rights that they can demand, and that their Governments are
accountable to them and a wide-ranging body of rights-based national and international law.

Briefing on the sixtieth anniversary of the Genocide Convention, signed on


9 December 1948, and the Declaration, adopted the following day by the United Nations 
General Assembly, she said that, while States had expanded punishment for murdering
people solely for belonging to a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, far less had
been achieved in preventing genocide.

The first mechanisms to hold perpetrators of genocide to account had been put in
place some 15 years ago. In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had
handed down the first international conviction for genocide, finding a small-town Rwandan
mayor guilty of nine counts of genocide and sentencing former Rwandan Prime Minister
Jean Kambanda to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. The International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia had also tried cases of genocide and other
serious crimes, as had the International Criminal Court, created in 1998, and the Criminal
Court for Cambodia.

While these UN tribunals send out a strong message of deterrence and do help
victims feel there is justice and accountability, there is clearly not a sufficient amount being
done,she said. States must incorporate serious crimes into domestic legislation, while
keeping a close eye on national and international scenarios to prevent intolerance from
culminating in genocide.

A correspondent asked whether the United Nations was ready to change certain
paragraphs of the draft outcome document for the April conference relating to human rights
violations in Palestine, to which Israel objected, in order to persuade that country to attend.
Would such a change not contradict the High Commissioner’s mandate to protect human
rights? [The event is aimed at reviewing the 2001 United Nations World Conference against
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.]

Ms. Pillay responded by saying: This is why I call for the participation of all States.
Whoever your country and whatever your point of view, you have to be present and
participate. It was to be hoped that an outcome document would be adopted by consensus,
and the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations had not definitively said
the country would not participate in the conference.
Asked whether the Israeli Government’s blockade of Gaza and prevention of
humanitarian aid from reaching the territory’s Palestinian population was genocide, she said
it was up to the courts to examine, on a case-by-case basis, whether genocide had occurred.
The Office of the High Commissioner, as well as the Secretary-General and the head of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
(UNRWA), had called for an immediate end to the blockade and for shipments of food, water
and other basic supplies to be allowed in. Other causes of concern were violations of the right
to free movement and the right to life, given that more than 500 Palestinians and 11 Israelis
had been killed this year.

Regarding the High Commissioner’s collaboration with the International Criminal


Court in investigating six cases concerning war crimes committed in Darfur, she said her
Office had set up a commission of international inquiry, as called for in Security Council
resolution 1564 (2004), which had found no evidence of genocidal policy, though it
suggested possible evidence of individual activities of genocidal intent. The International
Criminal Court would decide whether there was evidence of genocide.

She said the High Commissioner had an office and human rights observers in the
region, noting that she was extremely troubled by the situation of internally displaced
persons and the use of sexual violence against women in Darfur as a weapon of war. The
nature of war seems to have changed completely, where it is not soldiers killing other
soldiers, but civilians being targeted.

Asked whether the creation of an interagency task force to prevent genocide, as


called for earlier in the day by the Genocide Prevention Task Force, was the way forward
and how it could guide United States policy on Darfur, she said that during her eight years as
an judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda she had been concerned about
the specific focus on prosecuting genocide. Systematic approaches to prevent and detect
early warning signs of genocide must be developed. Having been involved in many United
Nations initiatives to prevent genocide, she would be keen to look at [Genocide Prevention
Task Force Co-Chair] Madeleine Albright’s book on the subject. Discrimination, human
rights violations and poverty provided fertile ground for violence, which could escalate into
genocide.

Concerning the right to self-determination for people living in Kashmir, she said the
detentions, extrajudicial killings, suppression of free movement and the protracted Indian-
Pakistani conflict’s impact on civilians were of grave concern, and her Office would
continue to focus on those violations. People had the right to participate in a democratic
process.

Regarding human rights abuses committed by United Nations peacekeepers and


the Organization’s inability to ensure disciplinary action, she said the United Nations could
not prosecute such cases, but it had called on the countries concerned to do so. The Office
of the High Commissioner had strongly addressed the issue, and thanks to its efforts,
several peacekeepers found to have been involved in forced disappearances in Nepal had
been dismissed.

* *** *

Concluding Observations adopted by TB between July and December 2008

Please find below a listing of countries with respect to which Concluding Observations were adopted by
the Treaty bodies for the last six months of 2008 as well as the corresponding url.

Kind Regards Human Rights Treaty Branch

The 73rd session of the Committee on thee Elimination of Racial Discrimination, met in Geneva, from
28 July to 15 August 2008, and adopted Concluding Observations with regard to the following
countries: Austria, Ecuador, Federal Republic of Germany, Namibia , Russian Federation, Sweden,
Switzerland and Togo . The corresponding observations can be found on OHCHR website, at the
following url: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/cerds73.htm

The 94th session of the Human Rights Committee, which met from 13 to 31 October 2008, adopted
Concluding Observations with regard to: Denmark, Japan, Monaco, Nicaragua and Spain. The
corresponding observations can be found on OHCHR website, at the following
url:http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs94.htm
The 41st session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which met from 3 to 21
November 2008, adopted Concluding Observations with regard to: Angola, Kenya, Nicaragua,
Philippines, Sweden as well as the Kosovo territory. The corresponding observations can be found on
OHCHR website, at the following url: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/cescrs41.htm

The 42nd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which met
from 20 October to 7 November 2008, adopted Concluding Observations with regard to: Bahrain,
Belgium, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mongolia, Myanmar, Portugal,
Slovenia and Uruguay. The corresponding observations can be found on OHCHR website, at the
following url: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws42.htm

The 41st session of the Committee Against Torture, which met from 3 to 21 November 2008, adopted
Concluding Observations with regard to : Belgium, China Macao and Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Kenya,
Lithuania, Montenegro and Serbia . The corresponding observations can be found on OHCHR website,
at the following url: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats41.htm

The 49th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which met from 15 September to 3
October 2008, adopted Concluding Observations with regard to : Bhutan, Djibouti, United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland Under the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Child Pornography, it also adopted Concluding Observations with regard to: Austria,
Lithuania, Tanzania, Uganda; Under the Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict,
Concluding Observations were adopted with regard to : Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland; All the above Concluding Observations can be found on OHCHR website
at the following url:http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/crcs49.htm

Finally, the Committee on Migrant Workers held its 9th session from 24 to 28 November 2008 and
adopted Concluding Observations with regard to El Salvador, which can be found on OHCHR website
at the following url: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cmw/cmws09.htm

Jurisprudence: HRCttee, 94th session,

The final decisions of the Human Rights Committee, adopted at its 94th session, held in Geneva from
13 to 31 October 2008, in respect of individual complaints presented under the Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The decisions are provided in the original
language of adoption, with translations into additional languages to be found in due course on the
Treaty Body Database of the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(http://www.ohchr.org).

14 decisions on Admissibility, 1 Views with no finding and 8 Views with finding of violation(s)

Kind Regards Human Rights Treaty Branch

G. v. Uzbekistan (Inadmissibility)

Castedo v. Spain (Views with finding)

Smantser v. Belarus (Views with finding)

Khuseynov & Butaev v. Tajiskistan (Views with finding)

Umetaliev (Views with finding)

Sayadi v. Belgium (Views with finding)

Rodriguez v. Spain (Inadmissibility)

Martinez v. Spain (Inadmissibility)

Madoui v. Algeria (Views with finding)

Montecino v. Chile (Inadmissibility)

Singh v. Canada (Inadmissibility)

Casanovas v. France (Views - no finding)

Nakrash & Liu v. Sweden (Inadmissibility)

Marcellana & Gumanoy v. Philippines (Views with finding)

Dastgir v. Canada (Inadmissibility)

http://www2.ohchr.org/tbru/ccpr/CCPR-C-94-D-1580-2007.pdf Gonzalez v. Canada (Inadmissibility)


Chen v. Netherlands (Inadmissibility)

Picq v. France (Inadmissibility)

http://www2.ohchr.org/tbru/ccpr/CCPR-C-94-D-1638-2007.pdf Wilfred v. Canada (Inadmissibility)

Goyet v. France (Inadmissibility)

Anani v. Canada (Inadmissibility)

26 November 2008

Press Conference

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press conference, on Zimbabwe humanitarian situation,

By Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

A top United Nations humanitarian official today appealed for massive international
assistance to help alleviate the severe humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, without which
she warned the situation was going to get much, much worse.

Addressing a press conference today at United Nations Headquarters in New York,


Catherine Bragg, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), described the situation in the southern African country
as acute and expected to worsen towards the end of the year. Currently, there were slightly
less than 4 million people who were considered food insecure and in need of food
assistance. That number was going to rise as the hunger season approached, traditionally
between January and April. Without massive international assistance, the situation is going
to get much, much worse.

Her appeal came on the heels of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons statement on


Zimbabwe yesterday and the launching of the consolidated appeal for that country earlier
in the week.

She told correspondents that what was prevailing in Zimbabwe today was not just a
food insecure situation; it was also a multisectoral humanitarian situation. There was now
an outbreak of cholera in the country, which had spilled over into the country’s neighbours,
as well. The number of victims of cholera had now reached almost 9,000 -- the highest the
country had ever recorded -- and the number of persons who had died of the outbreak had
reached 366 as of yesterday, which she said was a very high mortality rate.

She told correspondents that the number of cholera incidents at the moment, as well
as the high mortality rate, was directly traceable to the fact that many communities now
had depleted their ability to provide clean water, because of the lack of chemical treatment.
Thus, there was now an urgent need for water and sanitation. It was also directly traceable
to the collapse of the health system, due to insufficient health personnel, as well as
insufficient medical supplies.

Also, she said, at the moment there was a breakdown both in health services and in
education. There was now less than 20 per cent school attendance, in a country that used to
have over 90 per cent attendance. That was largely because of teachers not being paid, or
being paid insufficiently to cover even one day of transportation to the school. So, they
simply did not show up. Further, students sometimes were unable to attend school because
some schools in the country were demanding payments in food, which, of course, the
students did not have.

So, we are very concerned about this very, very low level of school attendance at
this point, she said, adding that, in light of that dire situation, this week the United Nations
had launched the consolidated appeal for 2009 for a total of $550 million, the highest
appeal ever for Zimbabwe. Last years appeal had been just under $400 million and had
been very well subscribed, and was, at this point, 75 per cent funded. However, that 75 per
cent funded was for the original number. OCHA’s calculation, because of the changing
circumstances and the fast-deteriorating situation, was that there would be a shortfall until
the end of the year of roughly $2 million, before getting into what was needed for 2009.
About 60 per cent of the $550 million was for food.

Continuing, she appealed to donors for continued generosity to deal with what she
said was a very serious situation and also assured them that their aid was going through.
We are able to reach the 3 million beneficiaries who were in need of aid at the moment, she
said. That is not to say that the operating environment is not challenging. In fact, it is very
challenging. With hyper-inflation, the Government is sometimes accessible, and sometimes
it is not; sometimes cooperative, and sometimes not.

Responding to a correspondent’s question, Ms. Bragg confirmed the United


Nations had completed a detailed and comprehensive study of the humanitarian situation in
Zimbabwe and that was what the consolidated appeal had been about. The consolidated
appeal was not just a funding appeal, but was actually a strategic overview of the situation,
as provided by the participating organizations -- the United Nations and the non-
governmental organizations. A total of 35 such entities participated in the consolidated
appeal process in the case of Zimbabwe.

Asked to elaborate on the general state of the health sector in the country, she said,
in the last few weeks alone, there had been closures of major hospitals, because of the lack
of medical personnel. Many of those personnel simply did not go to work, either because
they did not get paid or they just could not afford even the transportation to get to work.
There was also quite a brain drain of health-care workers leaving Zimbabwe itself and a
severe depletion of medical and health-care supplies.

To a journalist who wanted to know what was responsible for the depletion of
medical supplies in the country, Ms. Bragg answered: Because of the breakdown in the
whole economy, the government expenditure is, in fact, insufficient to support any of the
basic social services. And that is just one of the symptoms of it.

Asked what the United Nations system was doing on the cholera outbreak, in light
of reports indicating a lack of chemicals to purify water in the country’s major cities, she
said the United Nations was part of a task force within Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health set
up to coordinate the response to the cholera situation. Also, because of the hyper-inflation
now buffeting the country, the United Nations had recently managed to negotiate the
dollarization of the humanitarian operation, thereby avoiding the foreign currency
exchange rules of the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank, which tied all currency transactions to
the local currency. That somewhat protected against wild fluctuations in the cost of
delivering aid, she said.

Asked if anyone had indicated readiness to fund the end-of-the-year funding gap,
she said that many donors were ready to fund the gap between now and the end of the year.
No actual pledges had been received for 2009, because the appeal had only been launched
last week, as part of the global appeal, and only two days ago, locally, in Harare for
Zimbabwe. With the exception of China, which pledged a contribution whose details she did
not readily have, no other donor had done so since the Harare launch meeting two days
ago.

Given the political situation in the country, did she think there was donor fatigue
within certain traditional donors to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe?
another correspondent asked. Ms. Bragg replied: I would think that the fact that the 2008
appeal has been subscribed to 75 per cent, making it one of the top three appeals we have
globally, indicated that, in fact, donors are quite able to distinguish between humanitarian
needs and any political development and their own political viewpoint. I would imagine that
that would go forward as well.

She added that OCHA had been talking to many donors about the funding situation
in 2009, not just for Zimbabwe, but globally as well, and OCHA’s reading at this point was
that the level of contributions would probably be maintained, rather than being diminished.
That was largely because, for most of the donors, their budgets for 2009 had already been
allocated.

* *** *
15 March 2006

General Assembly
GA/10449

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly

Plenary

72nd Meeting (AM & PM)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHES NEW HUMAN RIGHTS


COUNCIL BY VOTE

OF 170 IN FAVOUR TO 4 AGAINST, WITH 3 ABSTENTIONS

Council Elections Scheduled for 9 May; Inaugural Meeting to Be Held on 19


June

United Nations Member States today overwhelmingly approved the


establishment of a new Human Rights Council, aiming to strengthen the world
body’s machinery to promote and protect fundamental rights, and deal with
major human rights offenders.

Adopting a resolution by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 4 against


(Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions (Belarus,
Iran, Venezuela), the General Assembly decided to set up the new Council to
replace the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights, which has come
under fire for excessive politicization. (For details of the vote, see Annex.)

Over objections from the United States that the resolution did not go far
enough to exclude some of the world’s worst human rights abusers from
membership in the new body, the 191-member Assembly approved the text,
which decided members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest
standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, fully cooperate with
the Council, and be reviewed under the universal periodic review mechanism,
during their term of membership.

The resolution calls for the election of new Council members on 9 May
2006, and an inaugural meeting on 19 June. The Commission, which postponed
its annual meeting earlier this week, awaiting a decision on the new Council in
New York, will be abolished on June 16. The 47 members would be individually
elected by an absolute majority of 96 votes of the General Assembly’s
members. If the Council members failed to uphold high human rights
standards, they could be suspended by a two-thirds majority vote by Assembly
members present at the meeting.

Presenting the text to the world’s nations, Assembly President Jan


Eliasson of Sweden, who led the final days of the contentious, months-long
negotiations, called today’s session a decisive moment, not only for human
rights, but for the standing of the United Nations as a whole. Today, we stand
ready to witness a new beginning for the promotion and protection of human
rights, he said. By adopting the draft, a body would be established, which would
be based on dialogue and cooperation; be principled, effective and fair; and
whose members would uphold the highest standards in the promotion and
protection of human rights.

But, when the applause that met the adoption of the text faded in the
Assembly Hall, United States Ambassador John Bolton warned: It should not
ever be said that the United Nations Member States were willing to settle for
good enough, for a compromise, for merely the best we could do, rather than
for [a Council] that ensured that Governments were doing all they could to
promote human rights.
In focusing on membership of the new body, the United States had been
in excellent company, as the Secretary-General had also targeted that as the
fundamental problem with the existing Commission. Too many countries sought
membership to protect themselves against criticism, or to criticize others, he
said, and absent assurance of a credible membership, he had insufficient
confidence in the text; he could not say that the new body would be better than
its predecessor. Nevertheless, the United States would do everything possible
to make the Human Rights Council as strong as it could be, he said.

Before action was taken on the resolution, Cuban Ambassador Rodrigo


Malmierca D�az declared that the decision to establish the new Council had
been driven by the need to end the huge discredit, which had befallen the
Commission, due to the political manipulation, hypocrisy and double standards
imposed on its work by the United States and the European Union. The current
draft was by no means a sufficient response to addressing that challenge.
Indeed, nothing in the creation of the new Council would prevent a repeat of
the tradition of manoeuvring by the powers of the North, to unjustly condemn
third world countries.

Cuba had been hoping for the establishment of a body that contributed
to strengthening the international system of promoting and protecting human
rights, through genuine cooperation, but the United States and its allies had
insisted on making the punitive and sanctioning approach prevail, this time
evinced by a provision in the text, which allowed for the suspension of the
rights of those who questioned, interfered, or just disagreed, with the
hegemonic domination plans of the Empire.

Ambassador Peter Maurer of Switzerland said the resolution was a


good compromise, which created an institution with greater legitimacy, in that
members would not only be more carefully selected, but they must also
cooperate with the Council, and undertake voluntary commitments. It also
created a framework for a fresh start, for exploring new forms of engagement,
and provided an opportunity to build trust, by addressing human rights in a
spirit of fairness, equal treatment and avoidance of double standards, and it is
our sincere hope that we will not fall back into old patterns of behaviour, he
said.

We do not share the intransigent and maximalist approaches of certain


delegations, who want to make us believe that they are the only ones fighting
for ambitious human rights machinery. All too often, high ambitions are cover-
ups for less noble aims and oriented, not at improving the United Nations, but
at belittling and weakening it. He stressed that the adoption of the resolution
was an important strategic achievement for the overall United Nations reform
process, adding Indeed, change is a process, not an event.

After the last Member State took the floor, Assembly President
Eliasson said: We need to move ahead, now. The development issues are out
there, the poverty, disease and underdevelopment are still out there. And
many had been waiting for the moment to get to work on other important
issues, including those on United Nations reform agenda, as well as other
measures agreed by world leaders at the United Nations 2005 Summit this past
September, such as reform of the Economic and Social Council and the
Organization’s management practices.

Also explaining his position before the vote was the representative of
Venezuela. Explanations of vote after the adoption of the text were also made
by the representatives of Mexico, Austria (on behalf of the European Union),
Norway, Chile, Yemen (on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference), Singapore, Viet Nam, South Africa (on behalf of the African
Group), the Sudan, Argentina, Liechtenstein, Syria, Japan, Russian
Federation, Egypt, Israel, Indonesia, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Iceland,
Iran, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (on behalf of the Caribbean
Community), Kenya, China, Brazil (on behalf of Colombia, Guatemala,
Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay), New Zealand (also on behalf of Canada and
Australia), Timor-Leste, India, Pakistan, Monaco (also on behalf of Andorra
and San Marino), Peru, Sao Tome and Principe (on behalf of the Community of
Portuguese-speaking countries) and Georgia.
Cuba’s representative also spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The General Assembly will meet again tomorrow at 10 a.m., to elect a


new Executive Director for the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), and take up reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and
Budgetary).

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on draft


resolution A/60/L.48, by which it would establish a 47-member Human Rights
Council, based in Geneva, in replacement of the Commission on Human
Rights, to address violations of human rights, including gross and systematic
violations, and promote effective coordination and the mainstreaming of human
rights within the United Nations system.

The text reaffirms the Assembly’s commitment to strengthen the


United Nations human rights machinery, with the aim of ensuring the effective
enjoyment by all of all human rights -- civil, political, economic, social and
cultural rights, including the right to development.

It also emphasizes the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with


the Charter, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language or religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. But it
acknowledges that non-governmental organizations play an important role, at
the national, regional and international level, in the promotion and protection of
human rights.

By the terms of the draft, the membership in the new Council would be
based on equitable geographic distribution, and seats shall be distributed as
follows among regional groups: African Group, 13; Asian Group, 13; Eastern
European Group, 6; Latin American and Caribbean Group, 8; and Western
European and Others Group, 7. The members of the council will serve for a
period of three years and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election after
two consecutive terms.

The text would also have the Assembly decide that the membership in
the Council shall be open to all Member States of the United Nations. When
electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into account the
candidates contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and
their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto. The Assembly, by a
two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, may suspend the rights
of membership in the Council of a member of the Human Rights Council that
commits gross and systematic violations of human rights.

Further by the text members elected to the Council shall uphold the
highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, fully
cooperate with the Council and be reviewed under the universal periodic
review mechanism during their term of membership.

It also envisions a universal periodic review, based on objective and


reliable information, of the fulfilment by each State of its human rights
obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of
coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States.

The Assembly would recommend the Economic and Social Council to


request the Commission on Human Rights to conclude its work at its sixty-
second session and to abolish the Commission on 16 June 2006. It would
further decide to elect the new members of the Council. The terms of
membership should be staggered and such decision would be taken for the first
election by the drawing of lots, taking into consideration geographical regional
distribution.
Finally, the text would have the Assembly decide that the elections of
the first members of the Council would take place on 9 May 2006, and that the
first meeting of the Council shall be convened on 19 June 2006.

Introduction of Draft Resolution

Formally presenting the draft resolution on the new Human Rights


Council (document A/60/L.48), JAN ELIASSON (Sweden), General Assembly
President, said the text was in pursuance of the mandate given to the Assembly
by the world leaders at the 2005 World Summit. The Summit had resolved to
strengthen the United Nations human rights machinery. As everyone knew,
some action had already been taken in that regard, including strengthening the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Now it fell on the
Assembly to fulfil the other main elements of the leaders resolve to strengthen
the United Nations human rights machinery, by creating a Human Rights
Council. The leaders had given Member States a clear mandate to do so, and
they had given a specific task to the Assembly President to conduct open,
transparent and inclusive negotiations, to be completed, as soon as possible,
during the sixtieth session. He had done that, and today, he was formally
presenting the result.

He said that the draft resolution was the culmination of five months of
negotiations. The text, above all, was the outcome of our common combined
effort, intellect and aspirations. Since the presentation of the text in informal
consultations on 23 February, everyone had had the opportunity to study the
draft resolution thoroughly, with their capitals, and in their various groups. He
had been encouraged by the very broad support that had emerged for the text
as an integrated whole, as a result of those deliberations. The text before the
Assembly today, as a whole, represented the work of all. No Member State
had gotten everything it argued for. For many, adopting the draft today meant
compromising on some points, on which they had felt -- and still felt -- strongly.

But, we have now reached a decisive moment, both for the promotion
and protection of human rights, and for effective multilateralism and the
standing of the United Nations as a whole, he said.

As the leaders had acknowledged in September 2005, the three pillars


of the United Nations -- development, peace and security, and human rights --
were interlinked and mutually reinforcing, he said. Without strength in all,
there was strength in none. And, the world had never needed a strong United
Nations more than it needed it today. So, it needed a strong Human Rights
Council, just as it needed to achieve strong results in the other areas of
Summit follow-up and reform, with which the leaders entrusted the
international community.

On development, Member States must now do all they could to ensure


that the commitments of 2005 were implemented in 2006, he said. To achieve
the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, there was no time to lose. The
cost of a failure to implement the commitments on development would be
measured in lives lost or blighted by poverty, disease, and lack of opportunity.
And, in order to deliver, it must be ensured that the United Nations was as
strong and effective as possible. The work on the draft resolution on the
Human Rights Council must be concluded, to free up the time, energy and
political space to address development, Secretariat and management reform,
and other important tasks ahead.

Highlighting a few aspects of the text, he said it would make


universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, constructive
international dialogue and cooperation guiding principles in the Council’s work.
It recognized that the promotion and protection of human rights should be
based on cooperation and dialogue, and should aim at strengthening the
capacity of Member States to comply with their human rights obligations for
the benefit of all human beings. Acknowledging the mistrust and tensions that
were so evident in today’s world, the language of the draft also sent a strong a
uniting message on the need for dialogue and understanding among
civilizations, cultures and religions -- a clear signal to all to commit to working
together to prevent provocative or regrettable incidents, and to evolve better
ways of promoting tolerance, respect for and freedom of religion and belief. He
said it would be important that the relevant organs of the Untied Nations,
including the Human Rights Council, made positive contributions in that
respect, and promoted a much needed dialogue on those important and
sensitive issues.

He said that the draft recognized six decades of valuable work


undertaken by the Commission on Human Rights, and its commendable record
of establishing norms and setting standards. It acknowledged the important
role of non-governmental organizations in the promotion and protection of
human rights, at the national, regional and international level, which the
Commission had done so much to encourage. The draft also responded to the
criticisms of the Commission. It included a number of innovative elements to
make the Council a significant improvement on the Commission. For example,
the draft would replace the Commission with a Council, elevating its
institutional standing to a subsidiary body of the General Assembly; increase
the frequency of meetings; introduce the universal periodic review to assess
each State’s fulfilment of its human rights obligations; incorporate the
mainstreaming of human rights in the United Nations system and the
prevention of human rights violations; distribute seats in accordance with
equitable geographical distribution; and make Council members ineligible for
immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.

Also, members of the Council would be elected by an absolute majority


of the members of the General Assembly, by secret ballot. Member States,
when electing Council members, would take into account the candidates� 
contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, and their
voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto, prior to the election; the
Assembly, by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting, could
suspend the rights of membership of a Council member who committed gross
and systematic human rights violations; and Council members would be
expected to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of
human rights, fully cooperate with the Council and be reviewed under the
universal periodic review mechanism during their term of membership.

He said that the draft was a unique opportunity for a fresh start for
human rights. Its adoption would be the first step in a continued process. The
Council would be expected to assume, review and, where necessary, improve
and rationalize all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the
Human Rights Council within one year of its first session. Within the same
time frame, it would also develop the modalities and necessary time allocation
for the universal periodic review mechanism. The Assembly would review the
Council’s status within five years. It would also review its work and functioning
five years after its establishing and report thereon to the Assembly.

Today, we stand ready to witness a new beginning for the promotion


and protection of human rights, he said. By adopting the draft, a body would be
established, which would be based on dialogue and cooperation, and would be
principled, effective and fair, a body whose members would uphold the highest
standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. And, that body
would advance the founding principles that were initiated by the Assembly, with
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Council’s establishment was
a decision whose time had come. Many had told him in recent days and weeks
of the importance they attached to the prompt adoption of the text as it is. He,
therefore, proposed that the Assembly adopt the text of the draft resolution as
a whole. No one part could now be added or subtracted from it in isolation,
without jeopardizing its balance, strength and workability. It was a draft
resolution whose sum was greater than its parts. It was his hope that the
Member States were now ready to adopt it in its entirety, in the interest of
human rights.

Explanations of Vote

Before any statements were made, the representative of Cuba asked if


any State had asked for a vote on the text.

Assembly President ELIASSON clarified that it was the United States


that had requested the vote.

RODRIGO MALMIERCA D�AZ ( Cuba) said the decision to


establish the new Council had been driven by the need to end the huge
discredit, which had befallen the existing Commission on Human Rights, due to
the political manipulation, hypocrisy and double standards imposed on its work,
by the United States and the European Union. The draft being submitted today
was by no means a sufficient response to addressing that challenge. Indeed,
nothing in the creation of the new Council would prevent a repeat of the
tradition of manoeuvring by the powers of the North, to unjustly condemn third
world countries.

Cuba had been hoping for the establishment of a body that contributed
to strengthening the international system of promoting and protecting human
rights, through genuine cooperation, but the United States and its allies had
insisted on making the punitive and sanctioning approach prevail, this time
evinced by a provision in the text, which allowed for the suspension of the
rights of those who questioned, interfered, or just disagreed, with the
hegemonic domination plans of the Empire. Indeed, during the months of
negotiation, Cuba had witnessed -- with indignation -- how the United States
and its allies had exerted ï¿½strong pressure and resorted to their traditional 
blackmail, to break the resistance to this new plot.

He went on to say that the text that would be adopted did not represent
as balanced a view as some believed. In fact, it was a reflection of the
dangerous, unipolar world that the Bush administration was trying to legitimise
-- a world submitted to the force of power, in which reason and justice would
have no value. We were never deceived by the loudmouth objections of the
Washington representatives. The fact that, today, the United States had
requested a vote on the text, does not mean that it was not conceived and
negotiated behind the scenes to accommodate its main demands, sacrificing
vital interests of the countries of the South.

The attacks of the current US administration to the text proves its


arrogance. They lose nothing [and], on the contrary, have assured a new
means to exert confrontation, hatred and punishment, and if they protest today,
it is because they intend to get new concessions, he said. Cuba would reaffirm
its serious reservations about the contents of the draft, namely that it reduced
the number of members in the new Council to the detriment of its universality;
and it endorsed the suspension of members that might be activated with the
support of two-thirds voting and present, without establishing a minimum limit
of required votes.

A country, elected with the support of 96 States, may be suspended of


its rights by the will of a lesser number of countries. Cuba was also concerned
that that nothing in the text limits, in the new Council, the pernicious and handy
practice of imposing politically motivated resolutions on the countries of the
South. He added that principles such as the right to development, a main
demand of many developing countries, had been ignored. And, the fight against
racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, had been
negligently oblviated. A Council with those characteristics would not only allow
the United States and its allies to have a strengthened inquisition tribunal
against the peoples of the South, it would also assure them the impunity they
already enjoyed on the existing Commission.

Finally, he warned that, those who mistakenly thought that a policy of


appeasement and systematic concessions would allow us to gain time and sate
the appetite the neoconservatives that have seized control of the White House,
should study the experiences of the past, and value the lessons learned about
the aggressive actions of a power with hegemonic intentions. Cuba does its
duty of denouncing these facts.

FERMIN TORO JIMENEZ (Venezuela), also speaking before the


vote, said that, while he would not vote against the resolution, he would not
vote in favour of it, he intended to abstain in the vote, as he had grave
objections to endorsing various preambular and operative paragraphs of the
text. Certain preambular and operative paragraphs were objectionable. He had
striven to maintain that position throughout the negotiations. He wished to
lodge reservations explicitly to preambular paragraph 1, and the inclusion of
the phrase humanitarian character, which made it possible to find a pretext to
interfere in the affairs of countries. He was also opposed to preambular
paragraph 11 and its reference to the activities of non-governmental
organizations. He expressed reservation on that issue as a whole.
He said he also had reservations concerning operative paragraphs 1, 2,
3, 4 and subparagraphs e and f of operative paragraph 5. Regarding operative
paragraph 6, he said there was an implicit prerequisite that the Council would
improve the system of special procedures. He had the same reservation on
operative paragraph 7 and 8, where there was still use of criteria to limit
States� participation on an equal footing. He also had reservations to
operative paragraphs 9, 10 and 14. The reservations he had expressed meant
that those paragraphs were not binding for his country, nor did they have
political or legal effect, as far as he was concerned.

Action on Text

Next, the draft resolution, entitled Human Rights Council (document


A/60/L.48), was adopted by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 4 against
( Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions ( Belarus,
Iran, Venezuela). (See Annex.)

Statements

Speaking after the vote, JOHN R. BOLTON ( United States) said that
his country had been one of the strongest proponents for meaningful
engagements on human rights issues, since the United Nations creation. It had
been in the forefront of the promotion of human rights and democracy, both in
its own country and around the world. The United Nations was founded on the
principle that nations must cooperate with each other to alleviate human
suffering. In the coming years, it would be judged on whether it created a
United Nations machinery that was strong and capable of doing that
effectively. That no longer characterized the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights. The Secretary-General had established ambitious, but
appropriate, goals for efforts to reform the Commission. It was the Secretary-
General who had framed the discussion, by saying that the Commission’s
capacity to perform its tasks had been increasingly undermined by its declining
credibility and professionalism, which had cast a shadow on the credibility of
the United Nations as a whole.

Recalling that the Secretary-General had made a number of proposals


to improve the body, he said he had appreciated those efforts, along with those
of the General Assembly President and others, to improve the Commission.
Through their leadership, some of the goals had been achieved with the text.
But, on too many issues, the current text was not sufficiently improved. In
focusing on membership of the body, the United States had been in excellent
company, as the Secretary-General had also targeted that as the fundamental
problem with the Commission. Too many countries sought membership to
protect themselves against criticism, or to criticize others. He strongly agreed
with the Secretary-General, and that had been his own pre-eminent criticism of
the Human Rights Commission. The Secretary-General had proposed that the
new Council be elected by a two-thirds majority. That would have made it
harder for countries not committed to human rights, to win seats on the new
body. The United States had also proposed exclusive criteria to keep gross
human rights abusers off the Council, to exclude the worst violators.

Sadly, those suggestions had not been included in the next text, he said.
The resolution merely required Member States to take into account a
country’s human rights record, when voting. And, suspension of a member
required a two-thirds vote, a standard higher than that required when electing
new members. His standard was one of principle. He extended his appreciation
to those Member States that agreed with his assertion that there should be no
place on the new Council for human rights abusers, or for countries where
sanctions have been applied for human rights violations. The United States
believed we can, and should, do more. We had an historic opportunity to create
a primary human right organ in the United Nations, poised to help those most
in need. The Human Rights Council would be the United Nations fundamental
legacy. It should not ever be said that the United Nations Member States were
willing to settle for good enough, for a compromise, for merely the best we
could do, rather than for the one thing that ensured that they were doing all
they could to promote human rights.
Absent assurance of a credible membership, he had insufficient
confidence in the text; he could not say that the new body would be better than
its predecessor. That said, the United States would do everything possible to
make the Human Rights Council as strong as it could be, for it remained
committed to support the United Nations historical mission to promote and
protect the human rights of all the world’s citizens. The real test would be the
quality of membership that emerged on the Council and whether that included
Cuba, the Sudan, Zimbabwe, Iran, Belarus and Burma.

ENRIQUE BERRUGA FILLOY ( Mexico) said that the establishment


of the Human Rights Council was the most importance advance of the
multilateral work in favour of human rights in recent decades. Through that
decision, human rights were consolidated as one of the three pillars of
collective action of the contemporary international community. The dwindling
efficiency and credibility of the Human Rights Commission had made
strengthening the United Nations human rights machinery an urgent matter.
For that reason, the main challenge of reform was to ensure that the new
Council was substantially better than the Commission, and that objective had
been achieved. The negotiating process, which ended today, provided a clear
picture of the multiple existing views surrounding that complex issue. The
resolution did not reflect an ideal world, but the real one.

Indeed, he said, there was a prevailing divide between those who


perceived human rights as a way of promoting dignity and fundamental
freedoms, and those who saw them as an uneasy obligation or as one that was
difficult to implement, because of certain customs, ideological postures or ways
to exercise power. The international community’s next challenge, therefore,
was to narrow that gap, to reach universality and effective promotion of human
rights. The new Council must end those habits and flaws that had become
common practice in the Commission, particularly the double standards,
selectivity and lack of real impact in its decisions in the field. The new organ
could make significant progress in the following areas: placing the human
rights agenda at a higher institutional level in the United Nations; and electing
its members on the basis of their merits and linking their election to their
promotion and protection of human rights.

In addition, the new Council would guide its work according to


international human rights standards, he continued. The General Assembly
would have the ability to suspend a Council member that committed gross and
systematic human rights violations. The universal periodical review mechanism
would both raise the bar to wider scrutiny of human rights situations and
provide greater cooperation with countries that might need it. For those
reasons, Mexico supported the creation of the new body and welcomed that
crucial step. His country sought to preserve the highest international standards
for the defence of human dignity. The task ahead was to ensure that the
Council was up to the important role granted to the United Nations, and it was
the world community’s collective responsibility to consolidate the Council as
the centrepiece of that endeavour.

GERHARD PFANZELTER (Austria), on behalf of the European Union,


welcoming the adoption of the resolution, regretted that not all had been able
to support the text, and hoped that all delegations would be able work together
in the future to make the Council an institution that was genuinely able to
advance the cause of human rights. The establishment of the Human Rights
Council marked an important step in the implementation of commitments made
by Heads of State and Government at the 2005 Summit. He hoped today’s
decision would give a new dynamic to the continuing reform process of the
United Nations and contribute to strengthening its credibility and legitimacy.
From the outset, the Union had aimed for a Council that would be equipped
with the status, mandate, structures and membership necessary to give human
rights the central role foreseen by the United Nations Charter. While not
everything the Union had aimed for was reflected in the resolution, it
represented an improvement over the Commission on Human Rights, and
would further strengthen the United Nations human rights machinery. The
strengthening of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had
been a first important step, in that regard.

He said the resolution contained several elements that would help to


improve the credibility and effectiveness of the United Nations human rights
system. The Union had argued for the Human Rights Council to be a standing
body. Together with additional time for the universal review, the United
Nations would be able to devote more time to human rights than ever before.
The Council’s composition and the quality of its membership would clearly
impact the functioning of the Council and the credibility of its work. While the
membership was open to all Member States, it was also their responsibility to
fulfil the mandate of promoting and protecting human rights. The Union took
that responsibility very seriously. Each European Union member State
committed itself not to cast its vote for a candidate that was under Security
Council sanctions for human rights related reasons. No State guilty of gross
and systematic human rights violations should serve on the Council. He
welcomed, therefore, the possibility for the General Assembly to suspend, by a
two-thirds majority of members present and voting, the rights of Council
membership for a member that committed gross and systematic violations of
human rights.

He welcomed the new provisions for a direct, individual election by


secret ballot by the absolute majority of the General Assembly. Although the
Union would have preferred a requirement of a two-thirds majority, that was an
improvement to the Commission on Human Rights. Other quality elements for
membership in the Council were also important for the Union, and all Council
members would have to fully cooperate with the Council. The Union also
recognized the enhanced status of the Council as a subsidiary body of the
General Assembly. The review of the status within the next five years would
offer the opportunity to assess the Council’s work, and whether it should be
elevated to a principal organ of the United Nations. Clearly, within five years
entailed the possibility to do so, as early as Member States decided.

The Council�s mandate provided for a solid basis for the promotion 
and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, he said. It
would provide guidance and assistance to all countries to achieve the highest
standards of human rights protection, through dialogue, cooperation and
capacity-building. The Council would also address situations of violations of
human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make
recommendations thereon. The Union would make every effort to ensure that
the Council would be able to fulfil its mandate responsibly. The Union also
placed importance on the Council’s mandate to promote effective coordination
and mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system. All
States had the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights. The
universal periodic review was a novelty that would submit all to scrutiny,
without exception. It was essential that the review had the possibility of further
follow-up, as appropriate. The Union had always argued for maintaining and
building on the strengths of the Commission on Human Rights. The
participation of non-governmental organizations would be an important element
in the Council’s deliberations and would have a positive impact on its
functioning.

An important decision had been taken today, and the groundwork had
been laid for a fresh start, he concluded. The Human Rights Council inherited
a solid foundation of human rights instruments. The task would be to translate
those norms in to tangible improvements of the human rights situation on the
ground. If that could not be achieved, the Council would not be the relevant
body the international community wanted it to be. The members common wish
for enhanced dialogue would also lead to greater understanding and tolerance
among civilizations, cultures and religions. It was up to Member States to live
up to those expectations.

PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) said the resolution was a good


compromise and a fair balance between the different perspectives and
ambitions that had been expressed during negotiations. At the same time, it
evinced a new commitment by Member States to promote universal human
rights. He added that his delegation was aware that, for a large part of the
United Nations membership, the draft’s recognition of the right to development
was very important. Further, the text strengthened the Organization’s human
rights machinery through, among other ways, a more sustained engagement
throughout the year and the establishment of a universal review mechanism.

He went on to say that the resolution created an institution with greater


legitimacy, in that members would not only be more carefully selected, but they
must also cooperate with the Council and undertake voluntary commitments.
The resolution created a framework for a fresh start and for exploring new
forms of engagement. It also provided an opportunity to build trust, by
addressing human rights in a spirit of fairness, equal treatment and avoidance
of double standards, and it is our sincere hope that we will not fall back into old
patterns of behaviour, he said.

Clearly, not all the memberships concerns had been addressed by the
text, but a reasonable level of progress has been achieved. We do not share
the intransigent and maximalist approaches of certain delegations, who want to
make us believe that they are the only ones fighting for an ambitious human
rights machinery. All too often, high ambitions are cover-ups for less noble
aims and oriented, not at improving the United Nations, but at belittling and
weakening it. He stressed that the adoption of the resolution was an important
strategic achievement for the overall United Nations reform process. Indeed,
change is a process, not an event.

JOHAN L�VALD ( Norway) regretted that the historic resolution


could not be adopted without a vote. Human rights were universal rights. In
order for the new Council to be truly effective in the protection and promotion
of human rights, the support and strong engagement of all Member States was
needed. While the text was weaker in certain parts than he would have hoped
for, he recognized that many other countries could claim the same. The text
was a result of a compromise and could not be an ideal blueprint for anyone.
The establishment of the Human Rights Council presented, however, a unique
opportunity to start putting in place a reinvigorated system for the promotion
and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.
The new Council represented an important step towards strengthening the
United Nations human rights machinery.

The text set standards for new member countries, which would be asked
to make explicit commitments to promote and protect human rights, he said.
While the Council’s membership was open to all States, it was the
responsibility of Member States to elect candidates that were qualified to fulfil
the mandate of promoting and protecting human rights. From the beginning,
Norway had supported the elevation of human rights throughout the United
Nations system, and the upgrading of the Commission of Human Rights to a
standing Human Rights Council. That would reflect, at the institutional level,
the centrality of human rights in the United Nations system. The text adopted
would establish a Council with a clear mandate to address all human rights
situations, a more frequent meeting schedule and a new universal review
mechanism. The text also preserved key strengths of the Commission,
including its unique system of special procedures and non-governmental
organization participation.

The international community’s political will and commitment would be


as important to making the new Council a better tool for meaningful promotion
and protection of human rights, as any changes in structure and working
methods, he said. The real test would be implementing human rights standards.
Before being able to deal with substantial issues, the first tasks would include
adopting a new agenda and working methods. To avoid a potential protection
gap, it was crucial to arrive at smooth transition arrangements from the Human
Rights Commission to the new Council.

HERALDO MUOZ ( Chile) said that the protection of human beings


lay at the heart of Chile’s interest in the Human Rights Council. Human rights
abuses should not occur in any parts of the world, but when they did occur, the
international community should be able to act, in a swift and timely fashion.
Chile had taken part in all phases of the negotiations resulting in the text
adopted today, with a view to reforming and strengthening the United Nations
human rights machinery for the protection and promotion of human rights for
all. Tomorrow, the Governments of some of the Member States that had
resisted the creation of the Human Rights Council could be overthrown, in a
reversal of circumstances, and those in power today, could become the
dissidents of tomorrow. The latter group would benefit from a strong, non-
discriminatory Council that safeguarded the human rights of all.

He said that, in supporting the draft, Chile was not taking a stand
against any particular country, nor did it accept the use of human rights as an
issue for any purpose. Chile was not aligned with anyone or anything here, but
the cause of the promotion of human rights. It had undergone its own grim
period of dictatorship, and was today a democracy, with a woman at the helm
who was acquainted with torture and exile. Chileans themselves felt solidarity
with people who had suffered gross and systematic human rights violations. His
delegation would have favoured more clear-cut compliance with the highest
human rights standards, when it came to the selection of Council members, and
regional distribution could have been more in line with the Latin American and
Caribbean Group’s representation in the Human Rights Commission. It would
also have preferred a more solid reference to civil society. All the same, the
text was balanced and positive, and represented a tremendous advance. It was
now incumbent on the Council and Member States to live up to the highest
expectations, and build on those positive elements to restore the protection of
human rights to the centre of the United Nations concerns.

ABDULLAH ALSAIDI ( Yemen), speaking on behalf of the


Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that his delegation was far
from being happy with the draft that had been adopted today by the Assembly.
The Conference would have wanted it to contain unambiguous and unequivocal
reference to acts of incitement, hatred and religious intolerance. We live in a
world, after all, that is seemingly rife with tensions between cultures.

That was why the OIC would urge President Eliasson to lead the
Assembly action and discussions on matters pertaining to the dialogue among
cultures and civilizations. Still, the OIC opted not to take steps that would lead
to the text unravelling. It hoped that the international community would
recognize that acts of incitement, bigotry, hatred and religious intolerance,
even when promoted as freedom of speech, would be recognized and disdained.

VANU GOPALA MENON ( Singapore) said the Assembly had been at


it for months, and the fatigue in the room was palpable. Delegations had fought
for their positions. There had been sharp disagreements, which sometimes
seemed pointed enough to derail the process. It had certainly been the deft and
patient leadership of the co-Chairs that had kept the process on track. He did
not mean to suggest that the text was poor. It was balanced and realistic, and
met the critical concerns of developing and developed countries. The text also
established a Human Rights Council that was superior to what the United
Nations had. Council members would be required to amass a significant
threshold of support in a direct and secret election. Term limits would also give
all members the opportunity to serve, and the Council would be more
representative. In short, the Council would have legitimacy in membership and
decisions.

While the text would not make everyone happy, that was a good thing,
for if every delegation had gotten what it wanted, that would be capitulation,
not negotiation. He called for trust in the process that had been devised, to
ensure fairness and efficacy, and in the ability of Member States to make
sound decisions. It was also important to trust that members would have the
courage to deal with the body constructively and through a prism that was
broader than just national interests. The Council would not be judged on its
structure; it would be judged by its results in promoting and protecting human
rights. That was where the role of Member States was crucial. It was important
that members made utmost efforts to avoid the mistakes of the past, mistakes
that had discredited the Commission on Human Rights. Members should also
be prepared to regularly review the Council�s working methods and 
functioning to make it more effective in the promotion and protection of human
rights. In short, it was important to ensure that the Council was a living entity,
one that was fine tuned and overhauled occasionally. Members should focus
energy on making the Council work, as it would be judged by history.

LE LUONG MINH ( Viet Nam) said he hoped that the Human Rights
Council was less likely than its predecessor to become politicized when dealing
with issues of membership and expansion. He recognized that the Member
States might have agreed to a different Human Rights Council. Given the
divergence of views on how the new body should unfold, he considered the text
adopted today to be a balanced compromised draft. He highly valued the
efforts of the General Assembly President. Viet Nam’s support for the
resolution had flowed from its consistent policy of striving, together with the
international community, to strengthen the promotion and protection of human
rights for all people of the world, based on respect for national independence,
sovereignty and the territorial integrity of all countries. Hopefully, the text
would be implemented in a balanced and fair manner, leading to
implementation of a Council free from politicization.

SABELO SIVUYILE MAQUNGO (South Africa), speaking on behalf


of the African Group, welcomed the adoption of the resolution, which was of
great importance, not only to the African continent, but to all peoples of the
world. It reaffirmed basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and placed
an equal emphasis on political rights. He noted with satisfaction that the
important elements of cooperation and dialogue had been incorporated into the
text, and that it recognized the importance of eliminating double standards,
selectivity and politicisation. The text was the product of long negotiations and
was more progressive than previous texts. There were some principles,
however, that the Group held dear, that had not been included in the text.
Those principles provided clear parameters to establish a strong, effective and
non-politicised Human Rights Council.

Regarding meetings of the Council, he hoped that efforts would be


made to ensure that assistance was extended to least developed countries and
developing countries, to ensure their participation. On the Council�s 
membership, he would have hoped for a larger number than the one adopted, to
provide the opportunity for more States to participate. On development, he
would have wished for a stronger development agenda to be articulated.
However, the resolution was a sum greater than its parts.

While the text did not fully meet all the Group’s concerns, if the
provisions of the text were fully implemented by all countries and in good faith,
then it would strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights
internationally. He expected that, in the review conference to take place in five
years, there would be opportunity to take into account the African Group�s 
position. The Group would fully cooperate with the Council to ensure the
promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was
committed to enhancing and improving the work of the newly established
Human Rights Council.

OMAR BASHIR MOHAMED MANIS ( Sudan) said the United


Nations reform process, including the creation of the Human Rights Council,
was aimed at assessing the work of the Organization system-wide, and
revitalize the 60-year-old world body, so that it could better reflect the modern
day international scene. The Sudan hoped that the new Council would be based
on international cooperation and would provide a framework to deal with all
human rights issues, without selectivity or politicization. He hoped it would
respect cultural and political differences, as well as the right to development,
so that people in developing countries could achieve sustainable socio-
economic development.

The Sudan would work to see that the new Council could address the
situations that the current Commission on Human Rights could not resolve.
Indeed, that body had been turned into a forum for confrontation, hamstrung by
politicization and selectivity. The Commission had ignored the flagrant human
rights violations perpetrated by the major powers, but it readily considered and
adopted resolutions condemning human rights situations in smaller countries.

The aim of the new Council must be to build on the advantages of the
Commission and avoid that body’s shortcomings. He stressed that the current
resolution did not contain all the elements that his delegation would have
wanted, and it, indeed, included what appeared a few holdovers from the
previous Commission, which would make it easier for major powers to condemn
small countries, while giving notes of appreciation to their allies. The Sudan
would reject such efforts to politicize the Council, as well as moves to turn it
into some sort of subsidiary body of the Security Council. That was to be
avoided at all costs, as it would be in contravention of the will of the majority of
Member States, and undermine the powers of the General Assembly.

And, while he did not wish to reply to the statement made earlier by the
United States, he would remind the Assembly that that delegation had
previously tried to convince the world that its detention centres at Guantanamo
Bay and Abu Ghraib were five star tourist resorts. Indeed, the Sudan did not
need any lessons on human rights from the United States. The Sudan’s
message would be that cooperation and dialogue were the best means to deal
with human rights in a fair and objective manner.

ALBERTO D�ALOTTO ( Argentina) said the text was missing some


elements that would have bestowed upon the Human Rights Council, the same
status as that of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council.
The evolution of the negotiations, however, had led him to approve the text,
apart from the fact that the Council would not be a main body of the United
Nations, and that it had not been possible to require a two-third vote for
membership selection. Nevertheless, he agreed with the Council’s selection as
a replacement for the Human Rights Commission. The latter had recorded
some major achievements, but it had fallen short, as well.

The Human Rights Council should become robust enough to avoid the
recurrence of similar episodes to those atrocities that had occurred in his
country some 30 years ago, he said. Argentina would strive to make the new
body an open forum for the victims of acts of repression, open to all who felt
they had been denied their human rights. He congratulated the Assembly
President for the work he had done to achieve the milestone reached today.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) said that the Assembly


had just witnessed a historic moment in United Nations reform. The
establishment of the Council fulfilled one of the major promises made at the
2005 World Summit, and his delegation was pleased to be a part of the vast
majority of States, which considered the Council a new and clear commitment
of the international community to enhance the promotion and protection of
human rights. The text adopted today marked a significant improvement over
the current Commission on Human Rights, even though Liechtenstein shared
the dissatisfaction of others with some parts of it.

His delegation would have preferred, for instance, a convening


mechanism that was more flexible, to allow for case-specific dialogue with
special procedures, treaty bodies and the High Commissioner for Human
Rights. It would also have preferred a clear division of work between the
Council and the Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural),
but he understood that that was a concern that could be accommodated when
the Council was set up in Geneva, with a view to avoiding duplication of work.

Among the key components of the decision taken today, was that, for
the first time in the history of the Organization, the Assembly had decided that
no State could have a de facto permanent membership in the new Council. That
was a genuine reflection of the universality of human rights, and a very
important precedent for the future. The public debate over the past few weeks
had focused strongly on the question of eligibility for membership. And, while
that focus had distorted the overall picture, it was, nevertheless, a real
concern. Indeed, membership in the new Council was more important than ever
before, because it would be made up of fewer members than the existing
Commission.

Liechtenstein would cast its vote for the first group of members, for
those States that had a proven track record in the promotion and protection of
human rights, both domestically and in their United Nations activities. In that
respect, his delegation would give particular emphasis to issues, such as
standing invitations extended to special procedures, full cooperation with them
and other mechanisms established by the Commission, as well as ratification of
core human rights instruments, and the quality of reporting to the treaty bodies
which had been established by them.

Liechtenstein did not believe that a State that engaged in domestic


violations of universally recognized human rights, due to unwillingness, rather
than inability, could be expected to make an effective contribution to the global
promotion and protection of human rights worldwide that we are looking for, he
said. He also agreed that States that were under enforcement measures
imposed by the Security Council for their human rights records should not
serve on the new Council, for as long as those measures were in place.

MILAD ATIEH ( Syria) said reform of the United Nations should be


aimed at making the world body better able to address the challenges of the
current century. Syria had voted in favour of the draft today, because of its
firm belief in the leadership role the United Nations played in protecting and
promoting all human rights, including the right to development. Syria had been
flexible during the negotiations, and had hoped that other delegations would
have been equally flexible.
And, while the text adopted had addressed some of Syria’s concerns,
his delegation would stress, among other things, that the newly established
Council should avoid selectivity and politicization; its work should be
transparent; it must adhere to the principles of territorial sovereignty and
integrity; and it must promote dialogue among civilization and religious
tolerance. He added that, since the new Council would replace the Commission
on Human Rights, the Commission’s agenda, particularly item 8 on illegal
Israeli practices in the Arab territories should be transferred to the new body.
Syria would work to ensure that the work of the Human Rights Council would
be effective and credible, and not serve narrow political or national interests.

KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) welcomed the establishment of the Human


Rights Council. To create a truly effective human rights body, Japan had
proposed that the new Council should be a principle organ, with its members
elected by a two-thirds majority. His delegation regretted that those elements
had not been reflected in the final text. While the text was not perfect, it
provided a good and viable basis to strengthen the United Nations human
rights machinery, one that was a clear improvement over its predecessor. On
that basis, Japan had voted in favour of the resolution.

Member States now faced a new task to ensure that the newly
established Human Rights Council would be an effective and credible body, he
said. To that end, the preparatory work to put the Council into operation was
vitally important, and his delegation would appeal to all Member States to
participate actively in that work. During the course of preparation, Japan
expected that practices and mechanisms could be established, in order to
enhance the credibility of the Council’s membership, including, for example,
the submission of a written pledge by candidates seeking membership, well in
advance of the election, so that Member States could examine it, and fully
take it into account in casting their votes. Japan would vigorously try to
explore the possibilities to enhance the Council’s credibility, as its rules of
procedures were discussed. He also hoped that the review of the Council’s
status within five years would commence at an early opportunity.

He noted that, in future elections, Japan would give full consideration to


the human rights situation of each candidate. Japan would cast its vote for
those candidates who were committed to, and striving for, the protection and
promotion of human rights. Japan would not vote for candidates that it believed
were committing grave human rights violations, including those under sanctions
of the Security Council for human rights related reasons. He hoped today was
a day of triumph in the history of the promotion of world human rights.

ANDREY DENISOV ( Russian Federation) said he had voted in favour


of the draft, because, although far from perfect, the text was the outcome of an
extremely difficult search for a compromise. The new body would eliminate
double standards, selectivity and the politicization of human rights. It was a
starting point for future activities in the human rights field. Rule 100 of annex 2
of the General Assembly’s rules of procedure stated that new organs should be
set up only after mature consideration. Already, on many occasions, attention
had been drawn to the ambiguous nature of many provisions in the text,
especially to operative paragraph 7, which discussed limiting membership to
two consecutive terms. That contradicted the principle set out in the United
Nations Charter on universal membership, which indicated that all States could
submit candidacies for membership to any United Nations body. The situation
was also not totally clear, with regard to whether or not membership in the new
body was open to all; it seemed to be bound by certain criteria. Hopefully, the
Human Rights Council itself would rectify the text’s ambiguous provisions.

MAGED A. ABDELAZIZ ( Egypt) said his vote in favour of the draft


was a clear reaffirmation of his country’s firm conviction of the need for a new,
vibrant subsidiary body of the Assembly, to deal successively and
progressively with human rights issues, based on cooperation and dialogue.
The new body’s institutional link to the Assembly should not be jeopardized. As
a subsidiary body of the Assembly, it should present all its recommendations
and resolutions to the Assembly for consideration, in accordance with the rules
of procedure applicable to the Assembly. The new body should also uphold the
basic principles, such as the sovereign equality of States, respect for their
territorial integrity and the right to self-determination of peoples under colonial
determination and foreign occupation. The Council should work diligently to
promote the respect and application of those principles. The new Council
should also safeguard the obligations to respect the cultural, religious and
social backgrounds of peoples.

He said that the suspension of the rights of membership, as stipulated


in the text’s operative paragraph 8, even though that was derived from the
United Nations Charter, should be an exceptional application of the new body,
only, and limited to, cases of gross and systematic human rights violations.
Such a case, however, should not be a precedent or basis for the proliferation
of such a practice in other United Nations bodies. In addition, his
understanding of preambular paragraph 7, which affirmed the need to broaden
understanding among civilizations, cultures and religions, was that it entailed
the responsibility of States and international organizations to ensure full
respect for religions and prophets. He stressed the responsibility of the new
Council and the Assembly to ensure that all States abided by their
responsibilities, in that regard.

DAN GILLERMAN ( Israel) noted that, half a century after the


establishment of the Commission Human Rights, the Secretary-General had
courageously initiated a painful, yet necessary, process to substantively reform
the United Nations system and address the existing failings in the Commission.
Born out of the ruins and ashes of the Second World War, the United Nations,
with the Commission on Human Rights at its forefront, was intended to serve
as a beacon of resolve and hope, to restore humanity to mankind, and
safeguard the promise of never again. The Jewish people had a fundamental
interest in the United Nations promise of protection of human rights and
freedoms. Among its founding fathers and keenest advocates in 1946, before
the establishment of the State of Israel, were prominent Jewish leaders and
Nobel Prize winners, such as Rene Cassin, who had helped build an edifice of
values and morals. The United Nations vision had been the vision of the Jewish
people.

He said it was with profound regret that Israel had witnessed the
corruption of those ideals in the United Nations central human rights agency,
the Commission on Human Rights, over many decades. Instead of equality, it
had gotten discrimination, instead of tolerance, it had experienced racism and
exclusion, and instead of human dignity, the Jewish people had suffered the
indignity of double standards, applied only to the Jewish State. Israel had been
closely involved in the negotiations, in order to create a viable, professional
and responsible Human Rights Council, which would renew public confidence in
the United Nations human rights machinery.

Unfortunately, the resolution fell significantly short of the objectives that would
enable the Council to live up to those ideals, he said. The resolution contained
worrying omissions, including the absence of sufficient benchmarks for
membership, which posed the danger that the new Council would not be a
significant improvement over its predecessor. The General Assembly should
not allow those responsible for the failure of the Commission on Human Rights
to lead the Council down the same road. Indeed, radical failure called for
radical change. That change, unfortunately, was not evident today. Israel,
along with others, had hoped to avoid voting on the resolution. At the current
juncture, however, the resolution failed to address several fundamental issues
of concern, and Israel had been compelled to vote against it.

REZLAN ISHAR JENIE ( Indonesia) noted that, while the text did not
fully meet his delegation’s expectations, the resolution in its entirety should
provide a basis for a better human rights machinery, than that being replaced.
The resolution was the fruit of collective efforts, and each Member State was
responsible for making it a success. Each and every Member State, big or
small, rich or poor, developed or developing, had the same right to benefit from
the human rights body when it started operating, as no country was perfect in
its performance in the field of human rights.

He said the Council should be faithful to the principles Member States


had agreed upon, namely the universality, objectivity, and non-selectivity in the
consideration of human rights issues, by treating all human rights, including the
right to development, in a fair and equal manner, as well as the elimination of
the double standards of politicization. With the absence of explicit reference in
the Council’s mandate to address country-specific situations, those principles
should also be fully applicable in that regard, and should be reflected in its
method of work and rules of procedure. With regard to the hierarchical position
of the Council within the United Nations system, as a subsidiary body of the
Assembly, the Council would submit recommendations on issues, within the
scope of its mandate, to the Assembly, and to other United Nations bodies,
only through its parent body.

Regarding the recent publications and republications of blasphemous


cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, in various newspapers, he said it
was his delegation’s understanding that one of the Council’s tasks would be to
undertake measures to prevent the recurrence of that unfortunate incident,
and to devise a strategy to better promote understanding and respect for
various religions and cultural values of all States and societies.

YOUCEF YOUSFI ( Algeria) said the text was balanced, in that it


contained elements that allowed the international community to progressively
achieve the objective of protecting and promoting human rights, based on an
approach of dialogue and cooperation. His delegation would have liked to see a
number of elements in the resolution, however, particularly specific reference
to the right to self-determination of people under foreign occupation or colonial
rule. Algeria�s support for multilateralism had led it to agree to certain 
compromises. Indeed, his country had strongly adhered to the principle of
compromise during the negotiation process. Algeria was willing to work with all
Member States to achieve the noble goals set out in the resolution.

ABDESSELEM ARIFI ( Morocco) said his delegation had voted in


favour of the compromise draft, which had established a fragile balance
between the divergent views of Member States. The text had been the result
of the joint efforts of all States to affect the will of world leaders, at the
September Summit, to strengthen the United Nations human rights machinery.
Morocco would affirm its position that the new Council should correct and
remedy past actions of the Commission on Human Rights.

WESTMORELAND PALON ( Malaysia) said his delegation agreed


with those that felt that the new Council should strive to ensure respect for
cultural diversity, promote dialogue among civilizations, and condemn religious
intolerance. It also accepted the fact that the text did not contain all the
elements that it would have wanted. But, at the same time, the resolution
struck a delicate balance that would elevate the level of the United Nations
work in the field of human rights. He applauded the Panamanian and South
African Ambassadors, who had led the negotiations, as well as General
Assembly President Eliasson, who had presented the final text.

HJALMAR W. HANNESSON ( Iceland) said the establishment of the


Human Rights Council marked the fulfilment of one of the major tasks
mandated to the Assembly at the 2005 Summit. As a result of long and difficult
negotiations, it was inevitable that compromises had had to be made. Indeed,
he was disappointed that the final outcome did not match the ambitions, in the
clear and principled approach proposed by the Secretary-General in his
original report. Iceland supported the resolution, because the alternatives of
falling back on the Commission was unacceptable, and not in the interests of
human rights.

He said the Council’s status as a subsidiary body of the of the General


Assembly was a step forward, and he looked forward to the review within the
next five years, with a view to elevating the Council to the status of a principal
organ of the United Nations. More frequent meetings would better equip the
Council to address urgent human rights issues. The resolution also preserved
key strengths of the Commission, including its unique system of independent
experts, known as special procedures, as well as the important arrangements
and practices for non-governmental organization participation in its work. The
Council’s composition and the quality of its membership would have an impact
on the Council’s functioning and the credibility of its work. Iceland would not
vote for any candidate country that was under sanctions imposed by the
Security Council for human rights related reasons, or any country that was
considered to be committing gross and systematic human rights violations.

PAIMANEH HASTEH ( Iran) said she would have preferred to have


adopted the resolution by consensus. Since a single delegation -- the United
States -- chose to ask for a recorded vote, against the will of the great majority
of members of the Organization -- everyone faced a less than desirable
situation. In that situation, her delegation had decided to abstain on the
resolution, owing to its concerns and reservations about a number of provisions
contained in the resolution. Iran attached great importance to international
efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations, as
well as to ensure objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human
rights, and the elimination of double standards and politicization in the work of
the new Council, as rightly and unambiguously recognized in the text. The
Council was bound to observe those criteria in its future work, in order to
remedy the Commission’s shortcomings. And, as a subsidiary body of the
General Assembly, the Council should submit its reports, recommendations
and decisions on the promotion and protection of human rights, solely to the
General Assembly.

She said that country-specific resolutions should not be approved,


without exhausting all means of cooperation, and ensuring avoidance of
politicization and double standards. Membership should be open to all United
Nations Member States, and Council members should be elected directly and
individually by the majority of the General Assembly members, and on the
basis of geographical distribution. She was concerned that the suspension of
the rights of membership in the Council, even by a two-thirds majority of
Council members, might be used as a pretext by certain States, in their
politically motivated attempts to pursue their national interests. The term
specified in the resolution, namely gross and systematic violations of human
rights, therefore, should be given a clear and undisputed interpretation.

She would have preferred that the frequency and duration of the
Council’s meetings were more clearly spelled out and better elaborated in the
text. The issue should be properly addressed by the Assembly, to avoid
conflicting interpretation, and possible confusion, in the future.

It was unfortunate that, despite the practices of blasphemy and insulting


prophets and religions, the proposals put forward by the Organization of the
Islamic Conference had not been duly taken into consideration, she said. What
had been reflected in the text was important, but in no way met the concerns of
the Muslim countries. She, nevertheless, earnestly hoped that the new Council
would successfully promote and protect human rights worldwide.

MARGARET HUGHES FERRARI ( Saint Vincent and the


Grenadines), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
said that it was regrettable that the text under consideration today had not
been approved by consensus. Throughout the negotiations, her delegation had
worked to ensure the creation of a body that was inclusive and open to the
participation of all States, towards the effective promotion and protection of
human rights. And, while some of CARICOM proposals had not found their
way into the text, in the interest of flexibility and compromise, it had supported
the document. That said, the CARICOM hoped that the new Council’s work
would not be politicized, and that it would seek to address all human rights from
a fair and objective standpoint.

JUDITH MBULA BAHEMUKA ( Kenya) said that, while every


Member State would have preferred to take home the whole cake today,
everyone knew that, in a household with 191 members, that was neither
practical nor feasible. Kenya was, therefore, happy that, in the spirit of
accommodation and understanding, everyone had gotten a piece of this cake.
The text adopted by the Assembly was, indeed, workable, and a big step
towards creating an institution that would be stronger and more effective in
promoting and protecting human rights. It also represented a very significant
improvement over the Commission on Human Rights, and would reinvigorate
the United Nations human rights machinery. It was unfortunate that the text
could not have been adopted by consensus.

She called today a defining moment for the Organization’s struggle to


advance human rights. It marked the beginning of the transition from the
Commission to the Council. Over its 60 years of existence, the Commission
had had its successes, but, in the last 20 years, it had lost credibility, because
of the selfish political agendas of Member States. Change had, thus, been
inevitable, if the international community wished to achieve the human rights
objectives of the United Nations. And, while Kenya was proud to stand up and
be counted among the membership that had made that transformation a reality,
it would urge the wider Assembly not to lose sight of the pitfalls that had led to
the Commission’s credibility deficit.

ZHANG YISHAN ( China) said that, after 30 rounds of consultations


over five months, the Assembly had finally adopted the draft resolution on the
Human Rights Council. It had been an arduous course, full of disputes and
challenges. In order to fulfil the noble task entrusted to Member States by
world leaders, delegations had made tireless efforts during consultations,
seeking common ground and compromise. The creation of the new Council
marked a historic moment. The United Nations human rights body would be
upgraded from a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council to a
subsidiary organ of the Assembly. The status of human rights would be further
promoted within the United Nation system. The international community and
people from all over the world had great expectations in the Council and hoped
it would play its due role.

Among other things, he said that the resolution had reaffirmed


important human rights principles, such as the need to respect historical,
cultural and religious backgrounds. In addition, it had solved the long-standing
problem of underrepresentation of Asian countries in the Human Rights
Commission, by redistributing regional seats, based on the principle of
equitable geographic distribution. At the same time, however, the resolution
failed to fully reflect the concerns of many developing countries, including
China. First, it did not provide effective guarantees to prevent political
confrontation, caused by country-specific resolutions, which had become a
chronic disease of the Human Rights Commission. Second, the universal
periodic review to be developed by the Council might overlap with the work of
human rights treaty bodies and special mechanisms, thus increasing the
burdens for developing countries. Third, recommendations by the Council
would be limited to the General Assembly.

RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG ( Brazil), on behalf of Colombia,


Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay, said that the establishment of the
Council in replacement of the Human Rights Commission was a watershed in
the protection and promotion of human rights, but it was not an end in itself.
The new Council was a process that began with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Although reshaping the human rights machinery was essential,
one must not lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, the members of
the old, and often criticized, Commission would be the very same members of
the new Council. Thus, the approach of all States to human rights had to be
reshaped. It was a complex, and sometimes torturous, negotiating process that
led to the final draft resolution adopted today. The efforts and resolve of the
whole membership, however, had prevailed.

As outlined, he said, the new Council was definitely an important


achievement, but it had its imperfections. Hopefully, those would be corrected
through the day-to-day practice of the new body. The text should have
included, in a more comprehensive fashion, the concepts of dialogue and
cooperation as instruments for the treatment of human rights violations.
Experience showed that, as a rule, politicizing human rights tended to be
counterproductive, if not accompanied by positive incentives, such as
cooperation and capacity-building. Regrettably, the proposal of a global report
was also not inserted into the final draft. Monitoring the human rights situation
from a global perspective would be an essential practice, allowing for the
mitigation of political selectivity and double standards. That had been the
subject of some well-founded criticism of the work of the Human Rights
Commission.

Finally, he said he deeply regretted that the representation of the Latin


American and Caribbean Group in the Council, as compared to the
Commission, had decreased by 27 per cent. He understood that regions with
increased numbers of countries should expand their presence, but there was no
decrease in the number of countries in his region. So, he failed to see why its
representation had been reduced so drastically. Nevertheless, the adoption
today of the resolution was long overdue. The Commission had started its work
in Geneva last Monday, and the main concern was to avoid a protection gap
created by a waning Commission, while a new structure was still lacking. The
persistence of such a situation would have temporarily undermined the United
Nations system for the protection of human rights. In addition, the creation of
the new Council would now free the agenda, and allow delegations to consider
other fundamental reform issues.
ROSEMARY BANKS (New Zealand), also speaking on behalf of
Canada and Australia (CANZ), said the establishment of the Human Rights
Council represented a new commitment to international human rights
standards. CANZ had supported the resolution, as its key elements provided
for a more effective human rights body than the Commission on Human Rights,
including its enhanced status as a General Assembly subsidiary body; a higher
threshold for membership; and a commitment by Council members to uphold
the highest standards in the protection and promotion of human rights. The
resolution also provided for the Council to improve its operations by a review
process.

When negotiations had begun, there had been many hopes for the
Council, he said. Agreement had not been reached on all, however. The
Council must avoid the shortcomings of the Human Rights Commission. CANZ
would have liked the resolution to contain an even stronger threshold for
membership. The CANZ delegations pledged that they would not vote onto the
Council, countries that were under sanctions of the Security Council for human
rights related reasons. To make the Council a success, it was necessary to
cultivate a new culture that was inclusive, and in which there was no place for
double standards. The Council would be effective if it, among other things,
adopted a robust work programme. The Council must also ensure that its voice
gave hope to those whose rights had been violated. CANZ looked forward to
working with the Council, as it embarked on the critically important mission
with which it had been entrusted.

JOSE LUIS GUTERRES (Timor-Leste) said his delegation would have


preferred if negotiations had continued for a time, to ensure that the
Organization had reached consensus on the creation of the Council. Timor-
Leste shared the views on membership in the Council that had been expressed
by, among others, the European Union and the United States. It would,
therefore, not vote for membership candidates that were under sanctions by
the Security Council. Timor-Leste would, nevertheless, work cooperatively
with the newly established Human Rights Council.

NIRUPAM SEN ( India) said the United Nations had shown that,
despite all its critics, it could deliver; it could create an organ with a high
threshold, and it could achieve broad agreement on important issues. India was
committed to the enlargement of human freedoms throughout the world, and
believed that the newly established Council, which would recognize the
importance of civil society in the area of promoting and protecting human
rights, was a major credit to the Organization.

Because of the spirit of accommodation and compromise that had


permeated the negotiations, India was confident that there were no real
contradictions between what was in the text and what most delegations would
like to achieve. India stood firmly by the text, regarding its affirmation of the
powers of the General Assembly in the area of human rights and concerning its
avoidance of Security Council conditionality or encroachment. India also
supported the emphasis on the right to development, which most Member
States had wanted to be included in the text. To that end, he added that, if the
international community were to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
by 2015, there was no time to lose. Closely following emerging ideas on the
right to development and ensuring that that right became a reality, would be
the best way to attain those noble goals.

MUNIR AKRAM ( Pakistan) said he had voted in favour of the draft.


He had always agreed that the United Nations human rights machinery was in
need of a comprehensive overhaul, but the 2005 Summit had focused only on
replacing the Commission with a new Human Rights Council. He was not
convinced that the new body, in itself, would significantly improve the manner
in which human rights were considered within the United Nations. He,
therefore, attached significance to the provisions calling for a review and
rationalization of the rest of the human rights machinery -- the proliferated,
duplicative 46 special procedures, the composition and operation of the Office
of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the utilization of the
Subcommission, the streamlining of the 1503 procedures and consultation with
civil society. Hopefully, the Human Rights Council would complete the review
during the first year of its existence, and report back to the General Assembly.
As mandated, he said, the new Council would adopt a more cooperative
approach to the promotion and protection of human rights. However, the
resolution had not removed the underlying reasons for the politicization and
confrontation that had become a hallmark of the Commission. The latter body
was discredited, not so much by the worst violators, but the readiness of its
members to condemn each other, rather than help each other. Hopefully, the
new Council, with its new configuration, would build safeguards against the
arbitrary and discriminatory targeting of developing countries, especially
Islamic countries. The new body should also elaborate arrangements for the
new universal review process. That should be based on a cooperative
approach, and objective and verified information. It should not become another
avenue for the selective targeting of developing countries. He was glad that
the Council’s membership reflected an equitable distribution of seats among
the five regional groups, but conditions and procedures for election were
unprecedented, especially for a subsidiary organ.

Having established that precedent, similar benchmarks of performance


and commitments should also be incorporated in election to other United
Nations bodies, especially the economic bodies, based on fulfilment of agreed
commitments, such as the 0.7 per cent official development assistance (ODA).
The Council and the General Assembly also had the moral and legal
responsibility to promote respect for religions, prophets and cultures, and to
halt and reverse the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Hopefully, such action
would be pursued, in view of the urgency of the issue. While today the decision
to establish the new Human Rights Council had been taken, the two resolutions
on development and Economic and Social Council reform remained to be
approved. He was concerned by the resistance from some countries to
proposals to fulfil the international commitments to development goals. Now
that the Human Rights Council was out of the way, the Assembly President’s
first priority should be to secure adoption, if possible by consensus or the
widest possible majority, of the two resolutions on development and Economic
and Social Council reform.

GILLES NOGHS (Monaco), also speaking on behalf of Andorra and


San Marino, said his delegation believed that overall United Nations reform
should aim to strengthen the Organization and its work, in all its mandated
fields, including human rights. He applauded the lead negotiators on the text,
including the Ambassadors of South Africa and Panama, and the President of
the Assembly. Monaco had believed, along with the overwhelming majority of
United Nations Member States, that the text should have gone further, to
ensure the credibility of the new Council. But, it, nevertheless, did include
certain assurances that the Council would work effectively to promote and
protect human rights worldwide.

ROMY TINCOPA ( Peru) noted that, without respect for human rights,
there could be no human civilization. Peru had participated in the Commission
on Human Rights for the last 20 years, and presently chaired the Commission,
reflecting its firm commitment to the protection of human rights. Peru
welcomed the creation of the new multilateral body with a robust mandate,
focusing mainly on the victims of human rights abuse. Since 1948, the United
Nations had developed a greater capacity in its ability to promote and protect
human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights elevated human
rights to ethical and legal values, at the universal level.

With the creation of the new Council, Peru hoped members would strive
to observe human rights in the broader sense, and that the Council would adopt
decisions without discrimination or political selectivity, he said. Peru also
hoped that dialogue and cooperation would be essential components in the
prevention of human rights violations. Peru also regretted the decrease in the
representation of Latin America in the new Council.

DOMINGOS FERREIRA ( Sao Tome and Principe), on behalf of the


Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, welcomed the adoption of the
draft resolution that established the Human Rights Council. With that
important step in the implementation of the decisions of the 2005 Summit, the
United Nations would be better equipped to promote and protect all human
rights and fundamental freedoms for all. The members of the Community of
Portuguese-speaking Countries would actively participate in the work of the
new body, and contribute to the effective fulfilment of its mandate.

TAMAR TCHITANAVA ( Georgia) welcomed the adoption of the


resolution. She was very much in favour of the new Council, and would do
everything possible to support it. Unfortunately, she had not been present
during the voting, and had she been in the room, she would have voted yes.

Right of Reply

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Cuba


said that the United States could not tell Cuba and Venezuela not to come forth
with a reply, because they could not possibly have one. Cuba certainly did.
Imperialism persisted in the tradition of self-declaring moral superiority over
those who were defending human dignity. The main violator of human rights did
not recognize the right to development or health. Hypocritically, the Bush
administration claimed the right to practice torture as a counter-terrorism
instrument, arbitrarily detaining people and denying their fundamental rights --
all on the basis of mere suspicion of some link with terrorism -- spying on their
own citizens, and bombing citizens in the name of freedom and democracy.

She asked how a country like the United States could demand a seat on
the Human Rights Council. The United States Government had no moral, as a
basis to blame any country for anything, on the basis of its human rights
record. Just a few weeks ago, human rights experts analyzed violations
committed in the detention centre of the United States Government, in
territory illegally occupied in Guantanamo, and found attempts by that
Government to legalize torture, thereby violating international instruments to
which Washington was a party. With what morality could the United States
Government demand anything of any other nation in the area of human rights,
if its own troops were treating prisoners inhumanely in the Abu Ghraib prisons,
and offending and attacking the most sacred sentiment of Muslims worldwide?
What lessons on the promotion and protection of human rights could be given
by those, who left thousands of their own nationals vulnerable, when Hurricane
Katrina devastated Louisiana?

It was unacceptable that a country or a group of countries took on the


right to interpret the text of a resolution in a way that satisfied the interests of
the United States Government, she said. That country systematically and
massively violated human rights. She would like to see if the European Union,
CANZ and others, which today expressed their whimsical interpretation of the
resolution, would stand against the presence of the United States as a member
of the Council, as a human rights violator. There were so many lies that needed
clarification.

She said that the United States attacked her country on political
grounds, precisely because it defended, protected and promoted the human
rights of all its people. It justified the embargo against Cuba, and not because
there were any human rights violations there; there was a true democracy for
Cubans and a serious commitment to social and economic development. For
Cuba, there was no way of turning back along that path, despite opposition and
aggression from the greatest power in history, she said.

General Assembly President’s Closing Remarks

Wrapping up the Assembly’s work today, Mr. ELIASSON said that he


had listened intensely to the round of interventions, and had found that, indeed,
this was a very important and, as some had said, a historic moment. The
exercise had also been an important opportunity for all delegations to listen to
each other express their hopes, aspirations and dreams in the area of human
rights. The statements and opinions should be seen as contributions to the
newly established Human Rights Council, he said, expressing the hope that the
Assembly would continue to work in a positive spirit, to better promote human
development and dialogue, as well as the protection of human rights.

Indeed, the human dimension was at the core of much of the work of the
United Nations, and the Assembly today had moved to elevate that dimension.
Let us now go to work, he said, adding that the negotiation process had been a
long and arduous road, and he was pleased that all delegations had appreciated
the work that had gone into the talks from which the resolution had emerged.
But, now, we need to move ahead, the development issues are out there, the
poverty, disease and underdevelopment are still out there. And, many had
been waiting for the moment to get to work on other important issues, including
those on the United Nations reform agenda, pertaining to the Economic and
Social Council and the Organization’s Management practices.

But, nevertheless, he told the Assembly, that to come to today’s


decision, with the world facing such turmoil, had been a particular achievement.
That Member States could lift themselves over that turmoil and over their
national perspectives, to take on an international perspective -- that the global
human rights machinery needed to be strengthened was a testament to the
power of cooperation and dialogue. Indeed, such cooperation and dialogue
must always guide the work, so the Organization could move forward together.
The Assembly today had underlined the power of the word together, he said.

ANNEX

Vote on Human Rights Council

The draft resolution to establish the Human Rights Council (document


A/60/L.48) was adopted by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 4 against, with 3
abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and


Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas,
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan,
Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei
Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa
Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia,
Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana,
Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti,
Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy,
Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao
People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi,
Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,
Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco,
Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama,
Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of
Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda,
Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal,
Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand,
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo,
Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu,
Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United
Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam,
Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

Abstain: Belarus, Iran, Venezuela.

Absent: Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of


Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru.

* *** *

UNITED
CCPR
NATIONS

International covenant Distr. GENERAL


on civil and

political rights CCPR/C/SR.2404 31 October 2006 Original: ENGLISH

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE Eighty-eighth session SUMMARY


RECORD OF THE 2404th MEETING Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva,

on Thursday, 19 October 2006, at 3 p.m.


Chairperson: Ms. CHANET

CONTENTS CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS UNDER ARTICLE 40 OF


THE COVENANT (continued) Initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(continued)

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should


be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record.
They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Editing
Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Committee at this
session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after
the end of the session.

GE.06-44872 (E) 251006 311006

. CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 2

The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS UNDER ARTICLE 40 OF THE


COVENANT (agenda item 6) (continued)

Initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina (continued) (CCPR/C/BIH/1;


CCPR/C/BIH/Q/1; HRI/CORE/1/Add.89/Rev.1)

1. At the invitation of the Chairperson, the members of the delegation of


Bosnia and Herzegovina resumed their places at the Committee table. 2. Mr.
STANIIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that after the war approximately half
the population of his country had been displaced owing to the major
devastation of infrastructure. Returns had begun following the signature of the
Dayton Peace Agreements. Over 100,000 people had returned in 2002
pursuant to the new property legislation which enabled refugees to return to
their pre-war homes. According to statistics, the return process was nearly
complete, although a significant number of refugees and internally displaced
persons were still awaiting funds for the reconstruction of their homes. Return
was now an economic issue, rather than an issue of politics or security. 3.
Turning to demining, he said that a large area of Bosnian territory still
contained mines. A total of 4,580 people had been killed by mines during the
war, and 1,532 had been killed since. A Mine Action Centre had been
established and legislation on mine action had been adopted. Although there
had been positive results with demining, lack of financial resources meant that
progress had been slow. Refugee returns were monitored by the Ministry for
Human Rights and Refugees, and the Return Fund had been established for
housing reconstruction. The Commission for Displaced Persons and Refugees
addressed all refugee-related issues, delegating tasks to other institutions as
necessary; support was received from the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, the Council of Europe, the European Commission
and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, particularly for
the drafting of legislation on refugees� rights. 4. Mr. MIKOVIC (Bosnia
and Herzegovina) said that the legislative authority had made arrangements to
shorten trials and deadlines for judicial procedures, in order to reduce the
number of unduly lengthy cases and court backlogs. Quotas were being set for
the cases to be dealt with by each judge, and similar norms would be introduced
for prosecutors. A procedure had been established for the appointment of a
pool of reserve judges to serve for a period of two years in order to reduce
backlogs. Measures had been taken to ensure that those reserve judges would
be adequately trained. Judicial training centres for all judges and prosecutors
had been established at the entity level and in Brcko district. Each prosecutor
was obliged to attend a minimum of four days� further training a year on 
issues such as the prevention of corruption. A maximum of two hearings were
permitted in litigation cases, and a law on mediation had been introduced as a
means of settling disputes out of court. 5. Judges and prosecutors were not
allowed to be members of political parties, and were appointed by the High
Judicial and Prosecutorial Council in order to eliminate all political influence. A
code of ethics had been issued to judges and prosecutors, stipulating what
they . CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 3

were and were not permitted to do outside the line of duty. New legislation had
been adopted on salaries and allowances for judges and prosecutors. Citizens
were invited to submit any complaints they might have and they were duly
investigated; when necessary, disciplinary procedures and rigorous sanctions
were applied.

6. Ms. UDERIJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the Office of the
Ombudsman had been established to ensure fair and timely trials. On the
registration of births she said that there was a large population of Roma
children who had not been registered. Legislation on the registration of births
had been adopted; it stated that all children must be registered at birth and be
issued with a birth certificate. Although registration was primarily the
responsibility of parents, health institutions could provide information ex officio
to registration offices. In the event that such information had been received
and the birth had not been registered after two months, a reminder would be
sent to the child’s parents. Since the Roma were an itinerant population, they
often neglected to register their children, and were difficult to trace and
contact. A central database established in the Ministry of Civil Affairs
contained information on the civil status of all Bosnia and Herzegovina
nationals. The Roma Board and Roma associations were making efforts to
increase awareness of the need to register births among the Roma community.
7. Mr. STANIIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the Act relating to
Freedom of Religion and Legal Status of Churches and Religious Communities
had been adopted, and allowed all churches and religious communities freedom
of expression and opportunity without discrimination. The law sanctioned any
violations of religious freedom and tolerance. In the immediate aftermath of
the war, a considerable number of crimes had been committed in the name of
religion. Such actions had been stopped, and all major religions made great
efforts to promote tolerance. The Inter-Religious Council of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, which comprised representatives of the four major religions
practised - Islam, Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Judaism, was working to
promote tolerance and religious equality. 8. Mr. CEGAR (Bosnia and
Herzegovina) said that the Communications Act had been adopted with a view
to regulating the media. The Communications Regulatory Agency had been
established and contributed significantly to the development of the media.
Access to public information was guaranteed by law in order to ensure
transparency in the work of the authorities. Anti-libel legislation had been
passed to protect journalists and persons who were the subject of media
reports. There was still a lack of sensitivity to marginalized groups owing to a
lack of public awareness; the situation of such groups was not given sufficient
media coverage. The media were sometimes used to incite hatred, and the
Government was making efforts to ensure that such practices were eliminated.
9. Ms. UDERIJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the Communications
Regulatory Agency was an independent body which played an important role in
monitoring and controlling the print and communications media, and had
authority to ban publications or broadcasts that incited hatred. Fines for those
found guilty of inciting hatred were high. 10. Mr. MIKOVIC (Bosnia and
Herzegovina) said that in an effort to promote freedom of expression, libel had
been decriminalized. Even so, libel victims were still entitled to sue for
compensation. . CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 4

11. Mr. STANIIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that 17 ethnic groups had
been granted minority status in his country. Positive discrimination measures
were in place to promote minority participation in elections at the local level.
Ethnic minorities that comprised up to 3 per cent of the local population were
entitled to one seat in the local municipal council. The protection of local
minorities was ensured at the national level. Consultative bodies advised the
Government, bringing minority issues to the attention of both the Government
and Parliament. 12. Ms. UDERIJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that,
pursuant to the labour legislation in force, returnees were entitled to re-
employment or severance payments. The re-employment of returnees was
nevertheless hampered by the fact that 90 per cent of businesses had been
destroyed during the war and over 60 per cent of residents of Bosnia and
Herzegovina were unemployed. Measures had been taken to foster a positive
attitude towards returnees in return communities with a view to promoting their
re-employment. 13. Allegations of discrimination against foreign nationals were
baseless; foreigners were legally entitled to the same level of protection as
citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Measures were being taken to remove
illegal immigrants from the territory, but deportation orders could be appealed
and should not be misinterpreted as constituting deprivation of foreigners
rights. 14. Mr. STANIIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that tensions between
the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not affect
minorities or their rights. Legislation protected minority rights at the national
and entity levels. In addition, specific issues pertaining to ethnic minorities,
such as linguistic and educational rights, could be regulated at the municipal
level. All minorities were represented through associations, which actively
promoted cultural and educational events and language learning. 15. The
Government had formulated a strategy to address the specific needs of the
Roma community. The strategy focused on 14 priority issues; action plans had
been developed in the areas of education, employment and housing. 16. Ms.
UDERIJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that, in order to enhance the
dissemination of the Covenant, the Optional Protocol and the Committee’s
concluding observations, the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees was
currently setting up a website for their publication in the national languages.
17. Mr. KLIN said he was not convinced that the remaining obstacles to the
return of displaced persons were of an economic nature. They were in fact
likely to be related to persistent discriminatory attitudes in communities of
return. He enquired about the consequences in practice of the shift of
responsibilities for displaced persons and returnees from entity institutions to
the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees. 18. The steps taken by the
State party to address the dire situation of persons living in communal shelters
were commendable. However, he would welcome information on progress made
in the implementation of relocation and upgrading programmes. 19. The
ongoing enforced relocation of Roma families from the Butmir settlement in
Sarajevo gave cause for concern. Given that those families had lived in that
settlement for over 40 years and had never been provided with water and
sanitation infrastructure, the . CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 5

environmental problems came as no surprise. However, the families living in


neighbouring premises, where the situation was the same, were not being
relocated. He wished to know whether a specific plan existed to find a
permanent housing solution for the relocated Roma families.

20. He welcomed the adoption, albeit somewhat belated, of legislation to


combat religious violence. However, it appeared that enforcement was not
always practised. Local governments and the police reportedly often allowed or
encouraged an atmosphere in which abuses of religious freedom could take
place, and the authorities seemed reluctant to investigate and prosecute such
acts. In that connection, the delegation should indicate whether investigations
had been opened into the grenade attack against the mosque in Mostar on 10
October 2006 and provide relevant information. 21. While he agreed that the
re-employment of returnees was hampered by the destruction of productive
infrastructure during the war, the lack of employment opportunities for
returnees in the local administration and municipal enterprises was reportedly
related to discrimination. The underrepresentation, and sometimes absence, of
returnees in local government entities gave cause for concern, and he invited
the delegation to comment. 22. Contrary to what had been suggested in the
State party’s written replies, in certain returnee areas the local authorities
continued to use religious symbols in a provocative manner. In the town of
Stolac, for example, a large cross was being displayed on the premises of the
municipal authorities, which created a hostile environment for Muslims
returning to a previously predominantly Muslim community. In order to
promote sustainable return, those issues needed to be addressed urgently. 23.
Mr. BHAGWATI requested additional information on the circumstances in
which a person was entitled to alimony. The delegation should identify the
reasons for removing children from the family environment and indicate
whether specialized institutions existed to guarantee their care, protection and
education. He requested statistical data on the incidence of paedophilia and
sexual abuse of children and asked what steps had been taken to address the
problem of child abuse. 24. Mr. SHEARER asked whether abusive statements
that did not constitute deliberate incitement to violence were considered a
breach of the Law on Freedom of Access to Information and the Law on
Protection against Slander. 25. He wished to know whether any non-legal
measures had been taken, including the recruitment of television presenters
belonging to minority groups or the portrayal of harmonious inter-ethnic
relations in advertisements and television programmes, to promote inter-
community harmony. 26. He asked what steps had been taken to encourage
the Roma population to vote and to participate in public life. It would be useful
to know whether voting in national, entity and municipal elections was
compulsory. Mandatory voting could be an effective, albeit controversial,
measure to enhance the political participation of minorities. . CCPR/C/SR.2404
page 6

27. The debate on constitutional reform had reportedly been conducted without
popular participation, and he asked what measures the State party intended to
take in order to involve the whole population in the process. He further
enquired whether there were any NGOs with ethnically mixed membership. 28.
Mr. OFLAHERTY, commending the State party for its efforts to address the
problem of birth registration in the Roma community, requested additional
information on measures taken to address the general lack of documentation
among the Roma, which, inter alia, hampered their access to public services.
The delegation should indicate whether any programmes were being conducted
to address the reportedly high level of prejudice against the Roma among the
general public and the police. 29. He asked how many State party residents
belonged to minorities other than the so-called national minorities, and whether
any programmes existed to address their specific needs. The reported
exclusion of persons belonging to minorities from political decision-making was
incompatible with the Covenant. 30. Mr. AMOR asked whether judges
enjoyed trade union rights. Information brought to the attention of the
Committee suggested that decisions taken by judges in the State party had
sometimes had political or ethnic motivations. He asked the delegation to
confirm the veracity of such allegations and indicate whether disciplinary
sanctions were imposed in those cases. 31. He asked what measures had been
taken to combat religious intolerance. It would be useful to know whether the
State had the right to monitor religious education in private institutions with the
aim of preventing religious extremism. 32. Ms. WEDGWOOD said that the
designation Ostali/Others in the Framework Agreement establishing the
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been intended to enable returning
Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs to reclassify themselves simply as citizens. She
wondered whether, in the light of the country’s international obligations, it
might consider reinterpreting the labels Bosniak, Croat and Serb in its
Constitution and national laws as territorial, rather than ethnic, designations. A
major defect of the Dayton Peace Agreement was that it had reified those
three ethnic communities and had made them the building blocks of the
Constitution, thereby virtually institutionalizing intolerance. A progressive and
dynamic reinterpretation of the Constitution could help to remedy that
shortcoming. 33. It would be useful to have up-to-date statistics on the number
of returnees living in areas in which they were a minority. Such statistics would
help the Committee to judge the extent to which coexistence in those areas was
truly harmonious. Although mine clearance was admittedly difficult and
expensive, she asked whether there might be other reasons, such as a lack of
faith in the possibility of achieving national unity, why progress in clearance
had been so slow. The Government should give much greater priority to
clearing mines than it had in the past. 34. Mr. CASTILLERO HOYOS asked
what measures had been taken by the Government to give effect to legislation
that ensured public access to information and to increase public awareness of
such legislation. He wished to know what was meant in paragraph 14 of the
initial report by the statement that the ethnic affiliation of citizens was a
limiting factor for full respect . CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 7

of political rights. He enquired what steps were being taken to address the
reported exclusion of certain members of the Roma population from public life
because they did not have birth certificates, identification cards or a registered
domicile. He wondered how the Government planned to increase the low level
of participation of members of minority groups in the State legislature. What
measures had been taken to combat discrimination against ethnic groups other
than the three main ones specifically mentioned in the Constitution?

35. The delegation should clarify reports to the effect that prisoners serving
sentences could neither register to vote nor vote. He asked whether that
restriction applied to all convicted prisoners or only to those convicted of war
crimes. Studies had shown that compulsory voting not only led to increased
public participation but also strengthened the legitimacy of democracy, and
consequently of the State, in people’s mind. He wished to know the precise
figures for the participation of women in the State legislature. He wondered
whether the delegation concurred with the notion that the best way to
guarantee the long-term success of a quota system was to establish that a
specific number of seats should go to the targeted group. He enquired whether
the State sanctioned political parties that failed to meet the 30 per cent gender
quota. 36. Mr. WIERUSZEWSKI, Country Rapporteur, asked whether the
Government envisaged taking measures to strengthen the witness protection
programme and to implement it fully at the lower court level. Such measures
were essential in view of the historical background of the State party. He
endorsed the comments made by other members concerning deficiencies in
implementing article 25 of the Covenant, particularly in terms of the exclusion
of the ï¿½Ostali/Others� from participation in the legislature and the 
presidency. He pointed out that the answer given to question 22 of the list of
issues failed to address the question asked. He enquired whether the
Government planned to devise a system for overseeing the implementation of
the Committee’s concluding observations, particularly at the entity level. The
meeting was suspended at 4.30 p.m. and resumed at 4.50 p.m.

37. Mr. STANIIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that, in general, the process
of helping returnees to settle back into their pre-war communities was
proceeding smoothly. The financing of the return process, involving the
allocation of funds at the entity, cantonal and municipal levels, was working
well, and no discrimination had been noted. Incentives to return were provided
at the State level to ensure equality for all returnees wishing to come back to
their pre-war places of residence. 38. The Ministry for Human Rights and
Refugees was monitoring the problem of the Roma settlement in Butmir. It had
been decided that the Roma population concerned would be resettled in
another area only if a permanent and sustainable arrangement could be found.
Various international organizations, advisers and NGOs concerned with the
Roma were involved in helping families from Butmir to find a solution to their
plight. Although such generalized problems as poverty, unemployment and
post-war reconstruction diverted attention from the problems of the Roma,
there was no discrimination against the Roma at the government level. In
addition, the members of the Roma Board who served as advisers to the
Council of Ministers represented the interests of the Roma population, and
there were some 40 NGOs whose efforts were devoted to helping the Roma. .
CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 8

39. Instances of individual religious extremism were rare, and there were many
signs of religious tolerance and the normalization of relations between religious
communities. Although domestic legislation provided a definition of what
constituted a national minority, it allowed for the possibility that other groups
with common characteristics could also be recognized as such. The fact that no
census had been conducted since 1999 made it difficult to assess the needs of
minorities and to take the measures that States usually took on the basis of
information provided by censuses. 40. Mr. CEGAR (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
said that, according to the most recent estimates, some 7,000 persons were
living in communal centres in 106 localities and 143 municipalities of both the
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. They were
among the most vulnerable categories of the population, and included the
mentally ill, the disabled and persons living on social welfare whose return
could not be assured merely through the reconstruction of their pre-war homes.
Efforts to address the problems of such persons were ongoing. 41. Ms.
UDERIJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that there was a genuine desire in
her country to overcome the events of the past and to achieve peace. When
considering the right of returnees to re-employment in jobs in the public
administration in their communities of origin, it was important to keep in mind
that there were two problems affecting such employment: the privatization of
public enterprises, which resulted in the loss of jobs for existing employees and
therefore fewer jobs for newcomers; and the professionalization of the civil
service, which increased the qualifications required of job applicants. 42. The
criminal codes of both entities had identical provisions regarding incitement to
religious hatred. Persons who felt that they had been affected by such acts,
however, tended to seek recourse in mediation processes, which involved the
participation of the religious communities concerned, together with local
political representatives. In the past few years, many problems had been
resolved through such processes. 43. A number of rules had been adopted
concerning the official symbols of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the entities and the
cantons. For the most part, those rules were respected; however, there were
certain areas in which ethnic feelings were more prominent than in others.
Reforms of the education system were aimed at enabling children in Bosnia
and Herzegovina to be educated on the basis of principles that respected their
ethnic individuality but also allowed them access to information concerning
other peoples. Peace and tolerance were processes that would take some time
to develop fully. 44. Members of the Roma community were required to have
the same identity documents as all other citizens. They were usually offered
financial assistance since many Roma could not afford the cost of the identity
card. 45. Children who were separated from their parents lived either in one of
the country’s SOS Childrens Villages with their SOS mother, with a foster
family, or in an orphanage. 46. NGOs could be registered at the State, entity or
local level. Most of them preferred to register at State level in order to be able
to operate throughout the national territory. All NGOs registered in Bosnia
and Herzegovina worked with specific groups of people such as women, .
CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 9

children or war victims. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, however, was composed of experts who monitored the
overall human rights situation in the country.

47. Under the Law on Freedom of Access to Information passed in 2000,


citizens had the right to submit a request for information to all institutions.
Such requests were usually dealt with in a spirit of openness and transparency.
48. All prisoners had the right to vote, except those who had been found guilty
of war crimes. Since the quota system had been introduced into electoral
legislation, obliging parties to ensure that 30 per cent of their candidates were
women, women�s participation in politics had increased. The authorities
could not, of course, oblige the electorate to vote for the women candidates. 49.
In line with previous practice, a report would be submitted to the Council of
Ministers proposing measures to implement the Committee’s concluding
observations. 50. Mr. VUCINIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that judges
were not prevented by law from joining trade unions. However, judges tended
not to do so because their professional associations dealt with the same issues
as those handled by trade unions. The majority of practising judges were
members of such associations. Judges who violated their professional code of
conduct could be reprimanded, fined or dismissed, depending on the severity of
the offence. There were no political consequences, since judges could not be
members of political parties. 51. In the wake of the judicial reform following the
conflict, all judges posts had been advertised and the majority of judges
reappointed. In 2002, however, about 30 per cent of judges had lost their jobs
and been replaced by younger colleagues. The appointment process at that
time had also focused on achieving a balance in terms of gender and ethnicity.
The number of judges had been reduced in order to bring the judicial system
into line with European standards. The judiciary was fully independent. 52. The
witness protection legislation at entity level was identical to the State
legislation on that issue. Judges were competent to implement all witness
protection measures. There were, however, some limitations owing to the lack
of technical equipment in courts at entity level. 53. Mr. MIKOVIC (Bosnia and
Herzegovina) said that highly competent officials in the Mostar cantonal
prosecutor�s office, the cantonal Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State
investigation agency were working to find the perpetrators of the attacks on
the mosque in Mostar. The erecting of the cross in Stolac had been an isolated
incident. There was no reluctance on the part of police or prosecutors to
investigate crimes of religious intolerance. 54. The CHAIRPERSON said the
Committee appreciated that there were difficulties in the post-conflict situation,
particularly given that the international community had imposed some
conditions that were not to the liking of the current authorities. Nonetheless,
the State party was responsible for implementing the Covenant throughout its
territory. It was regrettable that no representatives of the Republika Srpska or
NGOs had participated in the dialogue. . CCPR/C/SR.2404 page 10

55. The State party had made much progress in implementing the provisions of
the Covenant. However, the Committee remained concerned on several
counts, including witness protection, variations in legislation on gender equality
and domestic violence in the entities, the rules of detention, the conditions for
the return of displaced persons, the plight of the Roma community and
enjoyment of freedom of expression. 56. Mr. STANIIC (Bosnia and
Herzegovina) said that the authorities were aware of the need to implement the
provisions of the Covenant more effectively in future. His delegation was
grateful to the members of the Committee for their constructive questions and
comments. The meeting rose at 5.45 p.m.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all
members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which
have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings
shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been
proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to


rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule
of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in
fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal
rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better
standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the
United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and
fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest


importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of


achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every
organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and
education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures,
national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and
observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples
of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or


international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be
independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited
in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or


punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection
of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this
Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts
violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and
impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal
charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until
proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees
necessary for his defence.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission
which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the
time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one
that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or
correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to
the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of
each State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his
country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-
political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United
Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.


2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change
his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion,
have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to
marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending
spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to
protection by society and the State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes
freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with
others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice,
worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to
hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.


2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or
through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall
be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal
suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to
realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with
the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights
indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable
conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for
himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if
necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his
interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours
and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being
of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and
necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children,
whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher
education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to
the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall
promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or
religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the
maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their
children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to
enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting
from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set
forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development
of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such
limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due
recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just
requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic
society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person
any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of
the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Pontifical Council For Justice And Peace-The Divine Office of Christ-UN Millennium
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