International peace and security as an essential condition
for the enjoyment of human rights, above all the right to life

Sub-Commission resolution 1996/16


The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 42/99 of 7 December 1987 and 43/111 of 8 December 1988 reaffirming that all people have an inherent right to life,

Concerned at the alleged use of weapons of mass or indiscriminate destruction both against members of the armed forces and against civilian populations, resulting in death, misery and disability,

Concerned also at repeated reports on the long-term consequences of the use of such weapons upon human life and health and upon the environment,

Concerned further that the physical effects on the environment, the debris from the use of such weapons, either alone or in combination, and abandoned contaminated equipment constitute a serious danger to life,

Convinced that the production, sale and use of such weapons are incompatible with international human rights and humanitarian law,

Believing that continued efforts must be undertaken to sensitize public opinion to the inhuman and indiscriminate effects of such weapons and to the need for their complete elimination,

Convinced that the production, sale and use of such weapons are incompatible with the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security,

1. Urges all States to be guided in their national policies by the need to curb the production and the spread of weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect, in particular nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, fuel-air bombs, napalm, cluster bombs, biological weaponry and weaponry containing depleted uranium;

2. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To collect information from Governments, the competent United Nations bodies and agencies and non-governmental organizations on the use of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, fuel-air bombs, napalm, cluster bombs, biological weaponry and weaponry containing depleted uranium, on their consequential and cumulative effects, and on the danger they represent to life, physical security and other human rights;

(b) To submit a report on the information gathered to the Sub-Commission at its forty-ninth session, together with any recommendations and views which he may have received on effective ways and means of eliminating such weapons;

3. Decides to give further consideration to this matter at its forty-ninth session, on the basis of any additional information which may be contained in reports of the Secretary-General to the Sub-Commission or to other United Nations bodies, or which may be submitted to the Sub-Commission by Governments or non-governmental organizations.

34th meeting
29 August 1996
[Adopted by 15 votes to 1, with 8 abstentions.]



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