Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to
the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/78


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 48/121 of 20 December 1993, in which the Assembly endorsed the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights,

Recalling also its resolution 1994/95 of 9 March 1994, in which it decided to review annually the progress towards the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,

Considering that the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms is one of the basic purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and one of the main priorities of the Organization,

Convinced that the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action has to be translated into effective action by States, the competent United Nations organs and organizations and other organizations concerned, including non-governmental organizations,

Recalling Part II, paragraph 100, of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, in which the World Conference on Human Rights requested the Secretary-General to invite, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all States and all organs and agencies of the United Nations system related to human rights to report to him on the progress made in the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-third session, through the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council,

Recalling also that regional and, as appropriate, national human rights institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, may present their views to the Secretary-General on the progress made in the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and that special attention should be paid to assessing the progress towards the goal of universal ratification of international human rights treaties and protocols adopted within the framework of the United Nations,

Recalling further General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, in which the Assembly decided to create the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as the United Nations official with principal responsibility for United Nations human rights activities, including coordination of the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system,

Noting that, at the first regular session of 1994 of the Administrative Committee on Coordination in April 1994, the executive heads of all United Nations agencies discussed the implications of the results of the World Conference on Human Rights for their respective programmes and committed themselves to supporting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the coordination of the United Nations organs and bodies and the specialized agencies whose activities deal with human rights, as set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141,

Noting also that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has established a permanent dialogue with the United Nations programmes and agencies whose activities deal with human rights in order to maintain systematic exchanges of information, experience and expertise,

Recognizing that the interdependence of democracy, development and respect for human rights, as stated in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, requires a comprehensive and integrated approach to the promotion and protection of human rights and that adequate inter-agency cooperation and coordination are essential in order to ensure such a fully integrated approach throughout the United Nations system,

Welcoming the fact that the call of the World Conference on Human Rights for a United Nations system-wide approach to human rights issues has been reflected in the recommendations of major international conferences organized by the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields,

Noting the ongoing efforts to ensure a coordinated follow-up to major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields,

Recalling that each year the Economic and Social Council shall carry out, within the framework of its coordination segment, a review of cross-cutting themes common to major international conferences and/or contribute to an overall review of the implementation of the programme of action of a United Nations conference, in accordance with the Agreed Conclusions 1995/1 of the Economic and Social Council on coordinated follow-up by the United Nations system and implementation of the results of the major international conferences organized by the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields,

Having considered the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/CN.4/1996/103), 1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

2. Endorses the reaffirmation in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the importance of the promotion of universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. Reaffirms the views of the World Conference on the urgency of eliminating denials and violations of human rights;

4. Recognizes that the international community should devise ways and means to remove the current obstacles and meet challenges to the full realization of all human rights and to prevent the continuation of human rights violations resulting therefrom throughout the world;

5. Calls upon all States to take further action with a view to the full realization of human rights in the light of the recommendations of the World Conference;

6. Recognizes the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Governments and between Governments and non-governmental organizations and the role the Commission can play in promoting dialogue and cooperation;

7. Urges all States to continue to give widespread publicity to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, including through training programmes, human rights education and public information, in order to promote increased awareness of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

8. Calls upon all special representatives, special rapporteurs, independent experts and thematic working groups of the Commission to take fully into account the recommendations contained in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action within their respective mandates;

9. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the General Assembly and other organs and bodies of the United Nations system related to human rights to take further action with a view to the full implementation of all the recommendations of the Conference;

10. Welcomes the intention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to invite all States and all organs and agencies of the United Nations system related to human rights to carry out a thorough evaluation of the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action;

11. Recommends to the Economic and Social Council that it consider devoting the coordination segment at its substantive session of 1998 to the question of the coordinated follow-up to, and implementation of, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action as part of the 1998 five-year review described in Part II, paragraph 100, of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action; 12. Welcomes with appreciation the work accomplished so far by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and expresses its commitment to continue to cooperate with and support the High Commissioner in the discharge of his mandate, as set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141;

13. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to coordinate the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system, as set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141, including through a permanent dialogue with the United Nations agencies and programmes whose activities deal with human rights;

14. Invites the Administrative Committee on Coordination to continue to discuss the implications of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for the United Nations system with the participation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

15. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to report on the measures taken and the progress achieved in the comprehensive implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, in particular concerning the preparation for the 1998 five-year review;

16. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-third session under the item entitled "Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights".

60th meeting 23 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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