1995/64. Strengthening the Centre for Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 49/195 of 23 December 1994, as well as its own resolutions on this question,

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,

Recalling that in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), the World Conference on Human Rights stressed the importance of strengthening the Centre for Human Rights,

Bearing in mind that the Secretary-General, in his report on the work of the Organization for 1994, stated that the continuous increase in requests was increasing the workload of the Centre for Human Rights and placing ever greater demands on its resources (A/49/1, para. 387),

Taking into account that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights requested the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to take immediate steps to increase substantially the resources for the human rights programme from within the existing and future regular budgets of the United Nations, and to take urgent steps to seek increased extrabudgetary resources,

Taking into account also the establishment of the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the mandate for the post, as defined in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, including its coordinating role and its overall supervision of the Centre, as well as the request by the General Assembly in that resolution for appropriate staff and resources to enable the High Commissioner to fulfil his mandate,

Noting with concern that the responses to these requests have not been commensurate with the needs,

Taking into account that the mandate of the High Commissioner includes rationalizing, adapting, strengthening and streamlining the United Nations machinery in the field of human rights, with a view to improving its efficiency and effectiveness,

Noting again that the difficult financial situation of the Centre for Human Rights has created considerable obstacles in implementing in full and on time the various procedures and mechanisms,

Taking note with appreciation of the measures taken by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, head of the Centre, regarding the administration and management of the Centre,

Emphasizing that further improvement in the functioning and efficiency of the Centre, together with a strong emphasis on good management practices, is needed in order to enable the Centre to cope with its constantly increasing workload,

Welcoming, in this context, the decision to examine the structures of the Secretariat of the United Nations dealing with human rights, particularly the Centre for Human Rights, as announced by the High Commissioner in his report (E/CN.4/1995/98),

Noting that, to improve the functioning and efficiency of the Centre for Human Rights, good management practices need to be complemented by resources commensurate with additional mandates,

Recalling Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, which states that the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff and in the determination of the conditions of service shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and that due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible,

Taking note of the interim report of the Secretary-General on the strengthening of the Centre for Human Rights (E/CN.4/1995/113),

1. Supports and encourages the efforts of the Secretary-General to enhance the role and further improve the functioning of the Centre for Human Rights, under the overall supervision of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

2. Notes the decision taken by the General Assembly to provide additional human resources for the biennium 1994-1995 (see E/CN.4/1995/113, para. 6) and urges the Secretary-General to provide to the General Assembly the information necessary to regularize these posts;

3. Reiterates the call by the General Assembly upon the Secretary-General to include in his submission for the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1996-1997 the necessary human and financial resources for the United Nations human rights activities, adequate to respond to the increase in mandated activities in order to enable the Centre and the High Commissioner to carry out in full and on time their respective mandates under the direction and authority of the Secretary-General and within the framework of the overall competence, authority, and decision of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to make available additional human and financial resources, giving due regard to the need to finance and implement activities of the United Nations related to development, to enhance the capability of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and of the Centre for Human Rights to fulfil effectively their respective mandates;

5. Takes note with interest of the announcement by the High Commissioner in his report (E/CN.4/1995/98), in accordance with his mandate, of an examination of the structures of the Secretariat of the United Nations dealing with human rights, particularly the Centre, and requests that the High Commissioner continue to keep Member States informed;

6. Underlines in this respect the importance of reflecting the outcome of this exercise in an update of the report of the Secretary-General on the staffing and functions of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and of the Centre for Human Rights (A/C.5/48/77) and in an organigram setting out the management structure, and of both being made available to the General Assembly for its consideration;

7. Requests the Secretary-General, in the context of his preparation of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1996-1997, which will be considered by the General Assembly, to take into account the recommendations resulting from the review of the structures of the United Nations Secretariat in the field of human rights, in particular the Centre for Human Rights, under the overall supervision of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

8. Decides to consider the question of strengthening the Centre for Human Rights, including measures taken in furtherance of the present resolution, at its fifty-second session.
59th meeting
7 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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