Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/8

The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote and encourage universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Reaffirming its conviction that racism and racial discrimination constitute a total negation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Reaffirming its firm determination and its commitment to eradicate totally and unconditionally racism in all its forms and racial discrimination,

Recalling its resolution 1995/11 of 24 February 1995,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on 14 December 1960,

Bearing in mind General Assembly resolutions 3057 (XXVIII) of 2 November 1973 on the first Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and 38/14 of 22 November 1983 on the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination,

Recalling the recommendation of the two World Conferences to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, held at Geneva in 1978 and 1983,

Welcoming the outcome of the World Conference on Human Rights and, in particular, the attention given in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.155/23) to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,

Noting with grave concern that, despite the efforts of the international community, the principal objectives of two Decades to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination have not been attained and that millions of human beings continue to this day to be the victims of varied forms of racism and racial discrimination,

Aware of the importance and magnitude of the phenomenon of migrant workers, as well as the efforts undertaken by the international community to improve the protection of the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families,

Recalling the adoption by the General Assembly, at its forty-fifth session, of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,

Aware that indigenous people are at times victims of particular forms of racism and racial discrimination,

Welcoming General Assembly resolution 48/91 of 20 December 1993, in which the Assembly decided to proclaim the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, beginning in 1993, and to adopt the Programme of Action proposed for the Third Decade,

Deeply concerned that none of the activities provided for in the Programme of Action for the Third Decade has been implemented owing to lack of funds,

Emphasizing the importance of establishing at the Centre for Human Rights a focal point for coordinating all the programmes to be implemented by United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations for the realization of the objectives of the Third Decade,

Emphasizing also the importance of the activities of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance,

1. Declares that all forms of racism and racial discrimination, whether institutionalized or resulting from official doctrines of racial superiority or exclusivity, such as "ethnic cleansing", are among the most serious violations of human rights in the contemporary world and must be combated by all available means;

2. Commends all States that have ratified or acceded to the international instruments to combat racism and racial discrimination;

3. Appeals to those States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying, acceding to and implementing the relevant international instruments, particularly the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Discrimination in Education;

4. Encourages States to limit the extent of any reservation they lodge to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to formulate any reservation as precisely and as narrowly as possible while ensuring that no reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise contrary to international law;

5. Urges all Governments to take all necessary measures to combat new forms of racism, in particular ongoing adjustment of the methods used to combat them, especially in the legislative, administrative, education and information fields;

6. Invites all Governments and international and non-governmental organizations to increase and intensify their activities to combat racism and racial discrimination and to provide relief and assistance to the victims of these evils;

7. Invites the Secretary-General to take action to coordinate all the programmes currently being carried out by United Nations bodies with a view to achieving the objectives of the Third Decade;

8. Again invites the Secretary-General to establish within the Centre for Human Rights a focal point, the creation of which had been called for by the Economic and Social Council;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue the study on the effects of racial discrimination on the children of minorities and those of migrant workers in the fields of education, training and employment, and to submit, inter alia, specific recommendations for the implementation of measures to combat the effects of that discrimination;

10. Calls upon all Member States to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as a matter of priority, so that it can enter into force as soon as possible;

11. Urges the Secretary-General, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, all Governments, intergovernmental organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations, in implementing the Programme of Action for the Third Decade, to pay particular attention to the situation of indigenous people;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to publish and distribute as soon as possible the model legislation on racism and racial discrimination for the guidance of Governments in the enactment of further legislation against racial discrimination;

13. Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to expedite the preparation of teaching materials and teaching aids to promote teaching, training and education activities on human rights and against racism and racial discrimination, with particular emphasis on activities at the primary and second levels of education;

14. Regrets that some of the activities for the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination have not been implemented because of lack of adequate resources;

15. Deeply regrets that the financial resources which should have been allocated for the implementation of the 1994-1995 biennial programme for the Third Decade were not provided;

16. Requests, therefore, the Secretary-General to include the activities for the Third Decade not implemented in the 1994-1995 biennial programme in the future programme for the Decade and to provide the resources necessary for it;

17. Notes the request of the General Assembly addressed to the Secretary-General to consult Member States and intergovernmental, as well as non-governmental, organizations on the possibility of holding a world conference to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related contemporary forms of intolerance;

18. Recommends that the Economic and Social Council, at its substantive session of 1996, request the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures in order to transmit the results of these consultations to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session;

19. Calls upon the international community to provide the Secretary-General with appropriate financial resources for efficient action against racism and racial discrimination;

20. Invites all Governments, United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as interested non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, to participate fully in the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination;

21. Considers that voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for the Programme for the Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination are indispensable for the implementation of the Programme;

22. Strongly appeals, therefore, to all Governments, organizations and individuals in a position to do so to contribute generously to the Trust Fund, and to this end requests the Secretary-General to continue to undertake appropriate contacts and initiatives to encourage contributions;

23. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the necessary financial resources are provided for the implementation of the activities of the Third Decade during the biennium 1996-1997;

24. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the Programme of Action for the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (E/CN.4/1996/71 and Add.1);

25. Recommends that the activities mentioned in the plan of activities to be carried out during the first third of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1994-1997), as contained in the report of the Secretary-General to the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1994 (E/1994/97), should be implemented;

26. Decides to maintain on its agenda the item entitled "Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination" and to consider it as a matter of high priority at its fifty-third session.

34th meeting 11 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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