1995/15. Question of the realization in all countries of the
economic, social and cultural rights contained in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, and study of special problems which
the developing countries face in their efforts to
achieve these human rights

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that the peoples of the United Nations have reaffirmed in the Charter of the United Nations 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 living in larger freedom,

Mindful that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that all persons are entitled to the realization of their economic, social and cultural rights, which are indispensable to their dignity and the free development of their personality,

Recalling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and reaffirming that all human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and that the promotion and protection of one category of rights should never exempt or excuse States from the promotion and protection of other rights,

Convinced that equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the implementation, promotion and protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, which has underlined the need for a concerted effort to ensure recognition of economic, social and cultural rights at the national, regional and international levels,

Recognizing that, in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Member States, individually and through international cooperation, should intensify their efforts to secure an adequate standard of living for all people, giving priority to those living in extreme poverty,

Recalling the essential importance of national efforts and international solidarity and cooperation based on free consent to the realization of the right of all persons to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to a continuous improvement in living conditions,

Conscious of the need to secure full respect for the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the rights of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged,

Welcoming the decision taken by the General Assembly, in its resolution 47/92 of 16 December 1992, to convene a World Summit for Social Development, to take place in Copenhagen in March 1995, which will have among its objectives to put the needs of people at the centre of development and of international cooperation and to identify common problems of socially marginalized and disadvantaged groups and promote their integration into society,

Emphasizing the importance of the Limburg Principles on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/CN.4/1987/17),

Recognizing that popular participation in its various forms is an important factor in development and in the full realization of all human rights,

Reaffirming the importance of increasing public awareness of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the role that non-governmental organizations can play in that regard,

Recalling that the World Conference on Human Rights encouraged the Commission on Human Rights, in cooperation with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to continue the examination of optional protocols to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

Welcoming the efforts made with a view to an intensive study of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and

recognizing the urgent need for an effective multidisciplinary approach to the promotion and protection of the rights contained in the Covenant,

Recalling its resolution 1994/20 of 1 March 1994,

1. Affirms that the full respect for the rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is inextricably linked with the process of development, the central purpose of which is the realization of the potentialities of the human person in harmony with the effective participation of all members of society in relevant decision-making processes as agents and beneficiaries of development, as well as fair distribution of the benefits of development;

2. Welcomes the important work of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its continuing efforts to give impetus to the implementation process and to develop greater in-depth understanding of the relevant issues within the framework of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by holding general discussions on specific rights or articles and by adopting general comments;

3. Takes note with interest of the two general discussions held by the Committee in 1994 on the role of social safety nets as a means of protecting economic, social and cultural rights and on human rights education and public information activities, and welcomes the decision of the Committee to hold at its next session a general discussion on the interpretation of the obligations incumbent upon States parties to the Covenant;

4. Encourages States parties to continue to give their full support and cooperation to the Committee and to use their reporting obligation as a process to assist the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, ensuring popular participation in the national consideration of their periodic reports, as well as the widest possible distribution of those reports at the national level;

5. Urges all States parties to submit their reports in a regular and timely manner, as recommended in the Vienna Statement of the International Human Rights Treaty bodies, adopted during the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/TBB/4 and Add.1);

6. Takes note of the steps taken by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for the drafting of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights granting the right of individuals or groups to submit communications concerning non-compliance with the Covenant, and invites the Committee to report thereon to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-second session;

7. Recognizes the importance of using appropriate indicators as a means of measuring or assessing progress in the realization of human rights, as referred to in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23);

8. Notes the conclusions and recommendations of the seminar on appropriate indicators to measure achievements in the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights, held at Geneva in January 1993;

9. Recommends that, as a follow-up to the seminar on indicators, the Centre for Human Rights convene expert seminars for chairpersons of the human rights treaty monitoring bodies and representatives of specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives of States, focused on specific economic, social and cultural rights, with a view to clarifying the particular content of these rights;

10. Invites Member States, when including measures to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in national legislation, policies and development programmes, to consider the desirability of drawing up a national action plan identifying steps to improve the situation of human rights, as well as to seek the participation of communities affected by the non-realization of these rights;

11. Invites States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in the light of its article 2 and of General Comment number 3 (1990) adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/1991/23, annex III), to identify specific national benchmarks designed to give effect to the minimum core obligation to ensure the satisfaction of the minimum essential levels of each of the rights;

12. Reaffirms the importance of ensuring the study of specific economic, social and cultural rights, and in this framework recognizes the interest of the second progress report on the right to adequate housing, submitted by Mr. Rajindar Sachar, Special Rapporteur of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, to the Subcommission at its forty-sixth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/20);

13. Welcomes the preparatory document on the relation between the enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, and income distribution, prepared by Mr. Asbjørn Eide (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/21), and encourages the Subcommission to continue to give attention to this issue;

14. Takes note with deep appreciation of the reports on the realization of economic, social and cultural rights submitted by the Special Rapporteur of the Subcommission, Mr. Danilo Türk, and reaffirms its requests to the Secretary-General to ensure the publication of the study of the Special Rapporteur in a single document;

15. Welcomes the suggestion made by the Special Rapporteur that cooperation between the financial institutions and the human rights organs of the United Nations be strengthened, in particular by encouraging the participation of the representatives of those institutions in the meetings of the human rights organs;

16. Also welcomes the dialogue which has been established between human rights bodies, in particular the Centre for Human Rights as coordinating focal point, and other bodies of the United Nations system, including the international financial institutions, and encourages these bodies to increase
their participation in the meetings of human rights bodies, including the treaty monitoring bodies, as well as to assess the impact of their policies and programmes on the enjoyment of human rights;

17. Requests the Secretary-General to invite the international financial institutions to continue considering the possibility of organizing an expert seminar on the role of these institutions in the realization of economic, social and cultural rights;

18. Also requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to promote coordination of the human rights activities of the United Nations and those of development agencies with a view to drawing upon their relevant expertise and support;

19. Encourages the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to take into full consideration economic, social and cultural rights in carrying out his mandate;

20. Encourages country rapporteurs to consider including, when appropriate, a specific reference to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights in their reports;

21. Encourages the Centre for Human Rights to make available, through its programme of advisory services and technical assistance, expert assistance to States for the purpose of formulating policies on economic, social and cultural rights, and developing the implementation of coherent and comprehensive plans of action for the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as developing adequate means for evaluating and monitoring their realization;

22. Requests the World Summit for Social Development to acknowledge the human rights dimensions of social development, to use the rights recognized by the human rights conventions as a basis for relevant sections of the programme of action to be adopted by the Summit and to acknowledge the central role of the relevant treaty bodies in monitoring commitments that may appear in the programme of action;

23. Decides to consider issues raised in the present resolution at its fifty-second session under the appropriate agenda item.
41st meeting
24 February 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. VII. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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