Advisory services, technical cooperation and the United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation
in the Field of Human Rights

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/57


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 926 (X) of 14 December 1955, in which the Assembly established the United Nations programme of advisory services in the field of human rights, and Economic and Social Council decision 1987/147 of 29 May 1987, pursuant to which the Secretary­General established the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, as well as Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/46 of 11 April 1997,

Recalling also the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), in which the World Conference on Human Rights called for an enhanced programme of advisory services in the field of human rights, as well as for a more efficient and transparent management of the programme,

Mindful that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to her mandate as established by the General Assembly in resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, is responsible, inter alia, for the provision of advisory services and technical cooperation at the request of States as well as for the coordination of human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system,

Taking note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary­General on technical cooperation in the field of human rights (E/CN.4/1998/92), including the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, and taking note also of the recommendations of the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund,

1. Declares that advisory services and technical cooperation provided at the request of Governments with a view to developing national capacities in the field of human rights constitute one of the most efficient and effective means of promoting and protecting all human rights and democracy;

2. Welcomes, therefore, the increasing number of requests for advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights as an expression of the growing commitment of States to promote and protect human rights, and encourages all States in need of assistance in this field to consider making use of advisory services and technical cooperation in order to achieve the full enjoyment of all human rights;

3. Encourages the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to develop the potential for the provision of advisory services and technical cooperation;

4. Stresses that, with a view to assisting States in promoting and protecting human rights and strengthening the rule of law and democracy, priority should be given to technical cooperation programmes designed to address the specific requirements of the requesting countries;

5. Reaffirms that the provision of advisory services and technical cooperation does not exempt any country from the monitoring activities of the human rights programme, and notes in this regard that, in order to help produce lasting results, monitoring and preventive activities may need to be accompanied by promotional activities through advisory services and technical cooperation;

6. Welcomes efforts to integrate economic, social and cultural rights as well as a gender perspective into the technical cooperation programme;

7. Reaffirms that advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights require close cooperation and coordination between United Nations bodies and all specialized agencies active in this field so as to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their respective programmes and to promote all human rights, the rule of law and democracy;

8. Welcomes in this regard the enhanced cooperation between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as the Secretary­General's request to the High Commissioner to undertake an analysis of the technical assistance provided by United Nations entities in areas relating to human rights and to formulate proposals for improving complementarity of action;

9. Invites relevant United Nations treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and special representatives, as well as working groups, to continue to include in their recommendations, whenever appropriate, proposals for specific projects to be realized under the programme of advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights;

10. Emphasizes the need for an increase in the allocation of resources from within the regular United Nations budget for advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights;

11. Expresses its appreciation for the contributions made to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and welcomes in particular the increasing contributions made by developing countries, and invites more Governments and non­governmental organizations to consider contributing;

12. Requests the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund to continue to assist the High Commissioner for Human Rights in monitoring, reviewing and improving constantly the implementation of technical cooperation projects, the conduct of comprehensive needs assessments and the monitoring of ongoing as well as the evaluation of completed projects, and invites the Chairman of the Board to address the Commission;

13. Emphasizes the need for the nomination of a new coordinator for the Voluntary Fund with substantial experience in development cooperation;

14. Requests the Secretary­General:

(a) To continue, in accordance with Part II, paragraph 16, of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and in cooperation with the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund, to ensure efficient management of the Voluntary Fund, strict and transparent project­management rules, periodic evaluations of the programme and projects, and the dissemination of evaluation results, including programme implementation and financial accounting reports, as well as to arrange for the holding of information meetings open to all Member States and organizations directly involved in the advisory services and technical cooperation programme;

(b) To continue to provide the necessary administrative assistance for the Board of Trustees, to arrange meetings of the Board and to ensure that its conclusions are reflected in the annual report to the Commission on Human Rights on technical cooperation in the field of human rights;

(c) To submit an analytical report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty­sixth session on the progress and concrete achievements made as well as obstacles encountered in the implementation of the programme of advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights and on the operation and administration of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.

52nd meeting
17 April 1998

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XVII.]


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