Preparations for the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/42


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that the General Assembly, in adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948, recognized the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Considering that the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration provides an opportunity for the United Nations and Member States to redouble their efforts to promote awareness and strengthened observance of the rights set out in the Declaration,

Recognizing the Declaration as the source of inspiration and the basis for progress in the field of human rights, and taking note of the improvements achieved in that field during the past five decades through national and international solidarity and efforts,

Concerned that international human rights standards are not fully respected worldwide and that human rights continue to be violated in all parts of the world, and that people still suffer misery and are deprived of full enjoyment of their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, and convinced of the necessity of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and to strengthen United Nations efforts in this regard,

Recalling the significance and the message of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23),

1. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate the preparations for the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, bearing in mind provisions in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for evaluation and follow-up;

2. Invites Governments to review and assess the progress that has been made in the field of human rights since the adoption of the Universal Declaration, to identify obstacles to achieving progress in this area and ways in which they can be overcome and to undertake additional efforts to develop programmes of education and information, with a view to disseminating the text and arriving at a better understanding of the universal message of the Declaration;

3. Invites the human rights treaty bodies to give appropriate attention, within their mandates and methods of work, to the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to reflect on their possible contribution to the preparations therefor;

4. Calls upon relevant United Nations organs and agencies, in the light of the purposes set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to make an assessment of and to put forward pertinent conclusions on the state of implementation and the impact of existing international human rights instruments;

5. Invites relevant United Nations organs and agencies, in coordination with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to mark the anniversary by intensifying their own contributions to United Nations system-wide efforts to promote and protect human rights;

6. Invites non-governmental organizations and national institutions to participate fully in the preparation of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to intensify their campaign for greater understanding and better use of the Declaration, and to communicate their observations and recommendations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

7. Decides to review at its fifty-third session the state of preparation of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to consider further measures in this regard, including its own contribution in the matter.

52nd meeting, 19 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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