Human rights and terrorism

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/47

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Recalling the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993,

Recalling and reaffirming General Assembly resolutions 49/60 of 9 December 1994 and 50/186 of 22 December 1995, and its own resolution 1995/43 of 3 March 1995, Recalling also resolution 1994/18 of 25 August 1994 of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

Taking note of the Co-Chairmen's statement adopted at the Summit of Peacemakers on 13 March 1996 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt,

Convinced that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever committed, can never be justified as a means to promote and protect human rights,

Taking into account that acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations aimed at the destruction of human rights have continued despite national and international efforts,

Bearing in mind that the most essential and basic human right is the right to life,

Bearing in mind also that terrorism creates an environment that destroys the freedom from fear of the people,

Reiterating that all States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and that every individual should strive to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance,

Seriously concerned at the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by terrorist groups,

Profoundly deploring the increasing number of innocent persons, including women, children and the elderly, killed, massacred and maimed by terrorists in indiscriminate and random acts of violence and terror, which cannot be justified under any circumstances,

Noting with great concern the growing connection between terrorist groups and the illegal traffic in arms and drugs, as well as the consequent commission of serious crimes,

Reaffirming that all measures to counter terrorism must be in strict conformity with international human rights standards,

1. Expresses its solidarity with the victims of terrorism;

2. Reiterates the unequivocal condemnation of all acts, methods and practices of terrorism, regardless of their motivation, in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever committed, as acts of aggression aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening the territorial integrity and security of States, destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments, undermining pluralistic civil society and having adverse consequences on the economic and social development of States;

3. Condemns incitement of ethnic hatred, violence and terrorism;

4. Calls upon States to take all necessary and effective measures, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and international standards of human rights, to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, wherever and by whomever committed;

5. Urges the international community to enhance cooperation at the regional and international levels in the fight against terrorism in accordance with relevant international instruments, including those relating to human rights, with the aim of its eradication;

6. Urges all thematic special rapporteurs and working groups to address as appropriate the consequences of the acts, methods and practices of terrorist groups in their forthcoming reports to the Commission;

7. Notes that the decision of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities concerning the preparation of a working paper on the question of human rights and terrorism has not yet been carried out, and calls on the Sub-Commission to report to the Commission on this matter at its fifty-third session;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to collect information on this question from all relevant sources, including Governments, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and to make it available to the special rapporteurs and working groups concerned and to the Commission on Human Rights for their consideration;

9. Decides to continue consideration of the question at its fifty-third session as a matter of priority.

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


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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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