1995/92. Effective implementation of international instruments
on human rights, including reporting obligations
under international instruments on human rights

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 49/178 of 23 December 1994 and its own resolution 1994/19 of 25 February 1994, as well as other relevant resolutions,

Recalling also the relevant paragraphs of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23),

Reaffirming that the full and effective implementation of United Nations human rights instruments is of major importance to the efforts of the Organization, pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Considering that the effective functioning of treaty bodies established pursuant to United Nations human rights instruments is indispensable for the full and effective implementation of such instruments,

Recalling that the General Assembly, in resolution 49/178, reaffirmed its responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of treaty bodies established pursuant to instruments adopted by the General Assembly and, in this connection, also reaffirmed the importance of:

(a) Ensuring the effective functioning of systems of periodic reporting by States parties to these instruments;

(b) Securing sufficient financial and human resources to overcome existing difficulties with their effective functioning;

(c) Addressing questions of both reporting obligations and financial implications whenever elaborating any further instruments on human rights;

Expressing concern about the large number of overdue reports on implementation by States parties to United Nations human rights instruments and about delays in consideration of reports by the treaty bodies,

Expressing concern also about the non-fulfilment by many States parties of their financial obligations under the relevant United Nations human rights instruments,

Recalling the conclusions and recommendations of the meetings of persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies, held from 1988 to 1992, and the endorsement by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights of recommendations aimed at streamlining, rationalizing and otherwise improving reporting procedures,

Recalling also that the General Assembly, in its resolution 45/85 of 14 December 1990, endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Computerization (see E/CN.4/1990/39, annex) with a view to increasing efficiency and facilitating compliance by States parties with their reporting obligations and the examination of reports by treaty bodies,

Taking note of the conclusions and recommendations of the fifth meeting of persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies, held at Geneva from 19 to 23 September 1994 (A/49/537, annex, sect. IV),

Taking note also of the inventory of international human rights standard-setting activities under the purview of the Commission on Human Rights prepared by the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1995/81),

Noting with interest the initiatives taken by a number of treaty bodies to elaborate measures, within their mandates, with a view to preventing the occurrence, or recurrence, of serious human rights violations,

Conscious of the importance of coordination of human rights promotion and protection activities of United Nations organs and bodies whose activities deal with human rights,

Welcoming the contribution to the work of the human rights treaty bodies made by the specialized agencies and other United Nations bodies,

Bearing in mind that the High Commissioner for Human Rights has, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, the responsibility, inter alia, to coordinate the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system,

1. Urges States parties to notify without delay the Secretary-General, as depositary of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, of their acceptance of the amendments approved by the States parties and the General Assembly;

2. Calls upon all States parties to fulfil without delay and in full their financial obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to report on measures that have been taken to establish a computerized database to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the functioning of the treaty bodies;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to give priority to expediting the implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on Computerization as soon as possible by requesting the States Members of the United Nations, in particular States which are parties to various human rights instruments, to make generous voluntary contributions to cover the initial one-time cost of the proposed system;

5. Welcomes the submission of the report of the fifth meeting of the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies held at Geneva from 19 to 23 September 1994 (A/49/537, annex), and takes note of its conclusions and recommendations;

6. Also welcomes the continuing efforts by the treaty bodies and the Secretary-General, within their respective spheres of competence, aimed at streamlining, rationalizing and otherwise improving reporting procedures;

7. Again urges States parties to make every effort to meet their reporting obligations and to contribute, individually and through meetings of States parties, to identifying and implementing ways of further streamlining and improving reporting procedures;

8. Urges the human rights treaty bodies and the persons chairing them to continue to examine ways of reducing the duplication of reporting required under the different instruments and of generally reducing the reporting burden on Member States, including through:

(a) Identifying where cross-referencing can be used in report writing;

(b) Recommending, where appropriate, the designation of specific national administrative units to coordinate reports to all treaty bodies;

(c) Establishing coordination between the treaty bodies and the International Labour Organisation to identify overlap between respective instruments and conventions;

(d) Considering the utility of single comprehensive reports and of replacing periodic reports with specifically tailored reports and thematic reports and to report on the results of their examination to the Commission for its consideration;

9. Urges States parties to address, as a matter of priority, at their scheduled meetings, the issue of States parties consistently not complying with their reporting obligations;

10. Encourages the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with his mandate, to request the independent expert to finalize his interim report (A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.11/Rev.1) on possible long-term approaches to enhancing the effective operation of the treaty system in time for the final report to be considered by the Commission on Human Rights, as requested by the General Assembly in resolution 48/120 of 20 December 1993, at its fifty-second session;

11. Invites the specialized agencies and other United Nations bodies, and the human rights treaty bodies to develop effective means for further cooperation between them, bearing in mind the responsibilities of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

12. Invites the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with his mandate, contained in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, to consult the human rights treaty bodies in regard to his efforts to promote cooperation with regional intergovernmental organizations for the promotion and protection of human rights;

13. Recognizes the important role played by non-governmental organizations in the effective implementation of all human rights instruments;

14. Stresses the usefulness of technical assistance and advisory services in helping States parties to comply with their obligations pursuant to United Nations human rights instruments and, further to this end:

(a) Invites the treaty bodies to continue to identify possibilities for States parties to benefit from such technical assistance and advisory services, bearing in mind relevant suggestions of the treaty bodies;

(b) Requests that the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in fulfilling his mandate as set forth in General Assembly resolution 48/141, provide advisory services an technical assistance at the request of the State concerned;

(c) Invites States parties which have been unable to comply with their requirements to submit their initial report to avail themselves of technical assistance;

15. Endorses the recommendations of the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies on the need to ensure financing and adequate staffing resources for the operations of the treaty bodies and, with this in mind:

(a) Reiterates its request that the Secretary-General provide adequate resources in regard to the various treaty bodies;

(b) Requests that the Secretary-General report on this question to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session and to the Commission at its fifty-second session;

16. Welcomes the emphasis by the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies that the enjoyment of the human rights of women should be closely monitored by each treaty body within the competence of its mandate (A/49/537, annex, para. 19), and recommends that the reporting guidelines adopted by the treaty bodies be amended to identify related gender-specific information to be addressed by States parties in their reports;

17. Welcomes the request by the General Assembly to the Secretary-General, in resolution 49/178, to take appropriate steps in order to finance, as of 1995, annual meetings of persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies from the available resources of the regular budget of the United Nations;

18. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights, acting within his mandate set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141, to maintain an inventory of all international human rights standard-setting activities, from within existing resources, in order to facilitate better informed decision-making;

19. Urges all States parties whose reports have been examined by treaty bodies to provide adequate follow-up to the observations and final comments of the treaty bodies on their reports;

20. Welcomes the recommendation by the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies that treaty bodies urge the States parties to translate, publish and make available to the media the full text of the concluding observations on their reports to the treaty bodies, and requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that recent reports and the summary records of committee discussions pertaining to them, as well as concluding observations and final comments of the treaty bodies, are made available in the United Nations information centres in the countries submitting those reports;

21. Invites the Department of Public Information of the United Nations to publish at the end of each year, from within existing resources, as a separate volume, a compilation of all concluding observations adopted during that year by the treaty bodies;

22. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure, from within existing resources, that the United Nations Manual on Human Rights Reporting (HRI/PUB/91/1, United Nations publication, Sales No. E.91.XIV.1) is available in all official languages at the earliest opportunity and that due regard is paid to the recommendations concerning the Manual made by the fifth meeting of the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies (A/49/537, annex, para. 57);

23. Welcomes all appropriate measures the human rights treaty bodies may take, within their mandates, in response to situations of massive human rights violations, including bringing those violations to the attention of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the Secretary-General and the bodies of the United Nations competent in the field of human rights, and requests the High Commissioner, acting within his mandate, to coordinate and consult throughout the United Nations system in this regard;

24. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission at its fifty-second session on measures taken to implement the present resolution and on obstacles to its implementation;

25. Decides to consider the question on a priority basis at its fifty-second session under the agenda item entitled "Effective functioning of bodies established pursuant to United Nations human rights instruments".
62nd meeting
8 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XVIII. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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