1995/53. Advisory services and the Voluntary Fund for Technical
Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights

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 Secretary-General established the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, as well as the latest resolution of the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, 1994/69 of 9 March 1994,

Recalling 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 highlighting both the traditional fields of technical
assistance in the field of human rights and new areas of technical assistance of which Governments m!y avail themselves, as summarized in the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1995/89 and Add.1),

Mindful of the responsibilities of the High Commissioner for Human Rights set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, in particular that of providing, through the Centre for Human Rights and other appropriate institutions, advisory services and technical assistance, at the request of the State concerned and, where appropriate, the regional human rights organizations, with a view to supporting actions and programmes in the field of human rights, and of coordinating the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system,

Encouraging all States in need of assistance in the field of human rights to consider making use of the advisory services and technical cooperation being offered on a bilateral, regional or international level, provided by the Centre for Human Rights or other relevant bodies involved in the field of human rights within the United Nations system or by national institutions or non-governmental organizations, in order to achieve the full enjoyment of all human rights,

Welcoming the activities undertaken by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in fulfilment of his mandate, to provide advisory services to countries at their request, as reflected in his report to the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1995/98),

Emphasizing the importance of the development of assistance in the field of human rights, including through the assignment of human rights field officers, to countries in transition or in reconstruction after situations of armed conflict or internal disturbance, with the consent of the Government concerned,

Convinced of the need for the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to intensify efforts to coordinate system-wide advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights through flexible and active inter-agency collaboration,

Convinced also of the need for the Centre for Human Rights to assume the functions of focal point and clearing-house for inter-agency coordination on human rights issues with other organizations of the United Nations system,

Reaffirming that within the common context of the comprehensive programme of advisory services and technical cooperation, a clear distinction should be made between technical cooperation projects financed under the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and activities under the regular budget of the United Nations, while at the same time close coordination between these activities should be ensured,

Reaffirming also that the provision of advisory services and technical cooperation activities may be seen as a complement to, but not a substitute for, the monitoring and investigating activities of the human rights programme and that their provision does not reduce a Government's responsibility to account for the human rights situation and, whenever applicable, would not exempt it from monitoring through the various procedures established by the United Nations,

Taking note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on advisory services in the field of human rights, including the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights (E/CN.4/1995/89), as well as of the report of the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights (E/CN.4/1995/89/Add.1),

1. Reaffirms that the programme of advisory services in the field of human rights should continue to provide, at the request of Governments and, where appropriate, with the cooperation of the specialized agencies, inter alia, assistance in the form of advisory services of experts, fellowships and scholarships, seminars and training courses at the regional and national levels and the drafting of basic legal texts in conformity with international conventions on human rights with a view to enhancing the rule of law and democracy;

2. Calls upon the Secretary-General to implement all activities under the programme of advisory services on the basis of clearly defined objectives and themes, taking into account the precise needs of the beneficiaries, as well as to follow up and evaluate them;

3. Invites competent United Nations treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and 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;

4. Requests the Secretary-General, in the context of the budgetary planning for the biennium 1996-1997, to allocate more human and financial resources for the enlargement of advisory services, within existing overall United Nations resources, in a manner compatible with other development objectives, in order to meet the substantially increased demand;

5. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for the projects realized since the establishment of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and to Governments and non-governmental organizations for their contributions, and invites more Governments and non-governmental organizations to consider contributing;

6. Emphasizes that the objective of the Voluntary Fund is to provide financial support for international cooperation aimed at building up and strengthening national and regional institutions and infrastructures which will have a long-term impact on improving the implementation of international conventions and other international standards on human rights;

7. Requests the Secretary-General, 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 as advisory body, to ensure more efficient management of the Voluntary Fund, strict and transparent project management rules, periodical 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 annual information meetings open to all Member States and organizations directly involved in the advisory services and technical cooperation programme;

8. Requests the Board of Trustees to exercise its full mandate as advisory body to promote and solicit contributions to the Voluntary Fund and to continue to assist the High Commissioner for Human Rights in monitoring, reviewing and improving constantly the process of selecting and implementing technical assistance projects, the conduct of needs assessments in a comprehensive manner and the evaluation of ongoing and terminated projects against the objectives that have been set;

9. Takes notes with interest of the general recommendations of the Board of Trustees relating to the enhancement of the effectiveness of advisory services as reflected in its report (E/CN.4/1995/89/Add.1);

10. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary administrative assistance for the Board, in order to make it possible for it to fulfil its mandate, and to arrange meetings of the Board such that its report can be included in the annual report to the Commission on Human Rights on advisory services and technical cooperation;

11. Encourages Governments to cooperate with non-governmental human rights organizations in formulating, implementing and evaluating programmes under the Voluntary Fund;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to incorporate in his next report to the Commission on Human Rights on advisory services in the field of human rights, including the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, the activities undertaken by the Board of Trustees and, in that connection, invites the Chairman of the Board to address the Commission;

13. Reaffirms that the High Commissioner for Human Rights is the United Nations officer with principal responsibility for United Nations human rights activities according to the mandate established in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, which provides, inter alia, for coordination by the High Commissioner of the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system and the provision of advisory services, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to support the High Commissioner in fulfilling his mandate;

14. Requests the High Commissioner to explore yet further the possibilities offered by cooperation between the Centre for Human Rights and specialized bodies and other organizations of the United Nations system, as well as non-governmental organizations, including arrangements where needs identified by the Centre are met by projects for which such bodies and organizations take full responsibility for financing and implementation;

15. Encourages in particular the cooperation between the Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme, with a view to integrating, with the advice of the Commission on Human Rights, projects for strengthening human rights into the overall United Nations Development Programme country programmes and in order to prepare and execute jointly individual projects benefiting from the opportunities offered by resident representatives of the Programme;

16. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Commission at its fifty-second session containing an inventory and an analysis of the availability of advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights from all sources, both multilateral and bilateral, and to request relevant information from such sources;

17. Also requests the Secretary-General to report annually to the Commission on Human Rights on the progress made 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 Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.
53rd meeting
3 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XXI. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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