1995/50. National institutions for the promotion and
protection of human rights

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and its own relevant resolutions concerning national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, notably Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/54 of 4 March 1994,

Stressing the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other international instruments for promoting respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Affirming that priority should be accorded to the development of appropriate arrangements to ensure the effective implementation of international human rights instruments,

Convinced of the important role national institutions play in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in developing and enhancing public awareness of those rights and freedoms,

Recognizing that the United Nations has played and should continue to play an important role in assisting the development of national institutions,

Recalling that, in General Assembly resolution 48/134, the Assembly welcomed the Principles relating to the status of national institutions, annexed to that resolution,

Welcoming the growing interest shown worldwide in the creation and strengthening of independent and pluralistic national institutions expressed during the regional preparatory meetings for he World Conference on Human Rights and at the Conference itself, held in Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, as well as at the various international meetings of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held since 1991,

Welcoming also the decision, announced recently by several States, to establish, or consider establishing, independent national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, in which was reaffirmed the important constructive role played by national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular in their advisory capacity to the competent authorities, their role in remedying human rights violations, and in the dissemination of human rights information and education concerning human rights,

Noting in particular that the World Conference urged Governments to strengthen national institutions which play a role in promoting and safeguarding human rights,

Recalling that, at the World Conference on Human Rights, representatives of national institutions which attended as observers played a positive and constructive role in the deliberations of the Conference,

Noting with satisfaction the constructive participation of representatives of a number of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in international seminars and workshops organized or sponsored by the United Nations and its Member States and in other United Nations activities,

1. Reaffirms the importance of the development of effective, independent and pluralistic national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in keeping with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions annexed to General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993;

2. Encourages all Member States to take appropriate steps to promote the exchange, including by national institutions, of information and experience concerning the establishment and operation of such national institutions;

3. Also encourages Member States to establish or, where they already exist, to strengthen national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, as outlined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and, where appropriate, to incorporate those elements in national development plans or in their preparation of national action plans;

4. Emphasizes in this regard the need to disseminate the Principles relating to the status of national institutions, annexed to General Assembly resolution 48/134, as widely as possible, and calls upon the Secretary-General to undertake this task;

5. Affirms the role of national institutions, where they exist, as appropriate agencies for the dissemination of human rights materials and other public information activities under the auspices of the United Nations;

6. Welcomes the proposal to convene the third International Workshop of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Manila from 18 to 21 April 1995;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to give a high priority to requests from Member States for assistance in the establishment and strengthening of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights as part of the programme of advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights;

8. Takes note of the role of the Coordinating Committee created by national institutions at the second International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, held in Tunis from 13 to 17 December 1993, in close cooperation with the Centre for Human Rights, to assist Governments and institutions, when requested, to follow up on relevant resolutions and recommendations concerning the strengthening of national institutions and to hold meetings under the auspices of and in cooperation with the Centre for Human Rights;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to take measures to ensure that national institutions are informed effectively, including through diplomatic channels, about the activities of the Centre for Human Rights involving national institutions;

10. Requests the Centre for Human Rights, with the assistance of national institutions and their Coordinating Committee, to provide technical assistance for States wishing to establish or strengthen their national institutions and to organize training programmes for national institutions which request them, and invites Governments to contribute additional funds to the Voluntary Fund for the Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights for these purposes;

11. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General concerning possible forms of participation by national institutions in United Nations meetings dealing with human rights (E/CN.4/1995/48);

12. Notes the importance of finding an appropriate form of participation by national institutions in relevant United Nations meetings dealing with human rights;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to invite Member States which have not yet done so to inform him of their views concerning possible forms of participation by national institutions in United Nations meetings dealing with human rights, and invites the Secretary-General to include this information in his report to the Commission at its fifty-second session;

14. Recognizes the important and constructive role that non-governmental organizations may play, in cooperation with national institutions, for the better promotion and protection of human rights;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission at its fifty-second session on the implementation of the present resolution;


16. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its fifty-second session.
53rd meeting
3 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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