Distr.
GENERAL

A/RES/21/2217
19 December 1966

International Year for Human Rights

General Assembly resolution 2217 of 19 December 1966


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 1961 (XVIII) of 12 December 1963 and 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965 on the International Year for Human Rights,

1. Approves the further programme of measures and activities envisaged for Member States, the United Nations, the specialized agencies and national and other international organizations, which has been recommended by the Commission on Human Rights and is set out in the annex to the present resolution;

2. Invites Member States, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and the national and international organizations concerned to devote the year 1968 to intensified efforts and undertakings in the field of human rights, including the measures set out in the above-mentioned programme, and to keep the Secretary-General informed of their plans and preparations;

3. Invites the Secretary-General to make any necessary arrangements to facilitate the co-operation of competent regional intergovernmental organizations in observing 1968 as International Year for Human Rights, as provided in General Assembly resolution 2081 (XX);

4. Requests the Secretary-General to co-ordinate the measures and activities undertaken by Member States, the United Nations, the specialized agencies, regional organizations and the national and international organizations concerned, and in particular to collect and disseminate at regular intervals information on activities contemplated or undertaken by them in connexion with the International Year for Human Rights;

5. Further requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its twenty-second session an interim report on the plans, preparations, arrangements, measures and activities referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above.

1498th plenary meeting,
19 December 1966

ANNEX

International Year for Human Rights: further programme of measures and activities recommended by the Commission on Human Rights

RECOMMENDATION A

It is recommended that in December 1967 the President of the General Assembly should issue a special message on the International Year for Human Rights, to be released on 1 January 1968. It is further recommended that the Secretary-General of the United nations, the executive heads of the specialized agencies, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund and the executive secretaries of the regional economic commissions should issue similar messages during 1968 at the time they deem most appropriate, and that such messages should be widely circulated by all communications media.

RECOMMENDATION B

It is recommended that the Secretary-General should:

(a) Make arrangements for the issuing of human rights postage stamps and first-day covers on 1 January 1968, and for special cancellations during 1968;

(b) Promote, specifically for the International Year for Human Rights, the widest and most intensive dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

© Prepare and publish a special pamphlet on the Declaration , specifically for the International Year for Human Rights

(d) Prepare for general distribution a radio documentary script on the Declaration and encourage and assist broadcasting and television organizations to produce documentary or dramatic programmes relating to human rights;

(e) Make available to Sates Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency a special design symbolizing the concept of human rights and freedoms, so that posters may be reproduced and distributed nationally during the International Year for Human Rights;

(f) Direct United Nations officers at Headquarters and in information centres and regional offices to give lectures and write articles on the Declaration and to co-operate with information media and educational authorities in various countries in organizing the celebration of the International Year for Human Rights;

(g) Request the distributors of United Nations publications to prepare a special display of relevant United Nations documents for exhibition during the months of November and December 1968.

2. For Human Rights Day, 1968, it is recommended that the United Nations should:

(a) Organize at Headquarters a special meeting of the General assembly on 10 December 1968, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Government should be invited to include in their delegations to the special meeting, whenever possible, persons who participated in the drafting of the Declaration;

(b) Organize a concert at United Nations Headquarters on that day to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Declaration, and obtain the widest possible radio and television coverage for the concert.

RECOMMENDATION C

(a) When a prize or prizes in the field of human rights should be awarded. It is recommended that a prize or prizes should be awarded, for the first time, on 10 December 1968, on the occasion of the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thereafter, prizes should not be awarded more often than at five-year intervals.

(b) Number of prizes to be awarded. It is recommended that no more than five prizes should be awarded at a time. If one prize only is to be awarded, it should be for outstanding achievements in the field of human rights. If two prizes are to be awarded, one should be for outstanding achievements in the promotion and protection of civil and political rights and the other for outstanding achievements in the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. If more that one prize is awarded, all prizes should be equal in every way.

© Nature of the prize. It is recommended that a metal plaque bearing the United Nations seal and an artistic design, and engraved with an appropriate citation, should be presented to each winner of a prize as a concrete and lasting token of the award.

(d) Procedure to be followed in selecting winners. It is recommended that a special committee, composed of the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council, the Chairman of the Commission on Human rights, the Chairman of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Chairman of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, should be entrusted with selecting the winners of the human rights prize. The Committee would establish its own procedure for receiving nominations, it being understood that nominations might be sought from Member States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations in consultative status and from other appropriate sources. The assistance of the Secretary-General would be available to the special committee at every stage in the process of selection.

(e) Criteria to be applied in the selection of winners. It is recommended that on the occasion of the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1968, a maximum of five prizes should be awarded to persons who have made outstanding, contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms embodied in the Declaration and in other instruments of the United Nations relating to human rights since the proclamation of the Declaration on 10 December 1948. Thereafter, the prize or prizes would be awarded at five-year intervals and would be given to individuals who had made outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

RECOMMENDATION D

It is noted that in paragraph 4 of resolution 1961 (XVIII) of 12 December 1963 the General Assembly invited all Members States to intensify their domestic efforts in the field of human rights, with the assistance of their appropriate organizations, in order that a fuller and more effective realization of these rights and freedoms might be achieved and might be reported at the proposed international review of such achievement in 1968 and thereafter. This proposed intensification of national domestic effort has been considered, bearing in mind the fact that an intensive programme of activity in this field, in which the United Nations, the specialized agencies, national Governments and non-governmental organizations are already involved, is now in progress. It can be assumed that each Member State, within the framework of its national legislation and policy, and according to available means, will wish to respond in its own way to the invitation expressed in paragraph 4 of the above-mentioned resolution.

In consideration of the fact that a wide variety of measures should not be added by Member States to their existing programmes, it is recommended instead that the General assembly should be asked to invite all Member States to make a special effort during the period, within the framework of national legislation and policy and according to available means, in two particular spheres:

(a) In the sphere of their national legislation;

(b) In the sphere of education, towards a fuller realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It is agreed that the intensification of efforts on the national level does not exclude an intensification of efforts by Member States on an international scale, for example, within the United Nations and its agencies.

RECOMMENDATION E

It is recommended that Governments should be invited to consider adopting the following programme, under which they would:

(a) Formally proclaim 1968 to be the International Year for Human Rights and observe it as such;

(b) Issue, during the International Year for Human Rights, in the name of Heads of State or Government, special messages reaffirming their faith in the dignity and worth of the human person and their dedication to the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

© Either appoint an ad hoc committee to co-ordinate the national celebrations for the International Year for Human Rights within their countries, or entrust the organization of the celebrations to an existing institution;

(d) Seize the opportunity of the International Year for Human Rights to redouble their efforts to bring about the signature and ratification, or the acceptance in another form, of all the existing international conventions or treaties designed to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in particular spheres;

(e) Consider the possibility of commemorating the International Year for Human Rights by the establishment of public service or socially useful institutions, such as schools, hospitals, community, centres, crèches and recreational parks, or by the designation of existing institutions to commemorate the Year;

(f) Consider the possibility of establishing one or more national awards to honour their nationals who have made distinguished contributions to the promotion of human rights, and make these awards during the International Year for Human Rights;

(g) Maintain contact with the specialized agencies and participate in any regional conferences and seminars which the latter may wish to organize;

(h) Issue human rights postage stamps and first-day covers on 1 January 1968, and arrange for special cancellations during 1968;

(i) Promote the widest and most intensive possible dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in as many languages and dialects as possible, by means of printed posters, leaflets and pamphlets issued during 1968;

(j) Examine the possibility of holding a special meeting of their Parliament or National Assembly, in order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, preferably on 10 December 1968.

RECOMMENDATION F

It is recommended that the specialized agencies whose work is connected with the promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms should be invited:

(a) To proceed with the planning of their individual programmes of celebrations;

(b) To communicate directly with the Governments of Member States and with private, national and international organizations, so as to co-operate with them in the organization of national and regional programmes of celebrations for 1968;

© To inform the Secretary-General as soon as possible of the programmes they have formulated.

RECOMMENDATION G

It is recommended that other organizations having an interest in the promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, non-governmental organizations in contact with the United Nations Office of Public Information, United Nations associations, research institutions, universities and other institutions of higher learning, and other appropriate organizations, should be invited to participate fully in the celebration of the International Year for Human Rights and to organize special activities of their own during 1968. The invitation to the organizations in consultative status and to those in contact with the Office of Public Information would be issued by the Secretary-General, while the invitation to national organizations would be issued by the Governments of the countries concerned.

Within the framework of their respective programmes, in order to develop further and to guarantee political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights and to end all discrimination and denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms on grounds race, colour, sec, language or religion, and in particular to permit the elimination of apartheid, the various organizations mentioned above are invited to consider, for the year 1968:

(a) Adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or articles thereof, as appropriate, as the theme of their annual conference for 1968 or of special conferences held during that year:

(b) Organizing commemorative ceremonies on the Declaration during the International Year for Human Rights and particularly on Human Rights Day, 10 December 1968;

© Printing and distributing the text of the Declaration and preparing public pamphlets, leaflets and posters on the Declaration;

(d) Organizing community projects, such as panel discussions on local human rights problems, children's parades, and the display of the United Nations flag on school buildings and business premises;

(e) Encouraging local communities to establish a list of questions with a view to investigating and sounding out public opinion as to the community's effectiveness in promoting the principles of the Declaration;

(f) Publishing, during the International Year for Human Rights, historic declarations, famous bills and great orations and speeches on human rights, with appropriate commentaries or annotations;

(g) Encouraging radio and television networks to carry special programmes, encouraging newspaper editors to publish editorials on the Declaration which could be printed or reprinted in whole or in part, and encouraging book-publishing firms to issue special publications, including books and booklets, on human rights problems designed to publicize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and encouraging other media of information to organize public debates on great issues concerning freedom;

(h) Inviting appropriate bodies in Member States to hold special services and observances of a cultural and traditional nature, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

RECOMMENDATION H

It is recommended that the programme of measures and activities should include activities by the United Nations, the specialized agencies, Member States, and international and national organizations. For an effective year of observances, some degree of co-ordination of these separate activities will be required. Some of the recommended activities are set out precisely and in reasonably full detail; for others, no more than the broad outlines of the proposal can be given at this state, and the details remain to be worked out. When these details have been settled, it will be desirable that information about them be communicated to a central organization or office. It is likely that individual Member States will have new ideas in regard to activities they may wish to undertake in connexion with the International Year for Human Rights, and that they will wish to communicate some of these ideas to other Member States. It is agreed that all these activities should be co-ordinated and it is recommended that the co-ordinating and clearing-house function should be discharged by the Secretary-General. It is important that the Secretary-General's efficiency in discharging his present responsibilities in the field of human rights should not be impaired by this additional task which it is proposed to entrust to him.

B

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 2081 (X) of 20 December 1965 concerning the observance of the International Year for Human Rights and the convening of an International Conference on Human Rights in 1968,

Emphasizing the great importance of putting into practice the principles relating to the protection of fundamental human rights which are laid down in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

Convinced that the continuing violation of fundamental human rights in certain countries, particularly in the colonial and dependent countries, may endanger friendly relations between States and universal peace and security,

Emphasizing the importance of the achievement by the International Conference on Human Rights of the purposes specified in General Assembly resolution 2081 (XX),

Calls upon the Governments of all countries and the peoples of the world to intensify the struggle to safeguard fundamental freedoms and human rights and to ensure the complete and immediate elimination of such violations of human rights as racial discrimination and the policy of apartheid.

1498th plenary meeting,
19 December 1966.

C

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 1961 (XVIII) of 12 December 1963 designating the Year 1968 as International Year for Human Rights,

Recalling also its resolution 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965 on the International Year of 20 December 1965 on the International Year for Human Rights, in which it decide, inter alia, that an International Conference on Human Rights should be convened during 1968, defined the purposes of the Conference, established a Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Human Rights to complete the preparation for the Conference, and requested the Secretary-General to appoint an Executive Secretary for the Conference,

Having considered the first progress report of the Preparatory Committee,

Accepting with appreciation the invitation extended by the Government of Iran for the International Conference on Human Rights to be held at Teheran,

1. Takes note of the first progress report of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Human Rights and expresses its appreciation to the Committee for the work it has accomplished;

2. Decides that the International Conference on Human Rights shall be held at Teheran, preferably during the spring of 1968, on a date to be determined by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Preparatory Committee and the Iranian Government;

3. Invites States Members of the United Nations, States members of the specialized agencies, States Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice and States that the General Assembly decides specially to invite, to participate in the Conference and to include among their representatives eminent persons whose qualifications in the field of human rights would enable them to make valuable contributions to the work of the Conference;

4. Invites the competent specialized agencies to send observers to the Conference;

5. Requests the Preparatory Committee to continue its work in accordance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2081 (XX), taking into account such observations as it may receive from the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women and bearing in mind the discussions at the twenty-first session of the General Assembly , the decisions taken in the present resolution and the adoption of the International Covenants on Human Rights, and to report further on the progress of the preparation of the Conference to the General Assembly at its twenty-second session;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to arrange for the staffing and other facilities which will be required for the Conference;

7. Expresses the hope that the Conference will be an important step forward in the further promotion and development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and consequently a contribution to the strengthening of peace throughout the world and to the promotion of friendship among peoples.

1498th plenary meeting,
19 December 1966.

D

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 2081 (XX) of f20 December 1965, by which it requested the President of the General Assembly to appoint the members of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Human Rights,

Recognizing the significance of the proposed Conference and the importance of the preparatory work to the success of the Conference,

1. Decides to enlarge the membership of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Human Rights from seventeen to twenty-three;

2. Requests the President of the General Assembly to appoint six additional members of the Preparatory Committee: two from African countries, two from Asian countries and two from Latin American countries.

1498th plenary meeting
19 December 1966



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