Summary record of the 39th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Monday, 9 November 1987, New York, General Assembly, 42nd session.
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/42/SR.39|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Religious Freedom, Detention on Grounds of Mental Illness, Rights of The Child, Torture and Other Cruel Treatment, Illiteracy, Capital Punishment, Civil and Political Rights, Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Women in Development, Self-Determination of Peoples, Freedom of Association, Property Rights|
United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY FORTY-SECOND SESSION Official Records* THIRD COMMITTEE 39th meeting held on Monday, November 1907 at 10 a.m. New York SUMMARY RECORD OP THE 39th MEETING Chairman; Mr. RITTER (Panama) CONTENTS AGENDA ITEM 98: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORM'S OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AGENDA ITEM 99: HUMAN RIGHTS AND SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AGENDA ITEM 100: QUESTION OF A CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD AGENDA ITEM 101: INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA ITEM 102: REPORTING OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES TO UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA ITEM 106: NEW INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN ORDER AGENDA ITEM 107s TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AGENDA ITEM 96: FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN TO THE YEAR 2000 (continued) AGENDA ITEM 97: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) AGENDA ITEM 91: IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL REALIZATION OF THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND OF THE SPEEDY GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES FOR THE EFFECTIVE GUARANTEE AND OBSERVANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) AGENDA ITEM 105: ALTERNATIVF APPROACHES AND WAYS AND MEANS WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (continued) A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 2 The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m. AGENDA ITEM 98: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AGENDA ITEM 99s HUMAN RIGHTS AND SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (A/42/3, A/42/392 and Add.l and 2) AGENDA ITEM 100: QUESTION OF A CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD AGENDA ITEM 101: INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS (A/42/3, A/42/40, A/42/450, A/42/613| A/42/357-S/18935| A/C.3/42/4) AGENDA ITEM 102: REPORTING OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES TO UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA ITEM 106: NEW INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN ORDER AGENDA ITEM 107: TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (A/42/451, A/42/701) 1. Mr. MARTENSON (under-Secretary-General for Human Rights), introducing agenda items 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 106 and 107, said that they reflected the scope and diversity of the human rights questions currently before the United Nations and demonstrated the international community's profound concern for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all areas and all countries. 2. Regarding agenda item 98, by its resolution 1987/15 the Commission on Human Rights had requested the Secretary-General to prepare an addendum to the compendium of the national legislation and regulations of States on freedom of religion or belief) invited the Secretary-General to submit a report based on the comments of Member States on the procedures by which a binding international instrument could be drafted: and decided to consider the question of the drafting of such an instrument at its forty-fourth session, in tree light of the report by the Secretary-General, the study by the Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and the Sub-Commission s observations. The Commission had also decided to extend for one year the mandate of Its own Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance. At its August 1987 session, the Sub-Commission had adopted solution 1987/33, requesting its Chairman to appoint one of its members to consider which aspects in the study by its Special Rapporteur should be considered in greater depth and other relevant factors and issues which should also be considered before a binding international instrument could be drafted, and to report thereon to the Sub-Commission at its next session. 3. Turning to agenda item 99, ho recalled that the impact of scientific and technological developments on human rights had first been considered at the International Conference on Human Rights held at Tehran in 1968. A Declaration on the Use of Scientific and Technological Progress in the Interests of Peace and for the Benefit of Mankind had been adopted in 1975. In 1980, the General Assembly had adopted resolution 35/130 A concerning the implementation of that Declaration. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 3 (Mr. Martenson) Document A/42/392 and Add.l and 2 contained the report prepared by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 35/130 A. At its thirty-ninth ee33ion, in August 1987, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities had continued its consideration of a draft body of guidelines, principles and guarantees for the protection of persons detained on grounds of mental ill health or suffering from mental disorders. 4. With regard to agenda item 100, the Commission on Human Rights had been working on a draft convention on the rights of the child since 1978. As a result of the high priority accorded to completion of such a convention by General Assembly resolution 41/116 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 1987/48, the Economic and Social Council had authorized an open-ended working group to meet for one week prior to the Commission's 1988 session with a view to completing work on the draft convention at that session. 5. The adoption of a convention on the rights of the child would make a major contribution to the international community's efforts to protect society's most vulnerable and most precious members. He had written personally to heads of delegations of the Commission on Human Rights, urging the earliest possible completion of the convention. It would be particularly appropriate if the convention could be completed by 1989, the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child. 6. Turning to agenda item 101, as of 1 October 1987, 90 States had become parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and 86 to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In addition, 38 States had become parties to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and 21 States parties had made the declaration under article 41 of that Covenant. 7. Despite delays caused by the cancellation of its autumn 1986 session as a result of the financial crisis, the Human Rights Committee had been able to continue its monitoring activities and expand its dialogue with States parties concerning implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It had also dealt with a large number of communications submitted under the Optional Protocol and had given careful consideration to a new draft general comment relating to article 17 of the Covenant. He drew attention to chapters II and III of the Committee's report (A/42/40), concerning problems relating to the reporting obligations of States parties to the various international human rights instruments, including the problem of overdue reports under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Two additional training programmes on the preparation and submission of reports by States parties had been held in 1986: at Dakar for French-speaking West African countries and at Manila for south-east Asian and Pacific countries. Similar courses were planned for the future in other regions. 8. Document E/1987/28 contained the report of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which had held its first session at the United Nations Office A/C.3/42/SR.39. English Page 4 (Mr. Martenson) at Geneva on 9-27 March 1987. The Committee had considered reports submitted by States parties under the first and second stages of the programme established by Economic and Social Council resolution 1988 (LX) concerning rights covered by articles 6-9 and 10-12 of the Covenant. It had also considered the reporting obligations of States parties to the Covenant and had formulated a number of recommendations on that subject and also on the availability of information to the Committee and the role of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. 9. Document A/42/613 contained a report prepared by the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 39/137 concerning the elaboration of a second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. The report was the outcome of several years of discussion in the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. 10. Turning to agenda item 102, ever since the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination had drawn its attention to the matter, the General Assembly had been considering the problem of the significant backlog of reports under the United Nations human rights conventions which entailed reporting obligations. Following the adoption of General Assembly resolution 41/121, the supervisory bodies established under the various human rights conventions, had unanimously endorsed the Secretary-General's proposal to arrange training courses for government officials of States parties which were experiencing serious difficulties in meeting their reporting obligations. They also viewed the proposed second meeting of their various chairmen, to be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva in October 1986, as an Important opportunity for exchanging views and co-ordinating activities. Any suggestions or proposals by members of the Third Committee would be brought to the attention of that meeting for consideration. 11. Agenda item 106 had been before the Committee since 1981, when it had first been included in the agenda of the General Assembly at the request of Jordan. The Committee now had before it the comprehensive report by the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly at its fortieth session (A/40/348 and Add.l and 21), and the supplementary report by the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-first session (A/41/472), both of which the Committee had decided to discuss at the forty-second session. A report by the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, which had been established in 1983 and the terms of reference and membership of which were indicated in an annex to document A/40/348, had also been distributed to members of the Committee. The Independent Commission had emphasized the need for the International community in dealing with international humanitarian issues, to make sure that the existing international norms proclaimed by it were being respected and applied in practice. 12. Under item 107, the Committee had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the Status of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (A/42/451). The Convention, adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 39/46, had entered into force on A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 5 (Mr. Martenson) 26 June 1987. As of 1 October 1987, it had been ratified or acceded to by 22 States and signed by 40 States. In addition, six States parties had made the declarations provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Convention. The first meeting of States parties to the Convention, to elect members of the Committee against Torture and decide on the procedures for fulfilling their financial responsibilities under the Convention, would be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva on 26 November 1987. The Secretary-General Intended to convene the first session of the Committee against Torture from 18 April to 6 May 1988, at Geneva. Thereafter, in accordance with article 18 (4) of the Convention, the Committee would meet at the times stipulated in its rules of procedure. 13. The entry into force of the Convention had been a deeply encouraging achievement; under it, perpetrators of torture would not be able to seek refuge in States s natories to the Convention and the well-worn excuse of "merely following orders" was stripped of any validity. 14. Turning to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, established in 1981 and administered by the Secretary-General with the advice of a Board of Trustees, the scope and number of Fund projects had greatly increased, demonstrating clearly that, while working for an end to torture, the United Nations was sensitive to the suffering of torture victims. Since the submission of the Secretary-General's report (A/42/701), a contribution of $US 50,000 had been received from the Government of Japan. 15. In conclusion, the Centre for Human Rights would, in all its efforts to promote human rights, strive to observe the strictest balance, impartiality and objectivity, its aim being to identify and expand areas of common ground and to promote consensus over confrontation. 16. Mr. CHIBA (Acting Assistant Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO) said that document E/1987/113 containing UNESCO's proposals on the proclamation of an international literacy year demonstrated why it was felt that such a year was needed. Illiteracy was a major global problem which affected an estimated 889 million aducas Directly. The right to education, a right guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was denied to more than a quarter of the world's adult population. In addition, more than 100 million children in developing countries were not enrolled in school. No region was spared the scourge of illiteracy. Although 98 per cent of the world's illiterates were to be found in developing countries, the problem of functional illiteracy was a growing concern in industrialized countries. 17. The elimination of illiteracy was also an essential condition for the development and well-being of peoples and nations and an indispensable prerequisite for the enjoyment of other rights and the exercise of civic responsibilities. As the pace of scientific and technological change accelerated, the need for universal literacy became ever more apparent. Lastly, illiteracy was a condition which, if combated with commitment, persistence and imagination, could be overcome. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 6 (Mr. Chiba, UNESCO) Numerous countries were achieving that goal, even under difficult economic conditions, with the result that *** adult illiteracy rates were gradually declining. 18. An international literacy year would provide an unique opportunity to increase public awareness of the scope and danger of the problem of illiteracy and at the same time to renew commitments, reinvigorate action and launch new programmes for combating illiteracy. Schooling must be ensured for every child in the world and opportunities must be offered to adolescents and adults to acquire literacy skills in out-of-school programmes. Literate environments must also be created in which individuals, including the newly literate, had the opportunity and incentive to read and derive benefit and pleasure from doing so, particularly in order to participate more actively in social and community affairs. 19. An international literacy year would be a means of launching a decade-long effort to combat illiteracy. At its twenty-third session, the UNESCO General Conference had linked the proclamation of such a year to the formulation of a plan of action to eradicate illiteracy by the year 2000. The assential linkage of the year to such a plan of action had also been noted in General Assembly resolution 41/118. The plan of action was based on regional programmes for the elimination of illiteracy and the universalization of primary education and such programmes had had already been established in three regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. A fourth programme was being established in the Arab region. 20. UNESCO had begun to prepare for the year nearly two years previously and had held consultations with Member States, United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. A questionnaire had been sent to Member States and non-governmental organizations and the responses received had largely confirmed the suitability of the objectives, activities and mechanisms for the year proposed in document E/1987/113. The report submitted by the Director-General to the twenty-fourth session of the General Conference, which took into account responses to the questionnaire, gave sharper focus to the need to strengthen educational activities to benefit women and girls in rural areas and urban slums, and groups with special educational needs such as migrants and their families and the handicapped. The linkage between international literacy year and the plan of action had been formulated as an explicit objective for international literacy year. 21. UNESCO's Programme and Budget for 1988-1989 contained a wide range of activities for the preparation of the international literacy year, to be carried out not only through UNESCO's education programmes but also through programmes in the areas of culture, communications and science. Some of those activities were intended to link the World Decade for Cultural Development with international literacy year, for literacy and culture were inherently interrelated. Other activities aimed to strengthen co-operation within the United Nations system in combating illiteracy. The Director-General had written to all United Nations specialized agencies and bodies inviting them to designate a "contact point" tor A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 7 (Mr. Chiba, UNESCO) co-operation with UNESCO under the programme for International literacy year. UNESCO would be ready in 1990 to meet fully the responsibilities incumbent upon it as the lead agency in an international year. The pursuit of literacy was a fundamental part of UNESCO's mission. If nations had the political will to persevere in the struggle against illiteracy, the results would not be disappointing. 22. Ms. PEARCE (Australia) said that the development of international norma in the field of human rights was essential to real progress in protecting and promoting those rights. Departures from that international legal framework posed a real risk of politicization and of undercutting the universality of human rights concerns. While the process of standard-setting continued, increasing attention was being given to the need for more efficiency, effectiveness and "quality control", in accordance with the guidelines in General Assembly resolution 41/120. 23. The effective implementation of the standards it contained was equally essential to the strength of the international legal framework. The principal human rights instruments were the International Covenants, and the Human Rights Committee had, over the past year, consolidated its reputation for independence and objectivity in examining the reports of States parties on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Its general comments on various articles of the Covenant had offered a useful precedent for other treaty bodies to follow; it was therefore regrettable that States parties were not taking those comments into due account in preparing their periodic reports. The Human Rights Committee had a particularly important role to play in relation to states parties where states of siege, exception or emergency, in which human rights safeguards came under intense pressure, were in force. The procedure whereby States parties notified the Human Rights Committee of such circumstances should be strengthened, and closer scrutiny should be given to countries in those situations. 24. Australia had presented a resolution (1987/5) on the newly established Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the first regular session of the Economic and Social Council in 1987. It hoped that the Council would maintain its active interest in the protection of economic, social and cultural rights as mandated in the Covenant; its unique cross-organizational character gave it special responsibility for co-ordinating the activities of various elements of the United Nations system, including the specialized agencies. 25. Her delegation welcomed the decision of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to recommend the appointment in 1988 of a Special Rapporteur to study the problem of the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. It also welcomed the report on the right to food, but emphasized the need for specific, practical and realistic follow-up to the various studies and reports already available: yet another general study or report would not contribute much to the pressing need to strengthen the Implementation of the rights set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 8 (Ms. Pearce, Australia) 26. As a party to both International Covenants, and also to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, her delegation was concerned at the growing backlog of periodic reports due from States parties and had played a key role in drafting resolutions to reform the reporting process under various human rights instruments. The momentum of General Assembly resolution 41/121 should be maintained, drawing on the experience of various treaty bodies in discharging their mandates. While the General Assembly must be careful not to trespass on the prerogatives of those bodies and to take due account of the different provisions of the respective instruments, there was considerable scope for harmonization and rationalization of reporting guidelines. It was crucial that the various treaty bodies be aware of the relevant material submitted to their counterpart bodies. The risk of repetition must be minimized. States parties also had a responsibility to limit the size of their reports and ensure that they were as focused as possible. 27. Australia supported the elaboration of a second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. The national positions of countries which did not wish to abolish the death penalty within their own jurisdictions should not block the efforts of others to promote an optional instrument which would enable them to place on International record their commitment to abolishing the death penalty. It was regrettable that the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities had taken no action on the issue at its August 1987 session. 28. Her delegation welcomed the thoughtful, non-confrontational approach taken by the Special Rapporteur on the question of religious intolerance in his report to the Commission on Human Rights. As a multicultural nation whose citizens professed a variety of religious and other beliefs, it accorded priority to the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. Her delegation would support the elaboration of an international convention at an appropriate time in the future, but not under current resource constraints, particularly in view of the need for thorough preparation. It therefore commended the approach adopted by the Sub-Commission at its August 1987 session. 29. Australia urged early conclusion of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and believed that delegations should focus on outstanding problems, including the need to develop realistic implementation machinery. 30. It was regrettable that the General Assembly's contribution to the subject of science and technology and its implications for respect for human rights had been limited, despite the work done by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the Commission on Human Rights. Sterile resolutions on broad issues had been brought before the Committee year after year but had made little contribution to a complex and important subject. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 9 (Ma. Pearce, Australia) 31. The United Nations had played a central role in enhancing awareness that torture existed in many parts of the world, that international condemnation of torture could have an impact on curbing it, and that the victims of torture required special care and attention. Australia had signed the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1985 and would ratify it as soon as possible. It was concerned that the financial basis established under the Convention might prove inadequate and suggested that States parties give early consideration to that subject. 32. Australia had long supported the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities which, as a group of independent experts, was an essential component of the international human rights framework. Its reports and studies supplemented and complemented the knowledge and research upon which human rights programmes relied. The debate on the Sub-Commission's mandate at its August 1987 session, had produced a consensus that the Sub-Commission should not duplicate, but assist, the work of its parent body, the Commission on Human Rights. Some of the views expressed warranted further attention. 33. The important work that was being done pursuant to the international legal framework for the protection of human rights provided a crucial foundation for the discussion of more controversial national situations and underlined the importance of a multifaceted approach to human rights violations, which raised complex issues and posed difficult challenges to the international community. 34. Ms. TEEKAMP (Netherlands) said that the reports of the various human rights supervisory bodies shoved that the United Nations machinery for monitoring international human rights instruments was under great strain. There was a serious backlog in the submission of periodic reports, many States parties did not recognize the competence of the supervisory bodies to deal with complaints, meetings were being held less frequently than was desirable because of budgetary problems and certain States were not meeting their financing obligations to those bodies. Those strains threatened the very functioning of those bodies, at a time of unremitting, serious human rights violations. Her Government therefore favoured consolidating the consideration of overdue reports, streaming the reporting system, harmonizing guidelines, providing adequate resources to the various supervisory bodies and providing Governments with advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights. Her Government would also welcome a meeting of the Chairmen of the supervisory bodies in 1988 to discuss possible remedies. 35. Her delegation welcomed the entry into force of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which her Government would ratify as soon as the necessary domestic legal arrangements had been made. Her delegation welcomed efforts to provide legal protection for persons subjected to detention or imprisonment and urged other delegations to instruct their experts in the Sixth Committee to prevent any weakening of the draft body of principles on that subject, given its great importance in the struggle against torture, involuntary disappearances and political murder. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 10 (MB. Teekamp, Netherlands) 36. She commended the Human Rights Committee on its excellent report (A/42/40), which was of particular significance so her delegation because it contained the first individual complaints against the Netherlands under the Optional Protocol on which the Committee had taken decisions. Those decisions were now being studied by her Government with a view to formulating a position both on the cases concerned and on the legislation applied. 37. Her delegation had been concerned to learn from paragraph 410 of the report that a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights had expelled an attorney, apparently because of his contacts with Amnesty International and the Human Rights Committee. Further to the attorney's complaint, the Human Rights Committee had decided, rightly, that article 13 of the Covenant had been violated. 30. The general comments elaborated by the Committee on the different articles of the Covenant, which served not only as an authoritative interpretation but also to assist States parties in their reporting obligations and to promote further implementation of the Covenant, were also important. Her Government intended to make full use of those comments and urged other States parties to do likewise. 39. Her delegation commended the work clone at its first session by the Committee or. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights established parsuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1985/17 at the initiative of the Netherlands. It drew attention to document E/CN.4/1987/17, issued as a United Nations document at the request of her Government, containing "The Timburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights". Written by a group of experts in international law, that paper included general observations on the nature and scope of States parties' obligations, interpretative principles relating to parts II and III of the Covenant, and practical guidelines for the preparation and submission of reports. 40. With respect to the proposed second optional protocol to the International Covenant or. Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, her delegation regretted the decision by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities not to take action on that item at its August 1987 session. The relevant report by the Special Rapporteur indicated clearly the views of various Member States on the abolition of the death penalty, and clarified the issues at stake. Urgent action must be taken at the Sub-Commission's 1988 session to ensure further progress on the draft second optional protocol. 41. Mrs. COLL (Ireland), speaking on agenda item 98, said that in his first report on the implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religious or Belief, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights had concluded that intolerance and discrimination ba3ed on religion or belief were a common phenomenon and occurred in varying degrees in all regions of the world. Although allegations against more than 40 countries had been communicated to the Special Rapporteur, they had not A/C 3/42/SR.39 English Page 11 (Mrs. Coll, Ireland) been cited in the report because the overriding concern had been to engage those countries in a co-operative dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights. Maintaining a delicate balance between purposeful dialogue with affected countries and the need to bring to light serious human rights violations was nowhere as crucial as in the matter of religious intolerance, Several factors were hindering the implementation of the Declaration, the most significant being the relationship between certain legislative provisions and the occurrence of incidents based on religious intolerance; the so far limited translation of relevant International human rights standards into constitutional and legal guarantees at the national level; the attitudes adopted by Governments which allowed certain elements in a population to manifest intolerance; political, cultural and economic factors which engendered a climate conducive to distrust and intolerance on grounds of religion; and the paradoxical nature of systems of belief which advocated humanitarian values at the same time as war and repression. 42. There were thus a va3t spectrum of measures and actions which were inconsistent with the provisions of the Declaration and she hoped that the thorough but discreet presentation of those practices and the examination of their qrave implications might, in itself, serve to initiate in the countries concerned processes to counteract those evils. However, discrimination on grounds of religion could not be simply legislated out of existence. Education was essential in order for the necessary attitudinal changes to occur and the United Nations must serve as a catalyst for national and local actions in that regard. 43. Mr. VOICU (Romanin), speaking on agenda item 106, said that as an original sponsor with Jordan of the item on a new international humanitarian order, his delegation had emphasized repeatedly the topical nature and practical scope of that initiative. Existing documentation on the subject, above all the report of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, clearly confirmed his delegation's belief that the new international humanitarian order could not be separated from the current international situation, which was characterized by a spiralling arms race and the continued testing of nuclear weapons, worsening conflicts and crises in various regions of the world, the persistence of policies of aggression and interference in the internal affairs of States, and a deepening world economic crisis. The only alternative was to alter the dangerous course of events by renouncing, once and for all, the outdated, mistaken belief that nuclear weapons strengthened security and helped keep the peace. 44. The **** in building a new international humanitarian order must therefore be to halt the arms race and move towards disarmament, above all nuclear disarmament, and to defend the inalienable right of peoples to peace, life, liberty and dignity. The fact that there had beer, no world wars in over 40 years did not legitimize the tremendous loss of life sustained in local wars, nor the squandering of much needed resources on increasingly deadly weapons. As the report of the Independent Commission showed, the technical knowledge necessary for disarmament existed but the attainment of peace required a renewed humanitarian commitment on everyone's part to safeguarding the future of the planet. General and complete disarmament under effective international control was essential to the building of a new humanitarian order. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 12 (Mr. Voicu, Romania) 45. Turning to the strictly humanitarian aspects of the issue, his delegation noted with satisfaction that the report of the Independent Commission expanded on all the ideas put forward by Romania, reflecting his delegation's position on such issues as the elimination of discrimination against women and youth; the eradication of disease and illiteracy; the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights; and solidarity and international co-operation in preventing and combating natural disasters. On the latter, his delegation reiterated its view that international legal instruments should be drafted with a view to expanding and diversifying co-operation among States in preventing and combating natural disasters. 46. While his delegation agreed that some problems called for regional solutions, it believed that regionalism should complement rather than replace multilateral co-operation. The well-being of peoples must be promoted by joint efforts at the local, regional and international levels. In order to halt the erosion of multilateralism, international agencies should, as far as possible, weigh the local and national consequences of their policies. In general, the debate on the new international humanitarian Older should make it possible to identify new methods of reaffirming multilateralism and the role of the United Nations in promoting it, based on the fundamental principles of international law. 47. Those 3ame principles should also guide efforts to develop civic education aimed at promoting international humanitarian law. School books, extension work with adults, and the mass media could play an important role in that regard. Increased awareness of those principles would promote understanding and co-operation on the part of the general public. AGENDA ITEM 96: FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN TO THE YEAR 2000 (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.28/Rev.l, L.29/Rev.l, L.30 and L.32) AGENDA ITEM 97: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.31) AGENDA ITEM 91: IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL REALIZATION OF THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND OF THE SPEEDY GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES FOR THE EFFECTIVE GUARANTEE AN0 OBSERVANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.15/Rev.2) AGENDA ITEM 105: ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES AND WAYS AND MEANS WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.33 and L.34) Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.28/Rev.l 48. Mrs. SAELZLER (German Democratic Republic), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.28/Rev.l on behalf of the sponsors, said that it focused on the relevant provisions of the the Charter, the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation, and the Forward-looking A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 13 Mrs. Saelzler, German Democratic Republic) Strategies. Following consultations with other delegations, the sponsors had made a number of changes in operative paragraphs 5 and 6. She hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted without a vote. Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.29/Rev.1 49. Mr. GOLEMIINOV (Bulgaria), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.29/Rev.1 on behalf of the *** drew attention to two editorial changes. In operative paragraph 3, the sponsors and interested delegations have agreed that the words "Calls upon" should be amended to read "Invites". In operative paragraph 9 of the English version, the words "at its next sessions" in line 3 should be reinserted after the word "consideration" in line 2. 50. The draft resolution was modelled on earlier resolutions on the role of women in society. Its main concern was that efforts to implement the Forward-looking Strategies should pay due attention to all aspects of the role of women in society. It suggested possible measures for translating that idea into practical terms at the national and international levels. Operative paragraphs 8 and 9 dealt with specific measures which the sponsors considered appropriate. The draft resolution wan the outcome of extensive consultations and incorporated most of the suggestion: made by delegations. He hoped that it would be adopted without a vote. Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.30 51. Mr. AGUILAR (Guatemala), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.30 on behalf of the Group of 77, said that the draft resolution reflected the Group's major concerns regarding the implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies and urged the adoption of appropriate measures to implement them. The Group hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted without a vote. Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.32 52. Mr. ARUNGU-OLENDE (Kenya), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.32, said that operative paragraph 4 should be amended to read "Invites States ..." rather than "Urges Governments ...". With regard to the second preambular paragraph, the sponsors wished to express their appreciation to those who had participated in observing the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and hoped that contributions to the Fund would grow. They hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus. Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.31 53. Mr. MOLINA (Argentina), Introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.31, said that its purpose was to emphasize the importance of the work being done by the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women and to encourage more generous voluntary contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for the Institute. The draft resolution was designed simply to strengthen the Institute and streamline its work and the sponsors hoped that it would be adopted without a vote. A/C.3/42/SR.39 English Page 14 Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.15/Rev.2 54. Mr. STIRLING (United States of America) , introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.15/Rev.2, said that it had been revised following extensive consultations and negotiations. The first preambular paragraph now included a reference to obligations under the Charter to respect the principle of equal rights and self-determination, the third preambular paragraph reflected a new concept, the fourth was entirely new and the ninth, on apartheid, expanded upon and revised the earlier version. Operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 were completely new. Paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 had been slightly reworded and paragraph 8 now included a reference to article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Paragraph 9 had been revised and paragraph 15 now referred only to situations in which organizations and groups were acting at the request of Governments. Paragraph 16 had been substantially revised to meet the concerns of many delegations. The draft resolution had been made general in nature in order to attract greater support, which was why it referred to deprivation of the right of self-determination in the preamble and in operative paragraph 13. Draft resolution A/C.3'42/L.33 55. Mr. STIRLING (United States of America), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.33, said that the draft resolution was procedural and intended an a follow-up to General Assembly resolution 41/132. He hoped that it would bo adopted by the broadest possible consensus. He specifically urged delegations to contribute as fully as possible to the report referred to in operative paragraph I. Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.34 56. Mr. r RAMBACH (German Democratic Republic), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.34, said that the draft resolution was motivated by the one-sidedness of General Assembly resolution 41/132 on the right to private property. In that connection, he particularly emphasized the third, fourth, fifth and last preambular paragraphs and operative paragraphs 2 and 6 of the draft resolution. The meeting rose at 1 p.m.