Summary record of the 57th meeting, held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Friday, 5 March 1993 : Commission on Human Rights, 49th session.
|UN Document Symbol||E/CN.4/1993/SR.57|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Minorities, Religious Freedom, Religious Intolerance, Slavery, Persons with Disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, Freedom of Expression, Forensic Medicine, Torture and Other Cruel Treatment, Disappearance of Persons, Arbitrary Detention, Detained Persons|
15 March 1993
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 57th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Friday, 5 March 1993, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. ENNACEUR (Tunisia)
Status of the International Covenants on Human Rights (continued)
Rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
Implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (continued)
Report of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities on its forty-fourth session (continued)
This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They
should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the
record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to
the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission
at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued
shortly after the end of the session.
Question of the human rights of all persons subjected to any form of detention
or imprisonment, in particular:
(a) Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(b) Status of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
(c) Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances;
(d) Question of a draft optional protocol to the Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.
STATUS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS (agenda item 17)
Draft resolution on the succession of States in respect of international human
rights treaties (E/CN.4/1993/L.25/Rev.1)
1. Mr. BOITCHENKO (Russian Federation), introducing the draft resolution on
behalf of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Germany
and Poland, said that most of the provisions of the draft resolution were
self-explanatory. In recent times, many States had collapsed and it was
important to maintain consistency by ensuring that the human rights
obligations they had undertaken were fulfilled by their successor States.
2. It was entirely logical that such States should be responsible for the
obligations entered into by their predecessors in order to ensure stability in
the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Needless to say,
official confirmation by successor States that they intended to fulfil the
obligations of the predecessor State was valuable in strengthening the
international legal system for human rights protection and in increasing the
efficiency of national human rights protection. During the preliminary
consultations, there had been general agreement on the vital importance of the
question and the sponsors hoped that the draft resolution could be adopted by
3. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.25/Rev.1 was adopted.
RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS AND LINGUISTIC
MINORITIES (agenda item 20) (continued) (E/CN.4/1993/L.36)
Draft resolution on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic,
religious and linguistic minorities (E/CN.4/1993/L.36)
4. Mr. ERMACORA (Austria), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of
its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Canada, Republic
of Korea and United States of America and the observers for Nicaragua and
Slovakia, said that the adoption by the General Assembly of the Declaration
on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and
Linguistic Minorities constituted a very important step in terms of
standard-setting for the promotion and protection of minorities. In view of
the growing frequency of conflicts concerning minorities in many countries,
and their often tragic consequences, the Declaration was extremely timely.
5. The main purpose of the draft resolution was to give effect to the
contents of the Declaration in the work of the Commission and its subsidiary
bodies. It called upon States to promote the principles of the Declaration
and urged treaty bodies and special representatives, special rapporteurs and
working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on the
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to give due regard
to it within their mandates. It also underlined the role of intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations in the promotion and protection of minority
6. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.36 was adopted.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF
INTOLERANCE AND OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF (agenda item 22)
Draft resolution on the implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination
of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief
7. Mr. SWIFT (Observer for Ireland), introducing the draft resolution on
behalf of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegation of Zambia,
said that the resolution reaffirmed that freedom of thought, conscience,
religion and belief was a human right derived from the inherent dignity of the
human person and guaranteed to all without discrimination. At the same time,
it expressed alarm that serious incidents of intolerance and discrimination on
the grounds of religion or belief were occurring in many parts of the world,
including acts of violence. It thus stressed the need for further efforts to
promote and protect the right to freedom of religion and belief and to
eliminate hatred, intolerance and discrimination, detailing a number of
actions that could be taken by States to that end.
8. The draft resolution also recognized that groups and individuals must
practise tolerance and refrain from discrimination if the aims of the
Declaration were to be fully realized. It set out ways and means for the
United Nations system to further the aims of the Declaration, through its
promotional and public information activities and its programme of advisory
services and also encouraged Governments to give serious consideration to
inviting the Special Rapporteur to visit their countries so as to enable him
to fulfil his mandate even more effectively.
9. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.50/Rev.1 was adopted.
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMISSION ON PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION
OF MINORITIES ON ITS FORTY-FOURTH SESSION (agenda item 19) (continued)
(E/CN.4/1993/L.58-L.60, L.65, L.66 and L.67; E/CN.4/1993/2-
E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/58, chapter I, section B, draft decisions 1, 2, 9, 10
Draft resolution on the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary
Forms of Slavery (E/CN.4/1993/L.58)
10. Mr. PETERS (Netherlands), introducing the draft resolution on behalf
of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Colombia and
Costa Rica, said that the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary
Forms of Slavery was governed by a mandate deriving from General Assembly
resolution 46/122 and was used essentially to provide assistance to victims
of slavery and to enable representatives of non-governmental organizations
to attend sessions of the Working Group on contemporary forms of slavery.
11. A new element in the draft resolution was to be found in operative
paragraph 1, which welcomed the recent appointment by the Secretary-General of
a Board of Trustees. The first meeting of the Board was to be held at the end
of March 1993, when the Fund could begin to operate. The number of donors was
so far very limited and it was to be hoped that more contributions would be
12. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.58 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of
Slavery of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection
of Minorities (E/CN.4/1993/L.59)
13. Mr. PETERS (Netherlands), introducing the draft resolution on behalf
of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Colombia,
Costa Rica, Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Republic of Korea and the
observers for Belgium, Norway and the Philippines, said that the draft
resolution recalled the provisions of the main relevant conventions and took
note of the report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
(E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/34). The only new element was in operative paragraph 12,
which recommended that Governments should avail themselves of the possibility
of requesting assistance under the United Nations programme of advisory
services in the field of human rights and of the technical assistance
programmes of the specialized agencies. Otherwise, the draft resolution was
broadly similar to those adopted in previous years and the sponsors hoped that
it could be adopted by consensus.
14. Mr. KHOURY (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation was unable to
accept operative paragraph 4 of the draft resolution, since it believed that
no Government should have to explain in writing why it could not accede to a
15. Mr. PETERS (Netherlands) said that States were only being invited to
provide explanations and there was no element of compulsion. In any case, the
provision in question had appeared in the resolutions adopted at the three
previous sessions. Indeed, his own country was not a party to all the
conventions and had thus explained its position in writing two years
16. Mr. ALFONSO MARTINEZ (Cuba) said that he understood the concern expressed
by the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic and felt that it could be
addressed by inserting the words "if they so wished" after the words "in
writing", thereby making it clear that the decision rested with the States in
17. Mr. PETERS (Netherlands) said that the sponsors were willing to accept
the amendment proposed by the representative of Cuba.
18. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.59, as amended, was adopted.
Draft resolution on the work of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (E/CN.4/1993/L.60)
19. Mr. ROSENGARTEN (Germany), introducing the draft resolution on behalf
of its sponsors, recalled that Commission resolution 1992/66 had been the
outcome of long and serious discussions within both the Sub-Commission and
the Commission, prompted by the widely-held view that the working methods of
the Sub-Commission needed to be improved and its coordination with the
Commission strengthened. It was therefore particularly gratifying that the
Sub-Commission had taken up most of the suggestions put forward in the
Commission resolution, and the 17 guidelines which the Sub-Commission had set
out in its own resolution 1992/8 constituted an extremely important step in
the right direction, as recognized in operative paragraphs 3 and 4 of the
20. Although the draft resolution did not revert to the proposals not taken
up by the Sub-Commission in its guidelines, it did not preclude further
discussion in the Sub-Commission on its work. The sponsors had accepted a
suggestion made by the Chairman of the Sub-Commission that the words "research
and the" should be deleted in operative paragraph 6. It was the hope of the
sponsors that the draft resolution could be adopted by consensus.
21. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the delegations of the
Republic of Korea, Romania and the United States of America had joined the
sponsors of the draft resolution, while the delegation of France had withdrawn
22. Mr. ALFONSO MARTINEZ (Cuba) said that his delegation welcomed the
understanding and good will shown during the negotiations and felt that the
draft resolution represented a positive contribution to mutual understanding,
cooperation and respect in relations between the Sub-Commission and the
Commission. As a member of the Sub-Commission, he appreciated the fruitful
dialogue that had been held.
23. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.60, as orally revised, was adopted.
24. Mr. TABATABAEE (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation was
concerned at the duplication and waste of resources inherent in the work of
the Sub-Commission and had wanted that concern to be reflected in the draft
resolution. It felt that the work of the Sub-Commission should be further
rationalized and, had a vote been taken on the draft resolution, it would have
Draft resolution on human rights and disability (E/CN.4/1993/R.65)
25. Mr. MARANTZ (Canada), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of
its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Austria, Bulgaria
and Costa Rica and the observers for El Salvador, Ireland, Italy and
the Philippines said that the purpose of the resolution was to continue
the development of processes for addressing the rights of persons with
disabilities, whose numbers increased every year. The resolution recaptured
the start the Commission had made in 1992; if some provisions were new, it was
because they reflected action taken and set the stage for action to come.
26. A sound foundation of knowledge and familiarity with the subject-matter
was necessary. The Committee on Social Development was already addressing the
policy and programme needs of persons with disabilities and it was expected
that the continuation of processes for addressing issues relating to
disabilities, combined with the conclusions of the World Conference on Human
Rights, would result in proposals for Governments which would be a challenge
in the years to come.
27. There was no doubt that the attention of Governments had been seized.
Seventy-three ministers and senior representatives had attended the
October 1992 meeting in Canada, 16 ministers from all regions of the world
composed the Working Group of Ministers on Disability and the draft resolution
itself had attracted the broadest sponsorship.
28. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/R.65 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the International Year of the Worldâs Indigenous
People, 1993 (E/CN.4/1993/L.66)
29. Mr. MARANTZ (Canada), speaking on behalf of the sponsors of the draft
resolution, which had been joined by the delegations of Chile, Finland,
Netherlands and Nigeria and the observer for the Philippines, said that the
purpose of the resolution was to strengthen international cooperation to
resolve the problems faced by indigenous communities.
30. He drew the Commissionâs attention to two revisions of a technical
nature, already contained in the text, designed to add precision to the
original text. Operative paragraph 4 had been revised to welcome a decision
taken in the General Assembly, while the original operative paragraph 10 had
been moved to precede operative paragraph 5 for the same reason and an
implementation clause had been added, consistent with the conclusions
31. The sponsors had paid careful attention to the new ideas put forward by
indigenous organizations. It was only natural that, in the International
Year, the representatives of indigenous peoples should have an opportunity to
voice their concerns about their situations and their future at the World
Conference on Human Rights. Operative paragraph 8 addressed that view while
acknowledging that the authority for responding remained vested in the
Preparatory Committee for the World Conference.
32. Operative paragraph 11 responded to the request by General Assembly
resolution 47/75 to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and the
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,
to complete their consideration of the draft universal declaration of
indigenous rights at their forthcoming sessions.
33. The sponsors were very much aware that the Working Group had an important
mandate to review developments pertaining to the promotion and protection of
the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people. His own
Government considered that the Working Group had contributed greatly to the
progress of indigenous aspirations.
34. He proposed a minor revision to operative paragraph 11, with the
insertion of "to make its best efforts" after the words "Indigenous
Populations". He further proposed the addition of an extra operative
paragraph, to be numbered paragraph 2, to read: "Recommends to all thematic
special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working
groups to pay particular attention, within the framework of their mandates, to
the situation of indigenous people." The subsequent operative paragraphs
would be renumbered accordingly.
35. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.66, as orally revised, was adopted.
Draft resolution on the report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations
of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
36. Mr. MARANTZ (Canada), speaking on behalf of the sponsors of the draft
resolution, which had been joined by the delegations of Brazil, Chile,
Finland, Netherlands and Nigeria, said that the purpose of the resolution was
to renew the mandate of the Working Group to enable it to consider principles
pertinent to the development of standards relating to indigenous rights.
37. Most of the changes in the text of the 1992 resolution represented an
updating or were designed to contribute to the effectiveness of the Working
Group, although the last preambular paragraph and operative paragraph 10
represented a major development.
38. The second reading of the draft declaration was to be completed at
the Working Groupâs eleventh session in 1993. The sponsors recognized the
complexity of the issues and the diversity of opinion on them, and suggested
a minor change to operative paragraph 10, namely, the insertion of "to make
its best efforts" immediately after "Indigenous Populations" in the first
line. In the light of the progress made, it was appropriate that the
General Assembly should request the completion of the draft universal
declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples in the Working Group.
39. The sponsors of the draft resolution were very much aware that the
Working Group had an important mandate to review developments pertaining to
the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of
indigenous peoples. His own Government supported that view and considered
that no option for the mandate of the Working Group should be excluded.
40. Mr. PEREZ NOVOA (Cuba) expressed his delegationâs appreciation of the
sponsorsâ flexibility during the negotiations on the draft resolution. He
suggested that the change made to operative paragraph 10 might also usefully
be introduced into operative paragraph 6 (a).
41. Mr. MARANTZ (Canada) accepted that suggestion.
42. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.67, as orally revised, was adopted without
43. The CHAIRMAN, referring to the draft decisions submitted to the
Commission by the Sub-Commission (E/CN.4/1993/2, chap. I, sect. B), said that
draft decision 1 on the report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of
Slavery would be considered under agenda item 24 and draft decision 2, on
detention on Bougainville, under item 12. Draft decision 9 on a draft
universal declaration on indigenous peoples and draft decision 10 on the
International Year for the Worldâs Indigenous People had become superfluous
following the adoption of resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.66.
Draft decision 13 on a study on treaties, agreements and other constructive
arrangements between States and indigenous populations
44. Draft decision 13 was adopted.
45. Mr. HESSEL (France) said, with reference to draft
resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.67 and more particularly to the statement
contained in the last preambular paragraph to the effect that in the
future the Working Groupâs working languages would be English and Spanish
only, that, while his delegation understood that the Working Group, of which
his delegation was not a part, was trying to make rapid progress, it
regretted that such a decision had been taken.
46. Mr. WEISSBRODT (United States of America) said that his delegation had
been pleased to join the consensus on all the draft resolutions just adopted
and to support the work of the Sub-Commission, particularly the study on the
ongoing monitoring of states of emergency, the continuing study of the right
to a fair trial and the important study on the impartiality of the judiciary.
Those studies would have a genuine impact in discouraging Governments from
resorting to states of emergency during which gross human rights violations
often occurred and in providing the conditions for a fair trial and an
47. His delegationâs support for the Sub-Commissionâs efforts were
nevertheless tempered by a number of concerns. The Sub-Commissionâs
guidelines limited studies to 13 at any one time; that should help to focus
the work on matters that really needed inquiry, for example, the study on
minorities. Other studies should have a lower priority as a result. The
Sub-Commission should also endeavour to reassess its work to see what concrete
impact it was having in the protection of human rights in the world. Its
studies should focus impartially on problems worldwide and not target specific
areas, since while certain problems might be more frequent in such areas,
neither the Sub-Commission nor the Commission should be blind to human rights
violations wherever they occurred.
48. His delegation had supported draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.60 on the
work of the Sub-Commission and welcomed the progress made in reforming its
methods of work; it supported the paragraph reaffirming the 1992 text
concerning the Sub-Commissionâs positive role in reviewing country situations.
His delegation had also been pleased that there were no financial implications
relating to that draft resolution.
49. With reference to the resolutions concerning the Working Group on
Indigenous Populations, his delegation supported the efforts to ensure
that indigenous populations had the right to exercise their human rights
freely. The draft declaration would, however, need more consideration; the
Sub-Commissionâs study on treaties relating to indigenous peoples would be
useful in that regard and should be completed by 1994.
50. His delegation had joined the consensus on draft
resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.66 and had been pleased by the additional
attention paid to indigenous populations, although it considered that
the emphasis on certain aspects of human rights during the International
Year for the Worldâs Indigenous People had been misplaced and that more
attention needed to be given to indigenous rights.
51. Mr. OYARCE (Chile), speaking with reference to draft
resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.67, said that it was his delegationâs
understanding that the Working Group would do everything in its power to
complete the draft declaration. Once that was done, the Working Group
would be required to continue analysing the assessment process and progress
in indigenous matters within the United Nations system in order to carry out
its mandate to the full.
52. Mrs. RUESTA (Venezuela), speaking with reference to draft
resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.60, said that, although the draft resolution was
a balanced one, operative paragraph 4 had caused her delegation some problems;
it had joined the consensus, but only welcomed the guidelines referred to in
operative paragraph 4 and had not actually approved them, since they needed
QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION
OR IMPRISONMENT, IN PARTICULAR:
(a) TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
(b) STATUS OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR
DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
(c) QUESTION OF ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES
(d) QUESTION OF A DRAFT OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE
AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
(agenda item 10) (continued) (E/CN.4/1993/L.46/Rev.1, L.48, L.49, L.52, L.53
and L.55-L.57; E/CN.4/1993/61, 63, 64; E/CN.4/1993/2-E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992,
chap. I, sect. A, draft resolutions IV, V, VI and VIII, chap. I, sect. B,
draft decisions 3, 8 and 11)
Draft resolution on human rights in the administration of justice
53. Mr. MBURU (Kenya), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its
sponsors, which had been joined by the delegation of the Sudan and the
observer for Swaziland, said that the draft resolution had taken into account
Commission resolutions regarding assistance in the field of the administration
of justice and regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human
rights. It had also taken account of the relevant concerns expressed at the
regional meeting for Africa, preparatory to the World Conference on Human
Rights, and the thirty-second session of the Asian African Legal Consultative
Committee which had met in January 1993.
54. The administration of justice not only occupied a central role in the
promotion and protection of human rights but also touched upon the rights
and fundamental freedoms of people on an almost day-to-day basis. In the
developing world, the police were insufficiently trained, ill-equipped, poorly
paid and often lacked the capacity for proper investigation. Similarly, the
judiciary was not adequately remunerated, court-houses were generally far
removed from rural populations, record-keeping of proceedings was archaic,
prison conditions did not meet the minimum standards, legal aid and advisory
services were not available to the poor, and the offices of those responsible
for advising Governments on legal matters suffered from a shortage of
55. The draft resolution thus reaffirmed that the rule of law and the
administration of justice were prerequisites for sustainable economic and
social development. In its preambular paragraphs, it took cognizance of the
fundamental principles of the indivisibility and interdependence of human
rights and fundamental freedoms and emphasized the primary role of the
Government in ensuring their respect and protection. The sponsors of the
draft resolution were disturbed that the silent majority of the people were
the real victims of the inadequacies of the administration of justice and had,
on a number of occasions, expressed their readiness to make more resources
available for that purpose. Operative paragraphs 4 to 7 thus called for the
strengthening of national and regional institutions concerned with the
administration of justice.
56. In recognition of the crucial role that the international community
had always played and the limited resources at the disposal of developing
countries, operative paragraphs 8 and 9 of the draft resolution made a
strong appeal to the international community for assistance and to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations to consider favourably any requests
for assistance in that regard.
57. Mr. HESSEL (France) said that the word "contexts" in the seventh
preambular paragraph had been mistranslated into French as "particularitÃ©s".
58. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.46/Rev.1 was adopted without a vote.
Draft resolution on the right to freedom of opinion and expression
59. Ms. PARK (Canada), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its
sponsors, said that it reflected the thrust of resolutions adopted by the
Commission in previous years by consensus. The right to freedom of opinion
and expression was central to promoting both political rights and development
and was an essential component of human dignity. Appointing a special
rapporteur would demonstrate the Commissionâs continuing determination
to protect that basic human right.
60. After consultations with interested delegations and with a view to
reaching a consensus, the sponsors wished to make the following technical
changes to the draft resolution: in the first and second lines of the eighth
preambular paragraph the words "to the protection of the right to freedom of
opinion and expression" should be deleted, while, in the fifth line of the
same paragraph, the words "has finished the first reading and" should be added
after the words "working group". In the third line of operative paragraph 9,
the word "particular" should be deleted; in the second line of operative
paragraph 12 the word "whenever" should be replaced by "wherever"; and in the
fifth line of the same paragraph, the words "as affirmed in the Universal
Declaration and the Covenant" should be inserted after the word "opinion".
At the end of operative paragraph 13, the words "as affirmed in the Universal
Declaration and the Covenant" should be added and, in the fifth line of
operative paragraph 18, the words "Governments concerned" should be replaced
by "the Commission".
61. The sponsors hoped that those changes would enable the draft resolution to
be adopted by consensus.
62. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the delegations of
Cyprus, Gambia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Uruguay
and Zambia and the observers for Hungary and Switzerland had joined the list
63. Mr. ZHANG Yishan (China) said that a common understanding had been
reached in the Commission that there were too many special rapporteurs and
that the system should be rationalized, but the draft resolution proposed to
appoint yet another special rapporteur. Moreover, the Commissionâs practice
lacked balance, because the special rapporteurs ignored economic, social and
64. As the Commission would be restructured after the World Conference on
Human Rights, any appointment of a special rapporteur should be postponed
until after the Conference. Nevertheless, in view of the wishes of most
delegations, his own would join the consensus on the draft resolution.
65. Mr. KHOURY (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the International Covenants
on Human Rights were both of equal importance and should therefore receive
equal attention, yet most special rapporteurs and working groups focused on
only one of the two instruments. The Conference should endeavour to overcome
66. Mr. ALFONSO MARTINEZ (Cuba) said that his delegation would have preferred
further consultations with the sponsors so as to improve the text of the draft
resolution. It was most unfortunate that it had not become available in all
languages at the same time.
67. In his delegationâs view, there was an inconsistency between operative
paragraphs 1 and 2, which spoke of detention "in many parts of the world", and
operative paragraph 6, which referred more reasonably to the fact that such
detention occurred in "all parts of the world". For consistencyâs sake, the
former paragraphs should be brought into line with the latter. Furthermore,
the words "where appropriate" should be added to all references in the draft
resolution to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to
allow for the fact that not all States were parties to that instrument.
68. Mr. TABATABAEE (Islamic Republic of Iran) said he agreed with the
representatives of China, the Syrian Arab Republic and Cuba. His delegation
was concerned about certain formulations in the text. It had received the
text quite late, and would have liked to have had more time to consider it.
69. Mr. KHAN (Pakistan) said that his delegation had reservations about
operative paragraph 11. The proliferation of special rapporteurs was a matter
of deep concern to his Government.
70. Mr. HERRÃN-LIMA (Canada) said, with reference to the remarks made by the
representative of Cuba, that the wording of operative paragraphs 1, 2 and 6
had been taken from the resolution on the subject adopted by the Commission
in 1992 by consensus. As for the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, it was well-known that certain States had not yet acceded
to that instrument and, consequently, under international law, were not
covered by it.
71. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.48, as orally revised, was adopted without
Draft resolution on human rights and forensic science (E/CN.4/1993/L.49)
72. Mr. BOITCHENKO (Russian Federation), introducing the draft resolution
on behalf of its sponsors, said that its purpose was to help put an end
to serious human rights violations in connection with extrajudicial
executions, involuntary disappearances, torture, etc. Experience in recent
years had shown that, for lack of trained specialists, it was difficult for
international organizations and national institutions to ensure the
administration of justice. In view of the importance of the subject and
the need for international cooperation, his delegation hoped that the
draft resolution would enjoy unanimous support.
73. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that operative paragraphs 2
and 3 of the draft resolution would entail an estimated cost of US$ 71,500;
the statement of financial implications would be circulated as
74. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.49 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the question of a draft optional protocol to the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (E/CN.4/1993/L.52)
75. Mr. RODRIGUEZ ALPIZAR (Costa Rica), introducing the draft resolution
on behalf of its sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of
Australia, Romania and the United States of America and the observer for
the Dominican Republic, reviewed the salient points of the text. As the
open-ended working group had not yet formulated its conclusions, the
Commission would request it to meet between sessions for a period of two
weeks prior to the fiftieth session of the Commission in order to continue
its work and submit a report to the Commission.
76. Mr. KHOURY (Syrian Arab Republic) said he disagreed with the sixth
preambular paragraph; periodic visits did not constitute the fundamental
motivation for the continuation of the efforts of the working group.
77. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.52 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the question of enforced or involuntary disappearances
78. Mr. HESSEL (France), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its
sponsors, which had been joined by the delegations of Gambia, Romania and the
United States of America and the observers for Cameroon and the Philippines,
reviewed its main points. There was a small change to be made: the words
"and to collaborate closely with the Governments concerned to find and
identify those children" should be inserted at the end of operative
79. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.53 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the question of arbitrary detention (E/CN.4/1993/L.55)
80. Mr. HESSEL (France), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its
sponsors, recalled that the Chairman of the Commission had himself submitted
resolution 1991/42 two years previously, establishing a Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention. In 1992, the Commission had welcomed the very prompt
establishment of the Working Group, consisting of five outstanding experts
from all parts of the world. The purpose of the current draft resolution was
to take note of the Working Groupâs first substantial report (E/CN.4/1993/24).
81. The five experts had carried out their task with intelligence and
conscientiousness, stressing three aspects of their work: cooperation with
all parties concerned in the cases brought to their attention; coordination
with all relevant existing bodies; and the prevention of problems connected
with the arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
82. The experts had, however, to be supported in their efforts to intensify
their dialogue with States. That was the object of the draft resolution,
in which all the new paragraphs reflected recommendations contained in the
report and were designed either to secure the greatest objectivity for the
Working Group, to strengthen its coordination with other bodies, or to pursue
and reinforce its dialogue with States, in particular by referring to the
possibility of visits to countries which would like to receive it. The
delegations of Germany, Tunisia and the United States of America and the
observers for Norway and the Philippines wished to be added to the list
83. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that, in addition to the
information given in the original statement of financial implications on
the occasion of the establishment of the Working Group, the funds required
to cover field missions in 1993 would amount to US$ 192,800.
84. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.55 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the status of the Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (E/CN.4/1993/L.56)
85. Mr. SORMUNEN (Finland), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of
its sponsors, told the Commission that, as on 10 December 1992, 71 States had
ratified and another 16 had signed the Convention against Torture. The draft
resolution before the Commission urged all those States which had not yet done
so to become parties to the Convention. The important functions of the
Committee against Torture were examined, and stress was laid on the request
that it should be provided with adequate staff and other resources in the
Centre for Human Rights.
86. The draft resolution also encouraged the States parties to accept
the amendments to articles 17 and 18 of the Convention enabling members of
the Committee to receive emoluments from the United Nations regular budget.
Finally, the importance of the observance by States parties of their financial
obligations under the Convention was re-emphasized.
87. The delegations of Canada, Costa Rica and Venezuela wished to be added to
the list of sponsors, while the delegation of the United States of America
wished to withdraw.
88. The draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.56 was adopted.
Draft resolution on the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture
89. Mr. SORMUNEN (Finland), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its
sponsors, said that the text was based on the conviction that the campaign
against torture included the provision of assistance to the victims of torture
and to their families. The Voluntary Fund had been established to serve that
90. To be able to respond to the increasing number of requests for
assistance, the Fund needed further contributions on a regular basis. In
addition, sufficient staff and computer equipment were needed in the Centre
for Human Rights to guarantee the Fundâs effective functioning. Consequently,
the draft resolution requested that those needs be met.
91. At the same time, appreciation was extended to those already contributing
to the Fund. The delegations of Gambia and Tunisia and the observer for
Cameroon wished to be added to the list of sponsors.
92. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.56 was adopted.
Draft resolution on staff members of the United Nations and of the specialized
agencies in detention (E/CN.4/1993/L.61)
93. Mr. CABRAL (Portugal), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of
its sponsors, said that the question of respect for the human rights and the
privileges and immunities of United Nations staff members must continue to be
of the utmost importance of the Commission, which had special responsibilities
on that issue not only for humanitarian reasons but also because an important
part of its work was based on information obtained in loco by working groups,
special rapporteurs, experts and all the other staff members that supported
their activities. The objectivity and impartiality of the reports submitted
to the Commission were incompatible with any kind of pressure upon those
94. The text before the Commission followed the same lines as that it had
adopted in 1992, but contained some new elements in order to take account of
developments that had occurred in the interim. In that context, he drew
attention to operative paragraph 1, which took note with interest of the
updated report of the Secretary-General, to operative paragraph 2, which
took note of the final report submitted to the Sub-Commission by its
Special Rapporteur, to whom the sponsors wished to pay special tribute, and
to operative paragraph 3, which requested the Secretary-General to take steps
aimed at ensuring the application of the recommendations contained in her
report. On the negative side, the new sixth preliminary paragraph expressed
grave concern that a significant number of United Nations staff members had
been killed since January 1992.
95. He wished to propose a very small oral revision which should not cause
difficulty to any delegation. In the second line of operative paragraph 5,
the sponsors would like to insert the word "security" after the words "human
rights". If the draft resolution were adopted, the Commission would not need
to take action on draft resolution IV referred to it by the Sub-Commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The delegations of
Australia, Germany and the Republic of Korea and the observers for Cameroon
and Slovakia wished to be added to the list of sponsors.
96. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.61, as orally revised, was adopted.
Draft resolution on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
97. Mr. REYN (Observer for Belgium), introducing the draft resolution on
behalf of its sponsors, said that recourse to torture constituted one of the
most serious violations of human rights and must be universally condemned.
The principle of the prohibition of torture continued to be flouted in far too
many countries. The sponsors attached particular importance to the work of
the Special Rapporteur on questions relevant to torture and were concerned to
initiate an open dialogue with States to invite them to take the necessary
measures to put an end to it.
98. The preamble recalled the Commissionâs interest in the eradication of
torture and listed the various instruments available to the international
community to attain that objective. The operative part was based on the
contents of Commission resolution 1992/32 and on the recommendations contained
in the Special Rapporteurâs report (E/CN.4/1993/26).
99. The sponsors wished to make some technical revisions concerning the
designation of a new Special Rapporteur. A new operative paragraph 23 should
be inserted, reading "Takes note with regret of the resignation of
Mr. Kooijmans as Special Rapporteur and expresses its gratitude to him for the
manner in which he has discharged his functions". A new operative
paragraph 24 would read: "Requests the Chairman of the Commission, after
consulting with the Bureau, to appoint an individual of recognized
international standing as a Special Rapporteur". The delegations of the
United States of America and the observers for the Philippines and Slovakia
wished to be added to the list of sponsors.
100. Mr. PÃREZ NOVOA thanked the sponsors for the flexibility and
understanding they had shown in meeting some of the concerns expressed by his
delegation with respect to the draft resolution.
101. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.63, as orally revised, was adopted.
Draft resolution on human rights in the administration of justice
102. Mr. THEUERMANN (Austria), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of
its sponsors, said that the text followed similar resolutions on the subject
adopted annually by the Commission on Human Rights and biennially by the
General Assembly. It reaffirmed the importance of the full and effective
implementation of all United Nations standards in the administration of
justice and reiterated the call to all Member States to spare no efforts in
103. It called upon the Commissionâs subsidiary bodies to give special
attention to questions relating to the effective protection of human rights
in the administration of justice and stressed the desirability of providing
States with assistance, in particular under the advisory services programme.
Finally, it referred to the need for enhanced cooperation between the
Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
104. The Commission on Human Rights had just adopted another resolution
on human rights in the administration of justice (E/CN.4/1993/L.46) with
particular reference to Africa and other developing countries. Whereas that
text, in following up the respective conclusions of the Regional Meeting for
Africa of the World Conference on Human Rights dealt with the administration
of justice especially in Africa and other developing countries and with the
need for assistance by the international community in that context, the draft
resolution currently before the Commission dealt with those questions in a
more general and universal manner, addressing in the first instance the
United Nations system itself.
105. The two texts were both important, fully compatible and mutually
reinforcing. The observers for Norway and Slovakia wished to be added to the
list of sponsors.
106. Draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.64 was adopted.
107. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to the draft resolutions submitted to the
Commission by the Sub-Commission including No. IV entitled "Question of human
rights and states of emergency", No. V entitled "Question of the impunity of
perpetrators of violations of human rights", and No. VIII entitled
"Independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors and the
independence of lawyers" (E/CN.4/1993/2-E/CN.4/Sub.2/1992/58, chap. I,
sect. A). Draft resolution No. VI entitled "Violation of the human rights of
staff members of the United Nations system and other persons acting under the
authority of the United Nations" had become redundant, since the Commission
had already adopted draft resolution E/CN.4/1993/L.61.
Draft resolution IV
108. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the financial
implications would amount to US$ 16,375, to enable the Special Rapporteur to
travel to Geneva and to be assisted by a specialist for a period of three
109. Draft resolution IV was adopted.
Draft resolution V
110. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the estimated amount
needed to implement that draft resolution would be approximately US$ 20,100
for 1993 and US$ 20,500 for 1994, representing travel for the Special
Rapporteurs for consultations and expert assistance for the equivalent of
111. Draft resolution V was adopted.
Draft resolution VIII
112. Mr. PACE (Secretary of the Commission) said that the estimated sum needed
to implement the draft resolution would be US$ 15,400 for 1993 to facilitate
the travel of the Special Rapporteur for consultations with the Centre for
Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna and for consultancy
support in the amount of US$ 10,200.
113. Draft resolution VIII was adopted.
114. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to draft decisions No. 3 entitled "Right to a
fair trial", No. 8 entitled "The right to restitution, compensation and
rehabilitation for victims of gross violations of human rights and fundamental
freedoms" and No. 11 entitled "Study of the issue of the privatization of
prisons" recommended to the Commission by the Sub-Commission and contained in
chapter I, section B of the same document.
115. Draft decisions 3, 8 and 11 were adopted.
The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.