Human Rights Issues

Article excerpt

Human Rights Issues

Each year, a major share of the Third Committee's work is devoted to human rights matters, ranging from institutional arrangements, to drafting of international instruments, to alleged violations of human rights in specific countries.

Two reports before it in 1983 deal with the item on alternative approaches and ways and means within the United Nations system for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In 1965, Costa Rica proposed the creation of a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The proposal has been kept under study by the Commission on Human Rights.

In 1977, the Assembly formulated concepts to be taken into account in future human rights work in the United Nations system and asked the Commission to undertake an over-all analysis of alternative approaches within that system. Subsequently the Assembly asked the Commission to continue its analysis, taking into account views expressed by States during debates, including the renewed proposal that a post of High Commissioner be created.

In 1982, the Assembly asked the Commission to continue the analysis of alternative approaches. It declared the right to development to be an inalienable human right and asked the Commission to take measures to promote that right. It also urged States to co-operate with the Commission in its study of violations in any part of the world and requested it to continue efforts to improve the capacity of the United Nations system to take urgent action in cases of serious human rights violations.

In 1981, the Secretary-General had submitted to the Assembly a study, synthesizing relevant information available within the United Nations system, on the nature and extent to which the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms was affected by current international conditions.

At the thirty-eighth session, the Third Committee examined, in light of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an updated study on the overview of trends in the field of human rights, with emphasis on the problems still being encountered. …