Assembly Adopts Declaration on Protection and Welfare of Children; Also Acts on Diplomats' Safety, Host Country Relations

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The General Assembly on 3 December adopted a Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, which proclaims that every State should give a high priority to family and child welfare and that child welfare depends upon good family welfare. Resolution 41/85 containing the text of the 24-article Declaration was adopted without a vote.

The Assembly in 1986 adopted 15 resolutions and 3 decisions on the recommendation of its Sixth Committee (Legal), covering a wide variety of legal issues. Among other things, it strongly condemned acts of violence against diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, as well as against missions and representatives to international intergovernmental organizations and officials of such organizations, and urged States to take all necessary measures to ensure effectively the protection, security and safety of all diplomatic and consular missions and representatives.

In connection with the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, the Assembly strongly condemned "criminal acts" violating the security of missions accredited to the United Nations and the safety of their personnel and urged the host country, the United States, to take all necessary measures to prevent any such acts, including harassment and activities violating the security of missions and the safety of their personnel.

The Assembly decided that the Special Committee on Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Principle of Non-Use of Force in International Relations should complete a draft declaration on the non-use of force in international relations.

The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on Strengthening of the Role of the Organization was requested to accord priority in 1987 to the question of maintenance of international peace and security in all its aspects in order to strengthen the role of the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, and to enable it to discharge fully its responsibilities under the Charter.

The Assembly again urged all States to observe and promote in good faith the provisions of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes. The International Law Commission was invited to continue its work on elaboration of a draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind. The Assembly also welcomed the adoption, on 20 March 1986, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations, and considered that the Convention "should be signed on behalf of the United Nations".

Other texts approved related to a proposed international convention against the recruitment and training of mercenaries, the progressive development of principles and norms of international law relating to a new international economic order, development and strengthening of good-neighbourliness between States, the work of the International Law Commission and of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the observer status of national liberation movements, the status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, a draft body of principles for the protection of all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment, and draft standard rules for United Nations conferences.

Protection of children: In adopting the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally by resolution 41/85, the Assembly noted with appreciation the work done on the question in both its Third and Legal Committees, as well as the joint efforts of Member States representing different legal systems, during the consultations held at Headquarters in September 1985 and early in the forty-first session. …