THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE
PRINCIPLE OF NON-INTERVENTION IN
INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF STATES
Resolution adopted by the Institute of International Law at its Santiago de Compostela session, on 13 September 1989
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: In several respects, the present resolution is of direct concern to the laws of armed conflicts. First, the “frequent gross violations of human rights” to which the resolution refers (see preamble, paragraph 4) often also constitute violations of the laws of armed conflict. Second, Article 1, paragraph 2, calls upon states to ensure the effective protection of human rights throughout the world in a similar way as Article 1, common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, imposes a duty upon states to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. Activities to this end vis-à-vis other states cannot be considered an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of these states (see also Article 5, paragraph 1). Finally, Article 5 directly touches humanitarian law by regulating the offer by a state, an international organization and the ICRC of food and medical supplies to a state in whose territory the life or health of the population is seriously threatened. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 32 in favour and 4 abstentions (Annuaire de l'Institut de Droit international, Vol. 63-II, 1990, pp. 338-345).
AUTHENTIC TEXT: French and English. The text below is reproduced from Annuaire de l'Institut de droit international, Vol. 63-11, 1990, pp. 338-345.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Annuaire de l'Institut de droit international, Vol. 63-11, 1990, pp. 338-345 (Engl., French); Institute of International Law, Table of Adopted Resolutions (1957-1991), Paris, Pedone, 1992, pp. 206-213 (Engl., French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 953-955 (French).
The Institute of International Law,
Recalling its Declarations of New York (1929) on “International Human Rights” and of Lausanne (1947) on “The Fundamental Human Rights as a Basis for Restoring International Law” as well as its Resolutions of Oslo (1932) and Aix-en-Provence (1954) on “The Determination of the 'Reserved Domain' and its Effects”;
That the protection of human rights as a guarantee of the physical and moral integrity and of the fundamental freedom of every person has been given expression in both the constitutional systems of States and in the international legal system, especially in the charters and constituent instruments of international organizations;
That the members of the United Nations have undertaken to ensure, in co-operation with the Organization, universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and that the General Assembly, recognizing that a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the highest importance for the full realization of this undertaking, has adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948;