Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 15:00 GMT

The right of peoples and nations to self-determination

Publisher UN General Assembly
Author UN General Assembly
Publication Date 16 December 1952
Citation / Document Symbol A/RES/637
Reference Seventh session
Cite as UN General Assembly, The right of peoples and nations to self-determination, 16 December 1952, A/RES/637, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f0791c.html [accessed 15 December 2017]

VII. RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED ON THE REPORTS OF THE THIRD COMMITTEE
637. The right of peoples and nations to self-determination

A

Whereas the right of peoples and nations to self-determination is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of all fundamental human rights,

Whereas the Charter of the United Nations, under Articles 1 and 55, aims to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the equal rights and self-determination of peoples in order to strengthen universal peace,

Whereas the Charter of the United Nations recognizes that certain Members of the United Nations are responsible for the administration of Territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government, and affirms the principles which should guide them,

Whereas every Member of the United Nations, in conformity with the Charter, should respect the maintenance of the right of self-determination in other States,

The General Assembly recommends that:

1. The States Members of the United Nations shall uphold the principle of self-determination of all peoples and nations;

2. The States Members of the United Nations shall recognize and promote the realization of the right of self-determination of the peoples of Non-Self -Governing and Trust Territories who are under their administration and shall facilitate the exercise of this right by the peoples of such Territories according to the principles and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations in regard to each Territory and to the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, the wishes of the people being ascertained through plebiscites or other recognized democratic means, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations;

3. The States Members of the United Nations responsible for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories shall take practical steps, pending the realization of the right of self-determination and in preparation thereof, to ensure the direct participation of the indigenous populations in the legislative and executive organs of government of those Territories, and to prepare them for complete self-government or independence.

403rd plenary meeting,
16 December 1952.

B

The General Assembly,

Considering that one of the conditions necessary to facilitate United Nations action to promote respect for the right of self -determination of peoples and nations, in particular with regard to the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, is that the competent organs of the United Nations should be in possession of official information on the government of these Territories,

Recalling its resolution 144 (II) of 3 November 1947 in which it declared that the voluntary transmission of such information was entirely in conformity with the spirit of Article 73 of the Charter, and should therefore be encouraged,

Recalling its resolution 327 (IV) of 2 December 1949 in which it expressed the hope that such of the Members of the United Nations as had not done so might voluntarily include details on the government of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the information transmitted by them under Article 73 e of the Charter,

Considering that at the present time such information has not yet been furnished in respect of a large number of Non-Self -Governing Territories,

1. Recommends States Members of the United Nations responsible for the administration of Non-Self-Governing Territories voluntarily to include in the information transmitted by them under Article 73 e of the Charter details regarding the extent to which the right of peoples and nations to self-determination is exercised by the peoples of those Territories, and in particular regarding their political progress and the measures taken to develop their capacity for self-administration, to satisfy their political aspirations and to promote the progressive development of their free political institutions;

2. Decides to place the present resolution on the agenda of the Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories for its next session in 1953.

403rd plenary meeting,
16 December 1952.

C

The General Assembly,

Considering that it is necessary to continue the study of ways and means of ensuring international respect for the right of peoples to self -determination,

Considering that the recommendations it has adopted at its seventh session do not represent the only steps that can be taken to promote respect for such right,

1. Requests the Economic and Social Council to ask the Commission on Human Rights to continue preparing recommendations concerning international respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, and particularly recommendations relating to the steps which might be taken, within the limits of their resources and competence, by the various organs of the United Nations and the specialized agencies to develop international respect for the right of peoples to self-determination;

2. Requests the Commission on Human Rights to submit through the Economic and Social Council its recommendations to the General Assembly.

403rd plenary meeting,
16 December 1952.

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