Status of the International Covenants on Human Rights.

1986/17. Status of the International Covenants on Human Rights[1]64

The Commission on Human Rights, Mindful that the International Covenants on Human Rights constitute the first all-embracing and legally binding international treaties in the field of human rights and, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the heart of the International Bill of Human Rights, Recalling its resolution 1985/45 of 14 March 1985 and General Assembly resolution 40/115 of 13 December 1985, Calling attention to the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Having considered the report of the Secretary-General[2]65 on the status of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Noting in this regard that only half of the States Members of the United Nations have acceded to the International Covenants on Human Rights, Bearing in mind the important responsibilities of the Economic and Social Council in relation to the co-ordination of activities undertaken in accordance with the International Covenants on Human Rights,

1. Reaffirms the importance of the Inter national Covenants on Human Rights as major parts of international efforts to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

2. Appeals strongly, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to all States that have not yet become parties to these instruments to do so, so that the Covenants acquire genuine universality, as well as to consider acceding to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights;

3. Invites the Secretary-General, on the same occasion, to continue systematically encouraging States to become parties to the International Covenants and, through the programme of advisory services in the field of human rights, to provide technical assistance to the States that are not parties to the Covenants with a view to assisting them to ratify then or accede thereto;

4. Again invites the States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which have not yet done so to consider making the declaration provided for in article 41 of the Covenant;

5. Emphasizes the importance of the strictest compliance by States parties with their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and, where applicable, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

6. Stresses the importance of avoiding the erosion of human rights by derogation and underlines the necessity of strict observance of the agreed condition and procedures for derogation under article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights;

7. Recommends to States parties that they continually review whether any reservation made in respect of the provisions of the international Covenants on Human Rights should be upheld;

8. Recognizes the important role of the Human Rights Committee in the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol thereto, expresses its satisfaction with the serious and constructive manner in which the Committee is continuing to undertake its functions, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to transmit the general comments of the Human Rights Committee to the Commission on Human Rights on a regular basis;

9. Appreciates that the Human Rights Committee continues to strive for uniform standards in the implementation of the provisions of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

10. Welcomes the decision of the Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 1985/17 of 28 May 1985, to establish the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which will be entrusted as of 1987 with the important task of overseeing the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights;

11. Encourages States parties to give careful consideration to nominations to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in due recognition of the status of the Committee members as expects with recognized competence in the field of human rights, serving in their personal capacity, and urges States parties to the Covenant and the specialized agencies concerned to extend their full support and co-operation to the new Committee;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to consider ways and means, within existing resources, of assisting States parties to the Covenants in the preparation of their reports, including the awarding of fellowships to government officials engaged in the preparation of such reports, regional training courses and other possibilities available under the programme of advisory services in the field of human Rights;

13. Again urges the Secretary-General, taking into account the suggestions of the Human Rights Committee, to take determined steps within existing resources to give more publicity to the work of the Human Rights Committee and, similarly, to the work of the Economic and Social Council and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to improve the administrative and related arrangements to enable them to carry out their respective functions effectively under the International Covenants on Human Rights;

14. Encourages once again all Governments to publish the texts of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in as many languages as possible and to distribute them and make them known as widely as possible in their territories;

15. Note the progress already made towards the publication of the official public records of the Human Rights Committee in bound volumes and looks forward to receiving the first two volumes in the near future;

16. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission on Human Rights, at its forty-third session, a report on the status of the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to include in this report information on the work of the Economic and Social Council and its Sessional Working Group of Governmental Experts on the Implementation of the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right;

17. Decides to consider at its forty-third session an agenda item entitled "Status of the International Covenants on Human Rights".



[1]64 Adopted at the 50th meeting, on 10 March 1986, without a vote. See chap. XVIII, para. 456. [2]65 A/40/605.
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