Use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.

1990/7. Use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination

The Commission on Human Rights, Bearing in mind the need for strict observance of the principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity of States and self-determination of peoples, as well as scrupulous respect for the principle of the non-use of force or of the threat of the use of force in international relations, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and developed in the Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV)), Reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples and their liberation movements for their independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination, apartheid and foreign intervention and occupation, and that their legitimate struggle can in no way be considered as or equated with mercenary activities, Deeply concerned about the increasing menace that the activities of mercenaries represent for all States, particularly African, Central American and other developing States, Recognizing that the use of mercenaries is a threat to international peace and security, Recognizing also that the activities of mercenaries are contrary to fundamental principles of international law, such as non-interference in the internal affairs of States, territorial integrity and independence, and seriously impede the process of the self-determination of peoples struggling against colonialism, racism and apartheid and all forms of foreign domination, Recalling the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, particularly resolutions 42/96 of 7 December 1987, 43/107 of 8 December 1988 and 44/81 of 8 December 1989, in which the Assembly denounced the practice of using mercenaries, in particular against developing countries and national liberation movements, Recalling Security Council resolutions 239 (1967) Of 10 July 1967, 405 (1977) of 14 April 1977, 419 (1977) of 24 November 1977, 496 (1981) of 15 December 1981 and 507 (1982) of 28 May 1982, in which the Council, inter alia, condemned any State that persisted in permitting or tolerating the recruitment of mercenaries and the provision of facilities to them with the objective of overthrowing the Governments of States Members of the United Nations, Recalling its own resolutions 1986/26 of 10 March 1986 and 1987/16 of 9 March 1987, in which it condemned the increased recruitment, financing, training, assembly, transit and use of mercenaries as well as other forms of support to mercenaries and, in the latter resolution, decided to appoint a special rapporteur to examine the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, Recalling also its resolutions 1988/7 of 22 February 1988, 1988/30 of 8 March 1988 and 1989/21 of 6 March 1989, by which the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was continued, Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Organization of African Unity and the Convention adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its fourteenth ordinary session, held at Libreville from 2 to 5 July 1977, condemning and outlawing the use of mercenaries and its adverse effects on the independence and territorial integrity of African States, Reaffirming the decision in General Assembly resolution 32/130 of 16 December 1977 to accord priority to the search for solutions to the massive and flagrant violations of human rights of peoples and persons affected by situations such as those resulting, inter alia, from aggression and threats against national sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity, Alarmed at the emergence of new criminal activities of mercenaries in collusion with drug traffickers in some countries, especially Colombia, Concerned that small island States, such as the Comoros and Maldives, are especially vulnerable to mercenary activity, Deeply concerned at the loss of life, the substantial damage to property and the short term and long term negative effects on the economy of Central American and southern African countries resulting from mercenary aggression, Welcoming the adoption by the General Assembly, in its resolution 44/34 of 4 December 1989, of the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, which constitutes an important step forward in the matter and an important new instrument for States wishing to make adjustments in their domestic legislation, Taking into account the existence of mercenary activities, with the characteristics set forth in the report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/1990/11), against Angola, the Comoros, Maldives and Nicaragua,

1. Condemns the increased recruitment, financing, training, assembly, transit and use of mercenaries, as well as all other forms of support to mercenaries for the purpose of destabilizing or overthrowing the Governments of southern Africa, the Comoros, Maldives and Nicaragua and of other developing States and fighting against the national liberation movements of peoples struggling for the exercise of their right to self-determination;

2. Considers it inadmissible to use channels of humanitarian and other assistance to finance, train and arm mercenaries;

3. Denounces any State that persists in the recruitment, or permits or tolerates the recruitment, of mercenaries and provides facilities to them for launching armed aggression against other States;

4. Calls upon all States to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries and to ensure, by both administrative and legislative measures, that the territory of those States and other territories under their control, as well as their nationals, are not used for recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries or the planning of such activities designed to destabilize or overthrow the Government of any State and to fight the national liberation movements struggling against racism, apartheid, colonial domination and foreign intervention and occupation for their independence, territorial integrity and national unity;

5. Urges all States to take the necessary measures under their respective domestic laws to prohibit the recruitment, financing, training and transit of mercenaries on their territory, as well as all other forms of support and assistance to mercenaries;

6. Expresses the hope that the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries will be signed and ratified by the largest possible number of States in order to assure its entry into force in the shortest possible time;

7. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/1990/11);

8. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for two years in order to enable him to submit further conclusions and recommendations to the Commission;

9. Expresses its appreciation to the Governments of Angola and Nicaragua as well as other Governments for the co-operation which they extended to the Special Rapporteur;

10. Reaffirms the right of all countries to non-interference in their internal affairs, self-determination and full sovereignty, and welcomes the steps taken towards the peaceful solution of the conflicts, particularly in Central America and southern Africa;

11. Decides that the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his mandate, shall continue to seek the co-operation of Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and national liberation movements recognized by regional intergovernmental organizations;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide all necessary financial resources and sufficient staff to the Special Rapporteur;

13. Requests the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his mandate, to follow closely the process of ratification and the mode of application of the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and to use his good offices to encourage States to become parties to the Convention, and further requests the Special Rapporteur to include in his future reports information on the state of ratifications and the mode of application of the Convention;

14. Also requests the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his mandate, to continue to study credible and reliable reports of mercenary activity in developing countries, in particular smaller States, to determine the scope and implications of such activities and the possible responsibility of third parties by means, inter alia, of on site visits where appropriate;

15. Also requests the Special Rapporteur to seek the point of view of those Governments in whose territories, according to the information communicated to him, mercenaries may have been recruited or trained or may have been provided with facilities for launching armed aggression against other States;

16. Further requests the Special Rapporteur to develop further the position that mercenary acts are means of violating human rights and thwarting the self-determination of peoples;

17. Urges all Governments, particularly those which have suffered from acts of mercenaries, to facilitate the task of the Special Rapporteur and to invite him to conduct on-site visits where appropriate;

18. Recommends that the Special Rapporteur accept the invitation extended to him by the Government of Maldives to visit that country and carry out a thorough investigation of the mercenary activity to which it has been subject;

19. Requests the Special Rapporteur to submit to the Commission at its forty-seventh session a report on the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, together with his conclusions and recommendations, and to submit a preliminary report to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session under the agenda item entitled "Importance of the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and of the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights";

20. Recommends to the Economic and Social Council that it make appropriate arrangements to ensure that the necessary financial resources and sufficient staff are provided to implement the present resolution;

21. Decides to continue the consideration of the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination at its forty-seventh session, as a matter of high priority, under the agenda item "The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation".

29th meeting
19 February 1990
[
Adopted by 31 votes to 10, with 1 abstention.
See chap. IX.]
Disclaimer:

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.