Human rights and unilateral coercive measures.

Human rights and unilateral coercive measures

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/11

The Commission on Human Rights, Recalling the purposes and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Reaffirming the pertinent principles and provisions contained in the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974, in particular article 32 which declares that no State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights, Recalling its resolution 1997/7 of 3 April 1997 and noting General Assembly resolution 52/120 of 12 December 1997, Recognizing the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated character of all human rights and, in this regard, reaffirming the right to development as an integral part of all human rights, Recalling that the World Conference on Human Rights called upon States to refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to trade relations among States and impedes the full realization of all human rights, Deeply concerned that, despite the recommendations adopted on this issue by the General Assembly and United Nations conferences and contrary to general international law and the Charter of the United Nations, unilateral coercive measures continue to be promulgated and implemented with all their negative implications for the socio-humanitarian activities of developing countries, including their extraterritorial effects, thereby creating additional obstacles to the full enjoyment of all human rights by peoples and individuals,

1. Calls once again upon all States to refrain from adopting or implementing unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, in particular those of a coercive nature with extraterritorial effects, which create obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding the full realization of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, in particular the right of individuals and peoples to development;

2. Rejects the application of such measures as tools for political or economic pressure against any country, particularly against developing countries, because of their negative effects on the realization of all human rights of vast sectors of their populations, inter alia, children, women and the elderly;

3. Reaffirms, in this context, the right of all peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development;

4. Also reaffirms that essential goods such as food and medicines should not be used as tools for political coercion, and that in no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence;

5. Endorses and reaffirms the criteria of the Working Group on the Right to Development according to which unilateral coercive measures are one of the obstacles to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development;

6. Welcomes and endorses the recommendation made by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Right to Development, according to which States should avoid the unilateral imposition of coercive economic measures and extraterritorial application of domestic laws which run counter to the principles of free trade and hamper the development of developing countries, included among its suggestions for a global strategy for the promotion and implementation of the right to development (see E/CN.4/1998/29);

7. Decides to give due consideration to the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures in its task concerning the implementation of the right to development;

8. Requests:

(a) The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in discharging her functions in relation to the promotion, realization and protection of the right to development, to pay due attention and give urgent consideration to the present resolution;

(b) The Secretary General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and seek their views and information on the implications and negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on their populations, and to submit a report thereon to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-fifth session;

9. Decides to examine this question, on a priority basis, at its fifty-fifth session under the same agenda item.

38th meeting 9 April 1998 [Adopted by a roll-call vote of 37 votes to 7 with 8 abstentions. See chap. V.]

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