The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and applicable human rights instruments,

Recalling that Nigeria is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

Recalling also previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights on the subject, most recently General Assembly resolution 53/161 of 9 December 1998 and Commission resolution 1998/64 of 21 April 1998,

1. Takes note with appreciation of:

(a) The report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Nigeria (E/CN.4/1999/36), submitted following his visit to Nigeria at the invitation and with the cooperation of the Government of Nigeria;

(b) The update on the situation provided by the Special Rapporteur in his oral presentation to the Commission at its fifty-fifth session;

(c) The report of the Commission of Inquiry of the ILO which visited Nigeria in August 1998 at the invitation of the Government of Nigeria;

2. Welcomes the profound changes that have taken place in Nigeria since the inception of the administration of General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar as described in the report and in the presentation by the Special Rapporteur;

3. Commends the Government for the measures it has already taken to promote, protect and enhance the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country, including:

(a) The release of all political prisoners and detainees;

(b) Measures to strengthen the judiciary and to enhance the rule of law;

(c) Prison reform, including measures to alleviate overcrowding and to improve the living conditions of prisoners, as well as the conditions of service of prison personnel;

(d) The repeal or amendment of decrees that had infringed on fair trial guarantees, freedom of opinion and freedom of association, thereby enabling, inter alia, the holding of elections to the various trade union executives;

(e) The recent establishment of a presidential committee on development options in the Niger delta; and encourages the Government of Nigeria to make further progress in these areas;

4. Commends the successful holding of free and fair elections, on the basis of democratic principles, a multiparty system and universal suffrage, to all tiers of government in the country, in particular the office of President, representing a significant step on the way to the installation of a democratically elected administration on 29 May 1999;

5. Expresses its full support and cooperation to the Government of Nigeria in its efforts to consolidate national cohesion, strengthen the policy, develop the economy and build a peaceful and stable Nigeria rooted in respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and good governance, and reaffirms the vital role of civil society in these efforts;

6. Calls upon the Government of Nigeria to enhance the independence and effectiveness of the National Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Principles relating to the Status of National Institution for the promotion and protection of human rights, including through the provision of adequate resources;

7. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond positively, as a matter of priority, to any requests from the Government of Nigeria for technical assistance and advisory services and the strengthening of national capacity in the field of human rights;

8. Decides to conclude its consideration of the situation of human rights in Nigeria.

51st meeting

23 April 1999

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. IX.]

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