The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments,

Recalling its resolution 1998/59 of 17 April 1998, in which it invited the independent expert, inter alia, to study ways and means of how best to implement, at the earliest possible date, a programme of advisory services for Somalia through the contributions of agencies and programmes of the United Nations,

Noting with concern that the persisting lack of a central authority and the ongoing armed conflict in Somalia have exacerbated the grave situation of human rights in the country,

Recognizing that the people of Somalia have the principal responsibility for their national reconciliation process and that they are the ones to decide freely on their political, economic and social systems,

Considering, as stated by the independent expert, that the people of Somalia should not be abandoned by the international community and that human rights should be placed on the agenda of talks regarding the future of Somalia,

1. Welcomes:

(a) The report of the independent expert (E/CN.4/1999/103) and, in particular, her conclusions and recommendations;

(b) The efforts made by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, the League of Arab States, the European Union the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and in particular the coordinated approach promoted by the countries of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the IGAD Partners' Forum in favour of peace, national reconciliation, unity and reconstruction of the State in Somalia and expresses its wish that human rights issues be integrated in that context;

(c) The integration of human rights issues by a number of United Nations agencies in their programmes, as reported by the independent expert;

2. Takes note with concern of the addendum to the report of the independent expert (E/CN.4/1999/103/Add.1), which contains a preliminary assessment of mass graves in the vicinity of Hargeisa, in north-west Somalia;

3. Expresses deep concern at reports of arbitrary and summary executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and violence, in particular against women and children, and at the absence of an effective judicial system, essential to ensure the right to a fair trial in accordance with international standards;

4. Condemns:

(a) The widespread violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law, in particular against minorities, women and children;

(b) Any violation of international law on armed conflicts, including acts of violence such as hostage-taking and abduction, particularly of humanitarian relief workers;

5. Strongly urges all parties in Somalia:

(a) To respect human rights and international humanitarian law pertaining to internal armed conflict;

(b) To support, as recommended by the independent expert, the re-establishment of the rule of law throughout the country, in particular by applying internationally accepted criminal justice standards;

(c) To protect United Nations personnel, humanitarian relief workers and representatives of non-governmental organizations and of the international media, and guarantee all persons involved in humanitarian action safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance;

6. Calls upon:

(a) All parties to the conflict in Somalia to work towards a peaceful solution to the crisis;

(b) Subregional, regional and international organizations and concerned countries to continue and intensify the coordinated efforts aimed at facilitating the national reconciliation process in Somalia, aware of the fact that the peaceful coexistence of all parties and groups is an important foundation for the respect of human rights;

(c) Individual donor countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations further to incorporate human rights principles and objectives in the humanitarian and development work they carry out in Somalia and to cooperate with the independent expert;

7. Commends the work carried out by the independent expert, particularly in assessing the means necessary to establish a programme of advisory services and technical assistance through, inter alia, the contribution of agencies and programmes of the United Nations in the field, as well as of the non-governmental sector, and requests her to report on the human rights situation in Somalia to the Commission at its fifty-sixth session;

8. Welcomes the decision of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to appoint a human rights officer in the framework of the office of the United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, and stresses the importance of implementing that decision;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the independent expert with all necessary assistance in carrying out her mandate and to provide adequate resources, from within existing overall United Nations resources, to fund the activities of the independent expert and the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the implementation of advisory services and technical assistance;

10. Invites Governments and organizations in a position to do so to respond positively to requests by the Secretary-General for assistance in the implementation of the present resolution;

11. Decides to continue consideration of the question at its fifty-sixth session under the same agenda item.

59th meeting
28 April 1999

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


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