Commission on Human Rights resolution 2000/81: Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights

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 1999/75 of 28 April 1999,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 1265 (1999) of 17 December 1999 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the report of the Secretary-General (S/1998/883) on protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations and General Assembly resolution 54/192 of 17 December 1999 entitled "Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel",

Recalling further Security Council resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April 1992 on the situation in Somalia,

Noting with concern that the persisting lack of a central authority in Somalia has 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,

Expressing satisfaction that, despite all difficulties, the people of the northern regions of Somalia continue to enjoy relative peace and stability, as well as the provision of basic services,

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 on the situation of human rights in Somalia (E/CN.4/2000/110) and the conclusions and recommendations contained therein;

(b) The efforts made by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, the League of Arab States, the European Union, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Intergovernmental Authority Partners' Forum in favour of peace, and in particular the recent initiative of the President of Djibouti, aimed at restoring peace, stability and reconstruction of the State in Somalia;

(c) The establishment of local administrations in areas where peace and stability have been achieved, as well as the role of civil society in this process;

(d) The appointment in October 1999 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of a human rights officer for Somalia in the framework of the office of the United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, based in Nairobi, and expresses the hope that he will be able to give meaningful assistance to the Somali people through the fulfilment of his mandate to monitor the human rights situation in Somalia, mainstream and integrate a human rights perspective into the work of all the United Nations agencies regarding Somalia, provide technical assistance in the field of human rights, support human rights non-governmental organizations, raise awareness in the area of the administration of justice and assist the independent expert in fulfilling her mandate;

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

2. Takes note of local efforts in Hargeisa to gather information on allegations concerning war crimes and crimes against humanity and of the need for appropriate investigations throughout Somalia in order to bring perpetrators to justice;

3. Notes with appreciation the important role of mediation and reconciliation that is and can be played by Somali clan elders, other local leaders and members of civil society at the grass-roots level, and urges all parties involved to renew their efforts;

4. Expresses deep concern at reported cases of rape, 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;

5. Condemns:

(a) The widespread violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law, in particular against minorities, women and children, as well as the forced displacement of civilians;

(b) All violations of international humanitarian law, including forced recruitment of children by the militias and acts of violence such as hostage-taking, abduction and murder, particularly of humanitarian relief workers;

6. Strongly urges all parties in Somalia:

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

(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 freedom of movement throughout the country and safe and unhindered access to civilians in need of protection and humanitarian assistance;

7. Calls upon:

(a) All parties to the conflict in Somalia to respond positively to peace initiatives;

(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;

(d) The international community to provide continuing and increased assistance in response to the United Nations appeals for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in all regions of Somalia, including those aimed at the strengthening of civil society, encouraging governance and the re-establishment of the rule of law, and to support the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning Somalia;

(e) All States having information about violations of the provisions of Security Council resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992 concerning a mandatory arms embargo against Somalia, to provide this information to the Committee of the Security Council created pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April 1992, with a view to supporting the work of the Committee;

8. 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;

9. 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;

10. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide for the translation of the present resolution, accompanied by an appropriate background explanatory note, into the local language and for its wide dissemination within the country through the human rights officer for Somalia based in Nairobi;

11. Decides:

(a) To extend the mandate of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia for a further year and requests the independent expert to report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-seventh session;

(b) To request 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 the implementation of advisory services and technical assistance;

(c) To continue consideration of the question at its fifty-seventh session under the

same agenda item.

67th meeting
26 April 2000

[Adopted without a vote. ]




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