Human rights and scientific and technological developments

3026. Human rights and scientific and technological developments


The General Assembly, Considering that mankind has reached a point where the acceleration of scientific and technological progress may, depending on its use, either be conducive to the enhancement and dissemination of artistic and cultural values, constituting part of the heritage of mankind, or add to the risk of debasing them, Conscious of the irreplaceable character of the cultural environment, which will acquire increasing importance with the progress of economic and social development, Fearing that the world may be impoverished by succumbing to uniformity and monotony in modes of life, Considering that now is the time, before the trend becomes irreversible, for mankind to save the wealth and diversity of its cultures and to secure the best possible conditions for their further development,

1. Invites Governments to make provision, as far as possible, in their national development plans and programmes for the preservation and development of cultural values;

2. Requests the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to communicate to the General Assembly, at its twenty-eighth session, his views on the problem of the preservation and further development of cultural values, on the measures already taken by the international community and on further measures that should be taken;

3. Requests the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights to attach to the above problem the importance it requires.

2114th plenary meeting
18 December 1972


The General Assembly, Recalling its resolutions 2450 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 2721 (XXV) of 15 December 1970 on human rights and scientific and technological developments, Recalling Commission on Human Rights resolution 10 (XXVII) of 18 March 1971,[1] Expressing its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his preliminary reports on this matter,[2] Noting with appreciation the report of the Seminar on Human Rights and Scientific and Technological Developments[3] organized by the Government of Austria and held at Vienna in June 1972, which contributed considerably to the exploration of this subject, Reaffirming the importance of this matter and the need to respond urgently to the demand of world public opinion,

1. Recognizes that the scope of the problem mentioned in paragraph 1 (d) of General Assembly resolution 2450 (XXIII) and Commission on Human Rights resolution 10 (XXVII) is of such a comprehensive nature as to cover every aspect of this question

2. Recognizes further the need to make a distinction between this subject-matter and other relate matters so as to avoid duplication of work in the United Nations system;

3. Requests the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the specialized agencies concerned, particularly the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to accelerate and complete preparation of relevant reports on this subject, to be submitted at the earliest possible date, paying more attention to the problems of an equitable and just distribution of in comes, the protection of the right to work and the health, the preparation and retraining of personnel, the raising of standards of living and the educational and cultural level of people in the light of scientific an technological developments;

4. Requests the Commission on Human Rights the proceed with and accelerate its work, making full use of the reports of the Secretary-General, the report of the above-mentioned seminar and of any future seminars on the same subject, and any relevant report by other institutions, with a view, in particular, to examining the possibility of preparing draft instrument designed to strengthen respect for human rights proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Right in the light of developments in science and technology;

5. Decides to continue consideration of this item at its forthcoming sessions with a view to arriving a conclusions on the item as early as possible.

2114th plenary meeting
18 December 1972

[1] See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 4 (E/4949), chap. XIX. [2] E/CN.4/1028 and Add.1 and 2, Add.3 and Corr.1, Add.4-6; E/CN.4/1084. [3] ST/TAO/HR/45.

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