Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (2010)

The General Assembly,

Recalling its previous resolutions, the most recent of which is resolution 63/172 of 18 December 2008, and those of the Commission on Human Rights concerning national institutions and their role in the promotion and protection of human rights,

Welcoming the rapidly growing interest throughout the world in the creation and strengthening of independent, pluralistic national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights,

Recalling the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (“the Paris Principles”)

Reaffirming the important role that such national institutions play and will continue to play in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, in strengthening participation and the rule of law and in developing and enhancing public awareness of those rights and freedoms,

Recognizing the important role of the United Nations, in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in assisting the development of independent and effective national human rights institutions, guided by the Paris Principles, and recognizing also in this regard the potential for strengthened and complementary cooperation among the United Nations, the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and those national institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June l993, 2 which reaffirmed the important and constructive role played by national human rights institutions, in particular in their advisory capacity to the competent authorities and their role in preventing and remedying human rights violations, in disseminating information on human rights and in education in human rights,

Reaffirming that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and that all human rights must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis,

Bearing in mind the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds, and that all States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, have the duty to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recalling the programme of action adopted by national institutions, at their meeting held in Vienna in June 1993 during the World Conference on Human Rights, 3 for the promotion and protection of human rights, in which it was recommended that United Nations activities and programmes should be reinforced to meet the requests for assistance from States wishing to establish or strengthen their national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights,

Taking note with appreciation of the reports of the Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights4 and on the accreditation process of the International Coordinating Committee

Welcoming the strengthening in all regions of regional cooperation among national human rights institutions, noting with appreciation the continuing work of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions, the Network of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions and the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions, and encouraging them to participate in the workshop on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights to be organized by the Office of the High Commissioner in 2010,

  1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General6 and the conclusions contained therein;
  2. Reaffirms the importance of the development of effective, independent and pluralistic national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, in accordance with the Paris Principles;
  3. Recognizes the role of independent national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in working together with Governments to ensure full respect for human rights at the national level, including by contributing to follow-up actions, as appropriate, to the recommendations resulting from the international human rights mechanisms;
  4. Welcomes the increasingly important role of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in supporting cooperation between their Governments and the United Nations in the promotion and protection of human rights;
  5. Recognizes that, in accordance with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,2 it is the right of each State to choose the framework for national institutions that is best suited to its particular needs at the national level in order to promote human rights in accordance with international human rights standards;
  6. Encourages Member States to establish effective, independent and pluralistic national institutions or, where they already exist, to strengthen them for the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, as outlined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action;
  7. Welcomes the growing number of States establishing or considering the establishment of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights;
  8. Encourages national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights established by Member States to continue to play an active role in preventing and combating all violations of human rights as enumerated in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and relevant international instruments;
  9. Recognizes the role played by national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Human Rights Council, including its universal periodic review mechanism, in both preparation and follow-up, and the special procedures, as well as in the human rights treaty bodies, in accordance with Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007 7 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/74 of 20 April 2005;
  10. Stresses the importance of the financial and administrative independence and stability of national human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, and notes with satisfaction the efforts of those States that have provided their national institutions with more autonomy and independence, including by giving them an investigative role or enhancing such a role, and encourages other Governments to consider taking similar steps;
  11. Urges the Secretary-General to continue to give high priority to requests from Member States for assistance in the establishment and strengthening of national human rights institutions;
  12. Underlines the importance of the autonomy and independence of Ombudsman institutions, encourages increased cooperation between national human rights institutions and regional and international associations of Ombudsmen, also encourages Ombudsman institutions to actively draw on the standards enumerated in international instruments and the Paris Principles to strengthen their independence and increase their capacity to act as national human rights protection mechanisms, and in this regard reaffirms General Assembly resolution 63/169 of 18 December 2008 on the role of Ombudsman institutions;
  13. Commends the high priority given by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to work on national human rights institutions, encourages the High Commissioner, in view of the expanded activities relating to national institutions, to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made and budgetary resources provided to continue and further extend activities in support of national institutions, and invites Governments to contribute additional voluntary funds to that end;
  14. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the necessary assistance for holding international and regional meetings of national institutions, including meetings of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner;
  15. Encourages national institutions, including Ombudsman institutions, to seek accreditation status through the International Coordinating Committee;
  16. Encourages all Member States to take appropriate steps to promote the exchange of information and experience concerning the establishment and effective operation of national institutions;
  17. Encourages all United Nations human rights mechanisms as well as agencies, funds and programmes to work within their respective mandates with Member States and national institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights with respect to, inter alia, projects in the area of good governance and the rule of law, and in this regard welcomes the efforts made by the High Commissioner to develop partnerships in support of national institutions;
  18. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session on the implementation of the present resolution. 65th plenary meeting 18 December 2009

65th plenary meeting
18 December 2009

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