Key Resolutions Adopted and Decisions Made

August 4-29, 1997 Palais de Nations, Geneva

- Violation of human rights in any part of the world

The Sub-Commission adopted resolutions on the human rights situations in Congo, Bahrain and the Democratic PeopleÕs Republic of Korea.

It adopted two ChairmanÕs Statements, one of them welcoming the end of the 36-year armed conflict in Guatemala and the other expressing profound concern over the suffering caused to Palestinians by the severe restrictions of movement imposed by Israel on the Occupied Territories.

The Sub-Commission rejected draft resolutions on Algeria and Turkey  and approved a no-action motion on two draft resolutions related to the human rights situations in India and Pakistan

The Sub-Commission also decided not to vote on a draft resolution on the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel in view of the new procedure whereby the Sub-Commission was not to take action on country situations on which the Commission on Human Rights already had taken action.

- Realization of economic, social and cultural rights

The Sub-Commission:

  • requested Mr. Eide (expert from Norway) to review and update his former study on the right to food;
  • entrusted Mr. GuissŽ (expert from Senegal) with the task of preparing a background document on the relationship between the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development and the working methods and activities of transnational corporations;
  • decided to entrust to Mr. GuissŽ (expert from Senegal) the task of drafting a working paper on the right to every woman, man and child to have access to drinking water supply;
  • ncouraged States to make all necessary efforts to ensure realization of the right to education, including education in human rights at all levels of the educational system and it requested Mr. Mehedi (expert from Algeria) to prepare a working paper on the topic.

Contemporary forms of slavery

The Sub-Commission decided to entrust Ms. McDougall (alternate expert from the United States) with the task of completing the study on systematic rape and sexual slavery like practices during periods of armed conflict.

Administration of justice

The Sub-Commission:

  • requested Ms. Gwanmesia (expert from Cameroon) to prepare a working paper on juvenile justice;
  • requested the Commission on Human Rights to authorize it to appoint Mr. Ali Khan (expert from India) as Special Rapporteur in order to undertake an in-depth study on all  issues relating to the privatization of prisons, including the rule of law and the possible civil responsibility of enterprises managing private prisons and their employees;
  • requested Mr. Maxim (expert from Romania) to serve as Special Rapporteur to update the annual list of States which had proclaimed or extended a state of emergency and to prepare a list Ð to be submitted once over five years Ð of those States which have terminated a state of emergency in the past together with further recommendations on the protection of human rights during states of emergency.

-     Freedom of movement

The Sub-Commission decided to recommend to the Commission on Human Rights the appointment of Mr. Boutkevitch (expert from Ukraine) as Special Rapporteur with the task of preparing an analysis of current trends and developments in respect of the right

of everyone to leave any country, including his/her own and to return to his/her country, to have the possibility to enter other countries without discrimination, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

-     Review of further developments in fields of concern to the Sub-Commission

The Sub-Commission:

  • affirmed its support for a total ban on the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of anti-personnel land mines, as a means to protect the right to life. It also urged United Nations Member States to promote the establishment of regional and sub-regional zones free of anti-personnel mines;
  • urged all States to be guided in their national policies by the need to curb the testing, production and spread of weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminate effect or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. It decided to authorize Ms. Forero Ucros (expert from Colombia) to prepare a working paper on the subject in the context of human rights and humanitarian norms;
  • decided to entrust Mr. Bossuyt (expert from Belgium) with the preparation of a working paper on the concept of affirmative action;
  • recommended that the Commission on Human Rights authorize Ms. Koufa (alternate expert from Greece) as Special Rapporteur to conduct a comprehensive study on terrorism and human rights on the basis of the working paper she submitted at this session;
  • noted with concern the delay in the supply of food and medicines to Iraq reported by several United Nations bodies and it appealed to the international community and to all governments, including that of Iraq, to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi population;
  • recommended that the Commission on Human Rights authorize it to appoint Mr. El-HajjŽ (expert from Lebanon) as Special Rapporteur to conduct a detailed study on the problem of the potentially adverse consequences and positive effects of scientific progress and its applications for the integrity, dignity and human rights of the individual.

Oral, Written or Summary: