Press Releases

                                                                ECOSOC/6135
                                                                            26 July 2004

    Economic and Social Council Adopts more than 50 Texts on Broad Range of Human Rights Issues

    NEW YORK, 22 July (UN Headquarters) -- While adopting 51 texts, 19 of them by a recorded vote, the Economic and Social Council, on the penultimate day of its 2004 substantive session, rejected two texts, one on the protection of human rights in the context of international military operations launched to combat terrorism, and one on overturning a decision by the Commission on Human Rights regarding a pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities.

    By the draft resolution on protection of human rights in the context of international military operations launched to combat terrorism, rejected by a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 24 against, with 17 abstentions, the Council would have demanded that States and other actors in international military operations to combat terrorism prevent extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. (For details of the vote, see Annex XVI.)

    Calling for the rejection, the representative of the Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union, said the issue of protection of human rights while countering terrorism was dealt with in Commission for Human Rights resolution 2004/87. It was vital not to undermine or pre-empt that resolution by adopting a competing initiative that was “limited in its scope [and] legally imprecise in the application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law”. The issues of torture and arbitrary detention were dealt with in other Human Rights Commission resolutions, as well.

    The representative of Cuba, sponsor of the text, said from the point of view of ethics, morality or international law, the text could not be challenged.  It was a question of defending values and principles. Those voting against the  initiative would be those who normally voted in favour of resolutions condemning developing countries. The votes on the text would be remembered throughout history, as world public opinion was unanimous in demanding that human rights should not be forgotten in the future.

    Another text, rejected by a vote of 24 in favour to 25 against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Burundi, Mauritius, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania), sought to overturn Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/117 which contained a pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities.  (Annex XVII)

    The representative of the Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union, said the pre-draft declaration, which had not been mandated by the Commission on Human  Rights, aimed to make human rights conditional. “The idea that a State can determine which rights an individual can enjoy in return for the exercise of responsibilities is entirely inconsistent with fundamental concepts of human rights”, he said. “It is the conditional linkage between responsibilities and human rights that we cannot allow to go unchallenged.”

    The representative of Syria emphasized the importance of ensuring that all mechanisms of protecting human rights worked. The draft decision sought to cancel a decision taken by the Commission on Human Rights, in an attempt to undermine the work of the Commission and prejudice its credibility. Such a matter led one to see duplicity in the dealing of some with human rights. Efforts that threatened to undermine the United Nations must be resisted, she said.

    Of the texts adopted today, 40 decisions had been proposed by the Commission on Human Rights in its sixtieth session report. Many of them concerned appointment or mandate extension of Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in, among other countries, the Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia, or on issues such as freedom of religion or belief and on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, victims of trafficking in persons, human rights and the genome.

    One of the decisions related to the “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”, which was adopted in a recorded vote of 34 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom, United States), with 12 abstentions.  By that decision, the Council approved the request to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 to investigate Israel’s violation of the principles and bases of international law, international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. (Annex IV)

    Although the Council adopted the recommended five draft decisions in the report on the third session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, several delegates expressed their dissatisfaction with the report.

    Australia’s representative said the report had not fully covered what the Council had mandated, as it had not commented on the effectiveness of the United Nations’ indigenous mechanism or whether duplication existed. He expressed concern about the fact that the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, faced with increasing disquiet amongst States regarding its relevance, was now actively trying to differentiate its mandate, in order to set itself apart from other mechanisms to ensure its own continuation.  Thus, further scrutiny of the Working Group’s mandate was required.

    The representatives of Indonesia, Ethiopia and Colombia took issue with the fact that the report had singled their countries out for having violated the human rights of indigenous people. The representative of Indonesia, after noting that the report had mentioned West Papua as an independent country, said it was a shame that the Forum had been manipulated by certain quarters for their separatist political ambitions. The Forum must treat any unconfirmed allegations or reports in a more responsible manner. Ethiopia’s representative said, “Political motivation, rather than concern for the rights of indigenous people, seem to have dominated the Forum’s deliberations.”

    Other texts requiring recorded vote concerned: strengthening the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 52-0-2 (Annex I); mercenaries, 34-17-3 (Annex II); right to development, 51-3-0 (Annex III); dumping of toxic waste, 35-17-2 (Annex V); right to food, 52-1-1 (Annex VI); standards of health, 53-1-0 (Annex VII); realizing rights in Universal Declaration and International Covenant, 49-1-4 (Annex VIII); restitution, 52-1-0 (Annex IX); extra-judicial execution, 45-0-9 (Annex X); working group on indigenous populations, 35-2-17 (Annex XI); staff of the Human Rights Commissioner, 32-18-3 (Annex XII); globalization, 49-1-1 (Annex XIII); bioethics, 52-1-0 (Annex XIV); extra meetings for Human Rights Commission, 53-1-0 (Annex XV); pre-sessional for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 42-6-5 (Annex XVIII); and a workshop for the same body, 41-9-3 (Annex XIX).

    Anne Willem Bijleveld, Director of the Division of Communication and Information, on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, reported on the Office’s activities.

    In other business, the representative of Qatar, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced a draft resolution on “Implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits:  review and coordination of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010”.

    The representatives of China, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Russian Federation, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, India, United States, Canada, Senegal, Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Japan, Cuba, Russian Federation,, Chile, Venezuela, Syria, Benin, Zimbabwe, Switzerland and Qatar (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China) also spoke.

    The Economic and Social Council will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, to conclude its 2004 substantive session, addressing all outstanding questions.

    Background

    The 2004 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)  met today to continue its general segment, addressing social and human rights questions and considering action on related draft texts. It had before it the report on the sixtieth session of the Commission on Human Rights (15 March-24 April) (documents E/2004/23, Part I and corrigenda), which contained some 48 draft decisions recommended to the Council for adoption.

    By decision 1, “Strengthening of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)”, the Council would endorse the recommendation that it, along with the General Assembly, provide the High Commissioner’s Office with ways and means commensurate to its increasing tasks, as well as more resources for special rapporteurs.

    By decision 2, the “Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination”, ECOSOC would approve the request to the OHCHR to convene a third meeting of experts on traditional and new forms of mercenary activities, with the objectives of giving further consideration to the proposed new legal definition of a mercenary, making proposals on possible means of regulation and international supervision of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, and studying and evaluating recent activities of mercenaries in Africa.

    By decision 3, “The right to development”, the Council would approve the extension of the mandate of the Working Group on the Right to Development for one year.

    By decision 4, the “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”, the Council would approve the request to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 to investigate Israel’s violation of the principles and bases of international law, international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

    By decision 5, ECOSOC would approve a decision to appoint a special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    By decision 6, the Council would approve the decision to appoint a special rapporteur, from within existing resources, on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

    By decision 7, on the “Adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights”, the Council would endorse the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for three years.

    By decision 8, ECOSOC would approve the request to the Special Rapporteur on the right to food to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session and to report to the Human Rights Commission at its sixty-first session on the implementation of resolution 2004/19.

    By decision 9, “Human rights and extreme poverty”, the Council would approve the extension of the mandate of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, for two years.

    By decision 10, the Council would approve the decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education for three years.

    By decision 11, on “The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”, ECOSOC would approve the request for the Special Rapporteur to submit a report annually to the Commission and an interim report to the General Assembly.

    By decision 12, on the “Question of the realization in all countries of the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and study of special problems which the developing countries face in their efforts to achieve these human rights”, ECOSOC would approve the renewal of the mandate of the open-ended Working Group of the Commission for two years, with a view to considering options regarding the elaboration of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

    By decision 13, on “The right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, ECOSOC would approve the holding of a third consultative meeting for all interested Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the Council with a view to finalizing the “Basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law”.

    By decision 14, on “Elimination of all forms of religious intolerance”, the Council would approve the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief for three years.

    By decision 15, the Council would endorse the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for three years.

    By decision 16, ECOSOC would approve the extension of the mandate of the Working Group on Enforced of Involuntary Disappearances for three years.  It would also approve the request to the inter-sessional open-ended working group to elaborate a draft legally binding normative instrument for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance to meet for a period of 15 working days in two formal sessions before the Commission’s sixty-first session.

    By decision 17, ECOSOC would endorse the extension for three years of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    By decision 18, the Council would endorse the request to the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants to submit a report on her activities to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session and to the Commission at its sixty-first session.

    By decision 19, on “Internally displaced persons”, ECOSOC would endorse the request that the Secretary-General establish a mechanism to address the complex problem of internal displacement.

    By decision 20, on the “Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”, ECOSOC would endorse the authorization for the Working Group to meet for five working days prior to the fifty-sixth session of the Subcommission.

    By decision 21, on the “Working group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994”, ECOSOC would authorize the working group to meet for a period of 10 working days prior to the sixty-first session of the Commission.

    By decision 22, on the “Situation of human rights in Myanmar”, the Council would endorse a decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for one year.

    By decision 23, on “Human rights and indigenous issues”, ECOSOC would approve the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms on indigenous people for a further three years.

    By decision 24, on “Follow-up to the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education”, the Council would endorse recommendation that ECOSOC recommend to the General Assembly that it proclaim a world programme for human rights education at its fifty-ninth session.

    By decision 25, on “Impunity”, ECOSOC would approve the decision to appoint an independent expert for a period of one year to update the Set of Principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity.

    By decision 26, “Composition of the staff of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s invitation to the General Assembly to give due consideration to the Commission’s resolution 2004/73 and to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU).  It would also endorse the Commission’s request to the JIU to assist the Commission in monitoring the implementation of resolution 2004/73.

    By decision 27, “Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to extend, for a further year, the mandate of the independent expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Somalia.

    By decision 28, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to appoint an independent expert to consider the situation of human rights in Burundi and ensure that the authorities are honouring commitments made.

    By decision 29, “Technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, the Council would approve the decision of the Commission to appoint an independent expert to provide assistance to the Government in the field of human rights, to study the evolving situation of human rights there, and to verify that its obligations in that field are being fulfilled.

    By decision 30, “Technical cooperation and advisory services in Chad”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to appoint an independent expert for an initial period of one year to facilitate cooperation between the Government and the OHCHR.

    By decision 31, “Assistance to Sierra Leone in the field of human rights”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s request to the OHCHR to report to the Assembly at its fifty-ninth session and to the Commission at its sixty-first session on assistance to Sierra Leone in the field of human rights.

    By decision 32, “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to designate, for one year, an independent expert to assist the OHCHR on ways and means of strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

    By decision 33, “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s request to the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance with all the necessary human and financial assistance to carry out his mandate efficiently.

    By decision 34, entitled “Decision relating to Paraguay under the procedure established in accordance with ECOSOC resolution 1503 (XLVIII)”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s recommendation that the documentation examined by the Commission between 1978 and 1990 on the matter should no longer be considered confidential.

    By decision 35, “Corruption and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to appoint Christy Mbonu as special rapporteur, with the task of preparing a comprehensive study on the matter.

    By decision 36, “Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s request that the reports of the Special Rapporteurs of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on the matter be published in the official languages of the United Nations.

    By decision 37, “Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur with a mandate to focus on the human rights aspects of victims of trafficking in persons.

    By decision 38, “Traditional practices affecting the health of women and the girl child”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on that issue for a further three years.

    By decision 39, “Publishing the report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens”, the Council would decide that the updated and consolidated report should be published in all official languages of the United Nations and be given the widest possible distribution.

    By decision 40, the Council would endorse the recommendation that a voluntary fund on minority-related activities be established to facilitate the participation in the Working Group on Minorities –- of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights -– of minority representatives and experts from developing countries.  The Council would also recommend to the General Assembly that it give favourable consideration to the establishment of such a fund.

    By decision 41, “International year and decade for the world’s minorities”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s recommendation that an international year for the world’s minorities be proclaimed, to be followed by a decade, with a view to advancing the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

    By decision 42, “Responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights”, the Council would, among other things, request the OHCHR to compile a report on the scope and legal status of existing initiatives and standards regarding the matter.  The Council would also affirm that document E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/12/Rev.2 had not been requested by the Commission and, as a draft proposal, had no legal standing, and that the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights should not perform any monitoring function in that regard.

    By decision 43, “Human rights and bioethics”, the Council would approve the Commission’s decision to appoint Iulia-Antoanella Motoc as special rapporteur to undertake a study on human rights and the human genome.

    By decision 44, “The universal implementation of international human rights treaties”, the Council would approve the Commission’s decision to appoint Emmanuel Decaux as special rapporteur to conduct a detailed study of the matter.

    By decision 45, the Council would endorse the Commission’s decision that its first meeting would be held on the third Monday in January with the sole purpose of electing its officers, and that the Commission’s sixty-first session would be held from 14 March to 22 April 2005.

    By decision 46, the Council would authorize six fully serviced additional meetings, including summary records, for the Commission’s sixty-first session.

    By decision 47, the Council would endorse the Commission’s request to appoint an independent expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for a period of one year.

    By decision 48, “Technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan”, the Council would endorse the Commission’s request to the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of the independent expert on the human rights situation in Afghanistan for a further year.

    The Council also had a text on the programme budget implications of decisions in the Commission’s report (document E/2004/L.34), stating, among other things, that, concerning decision 46, no provisions have been included under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005, and that it would not be possible to absorb the additional conference-servicing requirements.  Thus, those requirements would need to be met through additional appropriations by the General Assembly.

    The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (document E/2004/89), submitted by Acting High Commissioner Bertrand G. Ramcharan, provides information on human rights activities of the United Nations system in economic and social areas, which are likely to be of particular interest to the Economic and Social Council.

    The first section reports on the initiatives being taken by the United Nations system with regard to assisting Member States in building their national systems of promotion and protection of human rights.  The second section reports on the activities of United Nations bodies and programmes and specialized agencies in the area of human rights, with a particular focus on the economic and social fields.

    The report concludes that there appears to have been an overall increase in human rights-supported programming by United Nations bodies, programmes and specialized agencies since 1999.  However, it would be too simplistic to conclude that human rights have been integrated throughout the system; each organization seems to have used a different approach.

    Integrating human rights throughout the United Nations system requires the support of the Council.  The Council may wish to facilitate that process by reaffirming that human rights law provides an important framework for the technical cooperation work of the Organization.  The Council may also wish to periodically review the progress achieved in integrating human rights as an essential part of the work of United Nations bodies and programmes.

    The Council also had for its consideration the report of the thirtieth to thirty-fifth sessions of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (document A/59/41), which contains, among other things, conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Committee at those sessions.

    The report notes that, as at 30 January 2004, the closing date of the thirty-fifth session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, there were    192 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  By that date, the Committee had received 180 initial reports by States parties under article 44 of the Convention, 80 second periodic reports and 11 third periodic ones, amounting to atotal of 271 reports received.  Some 226 reports had been examined by the Committee (171 initial and 55 second periodic).  During the same period, the Committee received and examined one initial report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

    The Council also had a report on the thirtieth and thirty-first sessions of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (5-23 May 2003, 10-18 November 2003) (document E/2004/22).  It includes, among other things, decisions adopted during those sessions, and, in its Annex, the Committee’s recommendations on reform of the treaty body system of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the Secretary-General’s proposals.  The report notes that, as of 28 November 2003, 148 States had ratified or acceded to the Covenant.

    A report of the JIU entitled “Management review of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”, transmitted in a note of the Secretary General (documents A/59/65-E/2004/48 and Add.1), contains several recommendations, among them a call on the new High Commissioner to reconsider the request to create a post of Chief of Staff and to review the grading of the chiefs of branch. A number of recommendations also addressed personnel issues.  Noting that the imbalance in the geographical distribution of the staff of the Office is an issue that can only be solved through a determined management action, the JIU recommended that the High Commissioner prepare an action plan aimed at reducing the current imbalance.

    The JIU also recommended that field operations conducted exclusively by the OHCHR should be limited to a minimum and to those cases where it has been proven that no alternative exists.  The implementation of field operations should be channelled through operational partners, whenever possible.

    An addendum to the report contains the comments of the Secretary-General on the recommendations. Despite having a different view of certain data and factual depictions of office policies, the Office of the High Commissioner, for the most part, welcomes the report and will engage in consultations with the Office of Human Resources Management in determining the best course of action in implementing the recommendations.

    Also for its consideration, the Council had before it a draft resolution entitled “Question of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of international military operations launched to combat terrorism” (document E/2004/L.17, Rev.1), sponsored by Cuba. By its terms, the Council would demand that States and other actors in international military operations to combat terrorism prevent extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and take effective action to combat and eliminate violations of that kind.

    By a further provision, the Council would condemn all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and any action or attempt by States or public officials to legalize or authorize such actions under any circumstances. The Council would request the Commission on Human Rights to examine the issue as a matter of priority at its sixty-first session.

    Another draft decision, entitled “Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/117 on human rights and human responsibilities” (document E/2004/L.21), would have the Council decide to request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights not to proceed with the actions requested by decision 2004/117 of 21 April of the Commission on Human Rights, expressing concern over the content of the pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities, which “runs counter to the fundamental principles” of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Vienna Declaration on Human Rights. 

    The draft is sponsored by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, CzechRepublic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

    A note by the Secretary-General (document E/2004/87) transmits General Comment Nos. 29 [72], 30 [75] and 31 [80] on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was adopted by the Human Rights Committee during its recent sessions.

    On the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Council had before it the report of the third session of the Forum (10-21 May) (document E/2004/43), also containing a number of draft decisions for adoption by the Council.

    By draft decision 1, the Council would authorize, on an exceptional basis, a three-day inter-sessional meeting of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2005 to prepare for the fourth annual session of the Forum, in cooperation with the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues. By draft decision 2, the Council would authorize a technical three-day workshop on free, prior and informed consent. By draft decisions 3 and 4, the Council would decide that the fourth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held at Headquarters from 9 to 20 May 2005, and approve that session’s provisional agenda and documentation.  The Council would also consider holding the fifth and sixth sessions of the Forum in Geneva or another part of the world.

    A draft amendment to draft decision 1 (document E/2004/L.41) would replace the word “intersessional” by the word “pre-sessional”, and “in cooperation with” by the words “with the support of”.  That amendment is sponsored by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

    By draft decision 5, the Council would recommend to the General Assembly that it declare a second international decade of the world’s indigenous peoples after the conclusion of the current International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in 2004.

    On the same issue, the Council had a report of the Secretary-General  entitled “Information concerning indigenous issues requested by the Economic and Social Council” (document E/2004/85), containing a summary of replies received from governments, NGOs and indigenous peoples’ organizations, as well as from the United Nations system.  The report suggests that the Council should play a lead role in ensuring greater coherence and improved coordination and effectiveness in the various mechanisms concerning indigenous issues.

    The Council also had the report of the Secretary-General on the preliminary review by the Coordinator of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People on the activities of the United Nations system in relation to the Decade(document E/2004/82).  It presents a preliminary review of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, together with the information received from the United Nations agencies and funds, other international organizations and the Secretariat, and provides a summary of activities undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations system during the period from 1995 to 2004.

    The report notes that, despite the important institutional developments that have taken place in the framework of the Decade, indigenous peoples in many countries continue to be among the poorest and most marginalized. It also notes that the adoption of a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, one of the main objectives of the Decade, has not been achieved. Further efforts are needed by the MemberStates concerned and the international community to ensure that all indigenous peoples everywhere enjoy full human rights and enjoy real and measurable improvements in their living conditions.

    The Council also had a statement submitted by the Indigenous Peoples’ Centre for Documentation, Research and Information, an NGO in consultative status with the Council (document E/2004/NGO/20).

    On genetic privacy and non-discrimination, the Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General entitled “Information and comments received from Governments and relevant international organizations and functional commissions pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 2001/39” (document E/2004/56).

    The Council also had before it letters from the Permanent Representatives of Ghana and Romania requesting membership in the Executive Committee of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for their respective countries (documents E/2004/49 and 76).

    Also today, the Council was expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled “Role of the Economic and Social Council in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes of and follow-up to major United nations conferences and summits” (document E/2004/L.24/Rev.1), submitted by Qatar on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China.  By the text, the Council would decide to take the necessary steps for the effective implementation of Assembly resolutions 50/227, 52/12 B, and 57/270 B, which are relevant to the Council’s work. It would further decide to revise the title of agenda item 8 to read “Implementation of General Assembly resolutions 50/227, 52/12 B and 57/270 B for consideration by the Council at its 2005 substantive session.

    Action was expected on draft decision E/2004/L.36 entitled “Extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography”, by which the Council would decide to renew that mandate for a further three years.

    The Council would also take action on recommendations contained in document E/2004/15/Add.2 entitled “Regional cooperation in the economic, social and related fields”.

    By a text entitled “San Juan resolution on productive development in open economies”, approved by the thirtieth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Council would call upon the ECLAC secretariat to pursue its examination of the development strategies in countries of the region in the context of globalization.  It would request the Executive Secretariat of the ECLAC to undertake a more in-depth analysis of, among other things, education, science and technology, counter-cyclical macroeconomic management, and trade integration and development.

    By a draft resolution on “Support for the United nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti”, the Council, while welcoming the commitments undertaken by the countries of the region in connections with the efforts towards the reconstruction of Haiti, would instruct the Executive Secretary of ECLAC to evaluate, in coordination with the transitional Government of Haiti, the Secretary-General and the Mission, the timing and modalities of such collaboration.

    By a draft resolution on “Implementation of resolutions concerning the participation of associate member countries of ECLAC in the follow-up to United Nations world conferences and in the work of the ECOSOC”, the Council would decide to establish the necessary mechanisms for the participation of associate members of the regional commissions in the work of the Council and its subsidiary bodies.

    By another draft text, the Council would endorse the decision by ECLAC to hold its thirty-first session in Uruguay in 2006.

    Action on Texts

    As it opened its morning meeting, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, a resolution on the “Role of the Economic and Social Council in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits” (document E/2004/L.24/Rev.1).

    Subsequently, it took action on four draft resolutions recommended by ECLAC, which were contained in that body’s report (document E/2004/15/Add.2).  The first, adopted without a vote, concerned the “San Juan Resolution on Productive Development in Open Economies”.

    The Council then adopted, without a vote, a resolution on “Support for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti”.

    Next, it postponed consideration of the text on Implementation of Participation of ECLAC Associate Member Countries in the Follow-up to United Nations World Conferences and in the Work of the Economic and Social Council.

    Then, it adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution on the “Place of the next session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean”.

    Discussion of Social and Human Rights Questions

    ANNE WILLEM BIJLEVELD, Director of the Division of Communication and Information, on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the UNHCR had joined the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) to strengthen its partnerships in the pursuit of durable solutions for refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, reflecting its internal work on developing a “Framework for Durable Solutions.”  Since joining the Development Group, the UNHCR had participated in a working group created to develop guidelines for the United Nations Resident Coordinators and United Nations Country Teams in achieving durable solutions for various target groups.

    She said that the conclusions of four humanitarian financing studies, undertaken in 2003, had led Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) members to develop a joint needs assessment framework under the Consolidated Appeals Process, which was now being piloted in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The UNHCR was also building a more systematic collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on joint assessments and evaluations. It had contributed to developing a vision to manage increased risks to the security of humanitarian personnel, while maintaining its presence on the ground.

    The UNHCR had continued to acknowledge that voluntary repatriation was the preferred durable solution, and it continued to work towards that objective, she said. There was wide recognition that conflict prevention, early warning and resolution required a multidisciplinary and regional approach, led by African countries but bolstered by expertise and multilateral support.  Reintegration of returnees posed a challenge that could not be addressed by the UNHCR alone; solid partners were necessary. For some refugees, retuning home was not an immediate prospect.  The UNHCR was seeking to increase the self-reliance of those groups, pending their return, while addressing the needs of the host communities.  The UNHCR was also endeavouring to improve its performance in emergency preparedness and response capacity, registration data and the provision of documentation for refugees. It also sought to improve the quality and standards of protection and assistance, and enhance gender equality and participation.

    SUNU MAHADI SOEMARNO (Indonesia) said he wished to draw the Council’s attention to irregularities in the working procedures of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. A serious blunder had taken place during the process of selecting experts for the next term of membership on the Forum. West Papua had been listed as an independent country, separate from Indonesia. Not only had that brought the territorial integrity of Indonesia into question, but that had constituted a grave infringement of the United Nations Charter.  Identifying West Papua as an independent country had sent the wrong signal. Instead of focusing on legitimate issues of importance to indigenous people and advising ECOSOC, the Forum had apparently served as a foundation to sustain the ambitions of separatist movements.

    Additionally, he voiced opposition to the Forum’s reference to four specific countries –- including Indonesia –- which had allegedly committed atrocities and human rights violations against indigenous peoples. As a matter of principle, all 500 of Indonesia’s ethnic groups were regarded as equally indigenous. Any reference to Indonesia in the report, therefore, was irrelevant.

    It was a shame that the Forum had been manipulated by certain quarters for their separatist political ambitions, he concluded. The Forum must treat any unconfirmed allegations or reports in a more responsible manner. Not only had there been a lack of constructive dialogue between his Government and the Forum, but the Forum had chosen to ignore information provided by his delegation and had simply presented accusations in its report.

    ZHANG YISHAN (China) regretted that, during the sixtieth session of the Human Rights Commission, certain countries, out of domestic political needs, wilfully accused other countries in their statements and tabled draft resolutions against others under country-specific items. All countries, developed or developing, had the responsibility to further promote and protect human rights.  What the Commission needed was mutual respect, complementarity, strengthened cooperation and reduced confrontation and bigotry.

    He said that ensuring the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development had become an important challenge for many developing countries in the age of globalization.  In terms of its agenda item arrangement and time allocation, the Commission had failed to fully reflect the importance of such rights.

    The international community should firmly oppose all forms of terrorism without a double standard, he said. At the same time, in combating terrorism, it was essential to follow international law, especially the international human rights and humanitarian laws.  Nobody should use anti-terrorism as an excuse to defy respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  He informed the Council that, this year, the Chinese National People’s Congress had embodied “respect for and guarantee of human rights” in the Constitution.

    Mr. REYES RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) said the protection of human rights was important to strengthening peace, freedom and development around the world, but that had been affected by hypocrisy and double standards. The Western Powers had insisted that human rights were violated only in the south of the planet, as the super-Powers tried to claim resources and world markets, greedily grabbing for more. The last session of the Commission on Human Rights showed scandalous episodes of political cynicism.

    He said that a couple of hundred people were in concentration camps in a United States naval base in GuantanamoBay. Members of the Council would have the opportunity to support human rights in a new approach with a resolution, which filled gaps in treatment. Unfortunately, champions of human rights, the industrial powers of North, had fabricated false arguments to maintain immunity against those responsible for human rights violations. There was no reason where the United States Government could justify preoccupation in Cuba, even if they “dreamt it up”.

    There was no doubt that electioneering existed around the political hostility from the United States towards Cuba, he said. The extreme right had carried out aggressive foreign policy, with some qualifying it as neo-fascist. The groups surrounding the United States White House never admitted the right of nations to exercise their sovereignty, and were waging a harsh battle against freedom and independence. He rejected the resolution of 6 May.  Cubans stood by those who did not bend before difficulties, and stood by the value of principles.

    LUIS GALLEGOS CHIRIBOGS (Ecuador) said great progress had been made in realizing economic, social and cultural rights, yet the equitable sustainable development of indigenous people had not yet been accomplished. Their living conditions remained of great concern to countries in which the indigenous population lived below the poverty line. Among other issues of vital importance was that of health. Indigenous women suffered from limited access to services and from environmental degradation. The international community, therefore, should work to strengthen policies that recognized health as a fundamental human right.  There must be a focus on the reproductive rights of indigenous women and the provision of culturally appropriate health services.

    He said that the problem of migration of indigenous women must also be addressed, including the alarming trend of trafficking within and without the borders of their countries.  Indigenous women were the fundamental pillar for the development of children and for strengthening values and the community. A workshop could formulate guidelines for the solution to the problems of the migration of indigenous women. That solution would also require dialogue and coordination at the global, regional and subregional levels.

    Ensuring the Permanent Forum’s capacity to carry out its mandate required strengthening its working methods, he said. The Forum must set priorities in its recommendations to determine those which were viable and of the greatest importance to indigenous peoples. There must also be greater coordination of that body’s work, including with other bodies of the United Nations system.

    CONNIE TARACENA SECAIRA (Guatemala) said her country was committed to advancing human rights. Her delegation had followed closely the work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and had taken part in three sessions it had held up to now. She recognized, moreover, the value of the work it had carried out in matters concerning indigenous children, young people and women, as well as its decision to make those the fundamental element of its activities during the years immediately ahead.

    She noted that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, through its Department for Indigenous Peoples, had created a course of study for civil servants, leaders of indigenous organizations and political parties. That sought to identify, formulate, implement and evaluate multicultural public policies from the perspective of the ethnic and cultural diversity that characterized their nation and the responsibilities deriving there from. Guatemala had enacted a Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents, involving the adoption of a Public Policy on Children and Adolescence. Her country was a party to International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 138 and 182, concerning, respectively, minimum age for employment and the prohibition against the worst forms of child labour.

    Mr. VLASOV (Russian Federation) said discussion of human rights issues should bring countries closer together and lead to development in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.  It was important to take into account country and regional specificities and historical experience and inadmissible to apply double standards.  Furthermore, human rights must not be used as a reason to interfere in the international affairs of States. The main responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights fell to States themselves, while international institutions -– including monitoring bodies –- carried out auxiliary roles.

    The main area of work on human rights should focus on development and consolidation of an unpoliticized and cooperative framework for human rights, he added. There was also a need to develop technical and consultative assistance in human rights. On the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, he said there was a lingering problem of non-compliance with the principle of fair geographic distribution during the recruitment of staff.  There must be prompt implementation of all recommendations contained in report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the review of that body’s management practice.

    The growing number of special procedures of the Commission of Human Rights was also a source of concern, he said. They had led to additional financial burdens on the budget of the Commission and were not conducive to the effective management of the body’s work.  Among other priorities, he discussed the need to combat racism and neo-fascism and reiterated that his country had provided comprehensive support to the United Nations work against racism.  He also noted that some countries that considered themselves democratic had continued policies of discrimination against ethnic and linguistic minorities and had made no plans to redress that situation.

    JAMES CHOI (Australia) said the report on indigenous issues had not fully covered what the Council had mandated, as it had not commented on the effectiveness of the United Nations’ indigenous mechanism or whether duplication existed. The report also had not deal with the issue of how the scarce resources for indigenous mechanisms could be allocated more effectively. It was clear that duplication and inefficiencies existed within the United Nations system on indigenous issues.

    He said that the Working Group on Indigenous Populations had been mandated to develop standards concerning the rights of indigenous people. The Working Group had sought to create additional work for itself, however, on standard setting, in an effort to remain engaged and relevant. The Working Group’s study on indigenous peoples and treaties was completed in 1999, a full decade after it was mandated. He would like to know how that report, after so much effort, had assisted in the development of standards for indigenous peoples.

    Expressing concern, he noted that the Working Group, faced with increasing disquiet amongst States regarding its relevance, was now actively trying to differentiate its mandate, in order to set itself apart from other mechanisms to ensure its own continuation. Thus, further scrutiny of the Working Group’s mandate was required. Taking note of the report should not be the end of considering that important issue, he said.

    Mr. BERNAL (Colombia) voiced concern about the section of the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which had made reference to unverified allegations of violations of the human rights of indigenous populations in specific countries, including his. The Forum had not taken into consideration the situation of internal armed conflict in his country, but had instead implied that the Government was responsible for actions more likely attributable to internal armed groups.

    In addition to rejecting the reference to his country in the report of the Permanent Forum, he asked ECOSOC to seek revision of the Forum’s methods of work. The Forum must follow the limits of its mandate and refrain from indulging in selectivity on the points included in its report.  Following intense negotiations, Colombia would join the consensus on the decision before ECOSOC today, but wished to note that, while reaffirming support for the Permanent Forum, it was felt that the Forum should focus on the functions given it by its mandate. Specifically, the verification and recording of violations of human rights of indigenous people was accounted for by specific mechanisms, including the Special Rapporteur on indigenous issues and the Commission on Human Rights.

    The Forum’s actions in reporting on certain States in which atrocities and violations of human rights of indigenous people had allegedly occurred breached the principles of objectivity and non-selectivity, he concluded, and focused attention away from other parts of the world, where actual violations of human rights had been committed.

    AZANAW TADESSE ABREHA (Ethiopia) expressed his disappointment with the report of the third session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The report had singled out his country and three others for human rights violations of indigenous people and had even urged the entire United Nations system to take appropriate action. He said his country’s Constitution clearly guaranteed the rights of every nation, nationality and people to speak, write and develop its own language, to promote is culture, and to preserve its history.

    He said no nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia had ever been referred to as “indigenous people”. The Forum could not consider alleged human rights violations of indigenous people in Ethiopia, “because there are no indigenous people, per se, in Ethiopia”.  He also questioned the objective behind singling out four developing countries on baseless allegations by the Forum.  “Political motivation, rather than concern for the rights of indigenous people, seem to have dominated the Forum’s deliberations”, he said.

    ANDREW BEGG (New Zealand) said that, unfortunately, his nation was disappointed with the lack of analysis in the report. It was a shame that only a few delegations had added statements and that the States most vocal in calling for a review had not contributed reports.  The Working Group on indigenous peoples had played an important role in promoting indigenous people worldwide. However, the recent debate had become stale and his nation was not convinced that the work resulted in important improvements in the lives of indigenous people.  He recognized that negotiations had been protracted. He hoped that States that blocked progress and argued for no changes in the text would reflect carefully on their statements.  The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues provided a model for confidence-building.

    He welcomed increased cooperation and supported strengthening of existing cooperation mechanisms.  He endorsed the important role of the Special Rapportuer on indigenous issues.  The issue of duplication had to be addressed. United Nations resources were thinning, and it was difficult to defend multiple forums on overlapping issues, which, in turn, placed a burden on governments and delegations.

    Ms. JOHANSEN (United Kingdom) said she wished to align herself with the statements made by Australia and New Zealand on the need to review the future of the Working Group on indigenous issues, given the overlap of its mandate with that of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

    YAUSHI TAKASE (Japan) welcomed the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also took note of the report on the review of mechanisms related to indigenous issues and said he wished to draw the Council’s attention to the conclusions included therein, which noted that the scarce resources of indigenous populations and voluntary contributions must be better used. The ECOSOC should take the lead role in ensuring greater coherence in mechanisms covering indigenous issues, in line with the conclusions contained in the Secretary-General’s report.

    A. GOPINATHAN (India) said he shared concerns expressed by some of the delegations.  In particular, he shared concerns of Indonesia, especially with the selection of experts to represent indigenous peoples.

    He regretted that the Council had not taken review of the mechanisms to look at issues of indigenous peoples.  He trusted that careful consideration would be given at the General Assembly.  He underscored that the review should not look at only one aspect of those mechanisms.

    Action on Recommendations from Commission on Human Rights

    Regarding human rights, the Council had before it the report on the sixtieth session of the Commission on Human Rights (15 March-24 April) (documents E/2004/23, Part I, and corrigenda), containing some 48 draft decisions recommended to the Council for adoption.

    The ECOSOC adopted, by a recorded vote of 51 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Australia, United States), a decision on “Strengthening of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)”.

    Next, the Council adopted, by a recorded vote of 34 in favour to 17 against, with 3 abstentions (Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia), a decision on “Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination”.

    It then adopted, by a recorded vote of 51 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Japan, United States), with no abstentions, a decision on “The right to development”.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said his country remained deeply concerned by terrorist acts and ongoing violence in the Palestinian territories. While all casualties of the violence were mourned, it must be recognized that the text did not reflect the reality of the situation on the ground. It unfairly singled out only one side to the conflict and turned a blind eye to all else.

    The United States remained engaged in moving the peace process forward, consistent with United Nations resolutions, he said. United States President George Bush had reiterated his vision of two States living side by side in peace, and the Security Council had endorsed the Quartet’s Road Map to fulfil that vision. The United States would vote against the draft decision and urged all those opposed to the use of terrorism to show that position by voting against the text.

    Also speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of Canada said he had serious concerns about the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, due to the construction of the barrier and the effects of closures and curfews policies, among other policies. Moreover, activities such as settlement expansions and land appropriations were contrary to international law and harmed the peace process. Therefore, he urged all parties to comply with international law and international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions. It was impossible to overemphasize that dialogue, not violence, was the best means of ensuring peace.  Yet, in failing to condemn all acts of terrorism, the text did not adequately reflect the situation on the ground, nor contribute to its solution.  The text contained language that singled out one party to the conflict.  Canada would vote against.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 34 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom, United States), with 12 abstentions, a decision on the “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”.

    The ECOSOC was then reminded that it had adopted two decisions on the “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” and the “Situation of human rights in Belarus” on 15 June 2004 during its resumed organizational session.

    On the “Adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights”, ECOSOC adopted, by a recorded vote, 35 in favour to 17 against, with 2 abstentions (Armenia, Ukraine).

    The representative of Senegal noted that his delegation had wished to abstain. 

    Next, on “The right to food”, ECOSOC adopted the decision, by a recorded vote, 52 in favour to 1 against (Australia), with 1 abstention (United Kingdom).

    On “Human rights and extreme poverty”, ECOSOC adopted the decision without a vote.

    On “The right to education”, the Council adopted the decision without a vote.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said the cooperative spirit of the main sponsor and co-sponsors in conducting negotiations on the text during the session of the Commission on Human Rights had been appreciated.  Unfortunately, several problems had remained in the text, and the United States had been unable to support it.  She also wished to reiterate concern about the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur had exceeded his mandate and inappropriately focused his report.  The United States would, therefore, vote against the text.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 53 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, a decision on “The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

    Making a general statement before the vote on behalf of the European Union, the representative of the Netherlands said the decision before the Council only requests the Commission on Human Rights to renew the mandate of this open-ended working group for the period of two years.  The renewal of this mandate was important, since there was a need for a more thorough debate to consider options for the elaboration of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Within the working group, the vast majority of participants stated that they wished that the debate undertaken during the first session of the working group was continued.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 49 in favour to 1 against (Australia), with 4 abstentions (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States), a decision on the “Question of the realization in all countries of the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and study of special problems which the developing countries face in their efforts to achieve these human rights”.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote the representative of the United States noted that the text called on the Council to approve a request to hold the third consultative meeting on the right to remedy and reparation for victims of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.  While her country supported the initiative, the ECOSOC decision had been given programme budgetary implications.  That was surprising, as it had been requested that the meeting be held using existing resources.  Necessary resources should have been found within existing resources.  As a result of the programme budgetary implications, the United States would vote against the draft, although it would otherwise have been in position to join consensus.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, a decision on “The right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Japan said his delegation had co-sponsored the draft text before the Council at the Commission on Human Rights, as it supported the initiative and as the text had contained the phrase “using available resources”.  He regretted that the decision just adopted implied programme budget implications in spite of the original text.  However, Japan had voted in favour of the text on the understanding that the costs entailed should be absorbed by cutting lesser priorities.

    The Council then proceeded to adopt, without a vote, a decision on “Elimination of all forms of religious intolerance”.

    Next, it adopted, by a recorded vote of 45 in favour to none against, with  9 abstentions (Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), a decision on “Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions”.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of the United States said her country had enthusiastically joined the co-sponsors in condemning as unacceptable any extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and voted for the text both at the Commission and today.  However, it was also her position that the Council should reflect that the Special Rapporteur’s mandate did not include challenging the legitimacy of capital punishment under international law, nor campaigning for its abolition where it existed.

    On “Enforced or involuntary disappearances”, ECOSOC adopted the decision without a vote.

    Next, on “Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, ECOSOC adopted the decision without a vote.

    On the “Human rights of migrants”, the Council adopted the decision without a vote.

    On “Internally displaced persons”, ECOSOC adopted the decision without a vote.

    On the “Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples”, ECOSOC adopted, by a recorded vote of 35 in favour to 2 against (Australia, United States), with 17 abstentions.

    In an explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the United States said she supported the initiative to create the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and mainstream the issues of indigenous peoples throughout the United Nations system.  With the Permanent Forum and other groups established, however, her delegation could not continue to support the Working Group on indigenous peoples, as it had become overcome by events and absolute bureaucracy, consuming scarce resources.  The United States did not find duplication of the working group justifiable and would like to see resources used in other ways in such an important area.

    The ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, a decision on the “Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994”.

    Making a general statement after the vote, the representative of the United States said she had joined the consensus, but wished to note that the working group continued to struggle to achieve decades-old goals, which when adopted would have a wide impact.  The United States took the work of iterating the declaration seriously and had offered the opinion that internal self-determination should be given to local authorities to make decisions on a range of issues.  Finally, noting that in over a decade the working group had approved only two articles for the declaration, she said the Commission on Human Rights would have to decide on whether to continue the group.  The working group was, therefore, urged to make rapid progress on the declaration.  Hopefully, the declaration would be ready before the end of the decade.

    Next, the Council adopted, without a vote, a decision on the “Situation of human rights in Myanmar”.

    It then adopted, without a vote, a decision on “Human rights and indigenous issues”.

    Next, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, a decision on “Follow-up to the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education”.

    The ECOSOC was then informed that, as the decision on “Impunity”, had been adopted on 25 June 2004, no further action on it was required.

    On “Composition of the staff of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”, the Council adopted, by a recorded vote of 32 in favour to 18 against, with 3 abstentions (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Senegal).

    Next, on “Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights”, the Council adopted the decision without a vote.

    The Council was then informed that, as three decisions concerning the appointment of an independent expert to consider the situation of human rights in Burundi, “Technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” and “Technical cooperation and advisory services in Chad” had been adopted on 15 June 2004, no further action was necessary.

    Without a vote, the Council adopted a decision entitled “Assistance to Sierra Leone in the field of human rights”.

    The Council was informed that the decision on “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms whole countering terrorism” had already been adopted on 15 June.

    The Council then adopted, without a vote, a decision on “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action”.

    Next, the text of the “Decision relating to Paraguay under the procedure established in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1503 (XLVIII)” was adopted without a vote.

    Also without a vote, the Council adopted a decision on “Corruption and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights”.

    The “Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children” was adopted on 15 June.  No further action was needed.

    The Council adopted the decision, “Traditional practices affecting the health of women and the girl child”, without a vote.

    On “Publishing the report of the special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens”, the Council adopted the decision without a vote.

    The Council adopted, without a vote, the decision “Voluntary fund on minority-related activities.”

    The Council was then reminded that a corrigendum had been issued in regard of the decision on the “International year and decade for the world’s minorities”, deleting it from the list of decisions recommended for action.  No action was required.

    Next, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, a decision on “Responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights”.

    Making a general statement after the adoption, the representative of the United States said her delegation had joined the consensus on the text both at the Commission and today, but wished to note that the initiative went beyond the mandate of the Subcommission.  The subject matter had been addressed elsewhere.  Moreover, the process followed at the Subcommission had failed to consult and obtain input from all interested parties.

    On “Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights”, the Council adopted the decision, by recorded vote of 49 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Australia).

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, a decision on “Human rights and bioethics”.

    Next, it adopted, without a vote, a decision on “The universal implementation of international human rights treaties”.

    Making a general statement after adoption, the representative of the United States said she had joined the consensus both today and at the Commission to appoint a special rapporteur to conduct a study on universal implementation of human rights treaties.  However, the United States rejected assertions of obligations beyond those of States parties to each treaty and called upon the special rapporteur to follow that policy.

    Then, it adopted, without a vote, a decision by which it endorsed the Commission’s decision that its first meeting would be held on the third Monday in January with the sole purpose of electing its officers, and that the Commission’s sixty-first session would be held from 14 March to 22 April 2005.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said the draft decision would authorize six additional fully serviced meetings of the Commission.  The United States felt that the chair of the Commission should make every effort to organize the work of that body within the allotted time.  As had been demonstrated this year, efficient management made completing the work of the Commission within time allotted possible.  Due to the programme budget implications, the United States was not in a position to support the draft decision.

    Next it adopted, by a recorded vote of 53 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, a decision authorizing six fully serviced additional meetings, including summary records, for the Commission’s sixty-first session.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Japanreiterated his concern over the programme budget implications associated with the activities of the Commission, as the Commission had neglected to prioritize its activities.  He said the Commission should elaborate concrete measures to conclude the session in the time normally allotted to it, in order to further enhance its efficiency.  Japan would continue to work closely with other members in efficient management of the Commission.

    The representative of Canada said he was a strong supporter of the Commission on Human Rights and agreed that there could be a need for extra sessions, due to unforeseen events.  However, Canada felt it was inappropriate to underwrite contingencies in advance.  It was better to deal with them as they came about.  The Commission on Human Rights could deal with its extra needs within existing resources.

    Subsequently, ECOSOC adopted, without vote, a decision on “The situation of human rights in the Sudan”.

    Finally, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, a decision on “Technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan”.

    The ECOSOC then proceeded to take action on several other draft resolutions related to human rights questions, including one on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of international military operations launched to combat terrorism.

    Making a general statement on the text, the representative of Cuba said he wished to recall that the initiative submitted by Cuba had been put through various rounds of negotiations.  Cuba had tried to create a participatory process and accommodate all views.  Yet, during the process of negotiations and analysis of the draft, a variety of arguments had been raised.  Among others, some had said that was a duplication of existing mechanisms.  He was sure other arguments would be presented during explanations of vote, and he acknowledged that some delegations might not be able to vote as they had wished due to pressure.  There had never been any question or objection raised, because from the point of view of ethics, morality or international law, the initiative could not be challenged.  That was a question of defending values and principles.

    He said he was sure that those voting against the initiative would be those who normally voted in favour of resolutions condemning developing countries.  Red today would be the colour of shame, and the governments voting, thus, would have to answer to public opinion at home.  If ECOSOC, as an intergovernmental body, was not capable of adopting this draft and promoting cooperation and monitoring, it would be something to remember.  The votes this afternoon would be remembered throughout history, as world public opinion was unanimous in demanding that human rights should not be forgotten in the future.  This was a chance to show that the United Nations worked, and worked for all.

    In a general statement before the vote on behalf of the European Union, the representative of the Netherlands said the Union would vote against the draft, as the issues mentioned could be more efficiently dealt with elsewhere.  The issue of protection of human rights while countering terrorism was dealt with in Commission on Human Rights resolution 2004/87 in a comprehensive manner.  It was vital not to undermine or pre-empt that resolution by adopting a competing initiative that was “limited in its scope [and] legally imprecise in the application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law”.

    He said the issue of torture was dealt with in Assembly resolution A/RES/58/164 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 2004/41.  The issue of arbitrary detention was dealt with in the Commission resolution on the question of arbitrary detention.  The Union was committed to cooperation with all procedures of the Commission to ensure that the fight against terrorism was conducted while protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The Union preferred not to start a debate on those issues in the Council, as they were the subject of thorough discussion and active follow-up elsewhere.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said his country attached great importance to combating global terrorism in all its manifestations.  No pretext could justify such terrorist attacks.  It was unacceptable to use human rights rhetoric to legitimize such acts.  Yet, it was also necessary to ensure protection for victims of terrorism, as well as full compliance with international human rights standards.  Guided by such notions, the Russian Federation traditionally supported resolutions on the protection of human rights and basic freedoms in the combat against terrorism.

    The draft tabled by Cuba was a substantive addition to United Nations documents on human rights, he added, and in no way overlapped them.  The present text was thematic, and was not aimed against any single or group of countries.  The contents were indisputable and called for respect of human rights norms and action within the framework of international law in countering terrorism.  For those reasons, his delegation would vote in favour.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said her delegation would vote no.  The United States remained committed to the protection of human rights and stood by its record.  Her nation strived for a world where people could enjoy the fulfilment of their rights.  This resolution duplicated resolutions already passed, she noted, as ECOSOC had already taken action in this area in the Commission on Human Rights in June.  This resolution distracted from the work of the Council on human rights.  She said freedom from torture was an inalienable right, as President Bush had stated earlier this year.  The United States would not tolerate torture, she said, and was dedicated to ensuring that the dignity of human beings was upheld and violations were investigated.  Her delegation strongly believed that States involved in military actions must act under international law.  She would support existing resolutions that more comprehensively addressed this issue.  This one, in particular, was inappropriate.

    The ECOSOC then rejected, by a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 24 against, with 17 abstentions, the draft resolution on the “Question of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of international military operations launched to combat terrorism” (document E/2004/L.17/Rev.1).

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Indonesia said his vote had not been reflected on the machine.  He would have liked to vote in favour of the draft.  Whatever efforts of Member States to combat terrorism, it was always appropriate to respect human rights.  However, in supporting the draft, he did not wish to support any non-selective direction of the draft against any particular State.  For those reasons, and because the text did not qualify as duplicative, he had supported it.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Chile said his country had abstained on this draft resolution because it contained concern for his country.  At the sixtieth session of the Commission on Human Rights, there was an adoption of a draft resolution on the protection of human rights in combating terrorism, which was co-sponsored by Chile.  He believed that that overlapped with today’s resolution and believed that Cuba’s initiative contained controversial elements.  Chile felt there was a need to depoliticize these types of issues, and his delegation gave support to mechanisms for monitoring human rights, such as independent experts and the special rapporteur, among others.

    Making a general statement after the vote, the representative of Venezuela said she regretted that the text had not been approved.  Her country could not remain impassive towards the situation addressed by the draft.  The situation of human rights referred to in the draft was a matter of priority and required urgent attention.

    Making a general statement after the vote, the representative of Cuba said he had been pleased by the outcome of the vote.  He did not feel defeated, but satisfied that in a world dominated by a hegemonic power, which imposed its opinion through force, there was such a reserve of shame.  The colour of shame had been reduced to 24.  That meant more than one half the membership of the Council had not joined the hegemonic power.  Twenty-nine members had recognized the merits of the initiative.  Victory was being won by those countries, peoples, non-governmental organizations, press and governments calling for an end to impunity for such actions.  The vote showed it was possible to build a better world.  On behalf of those who had stood and fought injustice, he wished to thank those who had not voted against the draft.

    Making a general statement on the subsequent text, the representative of Cuba requested a recorded vote on the draft.  On principle, his country’s  position reflected recognition of the intrinsic link between rights and human responsibilities.  For countries such as Cuba, with its history of more than four centuries of colonial existence followed by intervention and neo-colonialism, human rights had no meaning without recognition of the need to respect others’ rights.  The Cuban position was such that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights had recognized the link between rights and human responsibilities.

    Incorrect arguments had been used, including in the draft submitted by the European Union, he said.  The draft it sought to overrule wanted only to guarantee the human rights of all.  The masses in developing countries did not have access to or guarantees for their human rights.  The report submitted by the Special Rapporteur called for solidarity with those suffering throughout the world.  The original text was, first and foremost, a procedural draft that sought enjoyment of the right of freedom of expression.  It requested views from States, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.  However, the European Union’s draft had taken the right to speak from all the rest in imposing this draft upon the Council.

    Making a general comment, the representative of Syria said she wished to emphasize the importance of ensuring that all mechanisms of protecting human rights worked.  The functional commissions of ECOSOC undertook their work on the basis of a specific mandate.  That applied to the Commission on Human Rights.  The decision taken by the Commission was within the competence of the Commission.  The present draft decision sought to cancel or delete that decision, in an attempt to undermine the work of the Commission and prejudice its credibility and the positive work of the Special Rapporteur.  Such a matter led one to see duplicity in the dealing of some with human rights.  Efforts that threatened to undermine the United Nations must be resisted.  Because of the limited role of observers in the Council, she wished to emphasize observers’ right to reopen matters concerning them before the General Assembly in its next session.

    Also making a general statement, the representative of Benin said his delegation was surprised to see an attempt to challenge a decision already taken by a specialized Commission.  His delegation was reluctant to join any attempt to challenge organizations with regard to their decisions.  He requested the Council resist this type of attempt, and was pleased that a recorded vote was requested on the matter.  His delegation would vote against the resolution proposed.

    The representative of Ecuador said her country felt the draft resolution should be rejected by all.  Each person had the right vis-à-vis the community to develop his or her own personality.  The original decision of the Commission had no aspects that were contradictory to principles of human rights.  Instead, it had emphasized the indivisibility of human rights by setting forth the social rights of the individual, which emphasized collective law and showed that individuals did have duties towards their communities.  Ecuador would vote against the present draft resolution.

    In a general statement on behalf of the European Union before the vote, the representative of the Netherlands said the resolution sought to overturn Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/117, since it was the first step in trying to get a pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities adopted by the United Nations.  Such a pre-draft declaration had not been mandated by the Commission on Human Rights.  The Commission had only requested the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to undertake a study on the issue of human rights and human responsibilities.

    The pre-draft declaration undermined the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights and other important human rights documents, and aimed to make human rights conditional.  “The idea that a State can determine which rights an individual can enjoy in return for the exercise of responsibilities is entirely inconsistent with fundamental concepts of human rights”, he said. The European Union did not take issue with the idea that members of any society have responsibilities towards each other, towards the community and towards a democratic society.  “It is the conditional linkage between responsibilities and human rights that we cannot allow to go unchallenged”, he said, and expressed the hope that the draft decision would be adopted.

    The representative of Chile said he would vote in favour of the draft resolution because the preliminary draft declaration accompanied the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

    The representative of the United States said her country had supported the European Union draft decision as human rights were a universal and inalienable right.  The pre-draft declaration aimed to make human rights conditional, undermining human rights law.  The United States would vote yes.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said he viewed the decision taken by the Commission on Human Rights as an important and balanced text, that in no way went beyond the mandate of the Commission.  The Russian Federation would vote against the European Union’s draft, which was nothing more than a procedural attempt not to take a decision on the text of the Commission.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of China said L.21, submitted by the European Union, attempted to deprive all parties of their rights to express their views on the pre-draft.  The European Union claimed to be an advocate and defender of freedom of speech, but it had sought to peremptorily stop further deliberation on that issue at the Commission on Human Rights because the European Union viewed the pre-draft declaration differently, or simply disliked it.  The European Union loved freedom of speech, but only their freedom of speech.  Why did the Union not allow others to comment on the pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities?  Why did they try to stop further deliberation on that issue at the Commission on Human Rights?  The Chinese delegation could not but express its profound regrets at the behaviour of the European Union and would vote against decision L.21.

    The representative of Zimbabwe said his delegation felt the Commission’s decision had been procedural, and had sought to give all member States the opportunity to comment on the pre-draft declaration.  While making comments of a substantive nature on the pre-draft declaration, the sponsors of the European Union draft were trying to deny others the same opportunity.  For that reason, he would vote against the draft.

    The representative of Cuba said his nation would vote against the draft resolution, submitted by the European Union and its co-sponsors, because it was based on fundamentalism, extremism and self-centredness, which questioned the universality of human rights.  Those promoting the draft resolution defended racists groups, such as the Klu Klux Klan, for individualist enjoyment.  Those submitting it also defended xenophobia.  There was no doubt that that attitude would not take the international community anywhere.  Cuba reaffirmed its views.

    The representative of Indonesia said he wished to recall the Commission’s adoption of decision 2004/117, which his country had supported.  The Commission’s decision afforded the international community the opportunity to openly debate the issue of human rights and human responsibilities.  The main objective of the declaration on human rights and human responsibilities was not to limit individual rights, but to emphasize the relationship between those two concepts.  He encouraged all members of ECOSOC to reflect deeply upon the European Union draft and not to support it.

    The representative of India said his delegation shared most of the concern expressed, especially by China.  Having been a co-sponsor, his delegation would vote against the European Union text.  Moreover, the reasons used by the Union were not entirely convincing.  If the intention was only to seek the views of member States, India did not see the purpose of stopping the exercise by this procedural device.  The procedural device being used was morally questionable, especially in regard to how business was conducted at the organization.

    The ECOSOC then rejected, by a recorded vote of 24 in favour to 25 against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Burundi, Mauritius, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania), the draft resolution on “Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/117 on human rights and human responsibilities”.

    Next, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution on the “Extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography”.

    Action on Recommendation of Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

    Turning to action on recommendations contained within the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, ECOSOC had before it five draft decisions, as well as a draft amendment to the first of those texts.

    Thus, ECOSOC first took up consideration of the draft amendment (document E/2004/L.41), hearing a general statement by the representative of Sweden who, on behalf of the main sponsors, said her delegation was pleased to give some background to the proposed amendment.  Her delegation felt that it was important to hold a preparatory meeting in order to ensure a successful fourth session on Indigenous Issues Forum.  The amendments enjoyed broad-based support and it was her sincere hope that the draft decision with its proposed amendments would be adopted with the same support.

    The draft amendment was then adopted without a vote.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said her country had supported the creation of the Permanent Forum, which was now beginning to fulfil its mandate.  For that reason, the United States would have joined the consensus.  However, the draft decision entailed a programme budget implication.  Thus, while noting efforts to reduce those costs, the United States would have liked to see the costs absorbed into the regular budget.  Because it could not support the programme budget implication, the United States would oppose the draft decision.

    The Council then adopted, as amended and by a recorded vote of 42 in favour to 6 against (Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, United States), with 5 abstentions (China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania), a draft decision authorizing a three-day pre-sessional meeting of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2005 to prepare for the fourth annual session of the Forum, in cooperation with the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Japan said his delegation attached great importance to the work of the Permanent Forum.  However, he firmly believed the costs of the pre-sessional meeting should have been covered by the regular budget.  Japan had voted in favour, however, as it understood the need for a pre-sessional meeting when the Forum would be experiencing the first large change in its membership.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said her country had supported the creation of the Permanent Forum, which was now beginning to fulfil its mandate.  For that reason, the United States would have joined the consensus.  However the draft decision entailed a programme budget implication.  The United States would have liked to see the costs absorbed into the regular budget.  Because it could not support the programme budget implication, the United States would oppose the draft decision.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, by a recorded vote of 41 in favour and 9 against (Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States), with 3 abstentions (Australia, China, Senegal) a draft decision authorizing the holding of a technical three-day workshop on free, prior and informed consent.

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Japan said that, as stated earlier, the activities of the Forum should be financed from within its regular budget.  However, as the members of the Forum had prioritized the workshops they wished to hold, he had voted in favour of the decision.

    The Council then adopted a draft decision, as amended and without a vote, by which it decided that the fourth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held at Headquarters from 16 to 27 May 2005.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, without a vote, the draft decision approving the fourth session’s provisional agenda and documentation.

    Next, ECOSOC adopted, as amended and without a vote, the draft decision on the “Proposal for a second international decade of the world’s indigenous peoples”.

    The ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, an oral decision, read out by the representative of Switzerland, by which the Council took note of the concerns voiced today by member States as to the contents of paragraph 52 of the Forum’s report and transmitted those concerns to the Permanent Forum.

    Making a general statement after the adoption of the report of the third session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the representative of Indonesia said his country had consistently supported the work of the Forum, as had been demonstrated conclusively by its joining the consensus on the report, although the negotiating process had been lengthy, complicated and highly sensitive.  The ECOSOC had today sent a clear and strong message of concern about the work of the Forum.  Indonesia once more strongly urged the Forum not to break the trust of the 220 million Indonesian people who had consistently supported the Forum.  However, Indonesia reiterated its objection to the inclusion of paragraph 52 in the report.  That paragraph should be amended substantially or deleted.  Overall, it should be known that his country would never accept separatism that threatened its territorial integrity as the third largest democracy in the world.

    Also making a general statement, the representative of Colombia said his delegation had made a statement that was clear in its logic with respect to the objectivity of the report as presented by the Permanent Forum.  He requested that Colombia’s statement on the issue be recorded as an official document, and reminded the Council of its support of the Permanent Forum.  Colombia believed that it was timely and urgent that indigenous issues be given their own body to advance and promote human rights, which would be balanced, impartial and objective; universal and non-selective.  The Forum’s credibility would be enhanced by standing by those principles.  If those principles were manipulated, the body would lose credibility and prestige.  For those reasons, Colombia had undertaken a negotiation process and hoped that it also would be impartial.

    The ECOSOC needed to play its role to consider the activities and reports from its subsidiary bodies and urged that a revision of the working methods be revised so that the Forum could better guide its work.  He shared the views of Indonesia and felt that paragraph 52 should have been amended.  And it was difficult to set right that mistake in the negotiation.  He hoped ECOSOC would express those concerns.  Should the situation occur again in the future, it would undermine the credibility of the Forum and ECOSOC in verifying reports that those bodies transmit to it.

    In the last order of business for the day, the representative of Qatar, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, introduced a draft resolution on “Implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits:  review and coordination of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010” (documentE/2004/L.39).

    (annexes follow)


    ANNEX I

    Vote on Strengthening Human Rights Office

    The draft decision on strengthening the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  None.

    Abstaining:  Australia, United States.

    (END OF ANNEX I)


    ANNEX II

    Vote on Mercenaries

    The draft decision on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 34 in favour to    17 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia.

    (END OF ANNEX II)


    ANNEX III

    Vote on Right to Development

    The draft decision on the right to development (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 51 in favour to 3 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, Japan, United States.

    Abstaining:  None.

    (END OF ANNEX III)


    ANNEX IV

    Vote on Human Rights in Occupied Territories

    The draft decision on the question of violations of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine (document E/2004/23), was adopted by a recorded vote of 34 in favour to 7 against, with 12 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Poland, Sweden.

    Absent:  El Salvador.

    (END OF ANNEX IV)


    ANNEX V

    Vote on Dumping of Toxic Products

    The draft decision on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic waste (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of    35 in favour to 17 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Armenia, Ukraine.

    (END OF ANNEX V)


    ANNEX VI

    Vote on Right to Food

    The draft decision on the right to food (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  Australia.

    (END OF ANNEX VI)


    ANNEX VII

    Vote on Right to Physical, Mental Health

    The draft decision on the right of all to enjoyment of highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 53 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  None.

    (END OF ANNEX VII)


    ANNEX VIII

    Vote on Realizing Rights in Universal Declaration

    The draft decision on realizing the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and special problems faced by developing countries (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 49 in favour to 1 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia.

    Abstaining:  Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States.

    (END OF ANNEX VIII)


    ANNEX IX

    Vote on Right to Restitution

    The draft decision on the right to restitution for victims of violations of human rights and humanitarian law (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  None.

    Absent:  El Salvador.

    (END OF ANNEX IX)


    ANNEX X

    Vote on Extrajudicial Executions

    The draft decision on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 45 in favour to none against, with 9 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  None.

    Abstaining:  Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.

    (END OF ANNEX X)


    ANNEX XI

    Vote on Working Group on Indigenous Populations

    The draft decision on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 35 in favour to 2 against, with 17 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, United States.

    Abstaining:  Bangladesh, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom.

    (END OF ANNEX XI)


    ANNEX XII

    Vote on Staff of Human Rights Office

    The draft decision on the composition the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 32 in favour to 18 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Guatemala, Nicaragua, Senegal

    Absent:  Congo

    (END OF ANNEX XII)


    ANNEX XIII

    Vote on Globalization

    The draft decision on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 49 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  Australia.

    Absent:  Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal.

    (END OF ANNEX XIII)


    ANNEX XIV

    Vote on Bioethics

    The draft decision on human rights and bioethics (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 52 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  None.

    Absent:  Nicaragua.

    (END OF ANNEX XIV)


    ANNEX XV

    Vote on Work of Human Rights Commission

    The draft decision on the organization of work for the Commission on Human Rights (document E/2004/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 53 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  United States.

    Abstaining:  None.

    (END OF ANNEX XV)


    ANNEX XVI

    Vote on Protecting Human Rights While Combating Terrorism

    The draft decision on the question of protecting human rights while combating terrorism (document E/2004/L.17/Rev.1) was rejected by a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 24 against, with 17 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Benin, China, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, Libya, Malaysia, Namibia, Russian Federation, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Canada, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates.

    Absent:  Indonesia, Mozambique.

    (END OF ANNEX XVI)


    ANNEX XVII

    Vote on Human Rights and Human Responsibilities

    The draft decision on human rights and human responsibilities (document E/2004/L.21) was rejected by a recorded vote of 24 in favour to 25 against, with  5 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Congo, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

    Against:  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe.

    Abstaining:  Armenia, Burundi, Mauritius, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania.

    (END OF ANNEX XVII)


    ANNEX XVIII

    Vote on Indigenous Forum Pre-Session

    The draft decision, as amended, on inter-sessional meeting of Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (document E/2004/43) was adopted by a recorded vote of 42 in favour to 6 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, United States.

    Abstaining:  China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, United Arab Emirates.

    Absent:  Cuba.

    (END OF ANNEX XVIII)


    ANNEX XIX

    Vote on Workshop on Consent

    The draft decision on workshop on free, prior and informed consent (document E/2004/43) was adopted by a recorded vote of 42 in favour to 9 against, with       3 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States.

    Abstaining:  Australia, China, Senegal.

    * *** *