Press Releases

    GA/SHC/3807
    19 November 2004

    Third Committee Approves 16 Draft Resolutions on Human Rights, Racism, Refugee Issues, Including Text on Human Rights in Turkmenistan

    Decides to Take No Action on Belarus Draft

    NEW YORK, 18 November (UN Headquarters) -- Taking up consideration of two country-specific draft resolutions -- on the human rights situations in Turkmenistan and Belarus respectively -- as well as 15 texts related to various thematic issues, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today continued taking action on the wide range of issues before it.

    The text on Turkmenistan was adopted by a recorded vote of 65 in favour to 49 opposed, with 56 abstentions, and as orally amended. (See Annex IV). It would have the General Assembly express its grave concern at the continuing and serious human rights violations occurring in that country, in particular the persistence of a governmental policy of repression of all political opposition activities, continuing abuse of the legal system and continued restrictions on the exercise of the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion and belief. Among other provisions, the Government would be called upon to work closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and to remove remaining restrictions on the activities of public associations.

    Speaking on behalf of the concerned country, Turkmenistan’s representative said his country had continued to make real steps to ensure individual rights, to erect a modern legal system and to enact a number of measures for concrete progress in economic, social and cultural rights. It had also continued to work with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as other agencies working in the humanitarian sphere. His Government categorically rejected this measure, which did not help to improve the dialogue on human rights. The co-authors had avoided dialogue with his country; no delegation from the European Union had even visited his country, although an open invitation had been extended.

    Making general statements on the draft were the representative of the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union) and Pakistan. Speaking in explanation before the vote were the representatives of Iran, China, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Algeria, Venezuela and Belarus. Speaking in explanation after the vote were the representatives of Singapore and Brazil.

    Consideration of the text on Belarus was adjourned, however, subsequent to a motion of no-action, proposed by the representative of the Russian Federation, and approved by a recorded vote of 75 in favour to 65 against, with 28 abstentions. (See annex VII.)

    Speaking in favour of the no-action motion were the representatives of China and Malaysia, who reiterated their opposition to country-specific texts as unnecessarily politicizing the human rights discussion. The representatives of the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union) and the United States spoke in opposition to the no-action motion, urging the Committee not to be dissuaded from consideration of the human rights situation in Belarus. The United States urged the Committee to fulfil its obligation to assist in achievement of human rights and fundamental freedom for all.

    Within its consideration of thematic issues, the Committee adopted, by a recorded vote of 105 in favour and five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and the United States), with 61 abstentions, a draft on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children. (See annex I.) The text would have the General Assembly express deep concern about the negative consequences of Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children and demand that Israel respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention on Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote were the representatives of the United States, Turkey and Israel, while the representatives of the Russian Federation, Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union) and Norway spoke in explanation after the vote. The representative of Nepal made a general statement after the adoption, as did the Observer for Palestine.

    Among the points raised by those making statements in explanation of position on the text on assistance for Palestinian children, several delegations cautioned against singling out specific groups of children for special attention, as all children worldwide deserved protection. Thematic texts should remain all-encompassing, they urged.

    The text on the right to development was adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 2 against (Israel and the United States), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Canada, Japan and Sweden). (See annex II). It would have the General Assembly call upon the Working Group on the Right to Development, and its high-level task force, to contribute actively towards the mainstreaming of the right to development at the high-level event to be held in New York at the commencement of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. The Assembly would also stress the need to strive for greater acceptance, operationalization and realization of the right to development at the international and national levels.

    Making general statements on the text were the representatives of Malaysia, the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union) and Venezuela. The representatives of Japan and Norway spoke in explanation after the vote.

    The draft on respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family reunification, was adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Palau and the United States), with 63 abstentions. (See annex III). It would have the General Assembly call upon all States to guarantee the universally recognized freedom of travel to all foreign nationals legally residing in their territory, to allow the free flow of financial remittances to relatives in countries of origin and to refrain from enacting legislation intended as a coercive measure, which adversely affected family reunification and the right to send financial remittances.

    Making a general statement was the draft’s sponsor, the representative of Cuba, while the representative of the United States spoke in explanation before the vote. The representative of Mexico spoke in explanation after the vote.

    The text on equitable geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies, approved by a recorded vote of 112 in favour and 51 against, with five abstentions (Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Paraguay and Ukraine), would have the General Assembly recommend that each of the five regional groups be assigned a quota of the membership of each treaty body, in equivalent proportion to the number of States parties to the instrument it represents.  (See annex V).

    Speaking before the vote were the representatives of the Cuba and Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union).

    The text on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, adopted by a recorded vote to 115 in favour and 55 against, with four abstentions (Argentina, Armenia, Mexico and Peru), would have the General Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights. (See annex VI).

    Speaking in explanation before the vote was the representative of the Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), while the representative of Venezuela spoke in explanation after the vote.

    Other draft resolutions endorsed for transmittal to the General Assembly today concerned follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing; enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights; regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights; missing persons; and the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  All were approved without votes.

    Making statements in explanation of position on those drafts were the representatives of Azerbaijan, the United States, Denmark, Venezuela and Syria.

    In other action, the Committee took note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies on their sixteenth meeting, as well as the reports of the Secretary-General on the status of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, including reporting obligations under international instruments on human rights; the status of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery; and the status of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

    Also today, the representative of Norway introduced a text on the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    The Third Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 19 November, to continue taking action on the wide range of issues before it.

    Background

    The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take action on a variety of draft resolutions related to issues of social development, refugees, returnees and displaced persons, the rights of the child, elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and human rights questions.

    Introduction of Draft Resolution

    As its first order of business, the Third Committee heard the introduction of a text on the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (A/C.3/59/L.45/Rev.1).  Introducing the text, the representative of Norway said human rights defenders continued to be at risk in all parts of the world and this was of grave concern. The freedom of expression and association for human rights defenders must be ensured for the effectiveness of their work. The text welcomed regional initiatives and the adoption of national policies and legislation for the promotion and protection of human rights and of human rights defenders.

    Action on Draft Resolutions

    Subsequently, the Committee took up the text on Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing (document A/C.3/59/L.14/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly call on governments and the agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, and encourage the non-governmental community, to ensure that the challenges of population ageing and the concerns of older persons are adequately incorporated into their programmes and projects.

    Inviting Member States and the United Nations system to take the needs and concerns of older persons into account in decision-making at all levels, the Assembly would stress the need for additional capacity-building at the national level to promote and facilitate implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. By the draft’s terms the Assembly would also invite governments and inter- and non-governmental organizations to encourage and advance comprehensive, diversified and specialized research on ageing in their countries and invite the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council to integrate the issues of population and individual ageing into their programmes of work to promote implementation of the Madrid Plan.

    The draft resolution was adopted without a vote.

    Resuming consideration of questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons, the Committee turned to the text on the Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/59/L.72). The draft would have the General Assembly decide to increase the number of members of the Executive Committee from sixty-six to sixty-eight States and request the Economic and Social Council to elect the additional members at its resumed organizational session for 2005.

    The draft resolution was adopted without a vote.

    The text on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (document A/C.3/59/L.73) would have the General Assembly re-emphasize that the protection of refugees is primarily the responsibility of States, whose full and effective cooperation, action and political resolve are required to enable the Office of the High Commissioner to fulfil its mandated functions.  The Assembly would strongly reaffirm the fundamental importance and the purely humanitarian and non-political character of the function of the Office of the High Commissioner of providing international protection to refugees, with voluntary repatriation remaining the preferred solution.

    Under the terms of the text the General Assembly would condemn all acts that pose a threat to the personal security and well-being of refugees and asylum-seekers. The Office of the High Commissioner would be encouraged to continue to improve its management systems and to ensure effective and transparent use of its resources. 

    The draft resolution was adopted without a vote.

    Speaking in explanation of position after the adoption, the representative of Azerbaijan noted that her delegation had recently joined consensus on the draft and wished to express its full support for the work of the High Commissioner. Also thanking the text’s co-sponsors for addressing the issue of protracted refugee situations and the need for durable solutions to them, she stressed that, nevertheless, the text could have been more balanced and comprehensive. It should have embraced all groups of concern to the High Commissioner, including internally displaced persons. Despite the difference in their legal status, they often had the same economic and social needs as refugees.  Moreover, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had been increasingly involved with internally displaced persons over the years, as a series of General Assembly resolutions had recognized.  She wished to stress the importance of addressing the issue of internally displaced persons in future texts.

    The text on Assistance to Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Africa (A/C.3/59/L.78) would have the General Assembly recognize that among refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, women and children are the majority of the population affected by conflict and bear the brunt of atrocities and other consequences of conflict.  Noting, with great concern, that despite all the efforts made so far by the United Nations, the African Union and others, the situation of refugees and displaced persons in Africa remains precarious, it would call upon States and other parties to armed conflict to observe international humanitarian law, bearing in mind that armed conflict is one of the principal causes of forced displacement in Africa.

    The text would also have the General Assembly call upon the Office of the High Commissioner, the international community and other concerned entities to intensify their support to African governments through appropriate capacity-building activities. It would further urge the international community to continue to fund generously the refugee programmes of the Office of the High Commissioner, taking into account the substantially increased needs of programmes in Africa.

    The draft was adopted without a vote.

    Returning to its consideration of promotion and protection of the rights of the child, the Committee took up the draft on The Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Children (document A/C.3/59/L.28) by which it would have the General Assembly express deep concern about the negative consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children. The text would have the Assembly demand that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention on Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  It would also call upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families. 

    Making a statement in explanation before the vote, the representative of the United States said that all were deeply troubled by the effect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had had on the children of the region.  None could remain indifferent to the suffering of children, their parents and extended families, and the societies in which they lived -- and often died.  However, this concern should not be limited to Palestinian children, but must also be extended to Israeli children, who often became the targets of suicide bombers. Furthermore, his country remained concerned by the situation of children in all situations of armed conflict. It was not appropriate for the United Nations to single out one group of children as meriting a specific resolution, while all the other groups of children worldwide did not.  The United States urged the United Nations to avoid singling out one group of children; his delegation would oppose the draft.

    The representative of Turkey said it was regrettable that violence in the occupied Palestinian territories had exerted such a dramatic toll on civilian life. Turkey condemned any act of violence that targeted innocent civilians, especially children. Turkey would vote in favour of the resolution.  It would also support any other initiative that would address the plight of children in any part of the world.

    The representative of Israel said the present text was biased, one-sided and contrary to the spirit of resolutions before the Third Committee.  All the world’s children deserved protection; resolutions that singled out one group were not only cynical, but unfair and morally unacceptable. The resolution served the interests of one side of the conflict and ignored the other.  Many Israeli children had been killed and injured in terrorist attacks over the past years. Children had been deliberately murdered in school buses, discotheques and in their parents’ arms. He also noted that Palestinian children had been encouraged to participate in violence and terrorist attacks, trained to be warriors and glorified in martyrdom. Such attitudes were particularly reprehensible when applied to children.

    Israel welcomed the international community’s efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, he said, but reaffirmed that only an end to the terror and incitement could end the conflict. No one-sided resolution could accomplish that goal. The international community should send a message to the Palestinian authorities to end immediately the use of children in terrorist attacks. He also noted that, last year, his delegation had introduced a similar text to address the situation of Israeli children, so as to redress the false impression that only the children of one side deserved international attention. Unfortunately that draft had been denied the Committee’s consideration.

    The Committee then adopted the draft on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children by a recorded vote of 105 in favour and 5 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and the United States), with 61 abstentions.  (See Annex I).

    Making a statement in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation, noting that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft, said his delegation was convinced that the issues addressed by the draft concerned all children in the region.

    The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union had abstained because it did not support the proliferation of country-specific resolutions. Thematic resolutions should be all encompassing and not highlight one situation over another. The European Union was concerned about the plight of all children around the world, including Israeli and Palestinian children.

    He said the European Union called for every possible effort by the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority to give children special protection. It called on Israel to take effective measures to avoid any harm to children and to avoid civilian casualties in its military operations.  He said the lives of Palestinian children had become increasingly difficult and dangerous. Similarly Israeli children continued to suffer attacks and threats of attacks by Palestinian terrorist groups. The European Union called for an end to such attacks. The incitement of Palestinian children to participate in acts of violence and their recruitment was also a matter of grave concern. The European Union continued to believe a comprehensive, just and lasting peace could be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions and the Quartets’ Road Map presented to the parties in 2003. The European Union would do everything it could to help the parties achieve this goal.

    The representative of Norway said his delegation had abstained on the draft, yet that vote should not be misconstrued as reflecting indifference or lack of commitment to the rights of the child.  Moreover, Norway remained committed to improving the situation of Palestinian children. However, his country continued not to favour opening thematic issues to country-specificity. Instead, Norway supported the practice by which thematic resolutions remained all-encompassing and did not highlight one situation or another in particular.

    Making a general statement on the draft, the Observer for Palestine said she wished to thank those who had voted in favour of the draft, as well as the draft’s co-sponsors. The text’s adoption was important, as it sent a strong message of solidarity with Palestinian children, who had lived their entire lives under brutal occupation. It was to be hoped that, next year, the Committee would not have to consider a similar resolution.

    The representative of Nepal said he regretted that he was absent when the vote took place, but he would have voted in favour of resolutions.

    The Committee next turned to the text on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/59/L.69), which  would have the General Assembly call upon States parties to fulfil their obligation under the Convention to submit their periodic reports on measures taken to implement the Convention in due time. It would also encourage States parties to the Convention whose reports are overdue to avail themselves of the advisory services and technical assistance provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the preparation of the reports. In addition, States parties would be encouraged to include a gender perspective in their reports to the Committee.

    Expressing profound concern that a number of States parties to the Convention have still not fulfilled their financial obligations, the draft would have the Assembly strongly appeal to all States parties that are in arrears to fulfil their outstanding financial obligations. Also, the Assembly would strongly urge States parties to the Convention to accelerate their domestic ratification procedures regarding the amendment to the Convention concerning the financing of the Committee.  States not yet party to the Convention would be urged to ratify or accede to it as a matter of urgency with a view to universal ratification by the year 2005.

    The representative of Burkina Faso then withdrew its sponsorship of the draft.

    The draft was adopted without a vote.

    Speaking in explanation of position after the draft’s adoption, the representative of the United States noted that operative paragraph 20 urged all States to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as a matter of urgency. However, the United States held, as a matter of sovereignty, that States should be asked to consider such action. The United States would continue to work for the eradication of all forms of racial discrimination. The objection was limited to use of language that did more than ask States to consider becoming parties to an instrument.

    The Committee then resumed its consideration of questions of human rights, turning to the text on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (document A/C.3/59/L.33/Rev.1). That text would have the General Assembly condemn all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, call upon all governments to give full effect to the prohibition of such treatment or punishment, and condemn any action or attempt by States or public officials to legalize or authorize it, including on grounds of national security or through judicial decisions.

    Stressing that all allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment must be promptly and impartially examined by the competent national authority, the text would have the Assembly stress that all acts of torture must be made offences under domestic criminal law, and that acts of torture are serious violations of international humanitarian law and can constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes. It would also emphasize that statements made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, excepts against a person accused of torture, and that victims of torture must obtain redress, be rewarded fair and adequate compensation and receive appropriate social and medical rehabilitation.

    Noting the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Assembly would call upon all governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his task.  It would also express gratitude and appreciation to the governments, organizations and individuals that already contributed to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and appeal to all governments and organizations to contribute annually to the Fund.

    Making a statement as the draft’s main sponsor, the representative of Denmark said the international community must continue to show a firm resolve to fight against torture and ill-treatment which unfortunately continued to take place around the world. These practices were scars on the social fabric of societies and were an offence against the international community as a whole.

    The draft was adopted without a vote.

    The Committee then turned to the text on The Right to Development (A/C.3/59/L.37), which would have the General Assembly call upon the Working Group on the Right to Development, and its high-level task force, to contribute actively towards the mainstreaming of the right to development at the high-level event to be held in New York at the commencement of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. Also, noting with concern that the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights did not consider the working paper on possible alternatives at its fifty-sixth session, the Assembly would request that body to submit to the Commission on Human Rights without further delay the concept document establishing options for implementation of the right to development.

    Furthermore, while stressing that the basic responsibility for promotion and protection of all human rights lies with the State and reaffirming that States have the primary responsibility for their own economic and social development, the Assembly would stress the need to strive for greater acceptance, operationalization and realization of the right to development at the international and national levels. It would call upon States to institute the measures required for implementation of the right to development as a fundamental human right, and stress the need for policies and measures, at the national and global levels, to respond to the challenges and opportunities of globalization.  It would also call for implementation of a desirable pace of meaningful trade liberalization.

    Finally, the text would have the Assembly reaffirm the request to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to strengthen the global partnership for development between MemberStates, development agencies and the international development, financial and trade institutions and call upon United Nations agencies, funds and programmes to mainstream the right to development in their operational programmes and objectives.

    The draft’s main sponsor, the representative of Malaysia, then introduced several amendments to the text.  She also noted that a positive vote for the text would further the commitment undertaken by all States at the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights.

    Making a general statement on behalf of the European Union, the representative of the Netherlands said the Union remained committed to realizing the right to development and would continue to work for its fulfilment on a progressive and consensual basis. However, it remained the primary responsibility of States to create national conditions conducive to development and fulfilment of that right.  Moreover, the Union appreciated that the draft welcomed the establishment of the high-level Task Force of the Working Group on the Right to Development. In keeping with the spirit of openness and consensus that had prevailed recently with respect to negotiations on the right to development, the European Union had made a number of proposals to improve the text.  Unfortunately, not all of those proposals had been accepted and the resolution continued to contain paragraphs considered unnecessary and unbalanced. The Union wished to note that it was reaching the limits of its ability to negotiate on this issue; future texts would need to be more streamlined.

    Making a general statement, the representative of Venezuela said the right to development was not only a right of the highest priority but was a central component of the sovereign development of a State.  It was a right supported by Venezuelas’s foreign policy and should be a principle supported by all United Nations bodies.

    The text on the right to development was then adopted, as amended, by a recorded vote of 165 in favour and 2 against (Israel and the United States), with four abstentions (Australia, Canada, Japan and Sweden).  (See Annex II).

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Japan said his country remained firmly committed to realization of the right to development and held that right as the right of an individual, the right of the people of each country. Therefore, the responsibility to promote the right to development rested with the government of each country. Moreover, while the importance of international cooperation to attainment of development remained undeniable, it went too far in stating that developed countries were legally obliged to extend assistance to developing countries.  He also noted that there was a difference between progressive realization of the right to development and economic, social and cultural rights. However, his country would continue to engage actively and participate in realization of the right.

    The representative of Somalia said he had been absent at the time of the vote, but would have voted in favour.

    The representative of Norway said his delegation voted in favour of the resolution, but it did not fully subscribed to some paragraphs in the draft.  For instance, the paragraph stating that the right to development was a fundamental human right suggested there was a hierarchy to human rights, and his delegation did not agree with this. Moreover, while Norway fully supported the strengthening of global partnerships, the High Commissioner should not have the leading role in this field as there were other United Nations bodies better equipped to carry out this task.

    The text on the Enhancement of International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights (document A/C.3/59/L.39) would have the General Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality, human dignity and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights. It would call upon Member States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations to continue to carry out a constructive dialogue for the enhancement of understanding and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    The draft’s main sponsor, Malaysia, said the draft reaffirmed the importance of the enhancement of cooperation of Members States in the field of human rights.

    The draft was adopted, as amended, without a vote.

    A text on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (document A/C.3/59/L.56), recognizing that progress in promoting and protecting all human rights depended primarily on efforts made at the national and local levels, would have the General Assembly stress the importance of the programme of technical cooperation in the field of human rights. The Assembly would further renew its appeal to all governments to consider making use of the possibilities offered by the United Nations under the programme of organizing information or training courses at the national level for government personnel on the application of international human rights standards.

    The text would have the General Assembly invite States to consider concluding appropriate agreements to establish suitable regional machinery for the promotion and protection of human rights and request the Secretary-General to continue to strengthen exchanges between the United Nations and regional intergovernmental organizations dealing with human rights. It would also request the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to pay special attention to the most appropriate ways of assisting countries of the various regions under the programme of technical cooperation.

    The representative of Belgium then noted several amendments to the text.

    The representative of Costa Rica noted that his delegation had been left off the list of co-sponsors of the draft.

    The representative of Mali also requested to be listed among the co-sponsors of the text.

    The text was adopted as orally amended and corrected, and without a vote.

    Making a general statement after the draft’s adoption, the representative of Venezuela said her country supported any agreement that supported collective respect for human rights.  However, she also wished to note that her country had recently experienced many negative experiences with regard to regional arrangements for human rights.  For example, regional non-governmental organizations had attempted to intervene in matters of exclusively national interest.

    Recalling that the family is the basic unit of society, the text on Respect for the Right to Universal Freedom of Travel and the Vital Importance of Family Reunification (document A/C.3/59/L.65) would have the General Assembly call upon all States to guarantee the universally recognized freedom of travel to all foreign nationals legally residing in their territory. Calling upon States to allow the free flow of financial remittances by foreign nationals residing in their territory to their relatives in the country of origin, it would also call upon them to refrain from enacting, and to repeal, if it already exists, legislation intended as a coercive measure that discriminates against individuals or groups of legal migrants by adversely affecting family reunification and the right to send financial remittances to relatives in the country of origin.

    The representative of Cuba, the draft’s main sponsor, said the text called upon all Member States to provide for the free movement of citizens dwelling legally in their territories and for the adoption of legal provisions to prevent discriminatory practices against migrants.

    Making a statement in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the United States said the U.S. would vote against the resolution.  The main sponsor itself had impeded freedom of travel and undermined migration accords by denying exit permits, including to those of family members of persons deemed defectors.  Dissidents also were often refused exit visits to travel to the U.S. and Europe.  U.S. policy was to encourage a rapid peaceful transformation to democracy in Cuba.

    The text on family reunification was then adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour and 3 against (Israel, Palau and the United States), with 63 abstentions. (See Annex III).

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Mexico said he had voted in favour of the draft, as the elements contained within the text remained particularly significant to ensuring promotion and protection of the rights of migrants.  The right to the freedom of travel had been firmly enshrined in international human rights instruments.  That right corresponded to all individuals, irrespective of the migratory status.

    Making a general statement after the draft’s adoption, the representative of Cuba said it had not been his delegation’s intention to turn the issue of family reunification into a bilateral discussion.  However, in light of the explanation of vote made by the United States, he wished to note that it was not his Government which prevented travel between the United States and Cuba, but that of the United States.  New policies adopted this spring clearly contradicted the statement just made by the United States, and had clearly impacted individuals of Cuban descent living in that country.

    The text on the Situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan (document A/C.3/59/L.53) would have the General Assembly express its grave concern at the continuing and serious human rights violations occurring in Turkmenistan, in particular the persistence of a governmental policy based on the repression of all political opposition activities, the continuing abuse of the legal system through arbitrary detentions and imprisonment of persons who try to exercise their freedoms of expression, assembly and association and continued restrictions on the exercise of the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion and belief.

    The draft would have the General Assembly call upon the Government of Turkmenistan to work closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with regard to the areas of concern and to release immediately all prisoners of conscience.  It would also call on the Government to remove remaining restrictions on the activities of public associations, including non-governmental organizations and in particular human rights organizations.

    The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union and other sponsors of the draft, introduced several amendments to the draft.  He said the European Union considered the instrument of dialogue on human rights and the instrument of tabling resolutions on human rights were complementary actions in the overall effort to promote respect for human rights.  Tabling of this draft was motivated purely by concerns about the human rights situation on the ground and the European Union hoped it would encourage the Government of Turkmenistan to take measures to improve the situation of human rights in that country.

    Making a general statement on the draft, the representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), noted that the Conference had consistently opposed country-specific resolutions.  In this specific case, he noted that Turkmenistan had, since independence, created guarantees for the realization of personal economic, social and cultural rights of its citizens.  Moreover, it continued to cooperate with all States regarding the human dimension, and had held dialogue with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as to possibilities for further cooperation on human rights issues.  Against the backdrop of such positive cooperation, the draft resolution did not represent an objective attempt to address the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan. The OIC would oppose the draft.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of Turkmenistan said that, based on the principle that the human individual’s rights and freedoms were the highest value of society, his country had continued to make real steps to ensure individual rights, to erect a modern legal system and to enact a number of measures for concrete progress in economic, social and cultural rights.  His country had continued to work with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as other agencies working in the humanitarian sphere.

    There had been positive developments in the human rights situation in his country, he noted, while the text reflected a tendentious approach by its authors.  While recognizing that progress had been made in the area of human rights, the authors had failed to incorporate accurate information on the issues with which they had attempted to deal.  For example, there was no evidence to support any single case of arrest or sentencing for political, religious or other motives, nor was there evidence for other references to arbitrary detentions or arrests.  There was no truth to the allegations of limits on the rights to belief, conscience or religion.

    Moreover, he noted, laws had been adopted, and measures introduced, to register and ensure the work of religious organizations in Turkmenistan.  Given the interdenominational character of the country, it was untrue to allege oppression of minorities.  The country’s laws guaranteed equal rights for all citizens, regardless of their nationality, and provided for education in the State language and the maternal tongue.  Furthermore, laws provided for measures against any incitement to ethnic hatred.

    The text had also been incorrect in referencing the refusal to renew the accreditation of the regional centre of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), he noted, which had not acted appropriately.  As in any other sovereign State, his Government had the right to make determinations with respect to diplomats working in its territory.  Finally, he noted, the text also appealed for the Government to take measures that were already being implemented.

    The Government of Turkmenistan categorically rejected this measure, he concluded, which did not help to improve the dialogue on human rights.  The co-authors had avoided dialogue with his country, addressing it only through the text.  No delegation from the European Union had even visited his country, even though an open invitation had been extended.  This draft represented an attempt to force his country -- which possessed many natural resources and lay in a strategic geographical position -- to implement the plans of other States, despite its neutral status.  He appealed to the Member States of the United Nations to support his country’s position and reject the text.

    The representative of Iran said her delegation would vote against the draft.  Country resolutions lacked fair criteria to ensure objectivity and impartiality.  Unfortunately, the politicization of the United Nations human rights mechanism continued to prevail at the General Assembly.

    The representative of China said that in recent years the Government of Turkmenistan had done much work for the promotion and protection of human rights.  The international community should encourage the Government of Turkmenistan for doing so instead of making accusations against it.  The European Union should resolve its differences with the Government of Turkmenistan through dialogue. His delegation would vote against the draft.

    The representative of Myanmar said her delegation believed the situation of human rights in any country should be addressed through a cooperative approach and with objectivity and impartiality.  Country resolutions were contrary to the principles of the United Nations Charter.  For these reasons, Myanmar would vote against the resolution.

    Speaking in explanation before the vote, the representative of Uzbekistan said his delegation aligned itself with the position that the best means of encouraging human rights and advancing democracy came through a cooperative approach.  Moreover, taking into consideration the specificities of the situation, the text could place excessive pressure on a neighbouring country.  Thus, welcoming Turkmenistan efforts to comply with its international obligations for human rights, as well as the constructive attitude and readiness for open dialogue on human rights that had been demonstrated, his delegation would vote against the text.

    The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that, consistent with the principled position of opposition to all country-specific resolutions and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of States, his delegation would vote against the draft resolution.

    The representative of Cuba reiterated the senselessness of these types of selective processes, as encountered, once more, in this room.  When certain States infringed upon the rights of other States, such discriminatory practices ran counter to authentic cooperation in human rights affairs, which must be based on international law, taking into consideration the principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations.  For that reason, his delegation would vote against the text.

    The representative of Sudan said her delegation reiterated its opposition to the politicization of the issue of human rights and to selectivity and double standards in addressing human rights.  Human rights should not be achieved through confrontation but through cooperation and dialogue.  For this reason, Sudan would vote against this draft.

    The representative of Syria said the issue of human rights in a specific country should be considered without dual standards and without interference in the domestic affairs of countries. Syria would like to see human rights dealt with objectively and with transparency and taking into account the cultural particularities of a country. Syria would vote against the draft.

    The representative of Algeria, recalling the conference of the non-aligned movement that took place in Durban, said his delegation would vote against the draft resolution.

    The representative of Venezuela reiterated her country’s opposition to the political manipulation of human rights, which ran counter to international principle.  For that reason, Venezuela would vote against the text.

    The representative of Belarus said his delegation rejected the present draft resolution and reaffirmed the principled position of opposition to the false politicization of the Committee’s work.  Improvement of the human rights situation in specific countries should be pursued in a constructive way.  He also espoused support for Turkmenistan’s efforts to promote democracy and respect for human rights.

    The text on the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan was then adopted, as orally amended, by a recorded vote of 65 in favour and 49 opposed, with 56 abstentions.  (See Annex IV).

    Making a statement in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Singapore said country resolutions were driven by political motives.  Singapore opposed this and had, therefore, voted against the draft.  Regarding the jailing of Jehova’s Witnesses and conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan, she said her delegation regarded national defence as a sovereign right and where individual needs ran counter, the rights of the State must prevail.

    The representative of Brazil said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft with the expectation that it would contribute to greater progress to promotion and protection of human rights in Turkmenistan.  Brazil hoped the draft would serve as an incentive for further progress.

    At the outset of its afternoon meeting, the Committee began consideration of the text on Equitable Geographical Distribution in the Membership of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies (document A/C.3/59/L.32).  By its terms, the General Assembly would call upon the States parties to the United Nations human rights instruments to include, at their forthcoming meetings, a debate on ways and means to ensure equitable geographical distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies.  The Assembly would recommend that each of the five regional groups be assigned a quota of the membership of each treaty body, in equivalent proportion to the number of States parties to the instrument it represents, and that provisions be made for periodic revisions to reflect relative changes in the geographical distribution of States parties.

    The representative of Cuba, the draft’s main sponsor, said the draft encouraged States parties to United Nations human rights instruments to take concrete actions to ensure the objective of equitable geographic distribution in the membership of human rights bodies.

    Making a statement of explanation before the vote, the representative of the Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union, said that although the European Union recognized the principle of equitable geographical distribution, the European Union was opposed to the draft because human rights treaties contained provisions for equitable distribution and it was not up to the General Assembly to modify these provisions, nor should it be pushing States parties to do so.  The European Union also strongly opposed the idea of a quota system.  It was not for the General Assembly to make requests to chairpersons of treaty bodies, and it was not up to the chairpersons of human rights treaty bodies to consider or recommend a quota system.  This should be discussed by State parties.

    The text on equitable geographic distribution in the membership of the human rights treaty bodies was then adopted by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 51 against, with 5 abstentions (Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Paraguay and Ukraine).  (See Annex V).

    The Committee then took note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies on their sixteenth meeting (document A/59/254), as well as the reports of the Secretary-General on the status of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (document A/59/306); effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, including reporting obligations under international instruments on human rights (document A/59/308); status of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery (document A/59/309); and status of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (document A/59/310).

    The representative of Mali noted that he had been absent during the vote on the text on equitable geographic distribution, but would have voted in favour of the text.

    The representative of Papua New Guinea also noted that he had been absent, but would have voted in the text’s favour.

    The Committee next turned to the text related to missing persons (document A/C.3/59/L.42), which would have the General Assembly call upon States party to armed conflict to take all appropriate measures to prevent persons from going missing in connection with such conflicts and to account for persons reported missing thereby. Also requesting States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflict, the Assembly would urge States, and encourage intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts.  It would also invite relevant human rights mechanisms and procedures to address the problem in their forthcoming reports to the General Assembly.

    The representative of Azerbaijan, the draft’s main sponsor, amending the text, said the draft highlighted the urgent necessity of addressing the issue of missing persons resulting from armed conflict.  She hoped it would be adopted by consensus.

    Before the draft’s adoption, the representative of the United States, in a general statement, said her delegation interpreted the reference to the right to know the fate of missing relatives as binding on States parties, that States should take reasonable measures to search for missing persons, and that the reference to human rights laws referred only to applicable provisions.

    The draft was adopted, as orally revised, without a vote.

    The text on the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (A/C.3/59/L.45/Rev.1) would have the General Assembly call upon States to promote and give full effect to the Declaration.  Condemning all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world, it would call upon States to take all necessary measures to ensure protection of human rights defenders, at both the local and national levels.

    Also urging States to ensure that any measures to combat terrorism and preserve national security comply with their obligations under international law and did not hinder the work and safety of human rights defenders, the Assembly would urge States to address the question of impunity for threats, attacks and acts of intimidation against human rights defenders, and to cooperate with and assist the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders in the performance of her tasks.

    Also requesting all concerned United Nations agencies and organizations, within their mandates, to provide all possible assistance and support to the Special Representative, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide her with all necessary human, material and financial resources to carry out her mandate effectively.

    Making a statement as the draft’s main sponsor, the representative of Norway amended the text, and said that he hoped that the amended text would be adopted by consensus, as usual.

    The revised text was adopted without a vote.

    Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of Syria noted that her delegation had joined the consensus on the text, but wished to note that international instruments obliged States not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other States.  Moreover, non-governmental organizations had both rights and responsibilities to protect and promote human rights and to be non-selective.  Non-governmental organizations must be established, organized and coordinated in accordance with national laws.  Her delegation had insisted during discussions in the Working Group that resources could not be considered as a right, but a responsibility.  Syria insisted, once more, on this position, which should govern the management of resources.  There must be transparency in the financing of non-governmental organizations.  She also regretted that the text had not referred to the responsibility of individuals and groups to protect and promote human rights in a clear and firm way.

    Affirming that everyone was entitled to such an order, which would foster the full realization of all human rights for all, the text on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (A/C.3/59/L.47) would have the General Assembly call upon all Member States to fulfil their commitment, expressed during the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to maximize the benefits of globalization.  By the text, the Assembly would affirm that such an order required realization of the right of all peoples to self-determination, development, peace, an international economic order based on equal participation in the decision-making process, solidarity and the promotion and consolidation of transparent, democratic, just and accountable international institutions in all areas of cooperation, among other principles.

    Stressing that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, the text would have the Assembly urge all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights.

    The representative of Cuba, the draft’s main sponsor, proposed amendments to the text.

    Making a statement in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the Netherlands, on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union believed it was necessary to continue to work towards a democratic and equitable international order.  However, the European Union believed that several elements, such as the reference to globalization, moved beyond the scope of the Third Committee and were not placed in appropriate context.  The Third Committee was not a suitable forum to address these issues. 

    The text on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order was then adopted by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 55 against, with 4 abstentions (Argentina, Armenia, Mexico and Peru).  (See Annex VI).

    Speaking in explanation after the vote, the representative of Venezuela said her delegation had voted in favour of the draft because measures had to be taken to bring about an equitable, democratic order.  Nevertheless, she wished to make it clear that the neo-liberal process did not open new vistas for her country’s economic development.

    Finally, the Committee turned to consideration of the corrected text on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus (A/C.3/59/L.55), which would have the General Assembly express deep concern that Belarus had failed to meet its international obligations and commitments to hold free and fair elections.  It would also express deep concern regarding continued reports of cases of harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and allegations of abuse while in detention, of domestic and international journalists, opposition politicians and peaceful demonstrators in connection with the October 2004 elections and post-election demonstrations and the implication of senior government officials in the enforced disappearance and/or summary execution of three political opponents of incumbent authorities in 1999 and of a journalist in 2000.

    Among other provisions, the text would have the Assembly urge the Government to adhere to international obligations and commitments to hold free and fair elections and to rectify problems with the electoral process; to cease politically-motivated prosecution and harassment; to suspend from their duties officials implicated in any case of enforced disappearance, summary execution and torture, pending investigation; and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the mistreatment of domestic and foreign journalists in connection with the October elections.

    Subsequently, the representative of the Russian Federation proposed to adjourn the debate on this text, under the terms of rule 116 of the rules of procedure, noting that the delegation of Belarus had withdrawn its text on the situation of democracy and human rights in the United States of America, but that the United States had not reciprocated in kind.

    Given the motion for no-action, the Committee then proceeded to hear two statements in favour, and two statements, against the motion.

    Speaking in favour, the representative of China said politicizing the question of human rights was not conducive to the development of human rights around the world.

    Also speaking in favour, the representative of Malaysia recalled her statement yesterday that the Non-Aligned Movement had decided not to support country-specific resolutions.  Taking into account that some States continued to table initiatives specifically targeting countries, the Movement had no choice but to support the motion for no-action.

    Speaking in opposition, the representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the calling of the motion clearly aimed to prevent the Committee from dealing with a country-specific situation.  No country, large or small, could be considered above examination of its human rights situation.  The motion ran contrary to the principles of transparency and freedom of expression central to work of the General Assembly, as well as to the spirit of dialogue to which all were attached.  All delegations were urged to vote against the motion on principle, regardless of their voting intentions on the draft itself.

    The representative of the United States said his delegation would oppose the motion.  The Third Committee had been charged to assist in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.  The motion represented a blatant attempt to silence the General Assembly’s consideration of the situation of human rights in Belarus, which would prevent the Committee from fulfilling its mandate.  The United States applauded countries that allowed discussion of their human rights situations.  The Committee had a duty to consider the draft resolution without recourse to this procedural matter.  All delegates were urged to vote against the motion.

    The motion for no-action on the text on Belarus was adopted by a recorded vote of 75 in favour and 65 against, with 28 abstentions. (See Annex VII).


    ANNEX I

    Vote on Situation of Palestinian Children

    The draft resolution on the situation of Palestinian children (document A/C.3/59/L.28) was approved by a recorded vote of 105 in favour to 5 against, with 61 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

    Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

    Absent:  Benin, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX II

    Vote on Right to Development

    The draft resolution on the right to development (document A/C.3/59/L.37) was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 2 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Israel, United States.

    Abstain:  Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden.

    Absent:  Bolivia, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX III

    Vote on Freedom of Travel, Family Reunification

    The draft resolution on respect for the right to freedom of travel and importance of family reunification (document A/C.3/59/L.65) was approved by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 3 against, with 63 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Israel, Palau, United States.

    Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan

    Absent:  Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Liberia, Maldives, Nauru, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX IV

    Vote on Human Rights in Turkmenistan

    The draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan (document A/C.3/59/L.53) was approved by a recorded vote of 65 in favour to 49 against, with 56 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, United States.

    Against:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

    Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore,
    South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia.

    Absent:  Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Gabon, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Kiribati, Liberia, Mongolia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkey, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX V

    Vote on Geographic Distribution on Treaty Bodies

    The draft resolution on equitable geographic distribution of members of human rights bodies (document A/C.3/59/L.32) was approved by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 51 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstain:  Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Paraguay, Ukraine.

    Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Lesotho, Mali, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX VI

    Vote on Democratic, Equitable International Order

    The draft resolution on promotion of a democratic, equitable international order (document A/C.3/59/L.47) was approved by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 55 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstain:  Argentina, Armenia, Mexico, Peru.

    Absent:  Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


    ANNEX VII

    Vote on Motion for No Action on Belarus Draft

    The motion for no action, adjournment of debate on draft resolution on human rights in Belarus (document A/C.3/59/L.55*) was approved by a recorded vote of 75 in favour to 65 against, with 28 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Georgia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Against:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

    Abstaining:  Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay.

    Absent:  Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Comoros, Djibouti, Dominica, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Liberia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Republic of Moldova, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tonga, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vanuatu.

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