Press Releases

    HR/CN/1099
    26 April 2004

    Round-Up of Session

    Commission on Human Rights Concludes Sixtieth Session

    Appoints Special Rapporteurs on Situations in Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Trafficking in Persons

    (Reissued as received.)

    GENEVA, 23 April (UN Information Service) -- The Commission on Human Rights concluded today its six-week session for 2004, having debated a wide series of human rights matters and having decided, among other things, to appoint Special Rapporteurs on situations in Belarus and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

    In an unusual year for the establishment of mandates, the Commission also called for the appointment of Independent Experts to facilitate cooperation between the Government of Chad and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the promotion and protection of human rights; to study the situation of human rights in the Sudan; to provide assistance to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the field of human rights; and to provide backing for the Government of Burundi in its efforts to improve the human rights situation in the country.  The mandates for Special Rapporteurs on Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were discontinued, and consideration of the countries was shifted from the Commission’s agenda item on “the question of the violation of human rights in any part of the world” to its agenda item on “technical cooperation and advisory services in the field of human rights”.

    In addition, the Commission established posts for thematic Independent Experts to update existing principles for combating impunity; and to assist the High Commissioner in tasks related to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

    In all, according to the Commission’s Rapporteur, the Commission adopted 88 resolutions, 28 decisions, and five Chairman’s statements.

    Issues that surfaced repeatedly during the Commission’s sixtieth session were the situation in Iraq; the situation in the occupied Arab territories; the challenges posed to human rights both by terrorism and by Government measures to prevent terrorism; the continuing threat of genocide around the world -- a topic given a special meeting on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide; and trafficking in women and children.

    Following a roll-call vote of 34 in favour and 3 opposed, with 14 abstentions, the Commission held a “special sitting” to discuss the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory resulting from the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March by an Israeli missile.  In a resolution adopted at the sitting by a vote of 31 in favour and 2 opposed, with 18 abstentions, the Commission condemned continuing grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, and noted with grave concern the implications of such targeted assassinations, liquidation and murder of political leadership by the Israeli occupation forces on the overall situation, particularly the possibility of a fresh wave of violence.

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in an April 7 address to the Commission on the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, said all should acknowledge their responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop the genocide.  As the only fitting memorial the United Nations could offer to those whom its inaction in 1994 condemned to die, Mr. Annan said, he was launching an Action Plan to Prevent Genocide.  The Plan involved the entire United Nations system, he said, and had five headings:  preventing armed conflict; protection of civilians in armed conflict; ending impunity; early and clear warning; and the need for swift and decisive action when, despite all efforts, it was learned that a genocide was happening or was about to happen.

    Acting High Commission for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan opened the Commission’s annual session with an address noting that the late High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, killed in a terrorist bombing in Baghdad on 19 August 2003, should have been present at the opening meeting, which also happened to be his birthday, and should have been able to spur everyone on in his or her work.  The High-Commissioner-designate, Louise Arbour, would assume her functions later in the year, Mr. Ramcharan said. Mr. Ramcharan went on to appeal, among other things, for greater active participation in human rights matters, noting that problems of poverty, lack of the rule of law, trafficking in human beings, and terrorism -- as witnessed by the 11 March terrorist bombings in Madrid -- were far from being solved and that even as the Commission met, gross violations of human rights were taking place around the globe.

    Mr. Vieira de Mello, the Madrid bombings, the human rights dilemmas posed by anti-terrorism efforts, and the need to combat trafficking in human beings were among the subjects mentioned repeatedly by high-ranking government officials speaking at the Commission’s “high-level segment” over the first four days of the 2004 session.

    The Commission, among other things, requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene a third meeting of experts on traditional and new forms of mercenary activities; requested the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion to examine the situation of Muslim and Arab peoples in various parts of the world in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001 and to submit a progress report on his findings; requested the Independent Expert on the effects of structural adjustment policies to draft general guidelines to be followed by States and by private, and public, national and international financial institutions in the decision-making and execution of debt repayments and structural reform programmes; requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit a comprehensive analytical study on globalization and its effects on human rights; requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to hold a third consultative meeting 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”; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare an analytical report that would provide supplementary information on best practices in relation to conscientious objection to military service.

    In addition, the Commission requested the Secretary-General to establish a mechanism that would address the complex problem of internal displacement; recommended to the Economic and Social Council that it proclaim a world programme for human rights education to begin on 1 January; and requested the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive action plan aimed at reducing the current geographical imbalance in the staff of Office of the High Commissioner.

    The 2004 session was also noteworthy for criticism by national delegations -- especially those of developing countries -- of the Commission’s agenda item on the “question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world”, which annually features the tabling of resolutions on the human rights situations in specific countries.  Islamic, African and Asian nations, along with Cuba, said repeatedly that the Western democracies “politicized” their criticism of other countries’ human rights performances, paid more attention to civil and political rights than to economic and development rights, were trying to impose their own cultural standards and governmental systems on the rest of the world, and were more interested in confrontation than in dialogue and cooperation in human rights matters.  The Commission rejected draft resolutions on human rights situations in China, Zimbabwe, and the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, in the first two cases on no-action motions.

    The Commission did adopt resolutions under this agenda item on human rights situations in Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar.  The mandate of Special Rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar was extended for a further year.

    Under its agenda item on technical cooperation and advisory services in the field of human rights, the Commission approved resolutions on human rights situations in Cambodia, Somalia, Burundi, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, and Sierra Leone.  It extended for a year the mandate of its Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia.

    Under thematic agenda items and mechanisms, mandates were renewed for Special Rapporteurs on mercenaries; the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes; the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people; education; and the question of torture.  In addition, the Commission extended the mandates of the Independent Expert on extreme poverty; the Working Group on the right to development; and the Working Group to consider options regarding the elaboration of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

    Chairman’s statements were adopted on advisory services and technical cooperation with Afghanistan and Timor-Leste; on human rights assistance to Nepal; and on human rights situations in Haiti and Colombia.  A decision on the situation of human rights in the Sudan was adopted under the Commission’s agenda item on organization of work.

    In closed meetings held under its “1503 procedure”, the Commission decided to discontinue consideration of situations in Bolivia, Djibouti, and Honduras.  It decided to keep the situation of human rights in Uzbekistan under review, and to appoint an Independent Expert to report to it on the state of affairs in that country under the Commission’s confidential procedure.

    In presenting the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, acting High Commissioner Ramcharan, among other things, outlined proposals for improving human rights education and said the courts could play a greater role in human rights protection -- that judges should be trained in relevant international standards.  He also called for urgent action to combat trafficking in women, and said a mechanism should be established to study and analyse the problem.

    In closing remarks at the Commission’s final 2004 meeting, the acting High Commissioner said that thanks to the steadying hand of the Chairperson, the support of the Bureau and the cooperation of members and observers, the Commission had ended with many achievements to its credit.  Among the highlights of the present session figured the Secretary-General’s address of 7 April, he said in which context the decision to establish a Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide constituted an attempt to rally the Commission and international community to more determined efforts for the prevention of gross violations of human rights. Additionally, the establishment of the positions of Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, especially women and girls, the Independent Expert for human rights in counter-terrorism strategies and the Independent Expert on Principles on Impunity, as well as the new Fund to assist minorities to participate in human rights meetings were welcomed.

    However, the Acting High Commissioner also noted the perplexing omission, among the decisions on several country situations that had been adopted, of the situation in Iraq.  At the present point in time, there was no international monitoring of the human rights situation in Iraq, whether in respect of terrorism or of the use of force and the treatment of civilians.  It was his intention to compile a report on the human rights situation in Iraq, using the competence of the High Commissioner.

    Mike Smith of Australia, Commission Chairperson, said in closing remarks that the last 6 weeks had underlined to all, as to the world more broadly, that human rights was a subject of passionate interest and debate in the international community, and that there was a broad consensus amongst governments and civil society that the promotion and protection of human rights was a priority responsibility for everyone.

    Along with Mr. Smith, the Commission’s 2004 officers are Saeed Mohamed Al-Faihani (Bahrain), Manual Antonio Gonzalez Sanz (Costa Rica), and Gordan Markotic (Croatia), Vice-Chairpersons; and Michael Gbadebo Omotosho (Nigeria), Rapporteur.

    The first 2005 meeting of the Commission on Human Rights will be on the third Monday in January for the sole purpose of electing officers.  The sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights will take place from 14 March to 22 April 2005.

    Chairperson’s Statements on Country Situations

    Through statements by the Chairman, the Commission:

    -- On the subject of technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan, welcomed the adoption of the new Afghan Constitution by the Constitutional Loya Jirga; strongly emphasized that an environment free from violence, discrimination and abuse, for all Afghans, was essential for a viable and sustainable recovery and reconstruction process; welcomed the efforts of the Transitional Authority to establish democracy and the rule of law; expressed concern for the continuing and serious incidence of violence against women and girls; and requested that the Secretary-General extend for a further year the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan;

    -- On the situation of human rights in Haiti, condemned human rights violations and called on all actors and sectors of national life to protect and promote human dignity; reaffirmed the importance of pursuing and intensifying the efforts to combat impunity and strengthen the rule of law; and requested the Independent Expert on the situation in Haiti to include in his report to the Commission at its sixty-first session information on the progress of the efforts of Haiti to combat impunity and on the administration of justice and other proposals in those respects;

    -- On human rights assistance to Nepal, expressed concern at the situation since the breakdown of the ceasefire, and at the growing number of civilian victims as a result of ongoing violence; appealed to the Government to strengthen its efforts to ensure the enjoyment of fundamental rights by all people in Nepal; condemned the indiscriminate violence perpetrated by the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-Maoists), including the use of children in armed conflict; welcomed the Government’s “Commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law” of 26 March 2004; and welcomed the fact that the Government had extended invitations to the special procedures of the Commission to visit Nepal;

    -- On the subject of technical cooperation and advisory services in Timor-Leste, congratulated the Government for its accession to the main international human rights instruments; welcomed the steps taken to establish the national institution of human rights; and emphasized the need for continuing international assistance for strengthening the justice system in Timor-Leste; and

    -- On the situation of human rights in Colombia, appreciated the priority placed by the democratically elected Government on the development of a fully functioning democratic State throughout the national territory that was more capable of protecting the most basic human rights of citizens, including the right to life; reiterated the need for all measures taken under the policy of “Democratic Security” to comply with obligations under international law; condemned all breaches of international humanitarian law arising from the conflict; all acts of terrorism and other criminal attacks and all acts of violence committed by paramilitary; and expressed grave concern about reports that members of the security forces were responsible for breaches of international humanitarian law.

    Country-by-Country Examination of Situations of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.13) on the situation of human rights in Cuba, considered that the Government of Cuba should refrain from adopting measures which could jeopardize the fundamental rights, the freedom of expression and the right to due process of its citizens; and expressed the hope that the Government of Cuba would continue its efforts to boost religious freedom and would initiate measures designed to facilitate the transition towards the establishment of a fruitful dialogue with all schools of thought and organized political groups in Cuban society;

    -- In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan (E/CN.4/2004/L.20), expressed grave concern at the abuse of the legal system through arbitrary detention, imprisonment and surveillance of persons who tried to exercise their freedoms of thought, expression, assembly and association, and harassment of their families; and requested a number of its special procedures to consider visiting Turkmenistan during 2004-2005;

    -- In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (E/CN.4/2004/L.21), expressed deep concern about continuing reports of systemic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including torture, public executions, extrajudicial and arbitrary detention, imposition of the death penalty for political reasons, the existence of a large number of prison camps and the extensive use of forced labour; and requested the Chairman of the Commission to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;;

    -- In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus (E/CN.4/2004/L.22), expressed deep concern at reports from credible sources implicating senior officials of the Government of Belarus in the forced disappearance and/or summary execution of three political opponents of the incumbent authorities and of a journalist; about the electoral process and legislative framework in Belarus, which remained fundamentally flawed; about continued reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions; and decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to establish direct contacts with the Government and people of Belarus with a view to examining the situation of human rights in the country;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.34) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, welcomed the establishment of a Committee to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers; and the negotiations to conclude a ceasefire agreement with the Karen National Union; expressed its grave concern at ongoing systematic violations of human rights; ongoing systematic harassment of members of the National League for Democracy and other opposition activists; and decided to extend for a further year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar;

    -- In a resolution on cooperation with United Nations human rights bodies (E/CN.4/2004/L.28), urged governments to refrain from all acts of intimidation or reprisal against those who cooperated with Representatives of United Nations human rights bodies; and invited the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its sixty-first session a report containing a compilation and analysis of any available information on alleged reprisals against the persons referred to above; and

    -- Decided to retain its agenda sub-item (a), entitled “question of human rights in Cyprus”.

    A draft resolution on the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation was defeated on a roll-call vote.

    Draft resolutions on human rights situations in Zimbabwe and China were defeated on no-action motions.

    Advisory Services and Technical Cooperation in Field of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.89) on technical cooperation and advisory services in Cambodia, welcomed the progress that Cambodia had been making in improving its human rights situation for the past decade while still concerned about continuing violations; urged the Government to strengthen its efforts to establish rule of law; to make additional efforts to combat human trafficking, sexual violence, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation of women and children;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.92) on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, encouraged all parties to participate in the peace process; called upon all States, relevant organizations and other actors to combat impunity; condemned ongoing widespread violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law; and decided to extend for a further year the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.96/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in Burundi, encouraged the transitional Government to continue its actions aimed at associating all sectors of society in the work of national reconciliation; encouraged it to continue the cantonment and disarmament process; condemned all acts of violence and violations of human rights; and decided to appoint an Independent Expert to provide backing for the Government in its efforts to improve human rights;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.98/Rev.1) on technical cooperation and advisory services in Liberia, welcomed the peace initiatives led by the Economic Community of West African States; and the deployment of a multinational force to implement the resulting ceasefire under the leadership of Nigeria; expressed its deep concern at the continued existence of paramilitary groups; and called upon the international community to support the Government of Liberia in the process of disarmament;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.99) on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, welcomed the promulgation by the Head of State of the Constitution which was to govern the country during the period of transition; condemned persistent violations of human rights, cases of summary or arbitrary execution, disappearance, torture, victimization, illegal arrest, systematic persecution and arbitrary detention; impunity; decided to appoint an Independent Expert to provide assistance to the Government in the field of human rights;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.100/Rev.1) on technical cooperation and advisory services in Chad, welcomed the willingness of the Government to cooperate to improve respect for human rights; voiced deep concern at violence, in particular inter-communal violence exacerbated by ethnic tensions;; and decided to appoint an Independent Expert for an initial period of one year to facilitate cooperation between the Government of Chad and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

    -- In a resolution on assistance to Sierra Leone in the field of human rights, welcomed the conclusion of the High Commissioner that considerable progress had been made in Sierra Leone; and the indictments by the Special Court for Sierra Leone to bring to justice those persons who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity; and decided to request the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner to consider the maintenance of a UN human rights field presence when the activities of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone were completed; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.83) on advisory services and technical cooperation in the field of human rights, called for a substantial increase in available financial resources for advisory services and technical cooperation; and requested the Secretary-General to submit a further analytical report to the Commission on implementation of the programme of advisory services and technical cooperation.

    Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.38) 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 the special problems which the developing countries face in their efforts to achieve these human rights, called upon States to help alleviate the unsustainable external debt burden of countries that met the criteria of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative; and decided to renew the mandate of the open-ended Working Group for a period of two years to consider options regarding the elaboration of an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.18) on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, categorically condemned such illicit dumping in developing countries; and decided to extend for another three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.23) on the effects of structural adjustment policies and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, recognized that for the heavily indebted poor countries to achieve debt sustainability, long-term growth and poverty reduction goals, the debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative would not be sufficient and that additional resource transfers in the forms of grants and concessional loans, as well as removal of trade barriers and better prices for their experts, would be required; and requested the Independent Expert on the subject to draft general guidelines to be followed by States and international financial institutions in the decision-making and execution of debt repayments and structural reform programmes;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.24) on the right to food, considered it intolerable that there were around 840 million undernourished people in the world and that every seven seconds a child under the age of 10 died, directly or indirectly, of hunger somewhere in the world when, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the world produced more than enough food to feed its entire population; and encouraged all States to take steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the right to food;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.25) on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for different cultural identities, recognized that States had the primary responsibility for the promotion of the full enjoyment of such rights and for enhancement of respect for different cultural identities; and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consult States and relevant organizations on the possibility of establishing a thematic procedure aimed at the comprehensive implementation of the present resolution;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.27/Rev.1) on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, called upon all States to give full effect to housing rights; to protect all persons from forced evictions contrary to the law; to ensure non-discriminatory access to adequate housing; and to enable women to obtain affordable housing and access to land;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.30) on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, condemned the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressure against any country, particularly against developing countries; and requested the open-ended working group on the right to development to give due consideration to the question of the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.32) on human rights and extreme poverty, recalled that to ensure the protection of the rights of all individuals, non-discrimination towards the poorest and the full exercise of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, a better understanding was needed of what was endured by people living in poverty; and decided to extend for two years the mandate of the Independent Expert on extreme poverty;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.35) on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to study and clarify the fundamental principle of participation and its application at the global level, with a view to recommending measures for its integration and effective implementation in the debate on the process of globalization, and to submit a comprehensive analytical study on the subject;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.39) on the right to education, urged all States to guarantee that this right was recognized and exercised without discrimination of any kind; to take all appropriate measures to eliminate obstacles limiting effective access to education, notably by girls; and decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on education for a period of three years;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.40) on access to medication in the context of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, called upon States to pursue policies to promote the availability, in sufficient quantities, of pharmaceutical products and medical technologies used to treat pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria or the most common opportunistic infections that accompanied them;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.41) on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, urged States to take steps to the maximum of their available resources to achieve this right for everyone; called upon the international community to continue to assist the developing countries in promoting the full realization of this right;

    -- In a resolution recommended by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on forced evictions, reaffirmed that the practice of forced evictions constituted a gross violation of a broad range of human rights; and strongly urged Governments to undertake immediately measures, at all levels, aimed at eliminating the practice of forced evictions;

    -- In a measure on corruption and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, endorsed the decision of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to appoint Christy Mbonu as Special Rapporteur with the task of preparing a comprehensive study on the topic; and

    -- In a measure on globalization and its impact on human rights, approved the request of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights that the reports of the Special Rapporteurs on the topic be published in the official languages of the United Nations.

    Civil and Political Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.42) on enhancing the role of regional, subregional and other organizations and arrangements in promoting and consolidating democracy, recognized the importance of all actions, at regional and subregional levels, that aimed at facilitating democratic institutions capable of responding to the specific needs of the countries in each region; and invited intergovernmental regional, subregional and other organizations to engage actively in work to promote and consolidate democracy;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.44) on strengthening of popular participation, equity, social justice and non-discrimination as essential foundations of democracy, reaffirmed that democracy was based on the freely expressed will of the people; and that while all democracies shared common features, there was no one model of democracy; and therefore States must not seek to export any particular model of democracy;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.45) on integrity of the judicial system, called upon States to ensure that the principles of equality before the courts and the law were respected; and called upon States that had military courts or special criminal tribunals to ensure that such courts were an integral part of the general judicial system and applied due procedures that were internationally recognized as guarantees of a fair trial;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.52) on independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors and the independence of lawyers, noted the concern of the Special Rapporteur on the topic that the situation of independence of judges and lawyers remained delicate in many parts of the world; called upon all Governments to respect and uphold such independence;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.53) on the right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, requested the Chairperson/Rapporteur of the relevant consultative meetings to prepare a revised version of the “Basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law”; and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to hold a third consultative meeting with a view to finalizing the basic principles;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.54) on conscientious objection to military service, encouraged States to consider granting, and effectively implementing, amnesties and restitution of rights, in law and practice, for those who had refused to undertake military service on grounds of conscientious objection; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare an analytical report that would provide supplementary information on best practices in relation to conscientious objection to military service?

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.55) on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, condemned all such intolerance; urged States to ensure that no one was deprived of the right to life or liberty and security of person because of it, or was subjected to torture or arbitrary arrest and detention on that account, and to bring to justice all perpetrators of violations of these rights; and decided to extend for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.56/Rev.1) on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, strongly condemned such practices which continued to take place throughout the world; noted with deep concern that impunity continued to be a major cause of such violations of human rights; and decided to extend for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.57) on the incompatibility between democracy and racism, condemned political platforms, organizations, legislation and practices based on racism or related discrimination; and urged States to reinforce their commitment to promote tolerance and human rights and to fight against racism and related intolerance as a way to strengthen democracy;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.58) on arbitrary detention, requested States to respect and promote the right of anyone who was deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention to be entitled to bring proceedings before a court in order that the court could decide without delay on the lawfulness of the detention; and requested Governments concerned to give the necessary attention to the “urgent appeals” addressed to them by the Working Group on arbitrary detention;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.59) on enforced or involuntary disappearances, deplored the fact that some Governments had not provided for a long period of time substantive replies concerning the cases of enforced disappearances in their countries; and urged States to work to eradicate the culture of impunity for perpetrators of such crimes;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.61) on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, condemned all such acts; condemned in particular any action or attempt by States or public officials to legalize or authorize torture under any circumstances, including on grounds of national security; and decided to extend for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.65) on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, expressed continuing concern that violations of this right continued to occur; called upon all States to put an end to violations of these rights; and to refrain from using counter-terrorism as a pretext to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.66) on human rights in the administration of justice, in particular juvenile justice, stressed the special need for national capacity-building in the field of administration of justice, among other things in post-conflict situations; and recognized that every child and juvenile in conflict with the law must be treated in a manner consistent with his or her rights, dignity and needs, in accordance with international law;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.80) on human rights and terrorism, reaffirmed that everyone had a right to protection from terrorism; and rejected the identification of terrorism with any religion, nationality or culture; and

    -- In a measure on terrorism and human rights, approved the request of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to request the Secretary-General to give the Special Rapporteur on the subject all assistance necessary for the preparation of her final report.

    Human Rights in Occupied Arab Territories, Including Palestine

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/CN.4/2004/L.12) called upon Israel to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, in particular resolution 497 (1981) in which the Council decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel should rescind its decision; and  called upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan ;

    -- In a resolution on Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories (E/CN.4/2004/L.19), expressed its grave concern at the continuing illegal Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories and related activities; strongly condemned all acts of violence; urged the Palestinian Authority to concretely demonstrate its determination in the fight against terrorism and extremist violence; and demanded that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the so-called security fence; and

    -- In a resolution on the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine (E/CN.4/2004/L.6), strongly condemned human rights violations of the Israeli occupation authorities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem; strongly condemned the practice of “liquidation” or “extrajudicial executions” carried out by the Israeli army against Palestinians; called upon Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied since 1967; and strongly condemned the construction of the Israeli wall inside the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.7) on the situation in occupied Palestine, reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to establish their sovereign and independent Palestinian State, and looked forward to the early fulfilment of this right;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.8) on the question of the Western Sahara, expressed its support of the peace plan for self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara; and called upon the parties to abide by their obligation under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.15) on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, decided to renew for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the topic; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene a third meeting of experts on traditional and new forms of mercenary activities.

    Racism and Other Forms of Intolerance

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution on combating defamation of religions (E/CN.4/2004/L.5) expressed deep concern at negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance in some regions of the world; and requested the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion to examine the situation of Muslim and Arab peoples in various parts of the world in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001 and to submit a progress report on his findings to the Commission at its sixty-first session;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.16/Rev.2) on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, expressed deep concern over the glorification of former members of the Waffen SS organization; stressed that such practices fuelled contemporary forms of racism; and requested the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism to make relevant recommendations on the subject; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.2/Rev.2) on the World Conference against Racism and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, stressed that States and international organizations had a responsibility to ensure that measures taken in the struggle against terrorism did not discriminate; and invited the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide States, at their request, with advisory services and technical assistance to enable them to implement fully the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism.

    Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.106) on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to make general recommendations concerning the obligations of States in this matter; to complete the study requested by the General Assembly concerning the extent to which the human rights special procedures and treaty monitoring bodies were able to address the compatibility of national counter-terrorism measures with international human rights obligations in their work; and decided to designate, for a period of one year, an Independent Expert to assist the High Commissioner in these tasks;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.31) on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, urged 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, and to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism and related intolerance;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.43) on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, called upon all Member States to fulfil their commitment expressed during the World Conference against Racism to maximize the benefits of globalization through, inter alia, the strengthening and enhancement of international cooperation to increase equality of opportunities for trade, economic growth and sustainable development;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.68) on the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of human rights by all, stressed that the deep fault line that divided human society between the rich and the poor and the ever-increasing gap between the developed and the developing worlds posed a major threat to global prosperity, security, and stability; and emphasized that the preservation of peace and its promotion demanded that the policies of States be directed towards the elimination of the threat of war, particularly nuclear war, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.86) on human rights and international solidarity, expressed its determination to contribute towards the solution of current world problems through increased international cooperation; and recognized that the so-called “third generation rights” or the “right to solidarity” needed further progressive development within the United Nations human rights machinery;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.94) on the question of the death penalty, called upon States parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to consider acceding to or ratifying the second optional protocol to the Covenant, aimed at abolition of the death penalty; and called upon all States progressively to restrict the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.104) on science and the environment, decided to request the Secretary-General to update the report on the consideration being given to the relationship between the environment and human rights as part of sustainable development;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.107) on human rights defenders, condemned all human rights violations committed against human rights defenders; and urged States to ensure that any measures to combat terrorism and preserve national security did not hinder the work and safety of such persons;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.108) on the status of the International Covenants on Human Rights, emphasized that States must ensure that any measure to combat terrorism complied with their obligations under relevant international law, including the Covenants; and noted the need for further consideration of the issue of the justiciability of the rights set forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.85) on the role of good governance in the promotion of human rights, called upon States to provide transparent, responsible, accountable and participatory government, responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.109) on follow-up to the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, recommended to the Economic and Social Council that it proclaim a world programme for such education to begin on 1 January 2005, structured in consecutive phases; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare and submit for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly a plan of action for the first phase (2005-2007) of the proposed world programme, focusing on the primary and secondary school systems;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.110) on impunity, recognized that States must prosecute or extradite perpetrators of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture; recognized that amnesties should not be granted to those who committed such violations of human rights; urged States to bring to justice those responsible for gender-related crimes and crimes of sexual violence; and requested the Secretary-General to appoint an independent expert for a period of one year to update the principles for combating impunity established by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights;

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.103) on fundamental standards of humanity, adopted by consensus, decided to consider the question at its sixty-second session and to request the Secretary-General to submit to that session an analytical report on the topic;

    -- In a measure on human rights and bioethics, decided to approve the decision of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to appoint Iulia-Antoanella Motoc as Special Rapporteur to undertake a study on human rights and the human genome;

    -- In a measure on the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education,  decided to recommend to the Economic and Social Council that it recommend to the General Assembly the proclamation of a second Decade for Human Rights Education to begin on 1 January 2005;

    -- In a measure on human rights implications, particularly for indigenous people, of the disappearance of States for environmental reasons (E/CN.4/2004/L.49), urgently called upon the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to prepare a report on the legal implications of the disappearance of States for environmental reasons, including the implications for the human rights of their residents, with particular reference to the rights of indigenous people;

    -- In a measure on the universal implementation of international human rights treaties, approved the decision of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to appoint Emmanuel Decaux Special Rapporteur to conduct a detailed study of the topic;

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.79) on human rights and human responsibilities, decided to request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to circulate to Member States and relevant organizations the pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities, requesting their views on it; and

    -- In a measure on the prevention of human rights violations caused by the availability and misuse of small arms and light weapons, decided to approve the decision of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to the Secretary-General to transmit a questionnaire elaborated by the relevant Special Rapporteur to Governments, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations to solicit information required in connection with a study of the topic.

    The Human Rights of Women

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.46) on integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system, decided unanimously to consider the topic on a biennial basis at its sixty-first session, taking into account the outcome of the review and appraisal of gender mainstreaming that would be undertaken at the coordination segment of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council in July 2004;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.60) on trafficking in women and girls, urged Governments to address the root factors that encouraged trafficking in persons, especially women and children; called upon Governments to criminalize trafficking in persons, especially women and children; and urged Governments to combat use of the Internet to facilitate trafficking in persons;

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.62) on a Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, decided to appoint for a period of three years a Special Rapporteur; and determined that the Special Rapporteur might, as appropriate, respond effectively to reliable information on possible human rights violations with a view to protecting the human rights of actual or potential victims of trafficking;

    -- In a measure on harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children, decided to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the topic for a further three years; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.63) on the elimination of violence against women, strongly condemned physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, and violence related to commercial and sexual exploitation as well as economic exploitation; and called on the relevant Special Rapporteur to recommend proposals for indicators on violence against women.

    Rights of the Child

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.50) on the abduction of children in Africa, demanded the immediate demobilization and disarmament of all child soldiers; called on Member States to put an end to impunity and to identify those responsible for child abductions and to bring them to justice; and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit a report on the abduction of children in Africa; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.51) on the rights of the child, called upon States to end impunity for perpetrators of crimes committed against children; called on States to prevent and to protect children from all forms of violence, including violence occurring within the family; to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against girls; and to prevent and combat trafficking and sale of children and to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts.

    Indigenous Issues

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.82) on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, recommended that the Economic and Social Council authorize the Working Group to meet for five working days prior to the fifty-sixth session of the Sub-Commission;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.90) on the Working Group of the Commission of Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, recommended that the Working Group meet for 10 working days prior to the sixty-first session of the Commission;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.105) on human rights and indigenous issues, decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people for a further period of three years; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.81) on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, reiterated the recommendation made to the Economic and Social Council in Commission resolution 2003/55 that the Council take duly into account the contents of that resolution when holding its review of all existing mechanisms, procedures and programmes within the United Nations concerning indigenous issues; and recommended also that the Council take duly into account the contents of the present resolution when carrying out the review at its substantive session of 2004.

    Effective Functioning of Human Rights Mechanisms

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.83) on the composition of the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, requested the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive action plan aimed at reducing the current imbalance in the staff, indicating specific targets and deadlines to be achieved; and to submit a comprehensive report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Commission at its sixty-first session;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.84) on regional cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Asian and Pacific region, stressed the importance of the linkages and mutually reinforcing aspects of all four areas of the Framework for Regional Technical Cooperation Programme in the region; and encouraged all States in the region to take concrete steps in connection with the implementation of the Framework;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.87) on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, reaffirmed the importance of effective, independent, and pluralistic national institutions; reiterated the continued importance of the Paris Principles for such institutions; welcomed the decisions of a growing number of States to establish national institutions consistent with the Paris Principles; and took note with satisfaction of those States that had provided their national institutions with more autonomy and independence;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.91) on human rights and special procedures, urged all Governments to cooperate with the Commission through the pertinent special procedures; called on all States to protect individuals, organizations or groups of persons who cooperated with special procedures; and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to develop criteria and strengthen the methodologies for operations and reporting functions of special procedures;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.101) on the protection of United Nations personnel, urged all States to take the necessary measures to ensure the full and effective implementation of the relevant provisions of human rights and refugee law relating to the safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.102) on the effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, encouraged all key stakeholders to continue to examine ways of improving the effectiveness of the treaty body system, including by reducing the duplication of reporting required under the different instruments; providing preliminary lists of issues to States in advance of consideration of reports by treaty bodies; harmonizing general guidelines; coordinating reporting schedules; and limiting the length of States parties’ reports.

    Specific Groups and Individuals

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.69) on violence against women migrant workers, called upon all Governments to take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by women migrant workers and encouraged Governments to seek ways to eliminate causes that put them at risk; and to put in place penal actions to punish traffickers and perpetrators of violence against women migrant workers;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.70) on missing persons, called upon States that were parties to armed conflicts to take all appropriate measures to prevent persons from going missing and to account for those reported missing; called upon States that were parties to armed conflicts to take immediate steps to determine the identities and fates of persons reported missing; and requested States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflicts;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.75) on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, urged all States to promote and protect the rights of such persons; to pay specific attention to the negative impact of racism and related intolerance on the situations of such persons; and to give special attention to the promotion and protection of the human rights of children belonging to minorities, taking into account that girls and boys might face different types of risks;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.76) on human rights and persons with disabilities, urged Governments to take active measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by persons with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; to prevent and prohibit all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.78) on the human rights of migrants, urged States to eradicate impunity for those who committed acts of violence against migrants; requested all States firmly to prosecute violations of labour law with regard to migrant workers’ conditions of work; and encouraged States to combat international trafficking and smuggling of migrants;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.71) on tolerance and pluralism as indivisible elements in the promotion and protection of human rights, reiterated the obligation of all States and the international community to promote and enhance tolerance and harmonious relations between groups;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.77) on internally displaced persons, requested the Secretary-General to establish a mechanism that would address the complex problem of internal displacement; and requested him to review the new mechanism’s performance and effectiveness after two years of its inception and submit a report thereon;

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.72) on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, called upon all States that had not done so to consider urgently signing and ratifying or acceding to the Convention; and requested the Secretary-General to continue providing the facilities and assistance for the effective functioning of the 10 Independent Experts of the new Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.48) on a study on the rights of non-citizens, taking note of the resolution on the matter by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, decided not to recommend to the Economic and Social Council that it authorize David Weissbrodt as Special Rapporteur to undertake the task of furthering the study on the rights of non-citizens;

    -- Recommended to the Economic and Social Council a draft decision authorizing the publication of the updated and consolidated report on the rights of non-citizens;

    -- Endorsed the recommendation of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights that voluntary fund on minority-related activities be established; and

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.47) on an international year/decade for the world’s minorities, called for greater cooperation among the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to contribute to the full realization of the rights and principles set forth in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

    Report of High Commissioner for Human Rights

    Under this agenda item the Commission :

    -- In a resolution the strengthening the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, welcomed the appointment of a new High Commissioner for Human Rights by the Secretary-General and requested the Secretary-General, when appointing the High Commissioner in the future, to give due consideration to geographical rotation; and reaffirmed that the tasks of the High Commissioner included promoting and protecting the realization of the right to development.

    Report of Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a measure (E/CN.4/2004/L.73/Rev.1) on responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights, requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to compile a report setting out the scope and legal status of existing initiatives and standards relating to the responsibility of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights; and affirmed that Sub-Commission 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 Sub-Commission should not perform any monitoring function in this regard; and

    -- In a resolution (E/CN.4/2004/L.74) on the work of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, decided that the Sub-Commission could best assist the Commission by providing it with independent expert studies and working papers solely carried out by its members or alternates during their mandates; and studies, research and expert advice at the request of the Commission; and reaffirmed that the role of the Sub-Commission should not attribute to itself monitoring functions;.

    Right to Development

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- In a resolution on the right to development (E/CN.4/2004/L.17 looked forward to the concept document to be prepared by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights establishing options and their feasibility for the implementation of the right to development; endorsed the agreed conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Working Group on the right to development at its fifth session; and decided to renew the mandate of the Working Group for one year and to convene its sixth session for 10 working days.

    Organization of the Work of the Session

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- Agreed to hold a special sitting on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory resulting from the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin on the morning of 22 March 2004 (E/CN.4/2004/L.3);

    -- In a resolution on the grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territory,  condemned the continuing grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular the tragic assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March 2004, in contravention of the Hague Convention IV of 1907; noted with grave concern the implications of such targeted assassinations, liquidation and murder of political leadership by the Israeli occupation forces on the overall situation in the occupied Palestinian territory; and called upon Israel to accord fullest respect to the principles of international humanitarian law and to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory;

    -- In a decision on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, welcomed the ongoing peace talks at Naivasha, Kenya; shared the grave concern of the Secretary-General of the United Nations concerning the scale of reported human rights abuses and the humanitarian situation in Darfur-Western Sudan; called upon the parties to the conflict in Darfur to observe the humanitarian ceasefire; requested the Chairman of the Commission to appoint an Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for a period of one year;

    -- Invited high-level personages to address the Commission’s high-level segment;

    -- In a measure on the dates of the sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights, the Commission decided that the first meeting of the Commission on Human Rights to elect officers would be held on the third Monday in January with the sole purpose of electing its officers, and that the sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights would be held from 14 March to 22 April 2005; and

    -- In a measure on additional meetings, decided to recommend to the Economic and Social Council that it authorize six fully serviced additional meetings for the sixty-first session of the Commission.

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