Press Releases

    Round-up of Session

    HR/CN/1109
    25 April 2005

    Commission on Human Rights Concludes Sixty-First Session After Adopting, 86 Resolutions, 16 Decisions, 4 Statements by Chairman

    53-Member Body Establishes Mandates for 5 Independent Experts, Including on Minorities, Sudan, Transnational Corporations

    (Reissued as received.)

    GENEVA, 22 April (UN Information Service) -- The Commission on Human Rights concluded its annual session for 2005 today, after having debated a wide range of human rights issues under its agenda items from cross-cutting thematic issues, to country situations, to the organization of its work.  During the six-week session, which began on 14 March, the Commission adopted 86 resolutions, 16 decisions and four statements by its Chairperson, Makarim Wibisono of Indonesia. 

    The 53-member Commission, the world’s foremost human rights forum, decided to establish several thematic mandates under its special procedures.  It decided to establish a post for an Independent Expert on minorities for a period of two years to ensure that Governments were guaranteeing the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.  The Commission also decided to request the United Nations Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, for an initial period of two years, to identify and clarify standards of corporate responsibility and accountability with regard to human rights.  Moreover, it decided to create a mandate for an Independent Expert to look into the question of human rights and international solidarity.

    The Commission also decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism to make concrete recommendations, exchange information and communications from and with all relevant sources, and identify and promote best practices on measures to counter terrorism.  It also decided to establish a mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for one year to monitor the situation of human rights in the Sudan, including the Darfur region. This new mandate replaces that of an Independent Expert created last year on the situation in that country. 

    In addition, the Commission approved decisions of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to appoint Special Rapporteurs to prepare studies on crimes of sexual violence; on work and descent; and on non-discrimination as it pertained to economic, social and cultural rights.  The Commission also requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene high-level seminars during the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on Racism; recommended that the Economic and Social Council authorize the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the twenty-second session of the Working Group on indigenous issues to submit its report on that session to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during the Forum’s fourth session in 2005; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on the right to truth taking into account the views of States and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, for consideration at its sixty-second session.  Moreover, it decided to end the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries and to establish a Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination.

    The subject of terrorism came up in several resolutions and decisions adopted at this year’s session.  These references correlated to national counter-terrorism measures in relation to the work and safety of human rights defenders; the use of counter-terrorism measures to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and equating religion with terrorism and its adverse consequences on the enjoyment of the right to freedom or religion or belief of all members of the religious communities.

    Within the context of its agenda item on the promotion and protection of human rights, the Commission adopted a set of Basic Principles and Guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.  Among other things, the guidelines recommended that States investigate and, if there was sufficient evidence, submit to prosecution any person allegedly responsible for such violations and, if found guilty, the duty to punish her or him.  As regards to the treatment of victims, the Principles state that victims should be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity and human rights, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure their safety, physical and psychological well-being and privacy, as well as those of their families.

    Concerning the question of Palestine, the Commission expressed grave concern about the continuing construction, contrary to international law, by Israel of the wall inside the occupied Palestinian territory and demanded that Israel comply fully with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice, and cease the construction of the wall.  In another measure, the Commission emphasized that the displaced persons of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan must be allowed to return to their homes and to recover their properties; and decided to include as an agenda at its next session an item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”. 

    Other issues that surfaced during the sixty-first session were good governance and the respect for human rights; democratization; human rights violations against vulnerable groups, especially women and children; human rights defenders; racial discrimination; enforced or involuntary disappearances; sustainable development and human rights; and the report of the Secretary-General on the reform of the United Nations -- “In larger freedom:  towards development, security and human rights for all”. 

    With regard to the proposed reform of the Secretary-General in the area of human rights, the Commission, while taking into account the report of the Secretary-General, decided to establish an open-ended Working Group, to be chaired by the current Chairperson, which would convene a five-day intersessional meeting in June 2005 to reflect on the recommendations on human rights contained in the report of the Secretary-General.  It also decided to convene a one-day special session to formally adopt the outcome of the open-ended Working Group and transmit it to the Secretary-General through the Economic and Social Council.

    In his address to the Commission on 7 April, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan elaborated on proposals to reform the human rights machinery of the United Nations. Outlining the reforms envisaged for the three main pillars of the Organization’s human rights machinery -- the treaty body system, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the intergovernmental machinery -- contained in his report, “In Larger Freedom”, the Secretary-General said that the most dramatic of his proposals concerned the replacement of the Commission itself by a smaller Human Rights Council.

    A Human Rights Council could provide conceptual and architectural clarity, in parallel with the existing councils tasked to deal with security and development, Mr. Annan said.  The Council would be a standing body, he explained, able to meet when necessary, rather than for only six weeks per year. It should have an explicitly defined function as a chamber of peer review, and its main task should be to evaluate all States’ fulfilment of all their human rights obligations, giving concrete expression to the principle that human rights were universal and indivisible.  The Secretary-General also drew attention to the “appalling suffering” in the Darfur region of the Sudan, for which the International Criminal Court had been asked to play its essential role in lifting the veil of impunity and holding those accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable. 

    During the high-level segment of the Commission, taking place over the first four days of the session, high-ranking Government officials addressed, among other things, the possible reform of the Commission; the need to reaffirm the indivisibility, universality and interdependence of all human rights; the links between human rights and conflicts; counter-terrorism measures; discrimination against women; trafficking in human beings; the situation in Darfur; and national efforts to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights. 

    Chairperson’s Statements were adopted on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Haiti, Colombia and Western Sahara. 

    The only proposed text to be rejected by a roll-call vote during the session was on the question of detainees in the area of the Unites States naval base in Guantanamo, which would have requested the Government of the United States to authorize an impartial and independent fact-finding mission by the relevant special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of detainees at its naval base in Guantanamo.

    While taking action on the situation of human rights in countries, under its agenda item on the question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, the Commission called upon the Government of Myanmar to release unconditionally and immediately all political prisoners; expressed its deep concern about the continuing reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; invited the Personal Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Commission on the situation of human rights in Cuba; and expressed deep concern that senior officials of the Government of Belarus had been implicated in the enforced disappearance and/or summary execution of three political opponents of the incumbent authorities in 1999 and of a journalist in 2000 and in the continuing investigatory cover-up.

    Under its agenda item on technical cooperation and advisory services in the field of human rights, the Commission approved resolutions on the human rights situation in Burundi, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Country-specific mandates were renewed for the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Belarus, and for the Independent Experts looking into the situation of human rights in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    Under thematic agenda items and mechanisms, mandates were renewed for Special Rapporteurs on contemporary forms of racism, on the right to everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, moreover, on the human rights of migrants. The Commission decided to extend the mandate of the Working Group on the right to development.

    In closed meetings held under its “1503 procedure”, the Commission decided to discontinue its discussion on the human rights situation in Honduras; to keep Kyrgyzstan under review; and to review Uzbekistan by appointing an Independent Expert to the human rights situation to that country.

    In presenting the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, High Commissioner Louise Arbour said the report covered the activities undertaken by her Office, regrouped around three main themes:  those linked to the issue of the right to development; activities aimed at reinforcing national capacities in the context of the promotion and protection of human rights; and actions undertaken with regards to particularly vulnerable groups. The report also analyzed the challenges which the Office of the High Commissioner would have to face in the near future, particularly with regards to the projects of reform of the United Nations system.

    In closing remarks at the Commission’s final meeting, High Commissioner Arbour said the current forum had been both a source for encouragement and a cause for concern. Several new resolutions had helped advance understanding and commitment to the rule of law as an indispensable prerequisite for the protection of human rights, and consensus had been reached on protecting human rights while combating terrorism.  However, the Commission’s ability to address issues of human rights concerns at the national level remained demonstrably deficient. The Commission should consider the concept of peer review, which underpinned the Secretary-General’s proposal for a Human Rights Council. The High Commissioner said she would submit her action plan to the Secretary-General on 20 May 2005. That action plan would be based upon the three concepts that human rights were universal and indivisible; that States remained the primary actors in the field of human rights; and that there must be implementation of human rights.

    The Chairperson of the Commission, Makarim Wibisono, said in closing remarks that the spirit of consensus had pervaded this year, and this had helped smooth out the resolution of sensitive or potentially divisive documents. The quality of the interactive dialogue with the special mechanisms had been strengthened. The session had been exceptional in the fact that reform of the United Nations, including its human rights mechanism, formed the background to the debates and discussions. In closing, the Chairperson paid tribute to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, not only in the discharge of the Commission, but also in the field of the promotion and protection of human rights generally. The important role of civil society and national human rights institutions in furthering the works and goals of the Commission was also mentioned.

    Also at its closing meeting, the Commission adopted the draft report of its sixty-first session (E/CN.4/2005/L.10 and E/CN.4/2005/L.11 and addenda) with the understanding that it would be finalized at a later date. 

    In addition to Mr. Wibisono, the Commission’s officers for 2005 are:  Hernán Escudero Martínez (Ecuador), Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine (Mauritania) and Anatolyi Zlenko (Ukraine), Vice-Chairpersons; and Deirdre Kent (Canada), Rapporteur.

    The first meeting of the sixty-second session of the Commission on Human Rights will be held on the third Monday in January 2006, with the sole purpose of electing its officers.  The sixty-second session of the Commission will take place from 13 March to 21 April 2006.

    Chairperson’s Statements on Country Situations

    In Chairperson’s Statements, the Commission:

    -- on the issue of technical cooperation in the field of human rights in Afghanistan, called upon the international community to fully support the preparation for forthcoming elections being undertaken by the Afghan Government and the United Nations in September 2005; emphasized that the new Afghan Constitution committed the Afghan people to the creation of a society free from oppression, discrimination and violence and based on social justice, democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and also emphasized the importance of the safety of returning refugees and internally displaced persons and also the need for safety, security and free movement of all United Nations personnel and associated personnel involved in humanitarian and reconstruction work; 

    -- on the situation of human rights in Haiti, noted with satisfaction the measures progressively implemented by the Transition Authorities in Haiti to protect and promote human rights and recognized the economic difficulties faced by Haiti, and the violence there; and encouraged the Transition Authorities to continue their action for a more rapid process of justice and invited them to put all in favour of a better functioning of the services of legal medicine and scientific police.  The Authorities were also called upon to respect more rigorously the rules of police conduct;

    -- on the situation of human rights in Colombia, urged the Government to establish, as soon as possible, a comprehensive legal framework for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process of the illegal armed groups that fully recognized and guaranteed the rights to truth, justice and reparations; and called on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, including the humanitarian principles of distinction, limitation, proportionality and immunity of the civilian population.  It also condemned massacres and cruel violence, the continued breaches by the paramilitary groups of the cessation of hostilities, and the fact that all illegal armed groups continued to use violent means and to commit serious and numerous breaches such as attacks on civilian population, discriminate attacks, homicides, massacres, hostage-taking or forced disappearances;

    -- on the situation in Western Sahara, decided to postpone its discussion on the question of Western Sahara to its next session.

    Question of Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of World

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on cooperation with representatives of United Nations human rights bodies (E/CN.4/2005/L.17), condemned all acts of intimidation or reprisal by Governments against private individuals and groups who seek to cooperate with the United Nations and representatives of human rights bodies; and called upon States to ensure adequate protection from intimidation, violence and persecution for individuals and members of groups who seek to cooperate with the United Nations and representatives of its human rights bodies;

    -- in a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (E/CN.4/2005/L.29), called upon the Government to release unconditionally and immediately all political prisoners; to enter into substantive and structured dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of the National League for Democracy intended to lead towards democratization and national reconciliation at an early stage; and to cooperate fully with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar and the Special Rapporteur; and decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further year; 

    -- in a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (E/CN.4/2005/L.30), expressed its deep concern about continuing reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights including torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, public executions, extrajudicial and arbitrary detention; requested the international community to continue to urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to ensure that humanitarian assistance, especially food aid, was distributed in accordance with humanitarian principles; and decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further year; 

    -- in a resolution on the situation of human rights in Cuba (E/CN.4/2005/L.31), invited the Personal Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Commission on the current status of the situations addressed in the resolutions of the Commission concerning the situation of human rights in Cuba;

    -- in a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus (E/CN.4/2005/L.32), expressed deep concern that senior officials of the Government of Belarus had been implicated in the enforced disappearance and/or summary execution of three political opponents of the incumbent authorities in 1999 and of a journalist in 2000 and in the continuing investigatory cover-up; and called upon the Government of Belarus to increase its efforts to combat human trafficking and to protect the victims of human trafficking, in particular women being trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. It decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further year; 

    -- in a decision on Cyprus, decided to retain sub-item (a) entitled “Question of human rights in Cyprus”, of the item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world”, and to give it due priority at its sixty-second session.

    Advisory Services and Technical Cooperation in Field of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on advisory services and technical assistance for Burundi (E/CN.4/2005/L.37/Rev.1), strongly condemned all acts of violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and called upon the Transitional Government to put an end, as soon as possible, to impunity within the context of the rule of law and to ensure that those responsible for violence in general, and violence against women in particular, were brought to justice in accordance with international conventions and the law.  It also strongly condemned the massacre committed against the civilian Banyamulenge refugee population at Gatumba on 13 August 2004 and demanded that the perpetrators of these killings were brought to justice;

    -- in a resolution on assistance to Sierra Leone in the field of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.78.Rev.1), urged the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to promote and protect human rights in Sierra Leone, among other things, through the early constitution and effective functioning of the National Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone; to continue to give priority attention, in cooperation with the international community, to programmes aimed at addressing the plight and special needs of all mutilated victims and their dependants, and of women and children in its care, in particular those sexually abused and gravely traumatized and displaced as a result of the conflict; and to continue to facilitate, in cooperation with the international community, the effective functioning of the National Commission for War-Affected Children;

    -- in a resolution on technical cooperation and advisory services in Cambodia (E/CN.4/2005/L.83), welcomed the ratification by Cambodia of the Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Cambodia, with regard to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, to establish the Extraordinary Chambers in the courts of Cambodia exercising their jurisdiction in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness and due process as set out in the Agreement; and urged the Government of Cambodia to continue to strengthen its efforts to establish the rule of law, including through the adoption and implementation of essential laws and codes for establishing a democratic society;

    -- in a resolution on technical cooperation and advisory services in Nepal (E/CN.4/2005/L.90), called upon the Government of Nepal to reinstate immediately all civil and political rights, to cease all state of emergency-related and other arbitrary arrests and to release immediately all detained political leaders and activists, human rights defenders, journalists and others.  It also strongly condemned the repeated practices of members of the Communist Party of Nepal, such as: unlawful killings, rape, extortions, forced displacement, mass abduction and forced recruitment and labour targeted at civilians; strongly urged the members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to comply with international humanitarian law and to respect the legitimate exercise of all human rights by the people of Nepal; and urged the Government of Nepal to take all appropriate measures to clarify the fate of all cases of persons allegedly victims of enforced disappearance;

    -- in a resolution on the situation of human rights in Sudan (E/CN.4/2005/L.36/Rev3), condemned the continued, widespread and systematic violations, by all parties, of human rights and international humanitarian law as reflected in the findings of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, including attacks against civilians committed by all parties, particularly the Janjaweed and other armed militias; called upon the parties to the conflict to resume immediately the Abuja talks with a view to arriving at a lasting and durable negotiated settlement; to observe the humanitarian ceasefire and grant immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to Darfur and elsewhere in the Sudan; to cease all acts of violence immediately, and protect women and girls from sexual and other forms of violence; and decided to establish the mandate of a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for one year;

    -- in a resolution on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.75), called upon the Transitional Federal Government to establish an independent national commission on human rights; and firmly condemned the serious violations of the commitment undertaken by the parties on 27 October 2002, which included acts of violence such as hostage-taking, abduction and murder, including of humanitarian relief workers and United Nations agency personnel.  It further called upon all parties to stop all acts of violence, to abstain from engaging in hostilities and to prevent any act likely to increase tension and insecurity; and upon all Member States to provide political support to the Somali National Reconciliation Process; and decided to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia for a further year;

    -- in a resolution on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (E/CN.4/2005/L.38.Rev.1), expressed concern at the persistent reports of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and the attacks on human rights defenders; and condemned, among other things, the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the massacres that had been perpetrated, and the illegal exploitation of the natural resources.  It also decided to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for one year.

    Question of Violation of Human Rights in Occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan (E/CN.4/2005/L.2/Rev.2), expressed grave concern about the continuing construction, contrary to international law, by Israel of the wall inside the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressed its concern in particular about the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949; and demanded that Israel, the occupying power, comply fully with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice and cease the construction of the wall;

    -- in a resolution on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem (E/CN.4/2005/L.4), condemned the use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital infrastructure; and urged all Member States signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention to express the inadmissibility of the ongoing violation of the rights of Palestinian civilians;

    -- in a resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/CN.4/2005/L.15), called upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and emphasized that the displaced persons of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan must be allowed to return to their homes and to recover their properties; and decided to include in its agenda at its next session an item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”;

    -- in a decision, decided to postpone its discussion of a draft resolution on the human rights situation of the Lebanese detainees in Israel (E/CN.4/2005/L.3) to its next session.

    Rights of Peoples to Self-Determination and its Application to Peoples Under Colonial or Alien Domination or Foreign Occupation

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine (E/CN.4/2005/L.5), reaffirmed the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and to establish their sovereign and independent States; and urged all Member States, and relevant bodies of the United Nations System, to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination;

    -- in a resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (E/CN.4/2005/L.6), urged all States to take the necessary steps to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries; and decided to end the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries and to establish a Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination.

    Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a decision on human rights and human responsibilities (E/CN.4/2005/L.67), decided to request Miguel Alfonso Martinez, author of the study on human rights and human responsibilities, requested by the Commission, to prepare a new initial version of the pre-draft declaration on human social responsibilities (E/CN.4/2003/105, annex I), taking into account the debate held on this matter during its sixty-first session

    -- in a resolution on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.69), considered that international cooperation in this field, in conformity with the purposes and principles set out in the Charter of the United Nations and international law, should make an effective and practical contribution to the urgent task of preventing violations of human rights and of fundamental freedoms for all;

    -- in a resolution on human rights and international solidarity (E/CN.4/2005/L.71), decided, taking into account the urgent need to further develop guidelines, standards, norms and principles with a view to promoting and protecting rights closely interrelated to the fundamental value of solidarity, to appoint an Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity for a period of three years and requested the Independent Expert to study the issue and prepare a draft declaration on the right of peoples to international solidarity; 

    -- in a resolution on the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (E/CN.4/2005/L.72), stressed that peace was a vital requirement for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all; and that the deep fault line that divided human society between the rich and the poor, and the ever-increasing gap between the developed and developing worlds posed a major threat to global prosperity, security and stability; 

    -- in a resolution on the promotion of a demographic equitable international order (E/CN.4/2005/L.73), urged all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, peace, 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, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; 

    -- in a resolution on the development of public information activities in the field of human rights, including the World Public Information Campaign on Human Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.74), urged the United Nations Department of Public Information to continue to utilize fully and effectively its information centres for the purpose of disseminating basic information and reference materials on human rights and fundamental freedoms in the official languages of the United Nations and in the relevant national and local languages;

    -- in a resolution on the question of the death penalty (E/CN.4/2005/L.77), condemned the continuing application of the death penalty on the basis of any discriminatory legislation, policies or practices; and cases in which women were subjected to the death penalty on the basis of gender-discriminatory legislation, policies or practices and the disproportionate use of the death penalty against persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.  The Commission also called upon all States that still maintained the death penalty to abolish the death penalty completely;

    -- in a resolution on human rights and the environment as part of sustainable development (E/CN.4/2005/L.79), reaffirmed that peace, security, stability and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms were essential for achieving sustainable development; and called upon States to take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate exercise of everyone’s human rights when promoting environmental protection and sustainable development; 

    -- in a resolution on the World Programme for Human Rights Education (E/CN.4/2005/L.80), encouraged the General Assembly to adopt, possibly during its current fifty-ninth session and no later than the end of 2005, the revised draft plan of action (A/59/525/Rev.1) for the first phase (2005-2007) of the World Programme, focusing on the primary and secondary school systems;

    -- in a resolution on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (E/CN.4/2005/L.81/Rev.1), while acknowledging the relevance and importance of the Five Point Action Plan of the Secretary-General as a practical step aimed at enhancing the efforts of the international community to prevent genocide, requested the Secretary-General to make available to it at its next session a report on the implementation of the Action Plan and on the activities of his Special Adviser on the prevention of genocide;

    -- in a resolution on the protection of the human rights of civilians in armed conflicts (E/CN.4/2005/L.82), urged all parties to armed conflicts to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population, and also urged all States to comply with their human rights obligations in this context; and urged States to end impunity for such crimes by bringing the perpetrators to justice;

    -- in a resolution on the right to truth (E/CN.4/2005/L.84), welcomed the establishment in several States of specific judicial mechanisms, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, to investigate violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on the right to truth taking into account the views of States and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, for consideration at its sixty-second session;

    -- in a resolution on human rights defenders (E/CN.4/2005/L.85), condemned all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights; and urged States to ensure that any measures to combat terrorism and preserve national security complied with their obligations under international law, in particular, under international human rights law, and did not hinder the work and safety of human rights defenders;

    -- in a resolution on the role of good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.86), urged States to provide transparent, responsible, accountable and participatory government, responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to convene a seminar in 2006 on the role of anti-corruption measures at the national and international levels in good governance practices for the promotion and protection of human rights;

    -- in a resolution on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (E/CN.4/2005/L.87), requested the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, for an initial period of two years with a mandate to identify and clarify standards of corporate responsibility and accountability for transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights, among other things;

    -- in a resolution on human rights and transitional justice (E/CN.4/2005/L.91), called upon States to assist the United Nations in its ongoing work on the relevant recommendations of the report of the Secretary-General on the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies (S/2004/616); and called upon the international community and regional organizations to assist countries in the context of transitional justice to ensure the promotion and protection of international human rights; 

    -- in a decision recommended by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights related to the legal implications of the disappearance of States and other territories for environmental reasons, endorsed the request for Françoise Hampson to update and expand her work in the area of the human rights of indigenous peoples and how it pertained to this subject and to submit an expanded working paper to the fifty-seventh session of the Sub-Commission;

    -- in a resolution on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (E/CN.4/2005/L.88), decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, with a mandate to make concrete recommendations on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; to gather, request, receive and exchange information and communications from and with all relevant sources; to identify, exchange and promote best practices on measures to counter terrorism that respected human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to work in close coordination with other United Nations relevant bodies;

    -- in a resolution on impunity (E/CN.4/2005/L.93), recognized that States must prosecute or extradite perpetrators, including accomplices, of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture in accordance with their international obligations in order to bring them to justice, and urged all States to take effective measures to implement these obligations. 

    Civil and Political Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on human rights and forensic science (E/CN.4/2005/L.39), recommended that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights encourage forensic experts to coordinate further and promote the consolidation of relevant guidelines, with a view to harmonizing the procedures in forensic investigation and repatriation; and that the Office promote best practices and training in forensic science where necessary; 

    -- in a resolution on enforced or involuntary disappearances (E/CN.4/2005/L.40), urged States to prevent the occurrence of enforced disappearances, including by guaranteeing that any person deprived of liberty was held solely in officially recognized and supervised places of detention, guaranteeing access to all places of detention by authorities and institutions; and to work to eradicate the culture of impunity for the perpetrators of enforced disappearances and to elucidate cases of enforced disappearances as crucial steps in effective prevention; 

    -- in a resolution on arbitrary detention (E/CN.4/2005/L.41), encouraged States to respect and promote the right of anyone who was deprived of his/her liberty by arrest or detention to be entitled to bring proceedings before a court, in order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his/her detention and order his/her release if the detention was not lawful, in accordance with their international obligations; and urged concerned States not to extend states of emergency beyond what was strictly required by the situation;

    -- in a resolution on the strengthening of popular participation, equity, social justice and non-discrimination as essential foundations of democracy (E/CN.4/2005/L.42), reaffirmed that free and fair elections, popular participation and control, collective deliberation and political equality were essential to democracy and must be realized through a framework of accessible, representative and accountable institutions subject to periodic change or renewal; and urged States to take measures to remove any obstacles and threats to democracy; 

    -- in a resolution on the integrity of the judicial system (E/CN.4/2005/L.43), called upon States to ensure that the principles of equality before the courts and before the law were respected within their judicial systems, among other things; and reaffirmed that every convicted person should have the right to have his/her conviction and sentence reviewed by a higher tribunal according to the law;

    -- in a resolution on hostage taking (E/CN.4/2005/L.44), condemned all acts of hostage-taking anywhere in the world; and demanded that all hostages be released immediately and without any preconditions, and expressed its solidarity with the victims of hostage-taking; 

    -- in a resolution on democracy and the rule of law (E/CN.4/2005/45), called upon States to make continuous efforts to strengthen the rule of law and promote democracy upholding the separation of powers by taking appropriate legislative, judicial and other institutional measures, among other things; and to guarantee that no individual or public institution was above the law, by ensuring that the principles of equal protection before the courts and under the law were respected within their legal systems;

    -- in a resolution on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors and the independence of lawyers (E/CN.4/2005/L.46), called upon all Governments to respect and uphold the independence of judges and lawyers and, to that end, to take effective legislative, law enforcement and other appropriate measures that would enable them to carry out their professional duties without harassment or intimidation of any kind; 

    -- in a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (E/CN.4/2005/L.47/Rev.1), strongly condemned once again all extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that continued to take place throughout the world; noted with deep concern that in certain circumstances, cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions may result in mass murder, ethnic cleansing or genocide; and demanded that all States ensured that these acts were brought to an end and that they take effective action to combat and eliminate the phenomenon in all its forms; 

    -- in a resolution on the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (E/CN.4/2005/L.48), adopted the Basic Principles and recommended that States take them into account and promote them.  In cases of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law constituting crimes under international law, States had the duty to investigate and, if there was sufficient evidence, the duty to submit to prosecution the person allegedly responsible for the violations and, if found guilty, the duty to punish her or him.  As regards to the treatment of victims, the Principles stated that victims should be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity and human rights, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure their safety, physical and psychological well being and privacy, as well as those of their families;

    -- in a resolution on the incompatibility between democracy and racism (E/CN.4/2005/L.49), condemned political platforms and organizations based on racism, xenophobia or doctrines of racial superiority and related discrimination; and strongly condemned the persistence and resurgence of neo-Nazism, neo-fascism and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial or national prejudice; 

    -- in a resolution on promoting the rights to peaceful assembly and association (E/CN.4/2005/L.50), called upon Member States to respect and fully protect the rights to assemble peacefully and associate freely of all individuals, including those espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association were in accordance with applicable international law;

    -- in a resolution on the right to freedom of opinion and expression (E/CN.4/2005/L.52), called upon States to ensure that persons exercising these rights were not discriminated against, particularly in employment, housing, the justice system, social services and education, with particular attention to women; and to refrain from using counter-terrorism as a pretext to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression in ways that are contrary to their obligations under international law.  It decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for three years; 

    -- in a resolution on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (E/CN.4/2005/L.54), condemned any action or attempt by States or public officials to legalize, authorize or acquiesce in torture under any circumstances, including on grounds of national security or through judicial decisions; and not to expel, return (refouler), extradite or in any other way transfer a person to another State where there were substantial grounds for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture; 

    -- in a resolution on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (E/CN.4/2005/L.55), recognized with deep concern the overall rise in instances of intolerance and violence directed against members of many religious communities in various parts of the world, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia; and emphasized that equating any religion with terrorism should be avoided as this might have adverse consequences on the enjoyment of the right to freedom or religion or belief of all members of the religious communities concerned; 

    -- in a decision recommended to it by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, recommended to the Economic and Social Council, that the report of the Special Rapporteur, Kalliopi Koufa, on “Terrorism and human rights” be  compiled into a comprehensive document to be published as a part of the United Nations’ Human Rights Study Series.

    Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and All Forms of Discrimination

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on combating defamation of religions (E/CN.4/2005/L.12), noted with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities, in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001; and urged States, within their respective and legal and constitutional systems, to provide adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions;  

    -- in a resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (E/CN.4/2005/L.14), expressed alarm at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups; and called upon States to take more effective measures to combat these phenomenon and the extremist movements, which posed a real threat to democratic values; 

    -- in a resolution on the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (E/CN.4/2005/L.13/Rev.1), requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene high-level seminars during the first five days of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Working Group and to convene the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on suitable dates prior to the sixty-second session.

    Integration of Human Rights of Women and Gender Perspective

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on violence against women (E/CN.4/2005/L.51), strongly condemned all acts of violence against women and girls, whether these acts were perpetrated by the State, by private persons or non-State actors, and called for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence in the family, within the general community and where perpetrated or condoned by the State, in accordance with the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and stressed the need to treat all forms of violence against women and girls as a criminal offence, punishable by law, as well as the duty to provide access to just and effective remedies and specialized assistance to victims, including medical and psychological assistance, as well as effective counselling; 

    -- in a resolution on integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system (E/CN.4/2005/L.53), encouraged Member States to promote gender balance by, among other things, regularly nominating women candidates for election to the human rights treaty bodies and for appointment to United Nations bodies; and encouraged the efforts of the treaty bodies to mainstream the human rights of women into their work;

    -- in a decision, decided to approve the appointment of Lalaina Rakotoarisoa as Special Rapporteur entrusted with preparing a detailed study on the difficulties of establishing guilt and/or responsibilities with regard to crimes of sexual violence.

    Rights of Child

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on the abduction of children in Africa (E/CN.4/2005/L.35/Rev.1), while condemning the practice of the abduction of children for various purposes, including for participation in hostilities, called upon African States to take extra measures to protect refugee children and internally displaced children, particularly girls, from being abducted; and to take adequate measures to prevent the abduction and recruitment of children by armed forces and armed groups and their participation in hostilities; 

    -- in an omnibus resolution on the rights of the child (E/CN.4/2005/L.96), called upon States to ensure that children were entitled to their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights without discrimination of any kind, and to take all appropriate measures to prevent, and to protect children from, all forms of violence; to take all necessary measures to address the problem of children growing up without parents, in particular orphaned children and children who were victims of family and social violence, neglect and abuse, and recognized the need for guidelines for the protection and alternative care of children without parental care.  It further called upon States to ensure the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health of all children without discrimination; to recognize the right to education on the basis of equal opportunity by making primary education available, free and compulsory for all children; and, where deemed necessary, to abolish by law as soon as possible the death penalty for those aged under 18 at the time of the commission of the offence.  Moreover, the Commission called upon States to increase cooperation at all levels to prevent and dismantle networks trafficking in children. 

    Specific Groups and Individuals

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on human rights and arbitrary deprivation of nationality (E/CN.4/2005/L.58), called upon all States to refrain from taking discriminatory measures and from enacting or maintaining legislation that would arbitrarily deprive persons of their nationality on grounds of race, colour, gender, religion, political opinion or national or ethnic origin; and to adopt and implement nationality legislation with a view to preventing and reducing statelessness;

    -- in a resolution on internally displaced persons (E/CN.4/2005/L.60), expressed its concern at the persistent problems of large numbers of internally displaced persons worldwide, in particular the risk of extreme poverty and socio-economic exclusion, their limited access to humanitarian assistance, and vulnerability to human rights violations; and called upon all Governments to provide protection and assistance, including reintegration and development assistance, to internally displaced persons, and to develop national policies aimed at addressing their plight;

    -- in a resolution on the human rights of migrants (E/CN.4/2005/L.63), strongly condemned the manifestations and acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against migrants and the stereotypes often applied to them, and urged States to apply the existing laws when xenophobic or intolerant acts or manifestations or expressions against migrants occur; and decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants for a period of three years;  

    -- in a resolution on human rights and mass exoduses (E/CN.4/2005/L.64), called upon States to ensure effective protection of refugees and urged them to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of refugees and asylum-seekers; urged them to uphold the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum consistent with international law, and further called upon them to combat impunity for human rights violations, recognizing that addressing impunity was a crucial factor in the prevention of mass exoduses;

    -- in a decision on discrimination based on work and descent, approved the decision of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to appoint Yozo Yokota and Chin-Sung Chung as Special Rapporteurs with the task of preparing a comprehensive study on discrimination based on work and descent, on the basis of three working papers submitted to the Sub-Commission on this topic;

    -- in a resolution on the human rights of persons with disabilities (E/CN.4/2005/L.65), urged Governments to take active measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by persons with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare an expert paper, focusing on the lessons learned from existing monitoring mechanisms for a comprehensive integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities; 

    -- in a resolution on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (E/CN.4/2005/L.62), requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to appoint an independent expert on minority issues for a period of two years with a mandate to, among other things, identify best practices and possibilities for technical cooperation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the request of Governments; and to take into account the views of non-governmental organizations on matters pertaining to his/her mandate;

    -- in a resolution on the protection of human rights in the context of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (E/CN.4/2005/L.59), invited States to develop, support and strengthen national mechanisms for protecting HIV-related human rights in consultation with relevant national bodies; and urged them to ensure that their laws, policies and practices, including workplace policies and practices, respected human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS.

    Indigenous Issues

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.56), recommended that the Economic and Social Council authorize the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the twenty-second session of the Working Group to submit the report on that session to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during the Forum’s fourth session in 2005; and requested the High Commissioner to submit to the Commission at its sixty-second session, a report on the activities undertaken by her Office during the calendar year 2005 relating to indigenous peoples;

    -- in a resolution on the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph five of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 (E/CN.4/2005/L.61), urged all parties involved in the process of negotiation to do their utmost to carry out successfully the mandate of the Working Group and to present for adoption as soon as possible a final draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People;

    -- in a resolution on the human rights of indigenous people, (E/CN.4/2005/L.66), requested the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people to begin preparing a study regarding best practices carried out to implement the recommendations contained in his general and country reports and to submit a progress report to the Commission at its sixty-second session and the final study at its sixty-third session;

    -- in a resolution, recommended by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, on the protection of indigenous peoples in times of conflict, requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide appointed under the Action Plan to Prevent Genocide took into consideration the need to protect indigenous peoples and their territories; and that in situations where there were forces present under a United Nations mandate, they protected vulnerable indigenous peoples, their territories and objects indispensable to their survival;

    -- in a decision containing a recommendation from the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights concerning the final report on the study “Indigenous peoples’ permanent sovereignty over natural resources”, recommended the Economic and Social Council to authorize the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene an expert seminar during 2005 to give further attention to and to discuss in detail the many political, legal, economic, social and cultural aspects and matters relating to that study, as well as the study on “Indigenous peoples and their relationship to land”. 

    Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (E/CN.4/2005/L.8), condemned the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressures against any country, particularly developing countries, to prevent those countries from exercising their right to decide their own political, economic and social systems, and rejected all attempts to introduce unilateral coercive measures;

    -- in a resolution on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.16), reaffirmed that illicit traffic in and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes constituted a serious threat to human rights; and urged transnational corporations and other business enterprises involved in the transfer of toxic and dangerous products to adhere to local and international health, environmental, labour and other standards in furtherance of human rights;

    -- in a resolution on human rights and extreme poverty (E/CN.4/2005/L.18), reaffirmed that for peace and stability to prevail, national action and international action and cooperation were required for the promotion of a better life for all in larger freedom, a critical element of which was the eradication of poverty; and called upon the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to give high priority to the question of the relationship between extreme poverty and human rights and invited it to further pursue the work in this area;

    -- in a resolution on globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.19), expressed its deep concern at the inadequacy of measures to narrow the widening gap between the developed and the developing countries, which adversely affected the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly in the developing countries; and recognized that the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and attainment of international development goals as identified at United Nations and world conferences, and of the Millennium Development Goals will contribute to the progressive realization of the right to development;

    -- in a resolution on the right to food (E/CN.4/2005/L.20), reaffirmed that hunger constituted an outrage and a violation of human dignity and, therefore, required the adoption of urgent measures at the national, regional and international levels for its elimination; and expressed its concern that women were disproportionately affected by hunger, food insecurity and poverty, in part as a result of gender inequality;

    -- in a resolution on the effects of economic policy reform and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of all human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.21), expressed its concern at the fact that the options for macroeconomic policy of developing countries were constrained by demands for adjustment and that many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, still carried very high external debt burdens relative to their gross national product; and urged the international community to continue to cooperate closely to ensure that additional resources made available through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other new initiatives were absorbed in the recipient countries without affecting the ongoing programmes; 

    -- in a resolution on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for different cultural identities (E/CN.4/2005/L.22), reaffirmed that cultural rights were an integral part of human rights, which were universal, indivisible and interdependent; and recognized that the promotion and protection of the full enjoyment of cultural rights by everyone and the respect for different cultural identities were vital elements for the protection of cultural diversity in the context of the ongoing process of globalization. The Commission requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to consult States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on the particularities and scope of the mandate of an Independent Expert on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for different cultural identities;

    -- in a resolution on the right to education (E/CN.4/2005/L.23), urged all States to give full effect to the right to education and to guarantee that this right was recognized and exercised without discrimination of any kind; and further urged them to adopt effective measures to encourage regular attendance at school and reduce school dropout rates and to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, in accordance with the best interest of the child;

    -- in a resolution on the question of the realization in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.24), called upon States to secure progressively, through national development policies and with international assistance and cooperation, full realization of economic, social and cultural rights, giving particular attention to individuals, most often women and children, especially girls, and communities living in extreme poverty and therefore most vulnerable and disadvantaged; and to help alleviate the unsustainable debt burden of countries that met the criteria of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative; 

    -- in a resolution on access to medication in the context of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (E/CN.4/2005/L.27), called upon States to develop and implement national strategies in order to progressively realize access for all to prevention-related goods, services and information as well as access to comprehensive treatment, care and support for all individuals infected and affected by pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; and to cooperate in supporting the “3 by 5” initiative launched jointly by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS with the aim of providing antiretroviral treatment to 3 million people in the developing world by the end of 2005;

    -- in a resolution on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (E/CN.4/2005/L.28), called upon the international community to continue to assist the developing countries in promoting the full realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including through financial and technical support as well as training of personnel; and decided to extend, for a period of three years, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; 

    -- in a resolution on women’s equal ownership, access to and control over land and equal rights to own property and to adequate housing (E/CN.4/2005/L.34), urged Governments to address the issue of forced relocation and forced evictions from home and land and to eliminate its disproportionate impact on women; and invited the Secretary-General to encourage all organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, individually and collectively, to undertake further initiatives that promoted women’s equal ownership of, access to and control over land and the equal rights to own property and to adequate housing;

    -- in a decision on corruption and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, endorsed the request to the Secretary-General to facilitate the work of the Special Rapporteur on corruption and its impact on the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights, by enabling her to attend the meetings of the “Friends of the Convention” which will take place in Vienna;

    -- in a decision on the study on non-discrimination as enshrined in article 2, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.26), approved the decision of the Sub-Commission to appoint Marc Bossuyt as Special Rapporteur to undertake the above-mentioned study, based on the working paper prepared by Emmanuel Decaux (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/24);

    -- in a decision on the promotion of the realization of the right to drinking water and sanitation, decided to approve the request of the Sub-Commission to have the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of the realization of the right to drinking water supply and sanitation issued in the official languages of the United Nations.

    Right to Development

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on the right to development (E/CN.4/2005/L.9), decided to renew the mandate of the Working Group on the Right to Development for one year and to convene its seventh session before the sixty-second session of the Commission for a period of 10 working days, five of which should be allocated to the second meeting of the high-level task force to be held well in advance of the session of the Working Group.

    Effective Functioning of Human Rights Mechanisms

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on regional cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Asian Pacific region (E/CN.4/2005/L.68), requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its sixty-second session a report containing the conclusions of the thirteenth Workshop on Regional Cooperation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Asian Pacific Region, held in Bangkok from 20 to 22 October 2004;

    -- in a resolution on the composition of the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.70), requested the Office of the High Commissioner to observe fully United Nations human resources policies, regulations, rules and practices and, therefore, to align without further delay its human resources practices and procedures;

    -- in a resolution on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.76), invited States in areas in which regional arrangements in the field of human rights did not yet exist to consider concluding agreements with a view to establishing, within their respective regions, suitable regional machinery for the promotion and protection of human rights;

    -- in a resolution on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.92/Rev.1), recognized that national institutions had a crucial role to play in promoting and ensuring the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and called upon all States to ensure that all human rights were appropriately reflected in the mandate of their national human rights institutions when established.

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

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on the work of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.57), 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 mandate, notwithstanding the completion of currently existing mandates; and recommended that the Sub-Commission further improve its methods of work by focusing on its primary role as an advisory body to the Commission.

    Organization of Work of Session

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- rejected a draft resolution on the question of detainees in the area of the Unites States naval base in Guantanamo, which would have requested the Government of the United States to authorize an impartial and independent fact-finding mission by the relevant special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of detainees at its naval base in Guantanamo;

    -- in a decision on its next session, decided that the first meeting of its sixty-second session would be held on the third Monday in January 2006, with the sole purpose of electing its officers, and that the sixty-second session of the Commission would be held from 13 March to 21 April 2006;

    -- in a decision, recommended that the Economic and Social Council authorize six fully serviced additional meetings, including summary records, for the sixty-second session of the Commission, and requested the Chairperson of that session to make every effort to organize the work of the session within the time normally allotted, so that the additional meetings would only be utilized if absolutely necessary.

    -- in a decision on the proposed reform of the Secretary-General in the area of human rights, taking into account the report of the Secretary-General entitled “In larger freedom:  towards development, security and human rights for all” (A/59/2005) on, among other things, the reform of the Commission; and decided to establish an open-ended Working Group, to be chaired by the current Chairperson, which would convene a five-day inter-sessional meeting in June 2005 to reflect on the recommendations on human rights contained in the report of the Secretary-General.  It also decided to convene a one-day special session to formally adopt the outcome of the open-ended Working Group and transmit it to the Secretary-General through the Economic and Social Council.

    -- in a decision on the situation of human rights in Liberia (E/CN.4/2005/L.102), taking note with appreciation of the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Liberia (E/CN.4/2005/119), decided to consider the question at its sixty-second session under the same agenda item. 

    -- in a decision on technical cooperation and advisory services in the field of human rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.103), while taking note of the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Chad, welcomed with satisfaction the readiness of the Government of Chad to accept the opening of an office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Chad.

    Rationalization of Work of Commission

    Under this agenda item, the Commission:

    -- in a resolution on enhancing and strengthening the effectiveness of the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/2005/L.98), decided to organize an informal consultation between the special procedures mandate holders and States, with the participation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, devoted to an exchange of views on the issues contained therein for enhancing and strengthening the effectiveness of the special procedures of the Commission at their annual meeting in 2005.

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