99th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 2

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22-Dec-1995 00:05:24
Assembly condemns arbitrary execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight co-defendants in Nigeria by vote of 101-14-47 at 99th meeting.

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The General Assembly condemned the arbitrary execution, after a flawed judicial process, of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight co-defendants in Nigeria by a resolution adopted this afternoon on the recommendation of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).

The resolution, adopted by a vote of 101 in favour to 14 against, with 47 abstentions, expressed deep concern about other violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Nigeria, and called on its Government to urgently ensure their observance, in particular by restoring habeas corpus, releasing all political prisoners, guaranteeing freedom of the press and ensuring full respect for the rights of all individuals, including trade unionists and persons belonging to minorities. (For details of voting, see Annex XIV.)

In rejecting the resolution, the representative of Nigeria said the Assembly had been manipulated by some powerful Members.

Statements on the resolution were also made by the representatives of Nigeria, Mozambique, Iraq and Burundi.

On recommendations of the Third Committee, the Assembly this afternoon adopted 42 resolutions, 10 with recorded votes, on such issues as the advancement of women, human rights questions and the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women. It also adopted 6 decisions.

Among texts on human rights, the Assembly called upon the Government of the Sudan to comply with applicable international human rights instruments to which it was a party, in particular the International Covenants on Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The vote was 94 in favour to 15 against, with 54 abstentions (Annex XII).

In a separate earlier vote, operative paragraph 2 which urged the Government of the Sudan to investigate cases of slavery, servitude, slave trade and forced labour, was adopted by 87 votes in favour to 15 against, with 50 abstentions (Annex IX).

Operative paragraph 4 which called for the placement of human rights monitors, was adopted by a vote of 85 in favour to 17 against, with 49 abstentions (Annex X). Operative paragraph 12 which deplored the Government of the Sudan's continuing refusal to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, was adopted by a vote of 85 in favour to 14 against, with 50 abstentions (Annex XI).

The representative of the Sudan said those parts of the resolution amounted to blatant interference in her country's affairs.

By the terms of another draft resolution, adopted by a vote of 115 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation and India), with 43 abstentions, the Assembly strongly condemned the measures and practices of discrimination and the violations of human rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo committed by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (Annex V).

The representatives of Croatia, China, India and Swaziland made statements on that text.

By a text on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) the Assembly condemned, in the strongest terms, all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the parties to the conflict there, recognizing that the leadership in territories under the control of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and formerly Serb-held areas of Croatia, the commanders of Serb paramilitary forces and political and military leaders in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) bore primary responsibility for most of those violations. That text was adopted by a vote of 144 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 10 abstentions (Annex VIII).

A draft on rape and abuse of women in areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia was adopted by the Assembly without a vote. Preambular paragraph 6 of that resolution, stating that the heinous practice of ethnic cleansing by Serbian forces was an act of genocide, was adopted by a vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 20 abstentions (Annex VII).

Another resolution condemned "massive and extremely grave violations of human rights for which the Government of Iraq is responsible". By a vote of 111 in favour to 3 against (Sudan, Nigeria and Libya), with 53 abstentions, the Assembly also strongly condemned the continued refusal of the Government of Iraq to take advantage of resources available to alleviate the suffering of the people, and expressed special alarm at policies which discriminate between regions (Annex VI).

The Assembly also expressed concern at violations of human rights in Iran, in particular the high number of executions. By that text, adopted by a vote of 78 in favour to 27 against, with 58 abstentions, the Assembly called upon the Government to take the necessary steps so that a visit of the Special Representative of the Human Rights Commission could take place as soon as possible and without conditions (Annex IV).

By a resolution adopted by a vote of 66 in favour to 22 against, with 78 abstentions, the Assembly once again called upon the Cuban Government to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur for that country by permitting him full and free access to establish contact with the Government and the citizens (Annex XIII).

The representative of Cuba said that resolution had been imposed by a super-Power.

The representative of Colombia also made a statement.

In other action on country specific resolutions, the Assembly adopted texts on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Haiti and Cambodia.

The representative of Yemen made a statement on country specific texts.

Acting on a text on respect for the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the international affairs of States in their electoral process, the Assembly strongly appealed to all States to refrain from financing or providing, directly or indirectly, any form of overt or covert support for political parties or groups and to refrain from taking actions to undermine the electoral processes in any country. That text was adopted by a vote of 91 in favour to 57 against, with 21 abstentions (Annex I).

The representative of Mexico made a statement on that draft.

By a vote of 156 votes in favour, to none against, with 15 abstentions, the Assembly requested the United Nations to continue efforts to ensure, before undertaking to provide electoral assistance, that there is adequate time to organize an effective mission for providing such assistance, that conditions exist to allow a free and fair election and that provisions can be made for comprehensive reporting (Annex III).

Also this afternoon, the Assembly adopted, by a vote of 86 in favour to 4 against (United States, Israel, Japan and Canada), with 80 abstentions a resolution calling for respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family reunification (Annex II).

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted seven resolutions relating to the advancement of women. They referred to the proposed merger of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women and UNIFEM; the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women; improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat; improvement of the situation of women in rural areas; role of UNIFEM in eliminating violence against women; traffic in women and girls; and violence against women migrant workers.

A decision on documents considered by the General Assembly in connection with the question of the advancement of women was adopted without a vote.

On human rights instruments, the Assembly, without a vote, adopted resolutions relating to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; effective implementation of international instruments on human rights, including reporting obligations; and International Covenants on Human Rights.

In other action, the Assembly, without a vote, adopted eight resolutions relating to human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

They included texts on the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education; strengthening of action in the human rights field through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity; national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights; and the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education.

Other texts dealt with strengthening the rule of law; effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities; human rights in the administration of justice; human rights and mass exoduses; elimination of all forms of religious intolerance; right to development; human rights and terrorism; and strengthening of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights.

Under human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives, the Assembly adopted a resolution on the protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons without a vote.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted a decision on documents considered by the General Assembly in connection with human rights questions, and a resolution on comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

The Assembly further took note of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women, the Assembly adopted two draft resolutions without a vote. One was on amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the other was on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The Assembly took note of the report of the Fifth Committee on the programme budget implications of the second draft resolution relating to that Conference, and took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the outcome of the Conference.

The Assembly also acted without a vote in adopting three decisions on the report of the Economic and Social Council. They dealt with the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; organization of work of the Third Committee and the biennial programme of work of the Committee for 1996-1997 and report of the Economic and Social Council.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly decided to postpone consideration of the item on the launching of global negotiations on international cooperation for development until its next session.

The General Assembly will meet again at 11 a.m. tomorrow, 23 December, to take action on the remaining reports of the Fifth Committee.

For further details please see source:
MEETINGS COVERAGE

For further details please see official record:
A/50/PV.99
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