Chapter III. General review of the legal activities of the United Nations and related intergovernmental organizations

SUMMARY

A. General review of the legal activities of the United Nations 1. Membership of the United Nations 97 2. Peace and security (a) Peacekeeping missions and operations (b) Political and peacebuilding missions (c) Other bodies (d) Missions of the Security Council (e) Other peacekeeping matters (f) Action of Member States authorized by the Security Council (g) Sanctions imposed under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations (h) Terrorism (i) Humanitarian law and human rights in the context of peace and security (j) Piracy 3. Disarmament and related matters (a) Disarmament machinery (b) Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferations issues (c) Biological and chemical weapons issues (d) Conventional weapons issues (e) Regional disarmament activities of the United Nations (f) Other issues 4. Legal aspects of peaceful uses of outer space (a) The Legal Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (b) General Assembly 5. Human Rights (a) Sessions of the United Nations human rights bodies and treaty bodies (b) Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination (c) Right to development and poverty reduction (d) Right of peoples to self-determination (e) Economic, social and cultural rights (f) Civil and political rights (g) Rights of the child (h) Migrants (i) Internally displaced persons (j) Minorities (k)... (see full summary)

 
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discrimination and to provide for equal access to quality education for persons belonging to minorities, in particular minority children, while protecting their identity, as enshrined in the Declaration, and promoting integration, social inclusion and a prosperous and stable society

(k) Indigenous issues

a . Human Rights Council

On 19 July 2010, the Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Mr James Anaya, presented his report to the Human Rights Council 315 The Special Rapporteur devoted the second half of the report to an analysis of corporate responsibility with respect to indigenous rights, in the framework of the international community’s expectations in that regard

On 30 September 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 15/7 entitled “Human rights and indigenous peoples” In the resolution, the Council, inter alia, encouraged those States that had not yet ratified or acceded to the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989 (No 169)316 of the International Labour Organization to consider doing so and to consider supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 317

On the same day, the Council also adopted resolution 15/14 entitled “Human rights and indigenous peoples: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples” In the resolution, the Council, inter alia, decided to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

b . General Assembly

On 21 December 2010, the General Assembly adopted, on the recommendation of the Third Committee, resolution 65/198, entitled “Indigenous issues” In this resolution, the Assembly to expand the mandate of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations so that it can assist representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations and communities to participate in sessions of the Human Rights Council and of human rights treaty bodies, based on diverse and renewed participation and in accordance with relevant rules and regulations, including Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996; and decided to organize a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in 2014, in order to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and invites the President of the General Assembly to conduct open-ended consultations with Member States and with representatives of indigenous peoples in the framework of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, as well as with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur in order to

315 A/HRC/15/37

316 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol 1650, p 383

317 General Assembly resolution 61/295 of 13 September 2007

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determine the modalities for the meeting, including the participation of indigenous peoples in the Conference

(l) Terrorism and human rights318

a . Human Rights Council

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Mr Martin Scheinin, submitted his annual report to the Human Rights Council on 22 December 2010 319 In addition to a description of the activities of the Special Rapporteur, the report includes a compilation of ten areas of best practice in countering terrorism: (a) consistency of counter-terrorism law with human rights, humanitarian law and refugee law; (b) consistency of counter-terrorism practice with human rights, humanitarian law and refugee law; (c) normal operation and regular review of counter-terrorism law and practice; (d) effective remedies for violations of human rights; (e) victims of terrorism; (f) definition of terrorism; (g) offence of incitement to terrorism; (h) listing of terrorist entities; and (i) arrest and interrogation of terrorism suspects The concept of “best practice” refers to legal and institutional frameworks that serve to promote and protect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in all aspects of counter-terrorism In the compilation, the Special Rapporteur sought primarily to identify legislative models that he considered appropriate for the effective countering of terrorism in full compliance with human rights

On 26 March 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 13/26 entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” In this resolution, the Council, inter alia, called upon States to ensure that any measure taken to counter terrorism complies with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law The Council also called upon States, while countering terrorism, to ensure that any person whose human rights or fundamental freedoms had been violated had access to an effective remedy and that victims would receive adequate, effective and prompt reparations where appropriate, including by bringing to justice those responsible for such violations Moreover, the Council called upon States, while countering terrorism, to safeguard the right to privacy in accordance with international law, and urged them to take measures to ensure that interferences with the right to privacy were regulated by law, subject to effective oversight and appropriate redress, including through judicial review or other means

On 30 September 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 15/15 entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism” In the resolution, the Council, inter alia, decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism for a period of three years

318 For further information on terrorism, see sections 2 (g) and 16 (k) of this chapter

319 A/HRC/16/51

b General Assembly

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Mr Martin Scheinin, submitted his annual report to the General Assembly in August 2010 320 The report addresses the question of compliance with human rights by the United Nations when countering terrorism and takes stock of and assesses the role and contributions of, inter alia, the Assembly, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Human Rights Council, the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies, and United Nations field presences in the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of their counter-terrorism activities The Special Rapporteur’s main recommendation was that the Security Council should seize the opportunity of the approaching tenth anniversary of its resolution 1373 (2001) to replace resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 1267 (1999) (as amended) with a single resolution, not adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in order to systematize the States’ counter-terrorism measures and reporting duties of States under one framework This proposal was motivated by the assessment of the Special Rapporteur that Chapter VII does not provide the proper legal basis for maintaining the current framework of mandatory and permanent Security Council resolutions of a quasi-legislative or quasi-judicial nature The report also addresses ways and means of improving the human rights accountability of the United Nations for its field operations, in the context of countering terrorism

On 21 December 2010, the General Assembly adopted, on the recommendation of the Third Committee, resolution 65/221 entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” 321 In this resolution, the Assembly, inter alia, reaf-firmed that States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law; and that counter-terrorism measures should be implemented in accordance with international law, including international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, thereby taking into full consideration the human rights of all

(m) Promotion and protection of human rights

(i) International cooperation and universal instruments

a . Human Rights Council

On 26 March 2010, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 13/23 entitled “Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights” In this resolution, the Council, inter alia, reaffirmed that it is one of the purposes of the United Nations and also the primary responsibility of Member States to promote, protect and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms through, inter alia, international cooperation The Council reaffirmed that the promotion, protection and full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms should be guided by the principles of uni-320 A/65/258

321 A/RES/65/221

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versality, non-selectivity, objectivity and transparency, in a manner consistent with the purposes and principles set out in the Charter

b . General Assembly

On 21 December 2010, the General Assembly adopted, on the recommendation of the Third Committee, resolution 65/218 entitled “Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights” In this resolution, the Assembly, inter alia, reaffirmed that it is one of the purposes of the United Nations and the responsibility of all Member States to promote, protect and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms through, inter alia, international cooperation; and urged all actors on the international scene to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality...

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