dcsimg


10. Development of Public Information Activities in the Field of Human Rights (1988)
(Adopted by the General Assembly, resolution 43/128, A/RES/43/128, 8 December 1988)

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming that activities to improve public knowledge in the field of human rights are essential to the fulfilment of the purposes of the United Nations set out in Article 1, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations and that carefully designed programmes of teaching, education and information are essential to the achievement of lasting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recalling the relevant resolutions on this subject, in particular its resolution 42/118 of 7 December 1987, and taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1988/74 of 10 March 1988, [127]

Recognizing the catalytic effect of United Nations initiatives on national and regional public information activities in the field of human rights,

Recognizing also the valuable role that non governmental organizations can play in these endeavours,

Emphasizing the importance of adherence by all Governments to the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and believing that the fortieth anniversary of its adoption has provided a focus and renewed impetus to the promotional activities of the United Nations system in the field of human rights,

Believing that a world public information campaign on human rights would be a valuable complement to the activities of the United Nations further to promote and to protect human rights worldwide,

1. Takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General on the development of public information activities in the field of human rights [128] and on the advisability of launching, within existing resources, a world public information campaign on human rights; [129]

2. Reaffirms the need for information materials on human rights to be carefully designed in clear and accessible form, to be tailored to regional and national requirements and circumstances with specific target audiences in mind and to be effectively disseminated in national and local languages and in sufficient volume to have the desired impact, and for effective use also to be made of the mass media, in particular radio and television and audio-visual technologies, in order to reach wider audiences, with priority being given to children, young people and the disadvantaged, including those in isolated areas;

3. Appreciates the measures taken during 1988 by the Secretariat, through the Centre for Human Rights and the Department of Public Information:

(a) To update, increase stocks and extend the language versions of human rights information materials, especially those on the basic United Nations human rights instruments and institutions, and, in this regard, urges the Secretariat to take measures to ensure the further production and effective dissemination of such documents in national and local languages in co-operation with regional, national and local organizations as well as with Governments, making full and effective use of the United Nations information centres, which have a key promotional role to play in the field of human rights at the regional and national levels;

(b) To establish in the Department of Public Information a new Dissemination Division, which is revising and computerizing the Secretariat’s distribution methods so as to target specific audiences better, globally and regionally, and which will assist organizations, schools and non-governmental organizations to identify appropriate material for their use;

(c) To expand audio-visual activities in the field of human rights, and, in this regard, again requests the Secretary-General to explore the possibility of co-production arrangements for future audio-visual programmes so as to achieve maximum public impact at an economical cost;

4. Encourages all Member States, in particular in order to follow up the activities of the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to make special efforts to publicize and to facilitate and encourage publicity for the activities of the United Nations in the field of human rights, and to accord priority to the dissemination, in their respective national and local languages, of the Declaration, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other international conventions and to information and education on the practical ways in which the rights and freedoms enjoyed under these instruments can be exercised;

5. Urges all Member States to include in their educational curricula materials relevant to a comprehensive understanding of human rights issues and encourages all those responsible for training in law and its enforcement, the armed forces, medicine, diplomacy and other relevant fields to include appropriate human rights components in their programmes, and, to this end, requests the Secretary-General to draw the attention of Member States to the teaching booklet on human rights, which could serve as a broad and flexible framework adaptable to national circumstances for the structuring and development of human rights teaching;

6. Notes the special value, under the advisory services and technical assistance programme, of regional and national training courses and workshops, in co-operation with Governments, regional and national organizations and non-governmental organizations, in promoting practical education and awareness in the field of human rights, and welcomes the priority given to the organization of such activities by the Centre for Human Rights;

7. Decides to launch on 10 December 1988, the fortieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, within existing resources, a World Public Information Campaign on Human Rights, under which the activities of the Organization in this field should be developed and strengthened in a global and practically oriented fashion, engaging the complementary activities of concerned bodies of the United Nations system, Member States and non-governmental organizations;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the fullest effective deployment of the skills and resources of all concerned units of the Secretariat and to make available, within the existing resources, and in particular from the budget of the Department of Public Information, adequate funding for developing practical and effective human rights information activities, including those within the programme of the World Public Information Campaign on Human Rights;

9. Calls upon the Centre for Human Rights, which has primary responsibility within the United Nations system in the field of human rights, to co-ordinate the substantive activities of the World Campaign pursuant to the direction of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, and to serve as liaison with Governments, regional and national institutions, non-governmental organizations and concerned individuals in the development and implementation of the World Campaign’s activities;

10. Calls upon the Department of Public Information, which has primary responsibility for public information activities, to co-ordinate the public information activities of the World Campaign and, in its responsibility as secretariat to the Joint United Nations Information Committee, to promote co-ordinated system wide information activities in the field of human rights;

11. Emphasizes the need for the United Nations to harmonize its activities in the field of human rights with those of other organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, with regard to the dissemination of information on international humanitarian law and, with regard to education for human rights, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which was requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 38/57 of 9 December 1983 to submit a report to the Assembly at its forty third session on its human rights teaching and training programmes;

12. Urges all Member States that have not yet done so to nominate national focal points that could be supplied with copies of relevant human rights material and that might also serve as focal points of liaison with the United Nations in the development and implementation of the World Campaign, and requests the Secretary-General to publish the list of such points in his report to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-fifth session a report on the current and proposed aims and activities of the World Campaign;

14. Requests the Commission on Human Rights, at its forty-fifth session, on the basis of the report of the Secretary-General, to give priority consideration to this question with a view to providing appropriate guidance on the aims and activities of the World Campaign;

15. Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session a comprehensive report on the implementation of the present resolution for consideration under the item entitled “Alternative approaches and ways and means within the United Nations system for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

______________________________________

[127] E/CN.4/1998/10.
[128] A/43/721.
[129] See A/43/711.