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Independent Expert on international order

Overview of the mandate

On 29 September 2011, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 18/6 on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. The resolution stressed that the aspirations of all peoples for an international order are based on the principles enshrined in the Charter, including promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all and respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, peace, democracy, justice, equality, the rule of law, pluralism, development, better standards of living and solidarity. It affirmed that a democratic and equitable international order fosters the full realization of all human rights for all, and that everyone is entitled to it.

Resolution 18/6 established the mandate of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order for an initial period of three years. Since then, the mandate has been extended twice, on 25 September 2014 (A/HRC/RES/27/9) and on 28 September 2017 (A/HRC/RES/36/4), for three years each.

The Human Rights Council has further renewed its commitment to the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by adopting resolutions 21/925/1530/2933/336/4, 39/4 and 42/8.

According to the resolution 18/6, a democratic and equitable international order requires the realization, inter alia, of the following:

  1. The right of all peoples to self-determination, by virtue of which they can freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development;
  2. The right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources;
  3. The right of every human person and all peoples to development;
  4. The right of all peoples to peace;
  5. The right to an international economic order based on equal participation in the decision-making process, interdependence, mutual interest, solidarity and cooperation among all States;
  6. International solidarity, as a right of peoples and individuals;
  7. The promotion and consolidation of transparent, democratic, just and accountable international institutions in all areas of cooperation, in particular through the implementation of the principle of full and equal participation in their respective decision-making mechanisms;
  8. The right to equitable participation of all, without any discrimination, in domestic and global decision-making;
  9. The principle of equitable regional and gender-balanced representation in the composition of the staff of the United Nations system;
  10. The promotion of a free, just, effective and balanced international information and communications order, based on international cooperation for the establishment of a new equilibrium and greater reciprocity in the international flow of information, in particular correcting the inequalities in the flow of information to and from developing countries;
  11. Respect for cultural diversity and the cultural rights of all, since this enhances cultural pluralism, contributes to a wider exchange of knowledge and understanding of cultural backgrounds, advances the application and enjoyment of universally accepted human rights across the world and fosters stable, friendly relations among peoples and nations worldwide;
  12. The right of every person and all peoples to a healthy environment and to enhanced international cooperation that responds effectively to the needs for assistance of national efforts to adapt to climate change, particularly in developing countries, and that promotes the fulfilment of international agreements in the field of mitigation;
  13. The promotion of equitable access to benefits from the international distribution of wealth through enhanced international cooperation, in particular in economic, commercial and financial international relations;
  14. The enjoyment by everyone of ownership of the common heritage of mankind in connection to the public right of access to culture;
  15. The shared responsibility of the nations of the world for managing worldwide economic and social development, as well as threats to international peace and security, that should be exercised multilaterally.

Mandate of the Independent Expert

  1. To identify possible obstacles to the promotion and protection of a democratic and equitable international order, and to submit proposals and/or recommendations to the Human Rights Council on possible actions in that regard;
  2. To identify best practices in the promotion and protection of a democratic and equitable international order at the local, national, regional and international levels;
  3. To raise awareness concerning the importance of promoting and protecting of a democratic and equitable international order;
  4. To work in cooperation with States in order to foster the adoption of measures at the local, national, regional and international levels aimed at the promotion and protection of a democratic and equitable international order;
  5. To work in close coordination, while avoiding unnecessary duplication, with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, other special procedures of the Human Rights Council, international financial institutions, as well as with other relevant actors representing the broadest possible range of interests and experiences, within their respective mandates, including by attending and following up on relevant international conferences and events;
  6. To integrate a gender perspective and a disabilities perspective into his or her work;
  7. To report regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in accordance with their respective programmes of work;
  8. To support the strengthening and promoting of democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the entire world.

Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order

Year Human Rights Council General Assembly
2022 A/HRC/RES/51/11 A/RES/77/215
2021 A/HRC/RES/48/8 A/RES/76/165
2020 A/HRC/RES/45/4 A/RES/75/178
2019 A/HRC/RES/42/8 A/RES/74/150
2018 A/HRC/RES/39/4 A/RES/73/169
2017 A/HRC/RES/36/4 A/RES/72/172
2016 A/HRC/RES/33/3 A/RES/71/190
2015 A/HRC/RES/30/29 A/RES/70/149
2014 A/HRC/RES/27/9 A/RES/68/175
2013 A/HRC/RES/25/15 A/RES/67/175
2012 A/HRC/RES/21/9 A/RES/66/159
2011 A/HRC/RES/18/6 A/RES/65/223
2010 N/A A/RES/63/189
2009 N/A A/RES/61/160
2008 A/RES/8/5 N/A
2003 E/CN.4/RES/2003/63
(Commission on Human Rights)