Original HRC document

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Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2014 Oct

Session: 27th Regular Session (2014 Sep)

Agenda Item: Item3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Topic: Unilateral Coercive Measures

GE.See A/67/506-S/2012/752, annex I. 4-17907 (E)

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Human Rights Council Twenty-seventh session

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights,

including the right to development

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council

27/21

Human rights and unilateral coercive measures

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling also all previous resolutions on human rights and unilateral coercive

measures adopted by the Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and the

General Assembly,

Reaffirming Human Rights Council resolution 24/14 of 27 September 2013 and

General Assembly resolution 68/162 of 18 December 2013,

Stressing that unilateral coercive measures and legislation are contrary to

international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter and the norms and principles

governing peaceful relations among States,

Recognizing the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated character of

all human rights, and in this regard reaffirming the right to development as a universal and

inalienable right and an integral part of all human rights,

Expressing its concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on

human rights, development, international relations, trade, investment and cooperation,

Reaffirming that no State may use or encourage the use of any type of measure,

including but not limited to economic or political measures, to coerce another State in order

to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from

it advantages of any kind,

Recognizing that unilateral coercive measures in the form of economic sanctions can

have far-reaching implications for the human rights of the general population of targeted

States, disproportionately affecting the poor and the most vulnerable classes,

United Nations A/HRC/RES/27/21

General Assembly

Underlining that under no circumstances should people be deprived of their basic

means of survival,

Recognizing that long-term unilateral coercive measures may result in social

problems and raise humanitarian concerns in the States targeted,

Highlighting the deep-rooted problems and grievances within the international

system and the importance for the United Nations to give a voice to all members of the

international community in order to ensure multilateralism, mutual respect and the peaceful

settlement of disputes,

Recalling the final document of the sixteenth Conference of Heads of State or

Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Tehran from 26 to 31 August 2012,1 and

the final document of the seventeenth Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned

Movement, held in Algiers on 28 and 29 May 2014, and those adopted at previous summits

and conferences, in which States members of the Movement decided to refrain from

recognizing, adopting or implementing extraterritorial or unilateral coercive measures or

laws, including unilateral economic sanctions, other intimidating measures and arbitrary

travel restrictions, that seek to exert pressure on non-aligned countries – threatening their

sovereignty and independence, and their freedom of trade and investment – and to prevent

them from exercising their right to decide, by their own free will, their own political,

economic and social systems, where such measures or laws constitute flagrant violations of

the Charter, international law, the multilateral trading system as well as the norms and

principles governing friendly relations among States, and in this regard oppose and

condemn these measures or laws and their continued application, persevere with efforts to

effectively reverse them and urge other States to do likewise, as called for by the General

Assembly and other United Nations organs, and request States applying these measures or

laws to revoke them fully and immediately,

Recalling also that the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna from 14

to 25 June 1993, called upon States to refrain from any unilateral measure not in

accordance with international law and the Charter and that created obstacles to trade

relations among States and impeded the full realization of all human rights, and that also

severely threatened the freedom of trade,

Deeply concerned that, despite the resolutions adopted on this issue by the General

Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights and at United

Nations conferences held in the 1990s and at their five-year reviews, and contrary to norms

of international law and the Charter, unilateral coercive measures continue to be

promulgated, implemented and enforced by, inter alia, resorting to war and militarism, with

all their negative implications for the social-humanitarian activities and economic and

social development of developing countries, including their extraterritorial effects, thereby

creating additional obstacles to the full enjoyment of all human rights by peoples and

individuals under the jurisdiction of other States,

Deeply disturbed by the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the right

to life, the rights to health and medical care, the right to freedom from hunger and the right

to an adequate standard of living, food, education, work and housing,

Alarmed by the disproportionate and indiscriminate human costs of unilateral

sanctions and their negative effects on the civilian population, in particular women and

children, of targeted States,

Reaffirming that unilateral coercive measures are a major obstacle to the

implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development,

Concerned that unilateral coercive measures have, in some instances, prevented

humanitarian organizations from making financial transfers to States where they work,

Underlining the necessity of examining the wide range of impacts of unilateral

coercive measures on international humanitarian and human rights law, as well as on the

economy, peace, security and social fabric of States,

Highlighting the need to monitor human rights violations associated with unilateral

coercive measures and to promote accountability,

Emphasizing the necessity of establishing a special procedure, within the context of

the Human Rights Council, on the impact of the application of unilateral coercive measures

on the enjoyment of all human rights,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1, on the institution-building of the

Council, and 5/2, on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate Holders of the

Council, of 18 June 2007, and stressing that the mandate holder shall discharge his/her

duties in accordance with those resolutions and the annexes thereto,

Recalling also article 1, paragraph 2, common to the International Covenant on Civil

and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural

Rights, which provides that, inter alia, in no case may a people be deprived of its own

means of subsistence,

1. Calls upon all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral

coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law,

the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations

among States, in particular those of a coercive nature with extraterritorial effects, which

create obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding the full realization of the

rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human

rights instruments, in particular the right of individuals and peoples to development;

2. Strongly objects to the extraterritorial nature of those measures which, in

addition, threaten the sovereignty of States, and in this context calls upon all Member States

neither to recognize these measures nor to apply them, and to take effective administrative

or legislative measures, as appropriate, to counteract the extraterritorial application or

effects of unilateral coercive measures;

3. Condemns the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain

powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressure against any country,

particularly against developing countries, with a view to preventing these countries from

exercising their right to decide, of their own free will, their own political, economic and

social systems;

4. Expresses grave concern that, in some countries, the situation of children and

women is adversely affected by unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with

international law and the Charter that create obstacles to trade relations among States,

impede the full realization of social and economic development and hinder the well-being

of the population in the affected countries, with particular consequences for women,

children, including adolescents, the elderly and persons with disabilities;

5. Reiterates its call upon Member States that have initiated such measures to

abide by the principles of international law, the Charter, the declarations of the United

Nations and world conferences and relevant resolutions, and to commit themselves to their

obligations and responsibilities arising from relevant provisions of the international law and

human rights instruments to which they are parties by putting an immediate end to such

measures;

6. Reaffirms in this context the right of all peoples to self-determination by

virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their own

economic, social and cultural development;

7. Also reaffirms its opposition to any attempt aimed at the partial or total

disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of a State, which is incompatible

with the Charter;

8. Recalls that, according to the Declaration on Principles of International Law

concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the

Charter of the United Nations, and to the relevant principles and provisions contained in the

Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, proclaimed by the General Assembly in

its resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974, in particular article 32 thereof, no State

may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measure to coerce

another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign

rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind;

9. Reaffirms that essential goods, such as food and medicines, should not be

used as tools for political coercion and that under no circumstances should people be

deprived of their own means of subsistence and development;

10. Underlines the fact that unilateral coercive measures are one of the major

obstacles to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development, and in this

regard calls upon all States to avoid the unilateral imposition of economic coercive

measures and the extraterritorial application of domestic laws that run counter to the

principles of free trade and hamper the development of developing countries;

11. Rejects all attempts to introduce unilateral coercive measures, as well as the

increasing trend in this direction, including through the enactment of laws with

extraterritorial application, which are not in conformity with international law;

12. Recognizes that the Declaration of Principles, adopted at the first phase of the

World Summit on the Information Society, held in Geneva in December 2003, strongly

urges States to avoid and refrain from any unilateral measure in building the information

society;

13. Urges all special rapporteurs and existing thematic mechanisms of the

Human Rights Council in the field of economic, social and cultural rights to pay due

attention, within the scope of their respective mandates, to the negative impact and

consequences of unilateral coercive measures;

14. Recognizes the importance of the quantitative and qualitative documentation

of the negative impact associated with the application of unilateral coercive measures in the

context of ensuring the accountability of those responsible for the human rights violations

resulting from the application of unilateral coercive measures against any State;

15. Decides to give due consideration to the negative impact of unilateral

coercive measures on the human rights issues in its task concerning the implementation of

the right to development;

16. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in

discharging his functions in relation to the promotion and protection of human rights, to pay

due attention and give urgent consideration to the present resolution;

17. Notes with appreciation the holding of the workshop on the impact of the

application of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights by the

affected populations, in particular their socioeconomic impact on women and children in

the States targeted, organized by the Office of the High Commissioner on 23 May 2014, in

Geneva;

18. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Office of the High

Commissioner on the proceedings of the above-mentioned workshop,A/HRC/27/32. and takes positive

note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly on human

rights and unilateral coercive measures;A/68/211.

19. Decides to organize a biannual panel discussion on the issue of unilateral

coercive measures and human rights, starting at its twenty-ninth session, with the

participation of Member States, relevant United Nations bodies, agencies and other relevant

stakeholders, and also requests the Office of High Commissioner to prepare and submit a

report on the panel discussion to the Human Right Council;

20. Reiterates its request to the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee to

prepare a research-based report containing recommendations on mechanism to assess the

negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and to

promote accountability, and to present a progress report on the requested research-based

report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session for its consideration;

21. Requests the Advisory Committee to seek the views and inputs of Member

States and relevant special procedures, as well as national human rights institutions and

non-governmental organizations, in the preparation of the above-mentioned research-based

report;

22. Decides to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the

negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, with the

following mandate:

(a) To gather all relevant information, wherever it may occur, including from

Governments, non-governmental organizations and any other parties, relating to the

negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights;

(b) To study trends, developments and challenges in relation to the negative

impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, and to make

guidelines and recommendations on ways and means to prevent, minimize and redress the

adverse impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights;

(c) To make an overall review of independent mechanisms to assess unilateral

coercive measures to promote accountability;

(d) To contribute to strengthening the capacity of the Office of the High

Commissioner to provide affected countries with technical assistances and advisory

services to prevent, minimize and redress the adverse impact of unilateral coercive

measures on human rights;

23. Requests the Special Rapporteur, within the framework of his or her mandate:

(a) To draw the attention of the Human Rights Council and the High

Commissioner to those situations and cases regarding the negative impact of unilateral

coercive measures on the full enjoyment of human rights;

(b) To cooperate with other relevant United Nations bodies, including the High

Commissioner, the human rights treaty bodies, the special procedures and mechanisms,

specialized agencies, funds and programmes, regional intergovernmental organizations and

their mechanisms, with the aim to prevent, minimize and redress the adverse impact of

unilateral coercive measures on human rights;

24. Calls upon all States to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in

the performance of his or her tasks, and to provide all necessary information requested by

him or her;

25. Invites the High Commissioner, relevant special procedures of the Human

Rights Council and the treaty bodies to pay attention, within the framework of their

mandates, to the situation of persons whose right has been violated as the result of

unilateral coercive measures;

26. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the assistance necessary to the

Special Rapporteur to fulfil his or her mandate effectively, in particular by placing adequate

human and material resources at his or her disposal;

27. Requests the Special Rapporteur to submit each year to the Human Rights

Council and the General Assembly a report on the activities relating to his or her mandate;

28. Decides to continue its consideration of the issue of negative impact of

unilateral coercive measures on human rights in accordance with its programme of work.

40th meeting

26 September 2014

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 31 to 14, with 2 abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China,

Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Kenya,

Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,

Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab

Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam

Against:

Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan,

Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Romania, the former Yugoslav Republic of

Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United

States of America

Abstaining:

Costa Rica, Kazakhstan]