Original HRC document


Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2017 Oct

Session: 36th Regular Session (2017 Sep)

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

Topic: International Human Rights System



Human Rights Council Thirty-sixth session

11-29 September 2017

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 28 September 2017

36/10. 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 34/13 of 24 March 2017 and General

Assembly resolution 71/193 of 19 December 2016,

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 grave 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

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

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

Alarmed by the fact that most current unilateral coercive measures have been

imposed, at great cost, in terms of the human rights of the poorest and of persons in

vulnerable situations, on developing countries by developed countries,

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,

Expressing its grave concern that the laws and regulations imposing unilateral

coercive measures have, in some instances, an extraterritorial effect not only on targeted

countries but also on third countries, in contravention of the basic principles of international

law, in a manner that will coerce the latter also to apply the unilateral coercive measures,

Welcoming the final document and declaration adopted at the seventeenth Summit of

Heads of State and Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held on

Margarita Island, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on 17 and 18 September 2016, in

which the Movement reaffirmed, among other things, its principled position of

condemnation of the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures against

countries of the Movement, which are in violation of the Charter and international law and

undermine, among other things, the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, political

independence, self-determination and non-interference,

Reaffirming that each State has full sovereignty over the totality of its wealth,

natural resources and economic activity, exercising it freely, in accordance with General

Assembly resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962,

Recalling 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 major obstacles to the

implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development,

Concerned that unilateral coercive measures have prevented humanitarian

organizations from making financial transfers to States where they work,

Underlining that, in each situation worldwide, unilateral coercive measures have a

negative impact on human rights,

Underlining also the necessity of examining the wide range of impact of unilateral

coercive measures on international humanitarian and human rights law and 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,

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 duties in

accordance with those resolutions and the annexes thereto,

Recalling also article 1 (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


1. Welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of

unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, including his thematic

reports and country visits;

2. Also welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur;1

3. Decides to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special

Rapporteur, as set out in Human Rights Council resolution 27/21 of 26 September 2014;

4. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human

Rights to continue to give high priority to human rights and unilateral coercive measures, to

pursue further work in this area in full cooperation with the Special Rapporteur in his

various activities, and to continue to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the assistance

necessary for the effective fulfilment of his mandate;

5. Calls upon all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special

Rapporteur in his tasks, to supply all necessary information requested by the mandate

holder, and to respond favourably to his requests to visit their countries to enable him to

fulfil his mandate effectively;

6. Invites relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, treaty

bodies and civil society actors, including non-governmental organizations, as well as the

private sector, to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur in the fulfilment of his


7. Decides to continue its consideration of the issue of human rights and

unilateral coercive measures in accordance with its programme of work.

39th meeting

28 September 2017

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 30 to 15, with 1 abstention. The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, Burundi,

China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia,

Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nigeria,

1 A/HRC/36/44.

Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia,

United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)


Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Latvia,

Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, United

Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America