UN rights commission adopts resolutions on cultural rights, racism

15 April 2005

With one week left in its sixty-first session, the United Nations top human rights body has approved a host of resolutions aimed at promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights, and denouncing all forms of racism.

With one week left in its sixty-first session, the United Nations top human rights body has approved a host of resolutions aimed at promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights, and denouncing all forms of racism.

The Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights also unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday on cooperation with representatives of UN human rights bodies, urging Governments to refrain from all acts of intimidation or reprisal against those who sought to cooperate or had cooperated with the Organization's human rights staff, or who had provided testimony or information to them.

Under its agenda item on economic, social and cultural rights, the Commission adopted without vote a text on human rights and extreme poverty, which reaffirmed that extreme poverty and exclusion from society constituted a violation of human dignity and that urgent national and international action was therefore required to eliminate them.

On globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights, the Commission adopted a resolution by a roll-call vote of 38 in favour to 15 against, expressing deep concern at the widening gap between the developed and the developing countries, which adversely affected the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly in the developing countries.

In a resolution on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, adopted by a roll-call vote of 37 in favour and 13 against, with two abstentions, the Commission categorically condemned the illicit dumping of toxic and dangerous products in developing countries.

The Commission also adopted resolutions on human rights and unilateral coercive measures; the right to food; the effects of economic policy reform and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of all human rights; and the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for different cultural identities.

Under its agenda item on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination, the Commission adopted a text on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contributed to fuelling contemporary forms of racism and related intolerance by a roll-call vote of 46 in favour to none opposed.

In the text, the panel expressed alarm at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups. The Commission called upon States to take more effective measures to combat these phenomena and the extremist movements, which posed a real threat to democratic values.