General Assembly Adopts 51 Third Committee Drafts on Combating Glorification of Nazism, Refugees, Displaced Persons, Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation
Delegates Reject Country-Specific Texts as Political Tools to Interfere in Nations’ Internal Affairs
The General Assembly adopted 51 resolutions and 1 decision recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today, covering a range of issues, from the rights children, women, refugees and others forced to flee their homes, to combating the glorification of Nazism.
Amid spirited debate, the Assembly adopted a draft on combating the glorification of Nazism by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 50 against, with 10 abstentions (Afghanistan, Ecuador, Myanmar, Palau, Panama, Papau New Guinea, Samoa, Switzerland, Republic of Korea and Türkiye).
The representative of the Russian Federation, describing the vote as shocking, said that, for the first time in the history of the United Nations, former Axis Powers voted against a text condemning Nazism. Criticizing a country-specific approach to a thematic resolution, he rejected amended operative paragraph 4, which condemns Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
Echoing his stance, China’s delegate opposed attempts to distort the history of the Second World War. The practice of adding country-specific content to thematic resolutions by means of amendments is inconsistent with the established practice of the Third Committee, she noted. In the same vein, Sri Lanka’s delegate criticized amended contents for politicizing the issue of combating racism and neo-Nazism through a country-specific approach.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s delegate stressed that operative paragraph 4 speaks about Moscow’s endeavours to justify its military invasion and territorial aggression on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism. “That is why we do not allow rapists to lecture us about how to fight rape,” he emphasized, adding that the summary executions of civilians by the Russians in Ukraine — documented in the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights — may constitute the war crime of wilful killing. This is the fascism of today — the glorification of Nazism being executed by the Russian Federation — he asserted.
Along similar lines, the representative of the United States stressed that Moscow’s resolution is not a serious effort to combat Nazism and antisemitism; instead, it is a shameful ploy to justify its war of aggression in Ukraine. In full support of the amendment that became a part of the resolution, she categorically rejected that the draft has turned into a country-specific resolution. The representative of the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the European Union, rejected the term denazification, used by the Russian Federation to justify its illegal invasion of Ukraine, adding that such distortion erodes understanding of the Holocaust.
Also today, the Assembly passed five draft resolutions on country-specific situations. Numerous delegates broadly rejected country-specific texts, with Iran’s delegate noting that such drafts are supported by countries with the darkest human rights records. The resolution on the situation in Iran does not concern the protection of human rights; instead, it aims to exert political pressure, she stressed, criticizing attempts to marginalize Iran through exploitation of United Nations mechanisms.
Similarly, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, condemning the draft on the human rights situation in his country, criticized the United States and Western countries for abusing human rights issues as a political tool for interfering in internal affairs of other countries.
Three resolutions were adopted on questions relating to refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons. The text on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) — adopted by consensus — had the Assembly express deep concern at the increasing number of people who are forcibly displaced due to conflict, persecution and climate. Stressing the importance of responsibility-sharing, the Assembly urged States to uphold the civilian and humanitarian character of camps for refugees and allow unhindered access for UNHCR.
This year, the Assembly adopted by consensus a new text on protecting children from sexual exploitation. By its terms, the Assembly voiced concern over the threat posed by “self-generated” child sexual abuse materials produced through coercion, as well as linkages between child sexual exploitation and trafficking in children for commercial sexual exploitation. It urged States to criminalize all forms of child sexual exploitation and abuse, including online, and provide tools to identify victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
A draft resolution on the world drug problem — adopted by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 9 against (Belarus, Cameroon, Iran, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Syria and Türkiye), with 45 abstentions — sparked controversy, with some delegates interpreting the text as a roll-over, while others refused to recognize it as the annual omnibus resolution due to extensive revisions.
In its one decision of the day, the Assembly adopted the work programme of its Third Committee for the seventy-eighth session.
Also speaking today were representatives of Nicaragua, Belarus, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Maldives, Philippines and Oman (on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council).
The Assembly will next meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, 16 December, to continue its work.
Action on Third Committee Draft Resolutions
SHALINI GUNGARAM (Mauritius), Rapporteur of the Third Committee, introduced the following reports of that body: Social development (document A/77/455); Advancement of women (document A/77/456); Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions (document A/77/457); Report of the Human Rights Council (document A/77/458); Promotion and protection of the rights of children (document A/77/459); Rights of indigenous peoples (document A/77/460); Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/77/461); and Right of peoples to self-determination (document A/77/462).
She went on to present the Committee’s reports on: Promotion and protection of human rights (document A/77/463); Implementation of human rights instruments (document A/77/463/Add.1); Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (document A/77/463/Add.2); Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (document A/77/463/Add.3); Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/77/463/Add.4); Crime prevention and criminal justice (document A/77/464); Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes (document A/77/465); International drug control (document A/77/466); Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/77/467); and Programme planning (document A/77/468).
The General Assembly first took up the report on Social Development, which contains five draft resolutions.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution I on “Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly”. By its terms, the Assembly expressed deep concern over persistent feminization of poverty, which increases vulnerability to trafficking in persons in least developed countries. It also expressed deep concern that the COVID‑19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on sustainable development, disproportionately affecting people in vulnerable situations. Further, the Assembly urged Member States to strengthen social policies, paying attention to needs of marginalized social groups, including people living with HIV/AIDS, Indigenous Peoples and refugees.
Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution II on “Inclusive development for and with persons with disabilities” without a vote, expressing grave concern that persons with disabilities continue to experience intersecting forms of discrimination. It stressed the importance of mainstreaming the rights and participation of persons with disabilities into all relevant strategies and programmes for sustainable development. Further, it urged Member States to ensure that persons with disabilities and their families have access to support services and information on how to recognize and report exploitation, violence and abuse.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution III on “Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing” without a vote, expressing concern that health systems are not prepared to respond to the needs of the ageing population and that older persons rate of poverty has increased due to global economic crises. The Assembly expressed further concern that older women are at greater risk of physical and psychological abuse and violence, reiterating that their needs and perspectives must be considered in disaster risk reduction. The Assembly urged Member States to develop and strengthen programmes promoting healthy and active ageing and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases for older persons.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution III on “Follow‑up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing” without a vote, (document A/C.3/L.10/Rev.1), expressing concern that health systems are not prepared to respond to the needs of the ageing population and that older persons’ rate of poverty has increased due to global economic crises. The Assembly expressed further concern that older women are at greater risk of physical and psychological abuse and violence, reiterating that their needs and perspectives must be considered in disaster risk reduction. The Assembly urged Member States to develop and strengthen programmes promoting healthy and active ageing and the prevention and control of non‑communicable diseases for older persons.
Adopting draft resolution IV on “Preparations for and observance of the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family” without a vote, the Assembly called on Member States to support working parents through, inter alia, expanded child and family benefits as well as paid family and sick leave. It further called on Member States and United Nations bodies to provide information on their activities, including good practices at the national level.
The Assembly next adopted draft resolution V on “Literacy for life: shaping future agendas” without a vote, stressing the importance of children and youth returning to school who have not yet gone back due to the COVID‑19 pandemic. It expressed deep concern about the gender gap in education, as nearly two‑thirds of the world’s non-literate adults are women. The Assembly expressed further concern that one‑third of children not attending school have disabilities and that the literacy rate among adults with disabilities is as low as 3 per cent in some countries. It urged Member States to ensure training for educational professionals in digital literacy and access to remote learning platforms to provide distance learning opportunities in developing countries.
The Assembly then turned to the report on the Advancement of Women, which contains four draft resolutions.
The Assembly adopted resolution I on “Intensification of efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls: gender stereotypes and negative social norms”, as orally revised, by a vote of 170 in favour, 1 against (Iran) with 8 abstentions (Algeria, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Gabon, Libya, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria). By its terms, the Assembly expressed deep concern that violence against women and girls is underreported, reinforcing gender inequality and corresponding impunity, and that historical inequalities and disregard for women’s dignity are primary causes of marital rape and other forms of physical and psychological violence that reinforce the lower status of girls and adolescent girls in society.
Further, the Assembly expressed alarm that violence against women and girls, including femicide, is among the least punished crimes due to gender bias in the judiciary and law enforcement. It urged States to strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and girls on and offline and reaffirmed that traditions or religious customs do not exempt them from its elimination. It urged States to implement legislation empowering women by guaranteeing full and equal access to education and health services.
Adopting draft resolution II on “Trafficking in women and girls” without a vote, the Assembly expressed serious concern that an increasing number of women and girls are being trafficked to both developed and developing countries for sexual exploitation and organ removal. It also expressed concern about use of the Internet for forced child labour, marriage and child sexual exploitation as well as increasing activities of transnational criminal organizations profiting from human trafficking. Further, it strongly urged Governments to ensure coherence between laws and measures related to migration, labour and human trafficking to protect the human rights of migrant women and girls throughout migration, employment and repatriation processes.
Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III on “Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation” without a vote, expressing deep concern that a tremendous gap in resources continues to severely limit programmes on the elimination of female genital mutilation. It also called on States parties to focus on prevention strategies eliminating harmful practices that negatively affect women and girls, and to develop awareness-raising campaigns on the harmful effects of female genital mutilation.
The Committee then adopted draft resolution IV titled “Intensification of efforts to end obstetric fistula” without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly stressed interlinkages between factors, including poverty and forced marriage, as root causes of obstetric fistula, and that it can be a cause of devastating lifelong morbidity if left untreated. It would express deep concern about the marginalization of women and girls, resulting in various forms of sexual and economic exploitation and abuse, which can increase the risk of obstetric fistula.
Further, the Assembly expressed deep concern that significant challenges require the intensification of efforts at all levels to end obstetric fistula, and about the insufficient resources for addressing obstetric fistula in high-burden countries. It would request the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive report with disaggregated data on obstetric fistula and challenges faced by Member States in implementing the present resolution to the General Assembly at its seventy-ninth session under the item “Advancement of women”.
The Assembly next took up the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions, which contains three draft resolutions.
Adopting draft resolution I on “Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” without a vote, it decided to increase the number of members of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 107 to 108 States. It requested the Economic and Social Council to elect the additional member at a meeting of its management segment in 2023.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution II on “Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” by consensus, expressing deep concern at the increasing number of people who are forcibly displaced, including from conflict, persecution and climate. It also expressed concern over challenges associated with hosting refugees in national systems, given stretched resources, and stressed the importance of responsibility-sharing among States. It expressed deep concern about increasing threats to the security of humanitarian aid workers and strongly condemned attacks on refugees and asylum-seekers.
Further, the Assembly urged States to uphold the civilian and humanitarian character of camps and settlements for refugees and allow unhindered access to them for the UNHCR. It expressed grave concern at the large number of asylum-seekers who have lost their lives trying to reach safety and the unprecedented scale of the global food crisis. Further, the Assembly expressed grave concern over the negative long-term impact of continued cuts in food rations and called on donors to ensure sustained support for the UNHCR and World Food Programme (WFP).
Also adopting draft resolution III on “Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa” without a vote, the Assembly expressed grave concern about the rising number of refugees and displaced persons on the African continent, funding gaps in the UNHCR and World Health Organization (WHO) budgets and deteriorating living conditions in many refugee camps. It expressed further concern over the decreasing trend in resettlement opportunities for displaced persons.
Also by the text, the Assembly called on the international community to take concrete action to meet the needs of refugees and contribute generously to projects and programmes to create durable solutions. It also condemned all acts that pose a threat to the security of refugees and asylum-seekers, such as refoulement or physical attacks. It called on UNHCR, African Union and African States to strengthen partnerships to support the protection system for refugees.
Turning next to the “Report of the Human Rights Council,” and a draft resolution of the same name, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 3 against (Belarus, Israel, Nicaragua), with 59 abstentions, taking note of the report, including the addendum thereto, and its recommendations.
Speaking before the vote, the representative of Venezuela stressed the importance of the Human Rights Council amid global challenges, including reconstruction after the COVID‑19 pandemic. Warning against politization of human rights and the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on such rights, he said the Body should continue its work in a balanced and impartial way, in a spirit of dialogue with all States. He disassociated from and rejected the imposition of instruments and mechanisms that are established without the consent of Venezuela.
The Assembly then took up the report on “Promotion and protection of the rights of children”, which contains two draft resolutions.
It adopted draft resolution I on “Protecting children from bullying” without a vote, calling on States to protect children from all forms of violence and provide appropriate support. It also called on States to invest in education and digital literacy that will ensure children’s safety online, analyse statistical data and provide information on disabilities regarding bullying.
By further terms, the Assembly called on States to adopt legislation to prevent bullying and strengthen the skills of professionals working with children in early detection and response. It urged States to ensure that schools address all forms of violence against children, particularly girls.
The Assembly then adopted without a vote draft resolution II on “Child, early and forced marriage”, urging States to enact laws to end such practices and repeal provisions that enable perpetrators of rape or abduction to escape prosecution by marrying their victims. It also called on States to ensure the timely registration of births and marriages and promote meaningful participation of children and adolescents in issues affecting them.
By further terms, the Assembly urged Governments to tackle poverty, lack of economic opportunities and other drivers of child, early and forced marriage, including barriers to education. Further, it urged States to address root causes of gender inequality, drivers of violence and unequal power relations in which women and girls are viewed as subordinate.
Next, the Assembly turned to the report on “Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (document A/77/460), containing one draft resolution of the same name.
Acting without a vote, it adopted the draft, expressing deep concern that suicide rates in Indigenous Peoples’ communities are often significantly higher than in the general population. It also stressed the urgent need to enhance Indigenous Peoples’ adaptive capacity to climate change and support their efforts to address it.
Also by the text, the Assembly urged States to ensure the safety of Indigenous Peoples, promoting an enabling environment, in which human rights violations are prevented, perpetrators held accountable and access to justice and remedy ensured. It also urged Governments to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are not forcibly removed from their territories and that no relocation takes place without their free, prior and informed consent.
The Assembly then took up its report on “Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, which contains two draft resolutions.
Taking the floor before the action, the representative of Cuba expressed his country’s commitment to the elimination of racism in all its forms. Nazism is no exception, he said. Noting and condemning the alarming spread of such racist ideology, he said that nothing justifies promoting racist or xenophobic ideas. Although the delegation has co‑sponsored the draft for many years, it must dissociate new operative paragraph 3, he said, recalling the adoption of amendment L. 52, which he said was divisive and targeting. The text could also highlight neo‑Nazism in the United States, he stressed.
It then adopted draft resolution I on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo‑Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” as orally revised and amended, by a vote of 120 in favour and 50 against, with 10 abstentions (Afghanistan, Ecuador, Myanmar, Palau, Panama, Papau New Guinea, Samoa, Switzerland, Republic of Korea and Türkiye).
By its terms, the Assembly expressed alarm at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, movements and ideologies, including neo‑Nazis and skinhead groups. It noted with concern that the presence of extreme right-wing ideologues can inject into political discourse the same ideologies that make neo‑Nazism and extremism so dangerous. The Assembly also expressed deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement, neo‑Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, which include erecting monuments and holding public demonstrations on the Nazi past.
Further, the Assembly condemned incidents that glorify Nazism, such as acts involving pro-Nazi graffiti and paintings, including on monuments dedicated to victims of the Second World War. It expressed alarm over the use by extremist groups, including neo-Nazi groups, of the Internet and social media to recruit new members, especially targeting children and young people, and disseminate their hate-filled messages. The Assembly also condemned any denial of the Holocaust as well as manifestation of religious intolerance or violence based on ethnic origin or religious belief.
Speaking after the adoption, the representative of Venezuela thanked the Russian Federation for presenting the draft on combatting Nazism, which he said was timely. He added that the amendment to the draft was hostile, undermining and politicizing the content of the amendment. His delegation dissociated from operative paragraph 3, but supports the rest of the resolution, he said.
The representative of the Russian Federation said this generation is the last that will include living veterans of the Second World War. He said the vote was shocking, adding that, for the first time in the history of the United Nations, former Axis powers voted against a text condemning Nazism. Germany, Japan and Italy have committed blasphemy against victims of German Nazism, Italian Fascism and Japanese militarism, he stressed.
Such fighting against members of the anti-Hitler coalition makes clear that discussions on hostile States are premature, he continued, asking the Assembly if these actions truly condemn the military operation in Ukraine. Saying that it does not, he decried the mentality of the ruling elite and noted that such delegations rewrite history. Recalling that the resolution is thematic and not country-specific, he rejected operative paragraph 4 condemning Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine — where Nazism is supported at a state-level, he added. Denazification is not a pretext, but a goal of the military operation and the Russian Federation will lead to its very end, he said.
The representative of China reiterated her firm opposition to attempts to deny, distort and falsify the history of the Second World War; her firm opposition to acts of glorifying Nazism, fascism and militarism and acts fuelling their resurgence; and her opposition of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. She said the practice of adding country-specific content to thematic resolutions by means of amendments is inconsistent with the established practice of the Third Committee. Among sponsors of the respective amendment, there are certain countries that seek to falsify the history of the Second World War and refuse to admit such war crimes as massive sexual violence, she stressed, expressing concern about the practice of a small number of countries creating division and politicizing relevant agenda items. In view of the above, she disassociated herself from the consensus on operative paragraph 3.
The representative of Nicaragua reiterated her disassociation from operative paragraph 3, which was amended and included in draft resolution I.
The representative of Belarus reiterated his country’s vigorous efforts to preserve historic memory. He recalled that Belarus paid with the lives of millions of its inhabitants to eradicate Nazism. Opposing attempts to politicize this topic, he disassociated himself from operative paragraph 4, which was introduced as a politically motivated amendment.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, welcoming adoption of “L.5”, voiced deep concern over its amended contents, which have nothing to do with combatting Nazism, neo-Nazism and other forms of racism. It only seeks selective approaches by politicizing issues and targeting individual countries. Reiterating his country’s opposition to politicization, selectivity and double standards, he disassociated from operative paragraph 3.
The representative of Sri Lanka stressed that it is incumbent upon all Member States to give life to the letter and spirit of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in all activities. Operative paragraph 4 politicizes the issue of combatting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and introduces a narrow, restrictive, country-specific approach. Disassociating with operative paragraph 4, he called on all parties to adhere to the principles of universality, impartiality, non-selectivity and objectivity in the promotion and protection of human rights.
The representative of Ukraine reminded all that his country fought fascism and Nazism during the Second World War, with millions of Ukrainians sacrificing their lives. In response to the Russian Federation, he quoted the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who presented his report today. “Russian soldiers executed civilians in makeshift places of detention. Others were summarily executed on the spot following security checks in their houses, yards and doorways, even where the victim had shown clearly that they were not a threat, for example by holding their hands in the air. There are strong indicators that the summary executions by the Russians in Ukraine, documented in the report, may constitute the war crime of wilful killing.” This is the fascism of today, the glorification of fascism and Nazism being executed by the Russian Federation and what the international community must stop, he stressed. Turning to operative paragraph 4, he noted that it does not speak about the special operation but rather the Russian Federation’s endeavours to justify its military invasion and territorial aggression on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism. “That is why we do not allow rapists to lecture us about how to fight rape”, he emphasized.
The representative of the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the European Union, recalled that, for many European countries, the end of the Second World War did not bring freedom but further occupation and crimes against humanity by other totalitarian regimes. Rejecting the term denazification, used by the Russian Federation to justify its illegal invasion of Ukraine, she said such distortion erodes understanding of the Holocaust. Reiterating her commitment to the global fight against racism, xenophobia and temporary forms of all extremist ideologies, including neo-Nazism, she noted that member States of the European Union will vote against the resolution.
The representative of the United States categorically condemned the glorification of Nazism. Describing the resolution as an attempt to legitimize long-standing disinformation narratives, she stressed that Moscow’s resolution is not a serious effort to combat Nazism and antisemitism; instead, it is a shameful ploy to justify its war of aggression in Ukraine. The United States fully supported the amendment that passed and became a part of the adopted resolution, she recalled, categorically rejecting the notion that the draft has turned into a country-specific resolution.
Next, it adopted draft resolution II on “A global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and followup to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action” by a vote of 129 in favour, 17 against with 36 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly expressed profound regret over evils inflicted on millions as a result of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, genocide and past tragedies, and called on States that have not already done so to dispense reparatory justice. It also requested the Secretary-General to include in his report on implementation of this resolution a section on revitalizing the trust fund for the Programme for the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination.
The Assembly then took up the report on “Right of peoples to self-determination”, which contains three draft resolutions.
It adopted by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 52 against, with 4 abstentions (Mexico, Liberia, Palau, Switzerland), draft resolution I on “Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination”. By its terms, the Assembly urged States to take legislative measures to ensure their territories and others under their control are not used for, and that their nationals do not take part in, the recruitment, financing or transit of mercenaries for activities designed to impede the right of peoples to self-determination, destabilize or overthrow Governments or impair the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign States.
Further, the Assembly requested States to exercise vigilance against any kind of hiring or financing of mercenaries by private companies offering international military consultancy and security services, and to impose specific bans on companies intervening in armed conflicts to destabilize constitutional regimes.
The Assembly then adopted without a vote draft resolution II on “Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination”, expressing deep concern about acts of foreign military intervention and occupation to suppress the right to self-determination of peoples and nations. It expressed grave concern that millions of people have been or are being uprooted from their homes as refugees and displaced persons due to such interventions. It called on those States responsible to cease their military interventions in and occupation of foreign countries and territories as well as the brutal methods employed against the populations during them.
Next, the Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 6 against (Chad, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Guatemala, Kiribati, Malawi, Palau, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tuvalu), draft resolution III on “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”. By the draft, it stressed the urgency of ending Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which began in 1967, as well as a just, lasting peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, based on relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Madrid terms of reference, including the Arab Peace Initiative and Quartet Road map to a permanent two‑State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also stressed the need to respect the territorial integrity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Further, the Assembly urged all States and the United Nations to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.
The Assembly then turned to its report on “Promotion and protection of human rights”, which contains no draft resolutions. The Assembly took note of the report.
Next, the Assembly took up its report on “Promotion and protection of human rights; implementation of human rights instruments”, which contains two draft resolutions.
It adopted without a vote draft resolution I on “Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, condemning all forms of torture and other cruel treatment and any attempt to legalize such acts, including on grounds of national security, counter-terrorism or through judicial decisions. It also emphasized that acts of torture and cruel treatment in armed conflict are serious violations of international humanitarian law constituting war crimes, that acts of torture can constitute crimes against humanity and that the perpetrators must be prosecuted. Further, the Assembly urged States not to transfer a person to another State where they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
Also by the text, the Assembly called on States to adopt measures to prevent torture and cruel treatment, particularly in the context of the use of force by law enforcement officials and in places of detention. It would also urge States to ensure that prolonged incommunicado detention and secret places of detention and interrogation are abolished. The Assembly also urged States to ensure that no authority tolerates sanctions or reprisals against any person, group or association seeking to contact stakeholders combating torture and ensure accountability for such acts.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution II titled “Human rights treaty body system”, by which it would invite the Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies to engage in an interactive dialogue at the Assembly’s seventy-eighth and seventy-ninth sessions. It would encourage all stakeholders to continue their efforts for the full implementation of resolution 68/268 on “Strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system”. Also by the text, the Assembly would note that the COVID‑19 pandemic showed the need to strengthen the capacity of the treaty bodies to interact online as well as the potential of digitalization for improved efficiency of such bodies and the interaction with stakeholders.
Next, the Assembly took up the report on “Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, which contains 15 draft resolutions.
Speaking in explanation of position before the vote, the representative of Maldives said that while the death penalty is a form of punishment that can be prescribed under the laws of his country, Maldives has maintained an informal moratorium on that. His Government will take substantial steps to implement positive and meaningful changes to its judiciary and to align domestic legal instruments with international obligations. While the death penalty remains on the books, the government understands that the country’s criminal justice system must be reformed, he said.
The representative of Oman speaking on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, stressed that it is important to respect the sovereignty of countries as stipulated in the Charter. The death penalty is part of many national legislations and of the sovereign practices of the countries in her group. Also highlighting operative paragraph one as a cornerstone for entering into any discussions about the death penalty, she added that all countries have the right to implement their own domestic laws to ensure their security.
It then adopted without a vote draft resolution I on “The right to privacy in the digital age”, calling on States to protect the right to privacy, including in the context of digital communications and new and emerging technologies. It also called on States to regularly review their procedures regarding the surveillance of communications, the use of profiling, automated decision-making, machine learning and biometric technologies. The Assembly further called on States to develop policies to ensure that all business enterprises respect the right to privacy in the design of technologies.
The Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 132 in favour and 25 against, with 28 abstentions, draft resolution II on “The right to development”, stressing the need to increase the participation of developing countries in international decision-making. It also expressed concern about increasing cases of human rights abuses by transnational corporations, underlined the need to ensure justice and underscored that these entities must contribute to the right to development.
Also by the text, the Assembly expressed deep concern about the negative impact that the aggravated economic and social situation has on the right to development, particularly in developing countries. It urged developed countries to meet the targets of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of their GNP to the least developed countries. Further, it emphasized the urgent need to take measures to combat corruption at all levels.
Without a vote, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution III on “Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights”. By the text, it urged all international actors to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It emphasized the importance of the Universal Periodic Review as a mechanism based on cooperation, and the need for a constructive approach by all stakeholders to resolve human rights issues in international forums. Further, the Assembly urged States to take measures necessary to enhance bilateral, regional and international cooperation to address the adverse impact of compounded global crises on human rights.
Next, the Assembly took up draft resolution IV on “Human rights and unilateral coercive measures” by a recorded vote of 130 in favour and 53 against, with 1 abstention (Brazil). By the text, it expressed deep concern about States facing both unilateral coercive measures and the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic. It urged States to cease adopting unilateral measures counter to international law and refrain from applying unilateral trade measures that impede sustainable economic development. Further, the Assembly condemned including Member States in unilateral lists under false pretexts, such as terrorism sponsorship, and strongly objected to the extraterritorial nature of measures threatening the sovereignty of States.
Also by the text, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide necessary resources for the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, and that the Rapporteur submit a report on implementation of the present resolution and the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures to the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session.
By a recorded vote of 122 in favour and 54 against, with 10 abstentions (Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Liberia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay), the Assembly then adopted draft resolution V on “Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order”. By its terms, it expressed deep concern that the current global economic, climate and food crises widen the gap between developed and developing countries. It also expressed deep concern about uneven access to COVID‑19 vaccines for developing countries, emphasizing that an equitable approach enhances the capacities of all countries to have equal access to vaccines. It urged all actors to build an order based on inclusion, solidarity, mutual universal human rights and to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution VI on “Promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all” by a recorded vote of 131 in favour and 53 against, with 1 abstention (Brazil), stressing that the deep fault line dividing human society into rich and poor and ever-increasing gap between the developed and developing worlds pose a major threat to global prosperity, peace and security and stability. It also emphasized that promotion of peace demands that policies of States be directed towards elimination of the threat of war, particularly nuclear war, renunciation of the use or threat of use of force in international relations and settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
Adopting draft resolution VII on “The right to food” without a vote, the Assembly expressed deep concern that over 2.3 billion people in the world experience moderate or severe food insecurity. Further, it expressed alarm that, in 2021, the number of people who had no access to adequate food rose to 3.1 billion, and that between 702 million and 828 million people faced hunger.
Also by the text, the Assembly expressed deep concern that, while women contribute over 50 per cent of the food produced worldwide, they represent 70 per cent of the world’s hungry. It called on States to take measures to combat undernutrition in mothers and children and eliminate preventable mortality and morbidity of children under 5. Further, it called on States to combat the causes of hunger among Indigenous Peoples.
Next, the Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 133 in favour and, none against, with 44 abstentions, draft resolution VIII on “Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions,” noting with deep concern that impunity can perpetuate extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and femicide and that such executions are committed against persons exercising their rights, including to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. Further, it urged States to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of national and international humanitarian personnel. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to offer appropriate resources to Special Rapporteurs to carry out their mandates, including through country visits.
Without a vote, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution IX on “Human Rights in the Administration of Justice”, urging States to ensure the meaningful participation of women at all levels and equal access to justice. It also urged States to reduce pretrial detention and eliminate discrimination in law and practice against persons who are in vulnerable situations or marginalized. In addition, it urged States to ensure that neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release nor corporal punishment is imposed for offences committed by persons under 18 years of age. Further, it called on States to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities.
Following that, without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution X on “Missing persons”, calling on States parties to armed conflict to prevent persons from going missing, account for persons reported missing and ensure investigations and accountability. It also urged States to avoid harming civilians who prevent persons from going missing in armed conflict, including by minimizing military use of civilian infrastructure. Further, it called on States to determine the fate of the missing and provide family members with all information.
The Assembly then adopted without a vote draft resolution XI on “Freedom of religion or belief”, expressing serious concern over acts of violence based on religion and the increasing number and intensity of such incidents. Further, it expressed concern that State and non‑State actors encourage violence against religious minorities as well as by an increasing number of laws that limit the freedom of thought, religion or belief.
Also by the text, the Assembly expressed serious concern about attacks on religious sites and shrines, including those carried out in connection with incitement to national, racial or religious hatred. It strongly condemned any advocacy of hatred based on religion in any form of media.
Next, by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 37 against, with 22 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XII on “Moratorium on the use of the death penalty”, as amended, expressing deep concern about continued application of the death penalty. It called on States to make available information on their use of the death penalty and any scheduled executions, ensuring that trials leading to its imposition comply with internationally recognized fair-trial guarantees. Further, the Assembly called on States to progressively restrict use of the death penalty and ensure that those facing it can exercise their right to apply for pardon or commutation.
The Assembly also called on States to ensure that inmates, their children, families and legal representatives are provided with adequate information about their detention and pending execution to allow a last visit or communication, the return of the body for burial or information about where the body is located. In addition, it called on States to ensure the death penalty is not applied based on discriminatory laws, improve conditions in detention and establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution XIII on “Human rights and extreme poverty” without a vote, expressing concern that the total number of persons living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high as well as over non‑income dimensions of poverty, such as access to equitable quality education or basic health services. It also expressed concern over the increase of people living in poverty due to food, economic and climate crises and their negative effect on the capacity of States to fight extreme poverty. Further, the Assembly called on Member States to remove obstacles that people in poverty face in areas such as housing, employment, education, health and other social services, as well as legal frameworks that discriminate based on socioeconomic status.
The Assembly then adopted without a vote resolution XIV on “The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law”. By its terms, the Assembly would note with serious concern that Ombudsman and mediator institutions experience threats to their autonomy or security. It would stress the importance of the financial and administrative independence of these institutions, and that they play an important role in advising Governments’ national policies, bringing them in line with their international human rights obligations. The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session and to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-fourth session.
Following that, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XV on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief” without a vote. By the text, it condemned criminal acts committed by extremist groups against persons based on their religion or belief, expressing deep concern about the prevalence of impunity by perpetrators. It also expressed deep concern at continued instances of derogatory stereotyping and stigmatization of persons based on their religion or belief, as well as agendas pursued by extremist individuals and organizations perpetuating negative stereotypes about religious groups. Further, it condemned any advocacy of religious hatred inciting hostility or violence in the media and called on States to adopt policies to protect places of worship, cemeteries and shrines if they are vulnerable to vandalism or destruction.
The representative for Saint Kitts and Nevis, explaining her country’s vote against draft resolution XII, underscored the significance of a comprehensive and just criminal system. Her Government applies the death penalty only as a punishment for the most heinous crimes after extensive due process, ensures its national laws are in line with international law provisions and firmly believes that application of the death penalty is a criminal justice issue within its justification. Situations of abuse, she reminded, may be treated as a human rights issue in relevant and already established tribunals instead of being politicized in the Third Committee. Although her country engaged in hopes of clarifying and correcting inaccurate and misleading assertions, it nevertheless is concerned by problematic content that remains. She voiced hope that there will be greater flexibility in the future in addressing such issues.
The representative for Singapore, explaining his country’s vote against the same draft, stressed that the resolution is inconsistent with international law by not acknowledging article VI of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and omits the rights of victims and families. Further, it seeks to export a particular model of society to the rest of the world, undertakes a “one-size-fits-all” approach and does not acknowledge or respect the diversity of legal systems worldwide. Voicing his deep disappointment with the resolution’s proponents, especially over their arbitrary deletion of an operative paragraph on States’ sovereignty, he called on them to reflect carefully on their approach, abandon their attitude of “arrogance and cultural superiority”, show respect for the principle of sovereignty and listen carefully to the diversity of positions on this issue. “The ball is in their court,” he said, expressing hope that they will change their approach.
The representative for the Philippines disassociated from all references to the International Criminal Court under agenda item 68. Her Government, she noted, withdrew from the Rome Statute in 2019 out of its principled stand against those who politicize human rights and disregard the Philippines’ independent and well-functioning organs and agencies. Notwithstanding this withdrawal, she reaffirmed her country’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights as well as the fight against impunity for atrocity crimes.
The Assembly then took up its report on “Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives: report of the Committee”, which contains five draft resolutions.
The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, stressed that country resolutions have little to do with the overall situation in nations concerned. Instead, their goal is to further political agendas and wage political wars. They are characterized by unfounded accusations, lies and empty appeals, he said, adding that the content of these documents is becoming increasingly divorced from reality. Moreover, they discredit the United Nations human rights system based on the principle of equality of States. Regarding the draft on “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”, he condemned Kyiv’s hate-based policy towards its Russian-speaking population as well as its egregious human rights violations, including torture, killings and cultivation of neo-Nazism. A vote in favour would mean supporting military escalation, he asserted, noting that his delegation will vote against the escalation of the crisis and against the impunity of the Kyiv regime.
The representative of Iran categorically rejected the draft resolution concerning her country, supported by those with the darkest human rights records. She criticized attempts to marginalize Iran through exploitation of United Nations mechanisms and deny Iranian women the opportunity to collaborate in the Commission on the Status of Women. This resolution does not concern the protection of human rights; instead, it aims to exert political pressure on Iran. The core value of multilateralism is violated to reach unilateralist aims, she cautioned, condemning the imposition of illegal unilateral coercive measures against independent countries like Iran. Canada cannot play the role of a saint regarding human rights, she said, also adding that the Israeli regime continues the practice of forced evictions, arbitrary detentions and torture. She called on States to adhere to the universal principles of objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea condemned in the strongest terms the draft on the human rights situation in his country. He described the draft as a political provocation aimed at undermining the political system in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that has nothing to do with genuine protection of human rights. The United States and Western countries are abusing human rights issues as a political tool for overthrowing systems of other countries. He reiterated his country’s principled position against politization of human rights.
Without a vote, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution I on “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea”. By its terms, it expressed deep concern at the pervasive culture of impunity and lack of accountability for human rights violations and abuses in that country. It expressed serious concern about continuing reports of such abuses, including torture; sexual and gender-based violence; extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions; imposition of the death penalty for political and religious reasons; extrajudicial and arbitrary detention; and absence of due process and rule of law. The Assembly further expressed strong concern about political prison camps; enforced and involuntary disappearances of persons by arrest; and pervasive restrictions on freedoms of thought, religion, expression, peaceful assembly and the right to privacy.
Also, by the text, the Assembly expressed deep concern about the prevalence of chronic and acute malnutrition among persons in the most vulnerable situations, exacerbated by a lack of access to basic services, including health care, clean water and sanitation. It strongly urged the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to immediately put an end to systematic and widespread violations of human rights; close political prison camps and release all political prisoners; and ensure that everyone within the territory enjoys the right to freedom of movement and is free to leave the country.
Next, the Assembly adopted without a vote draft resolution II on “Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” , by which it condemned in the strongest terms all violations of human rights against civilians, including Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, perpetrated by security and armed forces, which amount to the gravest crimes under international law. It reiterated deep concern at continuing forced displacement of civilians; recruitment of children; abductions; arbitrary detentions; killings and maiming; and attacks on schools, hospitals, places of worship and large civilian gatherings. The Assembly further expressed deep concern over the use of hospitals and schools for military purposes as well as landmines, making conditions in Rakhine State unsuitable for the voluntary and safe return of refugees and forcibly displaced persons, including the Rohingya.
Also by the text, the Assembly expressed deep concern that, in Rakhine, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims remain largely segregated and discriminated against in accessing citizenship and other fundamental rights, many of whom remain confined in camps with no freedom of movement. It also expressed alarm at continued attacks on medical and humanitarian actors and the lack of safe and unhindered humanitarian access. Further, the Assembly urgently called on Myanmar or the Myanmar Military to end immediately all violations of international law; ensure protection of human rights of all persons in Myanmar; and ensure full accountability and end impunity, starting with independent investigations. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to extend the appointment of the Special Envoy on Myanmar and enable the Envoy on to discharge her mandate.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution III on “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” by a recorded vote of 80 in favour and 29 against, with 65 abstentions. It expressed serious concern at the significant increase in use of the death penalty in Iran; disproportionate application of the death penalty to persons belonging to minorities; and continuing disregard for protections under Iranian law or internationally recognized safeguards relating to the death penalty. It strongly urged Iran to eliminate all forms of systemic discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls; ensure women’s and girls’ equal protection and access to justice, including by prohibiting so-called honour killings and child, early and forced marriage; lift restrictions on women’s and girls’ equal access to primary and secondary education; and remove legal and cultural barriers to women’s equal participation in the labour market and all aspects of economic, cultural and political life.
The Assembly also expressed serious concern that the enforcement of the hijab and chastity law and its violent implementation by the Iranian morality police fundamentally undermines the human rights of women and girls. It strongly urged Iran to cease the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors, such as in the aftermath of Mahsa Amini’s arbitrary arrest and subsequent death while in custody. Further, it called on Iran to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on thought, religion or belief, reiterating the importance of independent investigations for all allegations of human rights violations, including excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest, detention and torture. The Assembly also called on Iran to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, including by accepting repeated requests to visit the country.
By a recorded vote of 82 in favour and 14 against, with 80 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted resolution IV on “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine”. By the text, it condemned the ongoing temporary occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation as well as its unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. It also condemned the imposition and retroactive application of the Russian Federation’s legal system; imposition of its automatic citizenship on protected persons in Crimea; and deportation, and effective restriction of land ownership of those who have rejected that citizenship.
Further, the Assembly expressed deep concern about continued reports that the law enforcement system of the Russian Federation conducts searches and raids of private homes and businesses in Crimea, which disproportionally affect Crimean Tatars. It also condemned reported violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, including extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, politically motivated prosecutions, discrimination and violence. It expressed deep concern about restrictions faced by Ukrainians, in particular Crimean Tatars, in exercising their rights to work, the ability to maintain their identity and culture and the right to education in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.
In this context, the Assembly demanded that the Russian Federation immediately end all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law against residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea; arbitrary detentions and arrests; enforced disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; sexual and gender-based violence; and compelling apprehended persons to self-incriminate or “cooperate” with law enforcement. It also demanded that the Russian Federation ensure fair trial, revoke all discriminatory legislation and hold accountable those responsible for violations by ensuring independent investigations.
Next, the Assembly adopted resolution V on “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic” by a vote of 92 in favour and 14 against, with 71 abstentions. By the text, it strongly condemned the indiscriminate killing of civilians and continued indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardments, which have caused more than 500,000 fatalities, including the killing of more than 29,000 children; starvation of civilians as a method of warfare; and use of chemical weapons. It noted with grave concern that the Office of the UNHCR has identified 306,887 civilians who were killed in the conflict in Syria between March 2011 and March 2022, including 26,727 women and 27,126 children.
Further, the Assembly expressed grave concern at the remaining presence of violent extremism and terrorist groups in Syria, expressing alarm that more than 5.6 million refugees have been forced to flee the country, and that 11.1 million people, of whom 6.6 million are internally displaced, require urgent humanitarian assistance, which has resulted in an influx of Syrian refugees into neighbouring countries, other countries in the region and beyond. It demanded that the Syrian regime and ISIL/Da’esh immediately desist from any further use of chemical weapons. The Assembly further called for the continuation of cross-border humanitarian support beyond January 2023 and for at least 12 months. The Assembly also demanded that the Syrian regime cooperate fully with the Commission of Inquiry, including by granting it immediate and unhindered access throughout the country.
Speaking in explanation of position after adoption, the representative of Ukraine pointed to forcible deportations, illegal detention, tortures, executions and other massive crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Federation. Thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians remain in terrible conditions in detention in the temporarily occupied territories, he said, adding that hundreds of orphans were given for adoption to Russian families. The resolution just adopted notes that the temporary occupation of Crimea became a blueprint for a grave human rights crisis in other territories of Ukraine, he pointed out.
The representative of China opposed provoking countries and the practice of pressuring them under the pretext of human rights. Rejecting establishment of country-specific mechanisms without the concerned country’s consent, she said her delegation voted against the three drafts that were voted on. Concerning the drafts on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar, China will not join consensus, she said.
The representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis said resolutions under this item run counter to principles of double-standards and non-selectivity, suggesting that the Universal Periodic Review is the correct tool to review human rights issues in countries. Although the country abstained from the vote, Saint Kitts and Nevis supports the substance of the draft, she said, calling on all countries to protect human rights.
The representative of Cuba said he does not support politically motivated resolutions without consent from concerned countries. Dissociating from the resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he added that such texts foster mistrust in general, but that this one takes the dangerous step of involving the Security Council, which oversteps this Committee’s mandate. Cuba will not be complicit in attacks against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and their rights to self-determination and development, he said. Adding that only international cooperation and adherence to principles of non-selectivity will allow the international community to progress on human rights, he said his delegation favours the Universal Periodic Review.
The representative of Nicaragua reiterated rejection of the respective resolutions, based on politicized selectivity, lack of objectivity and absence of consent of the country concerned. He disassociated himself from the resolution on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, reiterating his commitment to promotion and protection of all human rights, opposing politicization of the matter.
The representative of Belarus reiterated his country’s consistent opposition of selective examination of country-specific human rights topics. Instrumentalization of human rights through country resolutions does not resolve human rights problems, but rather exacerbates confrontation between Member States, he stressed. Based on this approach, Belarus voted against all country resolutions and disassociated itself from consensus on the resolutions on situations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar.
The representative of Syria rejected politicization and selectivity in addressing human rights issues. She also opposed antagonization, confrontation and attempts to isolate countries — in double standards — aimed at covering crimes of other States and their violation of human rights. The fact that such resolutions are being adopted creates arenas for confrontation. She stressed that the adoption of country-specific resolutions politicizes promotion of human rights and constitutes a violation of the principles of objectivity and non‑selectivity. She, thus, dissociated herself from consensus on the resolution relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and reaffirmed voting against the three that were voted on. She pointed out that Syria will acknowledge and accept the mandate emanating from such resolutions when there will be 193 similar resolutions. “What applies to others, will apply to us. What applies to us, must also apply to others,” she stressed.
The representative of Venezuela reiterated his country’s rejection of any report or resolution against a specific country without that Government’s consent, since they are expressions of politicization and selectivity. Since these mechanisms do not enter into a dialogue with all parties and are often submitted to third and even fourth parties, they lack objectivity, impartiality, transparency, non-selectivity, non-politicization, non-confrontation and equality and mutual respect for national sovereignty. He then disassociated from the resolution on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The Assembly then turned to its report, “Promotion and protection of human rights: comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action”, which contains no draft proposals. The Assembly took note of the report.
The Assembly then took up the report, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which contains seven resolutions, all adopted without a vote.
It adopted draft resolution I on “Follow-up to the fourteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and preparations for the fifteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice”, which contains programme budget implications. By its terms, the Assembly requested the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to continue implementing the appropriate policy for follow-up to the Kyoto Declaration and decided to hold the fifteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2026. The Assembly further requested the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to approve at its thirty-second session the overall theme and agenda items for the workshops of the fifteenth Congress.
Adopting draft resolution II, “Reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration”, the Assembly requested the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to convene a meeting of an open-ended intergovernmental expert group to develop model strategies on reducing reoffending that can serve as useful tools for Member States. It requested UNODC to support efforts of Member States to reduce reoffending through promotion of rehabilitative environments by providing technical assistance to Member States, in particular developing countries.
Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III on “Strengthening national and international efforts, including with the private sector, to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse”. It noted with concern the growing threat posed by “self-generated” child sexual abuse materials, where children are coerced into producing such materials, as well as linkages between child sexual exploitation and trafficking in children for commercial sexual exploitation. It further urged Member States to criminalize all forms of child sexual exploitation and abuse, including online, grant law enforcement agencies authority and provide tools to identify victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
Adopting draft resolution IV on “United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders”, the Assembly urged the Institute’s member States to pay all or part of their outstanding arrears. It further urged Member States, non-governmental organizations and the international community to continue to adopt measures to support the Institute in developing requisite capacity and implementing its activities aimed at strengthening criminal justice systems in Africa.
The Assembly then took up draft resolution V on “Preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of proceeds of corruption, facilitating asset recovery and returning such assets to legitimate owners, in particular to countries of origin, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption”. By the text, the Assembly expressed concern that corruption threatens the stability of societies and that the impact of widespread corruption disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged. It stressed that preventive measures are the most effective means of avoiding corruption and, calling on States parties to the Convention to fulfil their commitments, such as criminalizing the bribing of foreign public officials and preventing the acquisition, transfer and laundering of proceeds of corruption.
Also by the text, the Assembly urged States parties to designate a central authority for international cooperation and remove barriers to asset recovery. It also urged States to develop effective anti-corruption policies promoting society's participation and called on the private sector to remain engaged in the fight against corruption. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue providing UNODC resources to promote implementation of the Convention and fund the accompanying review mechanism.
Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution VI on “Strengthening and promoting effective measures and international cooperation on organ donation and transplantation to prevent and combat trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal and trafficking in human organs”. It thereby urged States to strengthen legislative frameworks to combat trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal and trafficking in human organs, including the criminalization of these practices to ensure accountability. It also urged them to guarantee that donation of organs is guided by clinical criteria and ethical norms and that the removal and transplantation of human organs take place in specifically authorized centres. It further urged the development of regulatory oversight of medical facilities and professionals and of registries regarding each organ recovery and transplantation procedure and outcomes for living donors and recipients, as well as identification systems.
The Assembly then adopted draft resolution VII on “Strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity”, urging States to develop strategies to effectively address transnational organized crime and strengthen cooperation in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption for asset recovery, with the cooperation of the UNODC. It also called on States to strengthen cooperation to counter foreign terrorist fighters, and address radicalization to terrorism in prisons.
Also by the text, the Assembly urged States parties to make use of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime for cooperation in combating trafficking of cultural property, especially in returning such confiscated proceeds to their legitimate owners. It also urged States to introduce national and international measures to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property and take steps at the national level to eradicate the illegal trade of wildlife.
The Assembly then turned to its report “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes”, which contains no draft proposals. The Assembly took note of the report.
The Assembly then turned to the report “International drug control”, which contains one draft resolution.
It adopted the draft on “Addressing the world drug problem through a comprehensive and balanced approach” by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 9 against (Belarus, Cameroon, Iran, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Syria and Türkiye), with 45 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly condemned discriminatory or violent practices by law enforcement officials against marginalized persons, including systemic racism in law enforcement and criminal justice systems. It also expressed deep concern that drug traffickers are heavily armed with firearms obtained through trafficking, and expressed concern that illicit cultivation of drug crops can cause serious harm to the environment, deforestation and groundwater contamination. Further, the Assembly urged Member States and other donors to continue to fund the global drug problem response to address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among people who inject drugs, and in prisons.
Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the Russian Federation noted that the old text of the consensus omnibus resolution of 2021 was supported by all, as it reflected the outcome of many years of negotiations to harmonize positions of delegations in New York. He thanked those who voted against or abstained, adding that the resolution is imbalanced and unacceptable.
The Assembly next took up the report on “Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly”, which contains one draft resolution.
It adopted the draft resolution on “Draft programme of work of the Third Committee for the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly” without a vote.
The Assembly then turned to its report “Programme planning”, which contains no draft proposals. The Assembly took note of the report.