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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor > Human Rights > UN General Assembly Third Committee

UN Draft Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Zimbabwe

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming that all States have the obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the regional and international human rights instruments to which they are party,

Recognizing Zimbabwe's past traditions of democratic debate and civil society activism, and reaffirming that the promotion and protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in Zimbabwe, and the holding of free and fair elections is essential for the stability and security of Zimbabwe and the region,

Recognizing the severe challenges facing Zimbabwe, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis,

Recognizing the inequitable distribution of land ownership which existed in Zimbabwe at independence, and the ongoing need for land reform, implemented in an orderly manner and with due regard to human rights and the rule of law, to achieve a more equitable distribution of resources among the people of Zimbabwe,

Welcoming the efforts made by African countries to fulfil their commitments in the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEP AD), to deepen democracy, human rights, good governance and sound economic management,

Welcoming the decision by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to promote the NEP AD goals and values and work with the NEP AD-organization to harmonize their efforts in furthering these goals,

Welcoming SADC's adoption of principles and guidelines on elections, and Zimbabwe's acceptance of them,

1. Expresses its concern that conditions do not exist in Zimbabwe for holding free and fair elections in accordance with the SADC electoral guidelines, African Union commitments and obligations under international Human Rights instruments,

2. Expresses its concern about restrictions in Zimbabwe on the freedom of members of parliament and parliamentary candidates, independent civil society and human rights defenders to operate without fear of harassment or intimidation, including proposed legislation, inconsistent with the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which would further constrain NGOs,

3. Urges the Government of Zimbabwe to take all appropriate measures, including changes to laws, to establish the conditions for, and hold, free and fair elections, in accordance with the SADC electoral guidelines AU commitments and obligations under international Human Rights instruments,

4. Encourages the Government of Zimbabwe to invite independent international observers in good time for its 2005 parliamentary elections including from organisations to which it belongs, notably SADC, the African Union and the United Nations,

5. Underlines its deep concern at the serious violations of human rights by the government of Zimbabwe, including the occurrence of torture, ill-treatment, unlawful detention, and extra-judicial executions, as well as the serious restrictions on freedom of expression and opinion, including freedom of the press, and the independence of the judiciary,

6. Urges the Government of Zimbabwe to take all necessary measures to ensure that human rights are promoted and protected and the rule of law is respected in Zimbabwe,

7. Urges the Government of Zimbabwe to implement its obligations under the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights and other Human Rights Treaties to which it is a party, and to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as soon as possible, and to cooperate fully with all relevant special mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights,

8. Calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to seek the assistance of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to consider inviting relevant thematic rapporteurs to assess the situation,

9. Urges the Government of Zimbabwe to respond to the report of the African Commission of Human Rights,

10. Urges the Government of Zimbabwe not to obstruct international efforts to assess food security and other humanitarian challenges and to ensure that food aid and humanitarian aid can be delivered in a safe and unhindered manner, on the basis of need alone and without imposing any political conditions.

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