Human rights and extreme poverty, G.A. res. 47/134, 47 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 210, U.N. Doc. A/47/49 (1992).

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other human rights instruments adopted by the United Nations,

Recalling its resolutions 44/148 of 15 December 1989 and 44/212 of 22 December 1989, and other relevant resolutions,

Bearing in mind Commission on Human Rights resolution 1991/14 of 22 February 1991, in which the Commission drew the attention of the General Assembly to the contradiction between the existence of situations of extreme poverty and exclusion from society, which must be overcome, and the duty to guarantee the full enjoyment of human rights,

Recalling its resolution 45/199 of 21 December 1990, in which it proclaimed the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, the main concerns of which are the search for a significant reduction of extreme poverty and the joint responsibility of all countries,

Recognizing that extreme poverty is a violation of human dignity and might, in some situations, constitute a threat to the right to life,

Deeply concerned that extreme poverty continues to spread in all countries of the world, regardless of their economic, social and cultural situation, and seriously affects the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, families and groups, who are thus hindered in the exercise of their human rights and their fundamental freedoms,

Stressing the need for a complete and in-depth study of extreme poverty, based on the experience and the thoughts of the poorest,

Taking note with satisfaction, in that regard, of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/11 of 21 February 1992 and resolution 1992/27 of 27 August 1992 of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, in which the Subcommission designated Mr. Leandro Despouy as Special Rapporteur on this question,

Recognizing that the elimination of widespread poverty and the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights are interrelated goals,

Recognizing also that the grave suffering of the vast majority of human beings who live in conditions of extreme poverty requires the immediate attention of the international community and the adoption of specific measures to eliminate extreme poverty and exclusion from society,

1. Reaffirms that extreme poverty and exclusion from society constitute a violation of human dignity and that urgent national and international action is therefore required to eliminate them;

2. Expresses its satisfaction that the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 1992/11, requested the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to undertake a study of extreme poverty and, in particular, of the following aspects: the effects of extreme poverty on the enjoyment and exercise of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of those experiencing it; the efforts of the poorest to achieve the exercise of those rights and to participate fully in the development of the society in which they live; the conditions in which the poorest may effectively convey their experience and their thoughts and become partners in the realization of human rights; and the means of ensuring a better understanding of the experience and thoughts of the poorest and of the persons working with them;

3. Again calls upon States, the specialized agencies, United Nations bodies and other international organizations, including intergovernmental organizations, to give the necessary attention to this problem;

4. Notes with appreciation the specific measures taken by the United Nations Children's Fund to mitigate the effects of extreme poverty on children and the efforts of the United Nations Development Programme to give priority to the search for some means of alleviating poverty within the framework of the relevant resolutions;

5. Decides to consider this question further at its forty-ninth session under the sub-item entitled "Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms".

92nd plenary meeting
18 December 1992