Strengthening the Role of the UN in Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Principle of Periodic and Genuine Elections and the Promotion of Democratization, G.A. res. 50/185, U.N. Doc. A/RES/50/185 (1995)

     The General Assembly,
     Recalling its previous resolutions on the subject, especially resolutions
48/131 of 20 December 1993 and 49/190 of 23 December 1994,
     Recalling also the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by
the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, especially the
recognition therein that assistance provided upon the request of Governments
for the conduct of free and fair elections, including assistance in the human
rights aspects of elections and public information about elections, is of
particular importance in the strengthening and building of institutions
relating to human rights and the strengthening of a pluralistic civil society,
and that special emphasis should be given to measures that assist in achieving
those goals,
     Reaffirming that electoral assistance and support for the promotion of
democratization are provided only at the specific request of the Member State
     Recognizing the usefulness of a comprehensive and balanced approach in
the activities carried out by the United Nations in this field in order to
contribute to the strengthening of both democracy and human rights within the
country concerned,
     Welcoming the support provided by States to the electoral assistance
activities of the United Nations, inter alia, through the provision of experts
and electoral observers, as well as through contributions to the United
Nations Trust Fund for Electoral Observation,
     Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on enhancing the
effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections,
     Noting the continuing high level and evolving nature of requests for
electoral assistance by Member States,
     1.   Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on United Nations
activities aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic
and genuine elections;
     2.   Commends the electoral assistance provided to Member States at their
request by the United Nations, requests that such assistance continue on a
case-by-case basis in accordance with the guidelines on electoral assistance,
recognizing that the fundamental responsibility of organizing free and fair
elections lies with Governments, and also requests the Electoral Assistance
Division of the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat to continue
to inform Member States on a regular basis about the requests received,
responses given to those requests and the nature of the assistance provided;
     3.   Requests that the United Nations continue its efforts to ensure,
before undertaking to provide electoral assistance to a requesting State, that
there is adequate time to organize and carry out an effective mission for
providing such assistance, that conditions exist to allow a free and fair
election and that provisions can be made for adequate and comprehensive
reporting of the results of the mission;
     4.   Commends the steps taken by the United Nations to ensure the
continuation and consolidation of the democratization process in certain
Member States requesting assistance, including the provision of assistance
before and after elections have taken place and needs-assessment missions
aimed at recommending programmes which might contribute to the consolidating
of the democratization process, and requests that such efforts be
     5.   Recommends that the Electoral Assistance Division provide post-
election assistance, as appropriate, to requesting States and electoral
institutions, in order to contribute to the stability and continuity of their
electoral processes, as provided for in the report of the Secretary-General,
and that it study, in cooperation with relevant United Nations offices, ways
of defining more clearly the activities related to democratic consolidation
which the United Nations might usefully undertake in assisting the efforts of
interested States in this regard;
     6.   Requests the Secretary-General to take further steps to support
States which request assistance by, inter alia, enabling the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with his mandate and through
the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, to support democratization
activities related to human rights concerns, including human rights training
and education, assistance for human rights-related legislative reform,
strengthening and reform of the judiciary, assistance to national human rights
institutions and advisory services on treaty accession, reporting and
international obligations as related to human rights;
     7.   Commends the programmes of assistance carried out by the United
Nations Development Programme for civil service reform and for governance,
especially those for strengthening participation and linkages between
concerned sectors of society and Governments;
     8.   Recalls the establishment by the Secretary-General of the United
Nations Trust Fund for Electoral Observation, and calls upon Member States to
consider contributing to the Fund;
     9.   Stresses the importance of coordination within the United Nations
system, including cooperation with the Centre for Human Rights, the Department
for Development Support and Management Services of the Secretariat and the
United Nations Development Programme, which provide advisory services and
technical assistance to requesting Member States, and encourages the Electoral
Assistance Division to strengthen its collaboration with the Centre, including
through an exchange of personnel when appropriate, and with the Department and
the Programme and to continue to inform them of requests submitted in the area
of electoral assistance;
     10.  Notes with appreciation additional efforts being made to enhance
cooperation with other international, governmental and non-governmental
organizations in order to facilitate more comprehensive and need-specific
responses to requests for electoral assistance;
     11.  Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Electoral Assistance
Division with adequate human and financial resources, under the regular budget
of the Organization and within existing resources, to allow it to carry out
its mandate, and to continue to ensure that the Centre for Human Rights is
able to respond, within its mandate and in close coordination with the
Electoral Assistance Division, to the increasing number of requests from
Member States for advisory services;
     12.  Notes the evolution in the nature of requests for assistance and the
growing need for specific types of expert assistance aimed at supporting and
strengthening the existing capability of the requesting Government, in
particular through enhancing the capacity of electoral institutions;
     13.  Recommends that the Secretary-General consider ways to continue to
improve coordination and to strengthen further the efforts of the Electoral
Assistance Division, the Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations system
in general to respond to its increased and evolving responsibilities and
enlarged mandate in the field of electoral assistance and democratization as
reflected in the present resolution, and to include his recommendations in
this regard in his report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session;
     14.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at
its fifty-second session on the implementation of resolution 49/190 and the
present resolution, in particular on the status of requests from Member States
for electoral assistance and verification, and on his efforts to enhance the
Organization's support of the democratization process in Member States.



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