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GA res. 48/141 (1993) established the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote and protect the effective enjoyment by all people of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, including the right to development. It further held that the High Commissioner should function as the UN official with principal responsibility for global human rights efforts. The High Commissioner acts under the direction and authority of the Secretary-General. GA res. 48/141 (1993) lists the activities that comprise the High Commissioner's mandate.

The work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is humanitarian and non-political. Its principal functions are to provide international protection to refugees and other persons of concern, including stateless people, and to seek durable solutions for them. Protection includes preventing refoulement (the involuntary return of a refugee or a person of concern to a country where he or she may have a well-founded fear of persecution) and ensuring that host countries follow international norms in the treatment of refugees.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC), negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament and that entered into force on 29 April 1997. Its role is to ensure implementation of the Convention's provisions, including those for international compliance, and to provide a forum for consultation and cooperation. It is an independent inter-governmental organisation, not a UN specialised agency.

CEB Programme Themes