Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Tanzania. A national office of the UN for human rights was being established in Guatemala to aid in refugee repatriation. In addition, assistance was being given to many other countries for human rights initiatives.
The UN human rights programme in Burundi is especially comprehensive and worthy of closer examination. In this country, which has been torn by conflict and which now has a national culture of peace programme, the UN has assisted in the following human rights initiatives in 1994: organization of two workshops for teachers; a seminar on reconciliation; a seminar on justice; a workshop on conflict resolution; production of multimedia materials and information documents; a manual designed for primary schools; monthly radio broadcasts on human rights; and evaluation on human rights needs for police, army and national guard. In order to coordinate these activities a UN office for human rights has been established in the capital city of Bujumbura.
Department of Peace keeping Operations/
Division of Electoral Assistance
While the primary mandate of the United Nations Department of Peace-keeping Operations is concerned with activities of peace-keeping, some of its activities also address peace building - in particular, those of its Electoral Assistance Division. This follows from the mandate of peacemaking and peace-keeping operations, which according to An Agenda for Peace, 'must come to include comprehensive efforts to identify and support structures which will tend to consolidate peace and advance a sense of confidence and well being among people'.
A tradition of free and fair elections are an important component of building the political security which is fundamental to a culture of peace. Whereas in
the past, elections have been considered the exclusive concern of governments themselves, increasingly the international community is being asked to monitor or assist in elections in order to increase the confidence of citizens in the fairness and objectivity of the electoral process and its results. Thus, a primary concern of UN activities in this area is the absolute respect of national sovereignty, including the requirement that assistance is provided only on the basis of a formal request. In over 50 cases of electoral assistance to date, the UN has not received a single complaint from a Member State regarding interference in its internal affairs.
The range of electoral services provided by the United Nations to its member states is very broad. During 1994 it included:
* major electoral missions within the context of peace keeping operations in El Salvador and Mozambique, involving over 800 and 2,000 observers respectively;
* a major coordinating role in the international observation of South Africa's first general elections, with 2,120 observers;
* assistance to elections in Malawi, including provision of a secretariat which provided technical assistance in boundary delimitation, civic education, constitutional law, human rights and training of poll workers;
* a new approach - providing support and training for domestic observers for Mexico's national elections - thus contributing to the creation of a national network of election observers;
* various other missions and technical assistance to Member States, including training of election administrators and observers, logistics and civil registration, assistance with constitutional reform, electoral process and materials and civic and voter education.