Germany and Brazil circulated a draft resolution to a UN General Assembly committee that calls for an end to excessive electronic surveillance, data collection and other invasions of privacy.
The draft, which both countries made public, does not name any specific countries, although United Nations diplomats said it was clearly aimed at the United States, which has been embarrassed by revelations of a massive international surveillance programme from former US contractor Edward Snowden.
The German-Brazilian draft would have the 193-nation assembly declare that it is "deeply concerned at human-rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications, including extraterritorial surveillance of communications".
It would also call on UN member states "to take measures to put an end to violations of these rights and to create the conditions to prevent such violations, including by ensuring that relevant national legislation complies with their obligations under international human-rights law".
The resolution will likely undergo changes as it is debated in the General Assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on human rights. It is expected to be put to a vote in the committee this month and then again in the General Assembly next month, diplomats said.
"We have received the draft and will evaluate the text on its merits," an official at the US mission to the United Nations said.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both condemned the widespread snooping by the US National Security Agency. Charges that the NSA accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel's mobile phone have caused outrage in Europe.