UVA Law Logo Mobile

UN Human Rights Treaties

Travaux Préparatoires


General Assembly, 20th session, 3rd Committee : 1310th meeting

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/SR.1310
Convention International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 20th
Type Document

2 p.

Subjects Racial Discrimination, Protection of Minorities, Equality

Extracted Text

United Nations

Tuesday, 19 October 1965, at 3. 15 p. m.


Agenda item SB:
Draft International Convention on the Elimination of All Forma of Racial Discrimination (continued) 109
Chairman: Mr. Francisco CUEVAS CAHCINO (Mexico).
Draft International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (continued) (A/5803, chop. IX, sect. I; A/5921; E/3873, chop. IS and annexes I and III; A/C.3/L.1208,L.1210, L.1211, L.1217, L.1219 to L.1223, L.1225, L.1226 and Corr.1, A/C.3/L.1228, L.1231 and Corr.1, A/C.3/ L.1236, L.1237, L.1239, L.1241)
1. The CHAIRMAN noted that the Committee had already adopted articles I, II, III, V, VI, and VII of the draft Convention, deferring action on the preamble and article IV, to which a number of amendments mad sub-amendments had been proposed.
2. In addition, two new articles had been proposed;
the first by Brazil and the United States of America (A/C.3/L.1211), amendments to which had been submitted by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (A/C.3/L.1231 and Corr.1) and Bolivia (A/C.3/L. 1236), was to be Inserted between articles III and IV, while the other new article proposed by Jamaica (A/C.3/L.1223) would follow article ¥11.
3. Since the article proposed by Jamaica required
States Parties to take steps to give effect to the provisions of the Convention, he thought that, before taking up that article, it would be advisable to
determine which articles would precede it.
4. Mr. ZULOAGA (Venezuela) said that it would be
only logical for the Committee to take up first the various preambular paragraphs and the relevant
amendments, particularly the first Polish amendment (A/C.3/L. 1210); that amendment raised a delicate question with regard to which the Committee could either take the cautious approach urged by the French and Netherlands delegations—by deciding to confine itself to broad language which would gain the largest possible number of votes—or enter into a debate on the substatce.
5. His delegation felt that. In any event, the new article proposed by Brazil and the United States of America should be considered In the light of the sixth preambular paragraph, to which the first Polish

amendment related. He would like to know what the sponsor of the new article thought of that amendment.
6. Mr. BECK (Hungary) said he agreed with the Chairman that it would be best to consider the new
articles first instead of following the order suggested by the Venezuelan representative, which was only
seemingly logical.
7. His delegation had already pointed out that it would prefer to avoid any discussion which did not
relate directly to the draft Convention and which might unnecessarily delay its adoption. If the Committee
took up the new articles first, as the Chairman had suggested, it would have to try to exclude from
its discussion anything that might prevent early adoption of the draft, which was essential.
8. Mrs. WARZAZI (Morocco), speaking on behalf of the Afro-Asian countries, which had Just met to define their position on the preamble and the proposed new articles as well as on the amendments and sub-amendments relating to them, said that the Afro-Asian group had decided to reject all new proposals and to vote in favour of the original text as submitted by the Commission on Human Rights. The group therefore urged the delegation*; which had submitted new articles and the speakers of amendments not to press them. Otherwise, it would be compelled to vote against all those proposals; it would support only the original text.
9. Mr. ROGERS (United States of America) thought it might be preferable to adjourn the meeting in order
that the delegations concerned might give the matter further thought.
10. Mrs. BKRRAH (Ivory Coast) supported that suggestion.
11. The CHAIRMAN observed that, after having succeeded in preparing a fairly comprehensive draft Convention for submission to the General Assembly, the Committee was in danger of stumbling over the question of whether to define racial discrimination.
12. If it tried to define that concept, the Committee might not only disrupt the harmony ami balance which had marked its discussions but also divide world opinion. He therefore suggested that the sponsors of the new proposals and amendments which aimed to clarify or define the concept of racial discrimination should give further thought to the possibility of withdrawing them. If they decided to maintain their proposals, he would be compelled to adopt a more appropriate procedure.
13. Mr. CHKHIKVADZE (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) said that he fully appreciated the laudable motives underlying the request of the Afro-Asinn



General Assembly — Twentieth Session — Third Committee

group, which wished to see the Convention discussed In a calm, objective spirit that would hasten Its adoption. However, since the Soviet amendment had been prompted by the United States amendment, Ms delegation's position regarding its amendment would depend on the position which the United States took on its amendment.
14. Mr. SHARAF (Jordan) said that while he also
appreciated the motives which had prompted the Afro-Asian group,, his delegation's position would depend on that taken by the delegation of the United States.
I5. Mr. KHANACHET (Kuwait) asked what procedure the Chairman envisaged following for the consideration of the remaining articles, which it would be advisable to put to the vote at the present meeting. In flew of the co-operative spirit prevailing in the Committee, the goodwill being displayed by all members, and the excellent chance of reaching unanimous agreement on the text of the Convention, an adjournment would be inadvisable. The problem to which the United States delegation wished to give further thought had already been considered from every angle, and every word in the text tinder discussion had been carefully analysed.
16. Unanimity on the draft Convention was essential If the tradition established in the Committee was to be maintained.
17. If it was not to be harshly judged by More generations, for whom it was legislating, the Committee must do everything in its power to produce a generally acceptable text. Far from winning wide approval, the amendments to the text prepared by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities had done little more than cause confusion.
18. He wished to associate himself with the Moroccan
representative in urging the sponsors of the new
proposals and amendments to withdraw them so that unanimous agreement could be reached and all
Governments would be able to ratify a document which was of the greatest importance and historical
19 Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) observed that his delegation had sought in vain to draw the Committee's attention to the impasse in which it might find itself if it attempted to enumerate discriminatory practices. He still favoured the text submitted by the Commission on Human Rights; the members of the Committee should direct all their attention to that text and take care not to give the discussion a political turn.
20. He did not understand why the United States delegation needed time for further reflection on a question which all members of the Committee had discussed and analysed and which they fully understood; he therefore urged the United States representative to do everything possible in order to reach an early decision, for the Committer had a

heavy agenda and did not have an unlimited number of meetings set aside for consideration of the present item. Although any delegation obviously had the right to request that consideration of a question should be postponed until the next session or the end of the present session, it would be preferable not to take such action; he therefore hoped that the sponsors of the new proposals and amendments would, in a spirit of co-operation and understanding, agree to withdraw their texts so that the Committee might proceed to vote. In that connexion, he welcomed the reasonable and generous attitude which the Soviet delegation was taking with regard to its amendment.
21. He associated himself with the Moroccan representative’s appeal and wished to emphasise the
importance of the Convention to Africans and Asians wherever they suffered racial discrimination.
22. Mr. GUEYE (Senegal) said he was pleased that so many delegations were opposed to a listing of the various forms of racial discrimination, since it was obviously impossible to draw up a complete list.
23. He also favoured withdrawal of the new proposals and amendments, since they might give rise to differences of opinion that would prevent adoption of the Convection.
24. Miss AGUTA (Nigeria) supported the United States delegation's request for adjournment, since there was no advantage in pursuing the discussion at the present stage and it would be preferable to postpone the vote until the next meeting.
25. Mr. COMAY (Israel) said that, in deference to the United States delegation, his delegation would postpone until later its comments on the new article proposed by the Brazilian and United States delegations and the various proposed amendments. He wished to observe, however, that the question before the Com-mittee was of paramount Importance to his country and to the people of Israel.
26. Mr. MACDONALD (Canada) said that, in view of the importance of the question under discussion, he wished to associate himself with the Ivory Coast, Nigerian and United States delegations in requesting adjournment of the meeting.
27. Mr. ROGERS (United States of America) said that his delegation's purpose in requesting the adjournment of the meeting had not been to hold up the discussion but to ensure more thorough consideration of the question before the Committee. Delegations should not be denied adequate time to study amendments on the ground that such study would cause delay in the Committee's work. In view of the need of delegations to give the question presently before the Committee further thought, his delegation wished to make a formal motion to adjourn the meeting.
The motion to adjourn the meeting was adopted by 44 votes to 33, with 8 abstentions.
The meeting rose at 4.15 p.m.