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General Assembly, 20th session, 3rd Committee : 1363rd meeting

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/SR.1363
Convention International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 20th
Type Document

6 p.

Subjects Racial Discrimination, Protection of Minorities, Equality

Extracted Text

United Nations

Thursday, 2 December 1965, at 3.55 p.m.

Page Agenda item 58: Draft International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (continued)
Articles on measures of implementation (continued)
Article XIII (concluded) 431
Article XIII (bis) 433
Chairman: Mr. Francisco CUEVAS CANCINO (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. II and annexes I and IIII;A/C.3/L.1237,L.1239,L.1241, L.1249, L.1262, L.I272, L.1292, L.1305, L.1307, L.1308/Rev.l, L.1313, L.1314, L.1315/Rev.1, L.1316)
Article XIII (concluded)
1. The CHAIRMAN drew the attention of the Committee to the second revised text of article XIII of the articles relating to measures of implementation, submitted by fourteen delegations (A/C.3/L.1308/ Rev. 1), and the amendments submitted by Lebanon (A/C.3/L.1315/Rev.l) and Sweden (A/C.3/L.1316).
2. Mr. HEDSTROM (Sweden), replying to a question put by the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania at the preceding meeting concerning the Swedish amendment, said that, in the view of his delegation, if the number of States Parties to the Convention bound by declarations in accordance with article XIII, paragraph 1, fell below ten as a result of withdrawals, the competence of the proposed committee should cease. Apart from the major reason already mentioned, his delegation considered it extremely important that the Third Committee should take a cautious approach to the procedure envisaged and to the delicate matters which the new body would have to handle; if that body could not retain the confidence of at least ten States Parties to the Convention, it would be a failure from the outset.
3. Lady GAITSKELL (United Kingdom), speaking in explanation of her vote on the second revised text of article XIII, recalled that from the beginning of the debate her delegation had expressed strong sup-

port for measures of implementation in the draft Convention, because of the wide feeling among Member States that racial discrimination was the mos urgent of human rights problems. The United Kingdom, which was taking measures to deal with the problem at home, considered that it was high time for the United Nations to play a more active part in the implementation of those rights.
4. However, her delegation had specifically retrained from referring to the right of individual petition as a desirable means of implementation, because the United Kingdom was one of a small number of European States which had thus far been unable to accept the right of individual petition in connation with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The difficulties were complex and of a constitutional nature, and her Government was still examining the problem. Consequently, her delegation was not at present in a position to take any decision regarding the right of individual petition in the United Nations context. It was clear from the debate and from informal discussions that many other countries had similar doubts and difficulties, even with regard to an optional clause.
5. The question was, therefore, whether the United Kingdom could honestly vote for such a clause while problems still existed in relation to the right of petition even within Europe. Her Government had come to the conclusion that, having frankly explained its difficulties. It could now vote for the relevant part of article XIII, which it hoped would command a large majority, thus demonstrating the solidarity of the United Nations in its struggle against racial discrimination.
6. Miss KING (Jamaica) said that the words "within its national legal order" in article XIII, paragraph 2, caused some difficulty to her delegation, which would have preferred a body specifically designated to deal with petitions, preferably under the name of "national committee", and independent of the Government of the State. The existing wording might mean that a Government could appoint anyone, including Us own officials, to examine petitions which, in some cases, would relate to its own actions. She therefore requested a separate vote on the words in question.
7. Miss TABBARA (Lebanon) said that her delegation would vote In favour of the Swedish amendment, because If the Convention contained no clause such as Sweden proposed, every State might hesitate to be the first to become the target of petitions; thus, the adoption of the amendment might induce a greater number of States to make the declarations provided for in paragraph 1.

8. Mr. VERRET (Haiti) observed that his delegation had no strong feelings regarding article XIII, since there was no racial discrimination in Haiti. With reference to the Swedish amendment, he wished to point out that it was not clear, at least from the French text, by what the Stales Parties referred to would be "bound".
9. Mr. LAMPTEY (Ghana) said that his delegation would abstain in the vote on the Lebanese amendments (A/C.3/L.1315/Rev.l) for the sole reason that it felt obliged, as a sponsor, to support the compromise text contained in document A/C.3/L.1308/Rev. 1; otherwise, it would have supported those amendments. It would vote against the Swedish amendment (A/C.3/ L.1316), in the belief that any State progressive enough to declare that its citizens should enjoy a certain right ought not to have to await the agreement of nine other States before granting that right to persons within its own Jurisdiction.
10 Miss ACUTA (Nigeria) noted that the words "publicly disclosed", to which ber delegation had suggested an amendment, had been retained in paragraph 4. The phrase was not clear, at least in English, and she would welcome an explanation of its meaning before it was put to the vote.
11. Mr. HELDAL (Norway) said that his delegation would vote in favour of the Lebanese and Swedish amendment for the reasons mentioned by other speakers. The inclusion of the clause proposed by Sweden would increase the confidence of States in the proposed committee and the ladler’s authority in performing its delicate and important task. His delegation would vote in favour of article XIII as a whole, because it strongly believed that the measures of implementation should provide for individual petitions.
12. Mr. HOYLE (Australia) recalled that his delegation, at the beginning of the debate, had questioned the usefulness, at the present stage, of including in the draft Convention a provision such as the article XIII as originally proposed (A/C.3/L.129l/Add.l). While its doubts had not been entirely overcome, his delegation was impressed by the improvement in the text now before the Committee (A/C.3/L.1308/ Rev.1, and in order not to oppose the broad consensus in the Committee it would vote in favour of the proposed article as a whole.
13. Mr. OUEDRAOGO (Upper Volta) said that his delegation would abstain from voting on the right of petition, in the interest both of the Convention and of the prospective petitioners themselves. If article XIII was included in the text, the proposed committee might be swamped by thousands of petitions which it would be unable to handle effectively, with resulting damage to its own prestige and to that of the United Nations. Apart from the danger of jeopardizing the Impartiality of the committee's work, the receipt of individual petitions would serve on purpose, since the committee would have no coer cive or punitive powers. Furthermore, there would always be the danger of breaches of confidentiality, resulting In reprisals against petitioners. The Third Committee should be extremely prudent, in the interest of the widest possible acceptance of the Convention.

14. Mr. SY (Senegal) remarked, in connation with the French representative's argument that an optional clause would introduce differences in the degree of commitment assumed by different States Parties to the Convention, that free consent was an essential element of any contract; thus, it was for the individual. State to decide whether it wished to assume greater obligations than others. His delegation was prepared to vote in favour of article XIII (A/C.3/L.1308/Rev.l) and would also support the Swedish amendment (A/C.3/L.1316).
15. With respect to the question put by the representative of Nigeria the understood the words "the contents shall not be publicly disclosed" in paragraph 4 to mean that non-parties to a dispute would not be able to claim access to certified copies of the register.
16. Mrs. M30IJANA (Uganda) said that her delegation would vote in favour of the Lebanese amendment of paragraph 7 (A/C.3/L.1315/Rev.l), since that paragraph would otherwise be completely ineffective.
17. Mr. MUMBU (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said that his delegation would vote in favour of the revised text of article XIII, even though it did not approve of allowing an option to States Parties to the Convention. His delegation would also support the Lebanese amendments, which improved the text. It could not vote in favour of the Swedish amendment, for the reasons explained by the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, and would therefore abstain on that proposal.
18. Mrs. MANTZOULINOS (Greece) proposed that, in order to save time, other delegations wishing to explain their vote should do so after the voting had taken place.
It was so agreed.
19. The CHAIRMAN invited the Committee to vote
on the second revised text of article XIII (A/C.3/
L.1308/Rev.l) and the amendments thereto. As re
quested by the representative of Jamaica, he would
first put to the vote separately the words "within
its national legal order" in paragraph 2.
The words "within its national legal order" in paragraph 2 were adopted by 61 votes to none, with 23 abstentions.
Paragraph 2, as a whole, was adopted by 67 votes to none, with 17 abstentions.
At the reqvest of the representative of Nigeria, the amendment of Lebanon (A/C.3/L.1315/Rev.1) to paragraph 7 was taken by roll-call.
The Sudan, having been drawn by lot by the Chair-man, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Ceylon, Chad, Chile, Congo(Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic of), Denmark, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon,, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,

Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal.
Against: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Republic, Bulgaria, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Guinea, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Romania.
Abstaining: Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, , Belgium, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Spain.
The amendment of Lebanon to paragraph 7 was adopted by 43 votes to 12, with 34 abstentions.
Paragraph 7, as amended, was adopted by 67 votes to none, with 20 abstentions.
The amendment of Lebanon (A/C.3/L.131S/Rev.l) to paragraph 8 was adopted by 48 votes to 9, with 31 abstentions.
Paragraph 8, as amended, was adopted by 66 votes to none, with 23 abstentions.
The amendment of Sweden (A/C.3/L.1316) to add a new paragraph 9 was adopted by 52 votes to 1, with 31 abstentions.
Article XIII, as a whole, as amended, was adopted by 66 votes to none, with -19 abstentions.
20 Mr. AL-RAWI (Iraq) said that his delegation was opposed to racial discrimination and had supported the substantive articles and implementation provisions of the draft Convention up to that point, but it had been unable to vote in favour of article XIII. The article„ as put to the vote, was vague and confusing. The Third Committee was not equipped to function as a drafting body, especially in such delicate legal matters as that dealt with in article XIII. He hoped that it would still be possible for the necessary time and expert study to be devoted to the article so as to make it generally acceptable. The article as adopted stated a new principle of international law in a way that many countries would no doubt see as an encroachment on their rights.
21. Mr. BOZOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that article XIII introduced a new concept into international law. He had in mind not so much the right of petition as the fact that States Parties were told how to carry out an international obligation and not only that the obligation existed. He wondered whether the instructions regarding the establishment of national bodies were not In fact an intrusion into matters of domestic concern. The important thing was the implementation itself and not the particular national machinery set up. The text adopted also lacked legal precision, which was impermissible In an International instrument. Of course, the article's provisions were optional, and the legal authorities of his country would no doubt carefully study the question before the Government took a position. It was against that background that his delegation had abstained in the voting.

22. Mrs. BEN-ITO (Israel) said that she had voted in favour of the article XIII because its object was to safeguard the rights of the individual. The granting of the right of petition to individuals suffering discrimination was an important milestone on the road to the universal observance of human rights. The principle embodied in the article was in full conformity with her country's traditions and laws. Israel had an independent judiciary whose organs worked conscientiously to redress the grievances of all citizens who considered their rights violated. Despite the existence of adequate judicial arrangements in her country, she supported the inclusion of the right of petition in the draft Convention.
23. Mr. NETTEL (Austria) said that his country had recognized the right of individual petition under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and considered that the right also had a place in the draft Convention under consideration, which aimed 2 protect individuals against discrimination. He had therefore voted in favour of the article.
24. Mr. RAO (India) said that he had abstained in the voting, not because he opposed the principle involved in article XIII, but because the text raised certain difficulties. He was sorry that the Committee had not sought the advice of the human rights and legal experts available at the United Nations but had chosen to work completely on its own. As now worded, the article might expose countries to unwarranted attack, as for instance by renegade nationals. His delegation had not wished to vote against the article, however, as its purposes were unobjection-able.
Article XIII (bis)
25. The CHAIRMAN invited the Committee to consider article XIII (bis) proposed at the 1357th meeting by Sudan, the United Arab Republic and the United Republic of Tanzania (A/C.3/L.1307).
26. Mr. ZULOAGA (Venezuela) said that his delegation would vote in favour of the proposed article.
27. Mrs. BANGOURA (Guinea) expressed support for the proposed article, which would help people under colonial rule to assert their political, economic and social rights. She was aware that those matters were already dealt with by United Nations bodies, but she believed that they also had a place in an international legal instrument.
28. Mr. LAMPTEY (Ghana) said that his delegation had difficulties with the proposed new article. Since the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)), many African States had decided that they would not recognize any instrument which implied the possible perpetuation of colonialism. In connexion with the suggested final clauses of the draft Convention, the Polish representative had objected to the inclusion of the territorial application clause on the ground that it to some extent it dilated approval of the existence of colonialism and was furthermore unnecessary since a binding international Instrument applied to all the territory of the contracting party, whether metropolitan or not,

subject to express or implied provisions to the contrary. He entirely shared those views and relieved that they applied also to the proposed new article. The proposed text was unnecessary, moreover, because the right of Inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories to petition on a great variety of subjects, including racial discrimination, had already been granted by the United Nations.
29. Article XIII, just adopted, was an optional clause, but the proposed article XIII (bis) introduced compulsory provisions in respect of the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Countries with such Territories would have to accept the provisions on signing the Convention, which they were not likely to do. Thus the instrument would be jeopardized because of an article which in point of fact laid down nothing which was not already provided for in the Convention and through existing United Nations machinery.
30. He hoped that the Convention would long outlive the coionial period, which he trusted would come to an end within a few years. He would have to vote against any text which in any way recognized the continued existence of the colonial system. On the other hand, he would be prepared to help in developing a text designed to make it doubly certain, if that was thought essential that the Convention would apply to the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
31. Mr. VARGAS (Colombia) said that his delegation would vote against the proposed new article. It had already given, in the Fourth Committee, its views on the question involved and would not repeat them now.
32. Miss KING (Jamaica) said that she could support the new article only if it was made clear that the petitions from inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories related strictly to humanitarian questions. She accordingly suggested that the words "concerning violations of human rights stemming from racial discrimination" should be inserted after the word "petitions" in paragraph 1. She further suggested the deletion in the same paragraph of the word "presumably". Lastly, some of the objections raised by members might be met if a final paragraph was added stating that none of the provisions of the article should prejudice the attainment of immediate independence by the Territories in question.
33. Mrs. WARZAZI (Morocco) said that the proposed new article posed a dilemma, since both its endorsement and its rejection might be misinterpreted. She wondered whether the sponsors could agree to replace "inhabitants of non-independent Territories" by "inhabitants of territories which had not yet gained their independence under resolution 1514 (**V)", or words to that effect. That might make it possible for delegations to support the proposed article without fear of misinterpretation.
34. Mr. KOCHMAN (Mauritania) said that he fully supported the Idea behind the proposed new article* since the most serious forms of racial discrimination were connected with colonialism, but he was not altogether satisfied with the wording of the proposed text.

35. Mr. MUMBU (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said that he shared the Polish representative's objections to the inclusion of a territorial application clause and considered that it* proposed article XIII (bis) was a suitable substitute defending the rights of the Inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
36. Mr. SY (Senegal) hoped that the article under discussion would not be necessary for long but considered it necessary in the present circumstances. Under positive international law, when a colonial Power acceded to an international instrument, it was not bound to apply the instrument's provisions to its Non-Self-Governing Territories unless it made a formal declaration toat it would do so. He believed that the view stated by the Ghanaian representative in that regard was incorrect. The proposed new article was also important in that it provided & measure of control over the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which States Parties were to report on in accordance with article VIII (bis) already adopted.
37. Lady GAITSKELL (United Kingdom) said that the proposed new article raised difficulties for her delegation and she would have to vote against it as it stood, although not for non-colonialist reasons and not because she opposed petitions from colonial territories in connexion with the specific issue of race relations—for such petitions were already received by the United Nations. She opposed' the text because of several unsatisfactory aspects, the most objectionable of which was that it sought to dis-criminate between contracting States. It would establish two categories, the first of which would include States which did not have colonial responsibtities— one of them, Incidentally, would be the. Republic of South Africa, which practiced racial discrimination as a principle of national policy; those States would have an option In the matter of petitions, the other category was for States with colonial responsibilities, and they would constitute a sort of international second class, or, from another point of view, the inhabitants of their Non-Self-Governing Territories would form a superior class; there would be a higher standard of human rights In colonial territories than in the territories of States recounted as fully independent.
38. The new term, "non-independent Territories", might lead to enormous difficulties. There were many territories throughout the world whose independence was disputed by various countries, and the latter would naturally press for the acceptance of petitions from the territories they did not regard as independent.
39. The inclusion of the proposed article would make it difficult for the United Kingdom to ratify the Convention for the same reasons that would keep many countries from ratifying it If It contained an obligatory clause on the right of petition. Her delegation's objection related to the question of principle and not
the practical aspect, for individual petitioners from the United Kingdom's colonial territories already were
40. She recognized that the majority of delegations
had a strong and reasonable interest In the welfare of the Inhabitants of colonial territories. But the felt

that that interest could be more effectively pursued elsewhere. The main purpose of the present discussion should be to find a way of making it simpler for countries that still had colonial territories and that wished to show goodwill in the matter of combating racial discrimination to ratify the Convention.
41. Miss AGUTA (Nigeria) said that it was her Government's policy to seek ways and means of protecting the non-independent Territories of Africa and to give strong support to human rights throughout the world. However, the draft text of article XIII ibis) (A/C.3/ L.1307) would create a duplication between the duties of the proposed committee and the duties of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Her delegation would welcome a provision to the effect that the proposed committee should co-operate or consult with the Special Committee on questions involving human rights in the Non-Self-Governing Territories. In that connexion, the amendment suggested by the Jamaican representative would be a good basis for compromise, although it should state specifically that the petitions to be submitted should concern violations of the provisions of the Convention.
42. Mrs. MANTZOUUNOS (Greece) said that, in a spirit of compromise and following consultations with various delegations, her delegation proposed that the whole of the text proposed for article XIII (bis) should be replaced by the following: "For the purposes of the present Convention the word "State* shall include all areas and inhabitants within its Jurisdiction ".
43. Mr. VERRET (Haiti) considered that the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories under the administration of States Parties to the Convention should be able to petition the committee. However, the proposed text of article XIII (bis) (A/C.3/L.1307) seemed to acquiesce in the perpetuation of the colonial regime, which had been abolished by the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Since the proposed article would not be a temporary provision, his delegation would have to abstain in the vote on the present wording.
44. Mr. SAKSENA (India) said that he could endorse the principle of the article but had misgivings about its drafting. In its present form, the article would also apply to Administering Authorities which had not ratified the Convention; consequently, whether or not an Administering Authority had ratified the Convention, the proposed committee would be competent to receive petitions from its dependent areas.
45. With regard to paragraph 1, the words "non-independent Territories" should be replaced by the more usual term "Non-Self-Governing, Trust and colonial territories". The word "presumably" should be deleted, as suggested by the Jamaican represents" tive. The words "adopted... to give effect to the pro-visions of this Convention" should be replaced by "put Into force In that Territory*, because the present text seemed to take It for granted that the Admin-is tiring Authority had taken action to give effect to the Convention. An individual should be entitled to

petition even if the legal system prevailing in his Territory was not in conformity with the Convention.
46. Paragraph 2 failed to indicate whether any action would be taken after the petitions had been examined. He therefore suggested that the words "and shall make appropriate recommendations" should be added at the end of the paragraph.
47. In his view, paragraph 3 was not clear. He therefore suggested that the words "and/or with matters relating to the provisions of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)" should be added at the end of the paragraph. He did not think that paragraph 3 would lead to any duplication, for the text provided that the committee should co-operate with other bodies. A petition from an individual who claimed that his human rights had been violated in the field of racial discrimination should be forwarded to the proposed committee rather than to a political committee, especially since the new committee would consist of experts acquainted with the legal systems of the various countries.
48. Mr. BOZOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that, in cases of colonialism, the elimination of which was a pre-condition for a stable peace, his delegation always supported the right of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to bring their case before the international community in any practical way. The inclusion of an article dealing with the right of petition of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories was necessary and justified on both legal and practical grounds. Legally, while the United , Nations Cha contained provisions dealing in a general way human rights, it devoted a separate chapter to non-independent territories because it had been felt that their inhabitants needed the special protection of the world community. As a practical matter, while racial discrimination existed in both Non-Self-Governing Territories and independent countries, it was practiced most severely and felt most strongly in the non-independent territories. Moreover, since article XIII was optional, the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories should be given a measure of protection that did not depend on the goodwill of the Administering Authorities.
49. It had been argued that the committee's hearing of petitions from the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories would duplicate the work of other bodies, but that argument could not be pushed too far because, following the same line of reasoning, it could be said that there was no need for the adoption of the Convention itself since the United Nations Charter already prohibited racial discrimination. The Convention would establish an international, but not universal, organ to deal with questions of racial discrimination; It was entirely natural that that organ should devote particular attention to areas where racial discrimination was practised in his harshest form.
50. The United Kingdom representative had said that the new article would discriminate against some
countries. He could not agree with that argument
because the colonial Powers had already enjoyed unfair privileges In . administering the Non-Self-Governing Territories The article was not dis-

criminatory because all countries must accept the same principle. The intention was not to apply a higher standard to the Administering Authorities but merely to raise the standards of protection against racial discrimination in the Non-Self-Governing Territories to those prevailing in other countries.
51. With regard to the argument that the article appeared to accept the continuation of colonialism, he drew attention to the fact that, while both racial discrimination and colonialism had in principle been abolished, they both continued to exist.
52. Nevertheless, his delegation was not satisfied with the present drafting of the article. He supported the Jamaican oral amendment to delete the word "presumably", but thought that a number of difficulties could be avoided if, instead of her other oral amendment, the sponsors adopted a wording similar to that used in article XIII, paragraph 1, namely "from individuals or groups of individuals... claiming to be victims of a violation... of any of the rights set forth in this Convention".
53. in its present form, paragraph 2 might prove more effective in theory than in practice since the Administering Authorities might refuse to consult with the committee for various reasons. That paragraph, which his delegation endorsed in principle, should not only afford the Administering Authorities the possibility of commenting on petitions, but should also entitle the committee to make recommendations in the event they refused their co-operation.
54. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) recalled that, at the time of the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the metropolitan Powers had said that they were unable to accept the so-called "colonial clause" because they were constitutionally required to obtain the consent of the colonial chiefs to the draft. That, however, had been a transparent excuse and, as he himself had said at the time, no such constitutional difficulties would have been raised had the question concerned, not the extension of human rights to the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, but the spread of an epidemic of typhoid, for example. He doubted the wisdom of making the application of human rights dependent upon the observance of certain constitutional processes. The human rights of the people of the colonial Territories should not depend upon the permission of the authorities in those Territories; on the contrary, all

human rights should apply regardless of whether the individual lived in an independent or a not,-independent country.
55. The sponsors had submitted their draft of article XIII (bis) (A/C .3/L.1307) because there were more individuals in the Non-Self-Governing Territories whose human rights in relation to racial discrimination were being violated, and there were still some seventy or eighty colonial territories in which racial discrimination was rampant. He wondered how anyone could take exception to the proposed article at a time when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was taking action in an attempt to ensure the rights of the indigenous inhabitants of Southern Rhodesia against their Government. Adoption of the article would encourage the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to take action when their rights were violated. He could see nothing wrong in that.
56. The Ghanaian representative's argument that the Convention should not seem to sanction colonialism was formal1stically valid but substantively specious. The article concerned, after all, only the sending of petitions. At the same time, the sponsors of the draft article should heed the United Kingdom representative's warning that the inclusion of the article would make it difficult for her country to ratify the Convention. A number of delegations had already abstained on various parts of the Convention. By insisting on the present text of article XIII (bis) the sponsors might be playing into the hands of those who sought an excuse not to ratify the Convention. He therefore appealed to the sponsors to seek a com-promise solution to the problem. He suggested that the entire present text of that article XIII (bis) should be replaced by the following: "Pending the liberation of all colonial territories, the terms of this Convention shall be applicable in full to all Non-Self-Governing Territories". Such a formula would establish a direct link between the inhabitants of the non-independent territories and the United Nations, as far as the right to petition was concerned, without spelling out the procedural details.
57. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should set 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 3 December, as the time-limit for the submission of amendments to article XIII (bis) and for the closure of the list of speakers in the general discussion on that article.
It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 6.40 p.m.