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UN Human Rights Treaties

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General Assembly, 6th session : 3rd Committee, 366th meeting

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/SR.366
Convention International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 6th
Type Document

7 p.

Subjects Civil and Political Rights

Extracted Text

United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY SIXTH SESSION Official Records THIRD COMMITTEE 366th MEETING Wednesday, 12 December 1951, at 10.30 a.m. Palais de Chaillot, Paris CONTENTS Page Telegram from the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Peru to the Chairman of the Third Committee on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 113 Draft international covenant on human rights and measures of imple mentation (A/1883, A/1884 (chapter V, section I), E/1992, E/2057 and Add.1 to 5, E/2059 and Add.1 to 8, E/2085 and Add.1, A/C.3/559, A/C.3/L.S8, A/C.3/L.180, A/C.3/L.182, A/C.3/L.186 and Add.1) (continued) 113 Chairman : Mrs. Ana FIGUEROA (Chile). In the absence of the Chairman, Mr. Dehousse {Belgium), Vice-Chairman, presided. Telegram from the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Peru to the Chairman of the Third Committee on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1. The Chairman read the text of a telegram from Claudio Fernandez Concha, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Peru, to the Chairman of the Third Committee. The text was as follows: "On behalf of the deputies of the Peruvian Chamber of Deputies, we have the pleasure of sending our greetings to the United Nations on the occasion of the commemoration of the third anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." 2. He was sure that the Committee would associate itself with the Chairman in thanking the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Peru for the cordial greeting he had sent to the United Nations. Draft international covenant on human rights and measures of implementation (A/1883, A/1884 (chapter V, section I), E/1992, E/2057 and Add.1 to 5, E/2059 and Add.1 to 8, E/2085 and Add.1, A/C.3/559, A/C.3/L.88, A/C.3/L.180, A/C.3/ L.182, A/C3/L.186 and Add.1) (continued) [Item 29]* GENERAL DEBATE (continued) 3. Mr. REYES (Philippines) recalled that his delegation had abstained from voting on General Assembly * Indicates the item number on the General Assembly agenda. resolution 421 (V), section E, recommending that a single international covenant on human rights should be drawn up. Indeed, it had seemed to his delegation then, and it did so still, that the form of the covenant was less important than its content, and that the basic consideration was to give an exact definition of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, and to ensure their observance and enforcement by means of effective guarantees and measures of implementation. A single covenant would be satisfactory if it enabled that result to be achieved more effectively; if, on the other hand, two covenants were necessary, both should be drawn up. The main consideration, however, was to make progress in. the task of defining, guaranteeing and protecting all fundamental human rights. 4. The Committee should proceed in orderly fashion and, in the first place, assist in completing the drafting of all the fundamental political, economic, social and cultural rights that should be included in an international covenant or covenants on human rights. In that connexion, all things considered, the Commission on Human Rights, which had begun the work of drafting, had acquitted itself with credit of the task entrusted to it. The Philippines delegation accordingly believed that the Commission on Human Rights should be given adequate time to complete its work; it should be enabled to hold longer sessions and to meet twice a year if necessary or to devote a special session to the drafting of the international covenant on human rights. 5. So long as all fundamental rights had not been laid down and the work of drafting completed, it would be premature to attempt to establish the final form of the covenant and the measures of implementation. Many of the difficulties to which certain members of the Third Committee had referred in the course of the 113 A/C.3/SR.366 114 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee general debate would have disappeared, or would at least have become less formidable, by the time the Com-mission on Human Rights had completed its work. For instance, when all economic, social and cultural rights had been laid down, it would be clear that they could not be implemented in exactly the same way and by means of the same legal guarantees as civil and political rights. 6. The Philippines delegation believed that, in spite of all its faults, the draft covenant contained the basic elements necessary for a solution which would satisfy both those who were in favour and those who were against a single covenant. That solution would be to include both categories of rights in a single pact, while providing for different measures of implementation for each category in order to take into account the varying means of application and the unequal degree of development of civil and political rights on the one hand, and of economic, social and cultural rights on the other. The existing draft contemplated a system of legal appeal in the case of civil and political rights, most of which could be defended in a court of law, and a system of international supervision by means of periodic reports in the case of economic, social and cultural rights, most of which, generally speaking, could not be vindicated in the courts. 7. He hoped that a compromise along those lines could be found which would meet with general approval. He pointed out that the effective application of the covenant on human rights would depend very largely on international co-operation. That would apply particularly to economic, social and cultural rights, especially in the under-developed countries. If, as had been remarked, the most enthusiastic supporters of a single covenant belonged to those countries, that was because they knew at firsthand how meaningless civil and political freedoms could be when unaccompanied by economic and social rights. In the absence of adequate international assistance, the countries which had recently achieved their independence would have to embark on a lengthy struggle to place their political freedom upon a stable economic and social foundation, and might even find themselves faced with failure which would entail for them the loss of the rights and freedoms they were seeking to secure. It was therefore necessary, in the interests of those countries, to adopt an international covenant on human rights which would merit the widest possible support. 8. He recalled that his Government had already proposed that an article relating to the right to property should be added to the draft of the first eighteen articles of the covenant.1 9. The Philippines delegation was one of the sponsors of the draft resolution requesting that an article relating to the rights of peoples to self-determination should be included in the covenant (A/C.3/L.186 and Add.1). 10. In respect of the right of petition, his delegation believed that in order to reduce to a minimum the risk of that right being used for political ends, it was necessary to stipulate that the petitioner should have exhausted all the legal remedies existing in his country before being able to appeal to the United Nations, and that the body responsible for considering the petitions should be non-political in character and should have the requisite competence in the field of human rights. 11. In conclusion, he once again emphasized the urgency of the task to be fulfilled. The representatives who had spoken had not always sufficiently stressed the fact that human rights were being violated more seriously than ever before. In its report to the Economic and Social Council, at its thirteenth session2 the Ad Hoc Committee on Slavery had reached the conclusion that slavery, even in its crudest form, was still present in the world. The Ad Hoc Committee on Forced Labour had begun a study on the nature and the extent of the problem raised by the existence in the world of systems of forced or corrective labour which were employed as a means of political coercion or punishment for holding or expressing political views and which were on such a scale as to constitute an important element in the economy of a given country. That was evidence of the urgent need to pursue without delay the task of framing the international covenant on human rights. 12. Mr. PAMONTJAK (Indonesia) said his delegation fully appreciated the indefatigable efforts of the Commission on Human Rights to revise and amplify the draft covenant. Indonesia had already devoted a very important place in its Constitution to human rights; it therefore attached the highest value to all progress made in that field. It was accordingly glad to note that the Commission on Human Rights had achieved two important results : it had drafted the text of articles on economic, social and cultural rights and it had revised the implementation measures established the previous year. 13. Taking into account the fact that the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia guaranteed both civil and political freedoms and economic, social and cultural rights, his delegation had always stated that it could not agree to articles relating to economic, social and cultural rights being the subject of a separate instrument. It considered that the incorporation in the covenant of a general clause enjoining signatory States to establish economic, social and cultural rights would not be sufficient, and that, in addition, it would be a mistake to place those rights in a different category from civil and political rights merely because they could not be defended in the courts and different measures were consequently required for their exercise. 14. Civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights formed an inseparable whole. In the course of its history, Indonesia had learnt that the existence of civil and political rights did not provide a guarantee against exploitation or insecurity; it had realized that those rights, deprived of their social, economic and cultural complements, could not ensure the free development of the human personality and progress in material and moral conditions of life. 1 See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Eleventh Session, Supplement No, 5, annex III. 2 Ibid., Thirteenth Session, Annexes, agenda item 21, document E/1988. 366th Meeting—12 December 1951 115 15. While the struggle for human rights went back to the dawn of history, the modern conception of those rights had developed with the growth of the democratic society. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries social and economic rights had been added to political rights and had acquired ever greater importance in the laws of the various countries. If those rights did not form the subject of a single instrument, the concept of their interdependence would speedily disappear. 16. His delegation would therefore support any draft resolution to include economic, social and cultural rights in the covenant on human rights. 17. It considered as unsatisfactory the provisions of the draft covenant relating to the reception and examination of petitions from individuals or organizations, the drafting of the clause on federal States, and the way in which the question of the right of peoples and nations to self-determination had been treated. 18. That right was, indeed, basic : nations which, like Indonesia, had just freed themselves from colonialism knew what blood had been shed and what wars had been caused as a result of attacks on that right. His delegation was convinced that by guaranteeing the right of peoples to self-determination, the United Nations could not but help to avert a new world war, or at least to prevent disputes between nations. 19. Mr. TAMBA (Liberia) paid a tribute to the importance of the work done by the Commission on Human Rights in establishing part of the text of the draft covenant. 20. He had, however, been disappointed to note that some articles, in particular articles 20 to 28, merely recognized the existence of certain rights; that was surprising when it was considered that they were rights which the majority of States represented on the Commission had, as members of the International Labour Organisation long since recognized—rights which, in one form or another, appeared in the constitutions of most democratic countries. In those circumstances, it might seem strange that the representatives of those same countries had required so much time and effort merely to re-state those principles in a covenant. The existing draft did not provide for any sanctions and did not involve any undertaking on the part of future signatory States. 21. His delegation thought it would be useless to attempt to include civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights in one instrument. In so doing, the Third Committee would no take into account the unequal degree of development of the various States composing the world community. It should not be forgotten that while under-developed countries, like Liberia itself, wished to improve the position of their population, they must not lose sight of the complications liable to result from the inability of governments to enforce laws that entailed obligations which those countries, on account of their limited economic resources, were unable to fulfil. 22. The Commission on Human Rights would encounter certain difficulties when it had to draft the final text of a federal clause and the text of the measures of implementation. His delegation thought the adoption of a federal clause would depend on the co-operation of federal governments. It would be for those governments to amend their legislation and bring it into conformity with the provisions of the covenant, so that those provisions might be applied simultaneously to all. 23. With regard to the question of implementation, the representative of Liberia wondered how the inter-national community could adopt enforcement measures against a State which refused to observe the provisions of the covenant. Experience had shown that governments which wished to violate their international obligations had frequently invoked Article 2, paragraph 7, of the United Nations Charter. His delegation recognized that the provision in that paragraph protected small States from any foreign intervention. However, the nature of the "matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State" should be more clearly defined: the Commission on Human Rights should therefore have the necessary time to consider that question, 24. Some representatives had recently opposed those who had wished to introduce into the draft covenant the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, proclaimed in Article 1, paragraph 2, of the Charter. At the 361st meeting, the Belgian representative had questioned the expediency of that principle, saying that it was dangerous to multiply the number of frontiers and that, for the peoples of Africa and Asia, it was safer to remain subject to a kind of federalism. 25. It had also been said that the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples was a relic of the nineteenth century and had no real meaning. Without wishing to define anew the words "nations" and "peoples", the Liberian delegation thought that when drafting the article which referred to the self-determination of peoples, the authors of the Charter had meant to draw attention to the fact that some human communities were still denied the right to choose their own form of government. Those communities were the "peoples" referred to in the Charter and were to be found in the Trust Territories and the Non-Self-Governing Territories. 26. It was regrettable that representatives of States known and commended for their liberalism had seen fit to make statements which could only have alarming repercussions in the colonial and semi-colonial territories. The right to self-determination was an essential right and stood above all other rights. It would be impossible for an enslaved people to enjoy to the full the social, economic and cultural rights which the Committee would wish to embody in the covenant. 27. His delegation desired to make it clear that it was not calling for the immediate abolition of the colonial system ; it knew that at the moment that would be contrary to the provisions of Article 2 of the Charter. It wished merely to emphasize that the time had come when the countries of Christendom must 116 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee realize that the Christian doctrine which they were teaching to the peoples of Africa and Asia disapproved of the enslavement of human beings who were "backward", as the phrase went, only because they had always been enslaved. 28. During the general debate frequent mention had been, made of the universal character of the United Nations. It was doubtful whether the Organization could be truly universal when the whole African conti-nent and a large part of Asia lived in slavery. His delegation would like to know why—as the represen-tative of France had pointed out (363rd meeting) the essential right of the self-determination of peoples had been omitted from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 29. The question of the right of self-determination was confused with the question of minorities. His delegation did not think that in proclaiming the right of peoples to self-determination, the authors of the Charter had been thinking of minorities of the kind represented by the thirteen or fourteen million Negroes in the United States of America. No one would imagine that those Negroes would be likely to try to establish a republic of their own in the United States of America. They were actually claiming the right to the same social conditions as other citizens of the United States. 30. Liberia was of the opinion that the economic and social rights included in the draft were indispensable in a democratic society. It had itself granted the franchise to all elements of its population ; primary and secondary education had been made compulsory and a law on minimum wages, which also protected workers against the risk of accident, provided for an eight-hour working day. 31. His delegation, however, was convinced that it would be useless to embody civil and political rights in the same covenant as economic, social and cultural rights, in view of the difficulties arising from the implementation of the latter. 32. It was necessary to be objective and to admit that, in view of the existing structure of democratic society, which recognized the inviolability of private property and the fact that private enterprise was the essential element in any democratic system, governments alone could not achieve the desired ends. 33. Furthermore, since in the existing form of society governments were financed by contributions made to the State in the form of taxes, the inclusion in a cove nant of economic, social and cultural rights could only increase the burden of taxation upon the individual, Furthermore, it was doubtful whether democratic coun tries would be prepared to invest the State with full economic powers, which would among other things entail the nationalization of all undertakings. 34. In conclusion, he said that there could be no peace in the world while millions of human beings remained in slavery and the right of self-determination of peoples was not recognized and guaranteed, 35. It was only when all races and all nations were equal, at least before the law, when there were no more lords and vassals, that an era of peace and goodwill could begin. 36. Mr. CORTINA (Cuba) said that he had followed with interest the debates in the Third Committee on the draft international covenant on human rights and measures of implementation, a question of great importance to the development of international law. He wished to explain his delegation's attitude with regard to the form and scope of the covenant. 37. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was an instrument embodying the result of humanity's efforts to secure the enjoyment of elementary rights, The rights set forth in it, whether civil and political or economic, social and cultural, formed a whole because they were interdependent. The General Assembly had therefore decided (resolution 421 (V)) that the covenant on human rights ought to include all the rights set forth in the Declaration. 38. Under those circumstances, without wishing to criticize the United Nations organs which had dealt with the subject, because they had all been inspired by the desire to find a formula which would make it possible to produce the covenant, he noted with regret that they had to a certain extent opposed the will of the General Assembly. Thus, by its resolution 349 (XII), the Economic and Social Council had trans-mitted the General Assembly's invitation (Assembly resolution 421 (V), section E) to the Commission on Human Rights in such vague terms that several interpretations had been possible and delay had resulted. The Council itself had invited (Council resolution 384 C (XIII)) the General Assembly to reconsider the decision which the latter had reached after a full survey of the facts and after thorough discussion. It had thus created a vicious circle and any repetition of that procedure would seriously prejudice the work of the United Nations. 39. His delegation therefore thought that it was the duty of the Third Committee to transmit to the General Assembly a draft resolution rejecting the request of the Economic and Social Council and reaffirming its decision even more emphatically, if that were necessary. His delegation therefore gave its full support to the draft resolution submitted by Chile (A/C.3/L.180). 40. He explained the reasons for the attitude of his delegation. The division of fundamental human rights into two groups and the drafting of two covenants would weaken the moral authority of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The intention of those who advocated a number of covenants was to secure indirectly the consideration of only one draft, the one dealing with civil and political rights, and to postpone indefinitely the, adoption of the second covenant, which was to contain the economic, social and cultural rights, Such a procedure would result in splitting up and weakening the Universal Declaration, since some of the rights, namely the civil and political rights, would be contractually binding, while the others would merely have moral force. The representative of Cuba added 366th Meeting—12 December 1951 117 that the Declaration, the only existing instrument, would be all the more seriously impaired, because it would take a long time before even a covenant relating only to civil and political rights came into force, judging from the divergence of opinion which the draft text had already provoked. 41. He recalled that some had suggested that a scale of priorities should be established among fundamental human rights. While it was true that at the current stage, some rights might be given priority, such priority could only be determined by taking prevailing requirements into account. Civil and political rights were more or less fully recognized in the laws of the various countries. Constitutional law until recently had been based on the protection of the right of the individual. Economic, social and cultural rights were not so protected and appeared only in a few modern constitutions. Consequently, they should be given priority in order to remedy deficiencies and meet urgent needs. 42. Those in favour of having a number of covenants also claimed that it would be easier to gain recognition for civil and political rights than for economic, social and cultural rights, because the latter would require measures which many States could not implement. The Cuban representative thought that those difficulties could be met by a clause to be included in the measures of implementation which would permit the gradual application of economic, social and cultural rights, depending on the special conditions prevailing in each State. It should also be noted that if a single covenant were adopted, it would not ipso facto constitute a guarantee of all the rights proclaimed therein, because it might not only provide for gradual application but for a wisely organized system of reservations. 43. He then dealt with the compromise suggestion to draft two covenants and submit them to the General Assembly for simultaneous approval. That method would not, from a legal point of view, alter the situation brought about by a multiplicity of covenants unless all States ratified the two instruments simultaneously. The danger was that, after simultaneous approval of the two covenants by the General Assembly, the covenant on economic, social and cultural rights might be shelved by many countries indefinitely. 44. He considered the measures of implementation to be of vital importance because the contractual force of the covenant would depend on them. He agreed with the Mexican representative's remarks concerning the danger of having one State denounce another, not only because of the threat to the principle of national sovereignty, but because such a denunciation might become a source of tension between States. Moreover, he doubted the advisability of granting individuals the right of petition; the granting of that right might increase the number of complaints, unless a procedure such as that suggested by the Uruguayan representative (365th meeting) were adopted whereby petitions would be transmitted through an attorney-general. 45. The studies on the federal clause were still incomplete. Obviously, that clause would favour federations of States, and its inclusion did not seem warranted. The Cuban delegation would not, however, object if a clearly transitional formula could be worked out. 46. Lastly, the Cuban delegation unreservedly supported the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples and would therefore support its inclusion in the draft covenant in a separate article. Mankind was rousing itself against political oppression, poverty and ignorance. The energy released by that awakening should be harnessed in an instrument like the covenant, which fufilled the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 47. Mr. ALBORNOZ (Ecuador) stated that his delegation was in favour of one covenant including eco-nomic, social, cultural, political and civil rights alike. Although aware of the difficulties to which dissimilar legislative systems and differences of national psychology might lead, he was unable to concede that a distinction should be drawn between human rights ; to do so would be to disregard the fundamental fact that civil and political rights were purely theoretical and academic unless accompanied by economic, social and cultural rights. 48. Certain members of the Third Committee had declared that economic, social and cultural rights had not yet attained the degree of maturity reached by the civil and political rights towards which the hopes of the peoples in the eighteenth century had been directed. That statement in itself sufficed to show how important it was to express in the same legal instrument all the aims to which the free citizen aspired. 49. The complex problems of the current time could not be changed simply by subdividing their component elements, particularly in the under-developed countries. It was essential to apply the same effort for their solution on all levels. It would be iniquitous to talk merely of freedoms and dogmas to the poor, the under-nourished and the illiterate. But at the same time, his country was not prepared to purchase economic well-being at the price of those civil liberties and spiritual values to which it was attached. Economic wel-fare went beyond the bounds of national responsibility and was a matter in regard to which nations were interdependent. 50. Ecuador, which had a considerable economic potential, asked for nothing better than to be able to increase its production, provided it could do so without prejudicing the economic rights of its peasants. Price fluctuations in the world market often forced his country to compete with regions where salaries were still at the level of slavery. But it refused to encourage such conditions of production and would not surrender its aim of raising the living standard of its working classes. It believed in that kind of democracy where the State was the servant of the free citizen and looked upon freedom as a most powerful weapon in the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease. All rights were closely interrelated in the legislation of Ecuador. Among other things, the right to life, the right to vote and the right to freedom of thought, unhampered by any restrictions, were all recognized by law. Legislative provisions apart, the Government had taken 118 General Assembly—-Sixth Session—Third Committee measures to eliminate illiteracy, guarantee the freedom of education without charge, improve health and social welfare services, and organize a system of social security on a contributory basis. Those examples showed how the Government of Ecuador was trying to solve economic, social and cultural problems, while obser-ving civil and political rights. They also demonstrated the possibility of implementing a covenant which would stimulate progress by reason of the fact that it represented a unit. Furthermore, that would be the first covenant, and it would be open to future modification. 51. None the less his delegation considered it essential that, in order to have practical significance in the history of mankind, the decisions of the General Assembly should win the widest possible acceptance. It hoped therefore that the draft covenant would contain provisions already embodied in many national legislatures so that it might be ratified by the majority of Member States. 52. His delegation was prepared to accept the first eighteen articles and hoped that the full draft would be completed in time for the seventh session of the General Assembly. As for measures of implementation, it would not oppose any reasonable formula which would ensure wide adherence to the covenant, but it would deprecate the possibility that the methods by which States could lay charges against one another might cause dissension among nations. It agreed also that the right of peoples and nations to self-determination, proclaimed in Articles 1 and 73 of the Charter, should be included in the draft covenant in pursuance of the aims laid down in those articles. 53. Further, his delegation considered that since various kinds of culture must exist side by side in the contemporary world, the covenant should contain an article safeguarding the right of minorities to retain their ethnic identity and to protect their culture, language and religion. The indigenous inhabitants should be helped to preserve their creative powers; they had shown, in countries where economic, political, social and cultural freedoms were beginning to manifest themselves that they could contribute to the enrichment of art and literature and to the general economic development of the country. 54. the Committee must at the current session, take the work a stage beyond that prescribed by General Assembly resolution 421 (V). It must not, by stopping short of the directives laid down in that Resolution, furnish any excuse for reaction or delay. 55. Mr. ULLRICH (Czechoslovakia) said that it was clear from chapter V of the Economic and Sodal Coun- CIL'S REPORT (A/1884), THAT THE TAKES PRESCRIBED BY General Assembly resolution 421 (V) had not been carried out or had been left unfinished. That was so in the case of section B of that resolution, calling upon the Economic and Social Council to request the Commission on Human Rights to revise the articles in the rights section D dealing with the right of peoples and nation to self-determination and section E relating to the inclusion in the draft covenant of the economic and cultural rights together with an explicit recognition of equality of men and women in related Right. Noting that the Commission had not revised the first eighteen articles, he expressed deep regret that the United Nations organs entrusted with the task of drafting the covenant had been guided by a spirit of individualism which was divorced from reality and should have forgotten that a human society was not composed of inanimate particles and that individual freedom could exist only within the framework of society. 56. He believed that certain States were directly or tacitly opposing the putting into effect of resolution 421 (V) and he analysed their objection to the inclusion in one and the same instrument of civil and Political rights together with economic, social and cultural rights. Referring to the argument that the two categories of rights were different in nature, he expressed the view that the distinction was purely academic Everyday life showed that political and civil rights such as the freedom of the Press, the right of appeal and the right of association, were illusory in any country where oppression reigned and that the exercise of certain rights might become purely nominal under economic conditions which were conducive to poverty and unemployment, That was so, for instance, where the right to vote was subordinated to the payment of taxes whereas the individual lacked all physical opportunity for earning his living. 57. In his view no advantage would accrue from submitting the two draft covenants together to the General Assembly, as certain delegations had proposed. The only effect of dividing the covenant would be to postpone the implementation of the clauses relating to economic, social and cultural rights. The claim to those rights, however, was already very old. In Paris itself, they had been among the objectives of the revolutionaries of 1848, and satisfaction of that legitimate demand was long overdue. 58. Dealing with the right of peoples to self-deter mination, he said that that right, which in his opinion could be attacked only by the colonial Powers, was incorporated in the Charter of the United Nations and constituted one of the conditions of peace. The USSR had always respected the right of peoples to self- determination, whereas some of the nations which had signed the North Atlantic Treaty were prepared to give up their right to self-determination in favour of a foreign Power. 59. He believed that some States were deliberately impeding the work of the United Nations in social matters because a policy of social progress would be incompatible with their rearmament programme. In particular, he charged the United States of America with restricting the exercise of civil and political rights on the one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other, in furtherance of its preparations for war. 60. In support of his first point, he mentioned the House Committee on un-American Activities and said 366th Meeting—. that the excesses of anti-communist policy had been criticized by President Truman himself in a speech to the American Legion on 14 August 1951. He quoted from a number of articles in American newspapers and publications which, in his view, made it clear that the United States did not respect human rights, with the consequence that explosions of racial hatred encouraged by the Government occurred, 61. In support of his second point, he recalled that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations had stated in its report that there was reason to fear that the material needs of the peoples of the world were being neglected in favour of the execution of national defence programmes. He quoted from articles in American papers showing that the percentage of the national income devoted to the social services had decreased by one-third in the past ten years. 62. Lastly, he remarked that on 8 December 1951 the electoral court at Athens had annulled the election to the Greek Parliament of ten members of the democratic left, including Mr. Serapis and some other heroes of the Greek resistance. 63. Proceeding to deal with measures of implementation, he affirmed that they should not be made a pretext for interference in the affairs of other countries. 64. The Czechoslovak Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression and recognized the right of all citizens to equal opportunities, as well as the rights to leisure and social insurance. The sums devoted in Czechoslovakia to social insurance were three times the amount appropriated for the same purpose in 1937. Czechoslovak legislation also included a number of provisions for ensuring the equality of men and women, particularly in respect of education and pay. He added that the charges made by Yugoslavia at the 365th meeting were completely groundless. 65. The case of the Asian countries showed that it was impossible to give effect to civil and political rights in countries where economic, social and cultural rights were not recognized. He cited as an example the case of China, the development of which had been artificially impeded for centuries ; under the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China the situation of the peasants and miners was beginning to improve to a marked degree; poverty was diminishing December 1951 119 and women were securing their freedom. Tibet was undergoing a similar transformation, 66. In conclusion, he said that the covenant would be satisfactory if it enabled the United Nations to inaugurate the reign of peace and progress in accordance with the terms of the Charter. The Czechoslovak delegation would support the Chilean draft resolution (A/C.3/L.180), the general purport of which was to confirm General Assembly resolution 421 (V). 67. Mrs. ROOSEVELT (United States of America) reserved the right to reply at the end of the debate to the Czechoslovak representative's statements. She considered his attacks insulting coming from a country which lived under a police system. She nevertheless deplored such attacks, which wasted the Committee's time. 68. Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) thought the attitude adopted by the United States representative illogical, for she felt at liberty to attack other States but protested when the imperialist policy of the United States was criticized. 69. Mrs. ROOSEVELT (United States of America) said she very much wished that the members of the Committee would refrain from attacking other countries, but would like any such undertaking to be reci-procal. 70. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) remarked that some members of the Committee had attacked other countries without naming them. In his opinion, the countries referred to should be named so that their representatives might have a chance of replying. In particular he referred to the Chairman, who, as repre-sentative of Belgium, had at the 365th meeting made a number of attacks against States which he had not named. 71. The CHAIRMAN affirmed that he was quite capable of distinguishing between his duties as Chairman and his responsibilities as representative of Belgium. 72. Mr. TSAO (China) reserved the right to reply later to the attacks that had been made against his country. The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m. Printed in France SPI—93250—January 1952—3,600