Summary record of the 168th meeting
|UN Document Symbol||E/CN.4/SR.168|
|Convention||International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Civil and Political Rights|
UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC
4 May 1950
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHTH MEETING
Hold at Lake Success, New York, on Tuesday, 25 April 1950, at 11.a.m.
Measures of implementation (E/1371, annex III, E/CN.V366, E/CN.4/353/ Add.l0, E/CN.4/353/Add.11, E/CN.4/444; E/CN.4/358, chapter IX;
United States of America
Chairman: Mrs. ROOSEVELT
Members: Mr. WHITLAM
Mr. NISOT Mr.VELENZUELA Mr. CHANG Mr. S'ORENSON Mr. RAMADAN Mr. CASSIN Mr. HYROU Mrs. MEHTA Mr. MALIK Mr. MENDEZ
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Mr. ORIBE Mr. JEVREMOVIC
Also present: Mrs. GOLDMAN
Representative of a specialized agency: Mr. LEMOINE
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Commission on the Status of Women
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Representative of a non-governmental organization in Category A:
Confederation of Free (ICFTU)
International Confederation of Free
Mr. PERLSWEIG Mrs. MUDGE
Representatives of non-governmental organizations in Category B:
Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations
Co-ordinating Board of Jewish
Friends World Committee for Consultation
Inter-American Council of Commerce and Production
International Federation of Business and Professional Women
International Federation of University Women
International League: for the Rights of Man
World Jewish Congress
World's Young Women's Christian
world's Young Women's Association (World YWCA
Assistant Director of the Division of Human Rights
Mr. LIN MOUSHENG )
Mr. DAS )
Secretaries of the Commission
MEASURES OF IMPLEMENTATION (E/1371, annex III, E/CN.4/366. E/CN.4/353/Add.10, E/CN.4/353/Add.11, E/CN.4/444; E/CN.4/356, Chapter IX; E/CN.4/164/Add.1,
1. The CHAIRMAN opened the general debate on the question of measures of implementation which was the subject of item 4 of the Commissions agenda.
2. Mrs. MEHTA (India) remarked that the Commission was discussing the question of measures of implementation in its entirety for the first time. It was a pity that so few governments had replied to the questionnaire which the Commission had sent to them at the end of its fifth session. The Intricacy of the problem might be the reason why there had been BE few replies. The Commission would however have to find a solution in spite of the various difficulties that confronted it and she was sure that its efforts would be crowned with success.
3. The problem of measures of implementation resolved itself into five questions which, if answered satisfactorily, would enable the Commission to reach its goal. Those five questions were;
(1) whether international machinery was necessary;
(2) whether the measures of implementation should form part of the covenant of human rights or should form a separate instrument;
(3) whether the international machinery should be in the form of a permanent body or an ad hoc body created to consider each case;
(4) whether the members of such a body should be appointed or elected, and by whom;
(5) what should be the functions of such a body.
4. With regard to the first question, the Indian delegation was of the
opinion that international implementation machinery was necessary for ensuring the observance of human rights. It had been argued that measures of implementation at the international level would encroach on the national sovereignty of a State thus violating Article 2, paragraph 7, of the Charter. She recalled that under Article 1 of the Charter, the United Nations had undertaken to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. That provision would cease to have any meaning if the United Nations were not empowered to take measures against those who violated human rights.
/5. As to
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5. As to the second question, her delegation preferred that the measures of
implementation should form an instrument separate from the covenant; the machinery which would he set up elsewhere should, however, be mentioned in the covenant. If the international covenant on human rights was not to be the only document of its kind it would be better for implementation measures to be placed in a separate document, for they would apply to all covenants. Moreover, and that was a more important reason, those implementation measures would be drawn up for the supervision of the observance of human rights of all individuals, whether or not they were nationals of a signatory State of the covenant. Even if there was no covenant, the United Nations should, in accordance with the obligations of the Charter, visualize measures to be taken to ensure the safeguarding of human rights. Consequently, if those measures were incorporated in the covenant, their scope would be restricted and the object for which they were created, Which was to supervise the observance of human rights of all individuals coming under the -jurisdiction of the United Nations, would be defeated. It might then be wondered
whether the covenant was an indispensable instrument. She thought the covenant
certain might be described as the outcome of the effort of/States to ensure the implementation of human rights as they were defined in the covenant; it was a guarantee for
the States which signed it since it defined the terms in which they were prepared
to carry out their obligations.
6. So far as the third question was concerned, she indicated that if the
machinery established was to control and supervise the. observance of human rights,
it could not be in the nature of an ad hoc committee. If, however, the idea was
that the machinery should come into existence only when a dispute arose, and its
sole mission was to serve as an investigating and fact-finding body, then it was
not necessary for it to be permanent. The hypothesis of those who supported the
idea of a non-permanent organ, that there would be few complaints, implied that
only States would have a right to complain. If that were so, there might never
be any complaints, for a State would hesitate before making a complaint against
another State.: The question would then arise of who would ensure the observance
of human rights on behalf of the United Nations if there was no permanent organ to
do so» Would Member States undertake the work and supervise each other? Such a
procedure, instead of strengthening peace, would lead to political intrigues and
perhaps to war. She felt, therefore, that it was, absolutely necessary to have a
permanent organ which would ensure a more effective and permanent safeguarding of
/7. As to
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7. As to the fourth question, her delegation would prefer such an organ to be elected by the General Assembly, by a definite majority, so that it could command the confidence of as many States as possible. She, did not wish to enter into details regarding its composition and election procedure, as those questions could easily be settled once the question of principle of a permanent or non-permanent organ had been decided.
8. On the fifth question, she thought that if the Commission wished to give the organ to be set up a judicial function, it would have to be an international court, and it would then have to be decided whether the competence of the existing International Court of Justice would merely be extended or whether a separate court of human rights would be established. In the latter case, the decisions of that organ would have to be binding on the parties concerned and the question of the enforcement of its decisions would also arise. Her delegation felt therefore that, for the time being, the international machinery to be set up should not be in the nature of a judiciary: it should rather be a conciliation, committee, the main task of which would be to ensure the observance of human rights. If any violation of those rights was brought to its notice, the committee would investigate the matter and by means of negotiation would try to obtain a withdrawal of the complaint. If it failed to do so, it would report its failure to the General Assembly through the Commission on Human Rights of the Economic and Social Council.
9. In conclusion, she proposed that instead of embarking on a detailed examination of the various proposals before them, members of the Commission should take a decision on the issues of substance which she had raised; a small committee might later be appointed to work out the details.
10. Mr. KYROU (Greece) thought the problem of implementation measures was the most important question before the Commission. The Commission had made con-siderable progress in drafting the international covenant on human rights, by means of which it was attempting to transform the general principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into exact provisions of positive law. But it was obvious that the covenant had its own particular legal character and must be complemented by special provisions for its implementation. Members of the Commission were drafting a convention which conferred rights on individuals other than the signatories of the convention and it was therefore imperative to define clearly who would exercise the actions arising from those rights. Provisions for
implementation were therefore necessary.
/ 11. His delegation
11. His delegation would be guided in the discussion by one consideration: to see the covenant become an instrument binding upon the States which signed it. It believed in the need, and even the urgent need, for the adoption of inter-national legislation for the protection of human rights.
12. The debate would perhaps show that the Commission was embarking upon nothing less than the beginning of a vastly important development in human history. It ought, therefore, to proceed with great caution. The article proposed Jointly by the United Kingdom and United States delegations (E/CN.4/444), was an example, it was undoubtedly more complete than the original versions submitted by those delegations. Such meticulous precision could not fail to produce good results. It was to be hoped that the Commission would be inspired by practical considerations, for only thus could its bold planning become a useful and abiding reality.
13. Mr. JEVREMOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that his Government's views with regard to the measures of implementation were well known, as it had submitted its propos-als in writing. He would comment on the separate provisions as the Commission considered them.
14. In general, however, he believed that it was almost useless to discuss the measures of implementation at that stage, since such a debate could be of value only after the provisions of the covenant had assumed their final form. It was at that stage that the measures to implement the covenant could be considered on the basis of the comments submitted by the signatory States. It was useless to grapple with the problem of the measures of implementation before the drafting of the covenant had been completed.
15. The CHAIRMAN, speaking as the representative of the United States 6f America, thought that the results of the Commission's endeavour to draft the article of the covenant on the measures of implementation would be the decisive test of its realism and wisdom. It was indeed important that the Commission should achieve substantial progress at the current session; it was equally important that it should not overreach itself in an effort to do more than it was able, and thereby endanger the progress which it had made thus far in the field of human rights.
/ 16. The United States
16. The United States Government believed that the measures for implementation to be embodied in the covenant should be positive measures. It thought, however, that the Commission should avoid over-elaborate procedures. It was particularly important that the Commission's first step in the field of implementation should be a modest one. Advance should therefore be cautious and Slow; it should be made step by step and the Commission should learn from experience. States Members of the United Nations were free to ratify or not to ratify the covenant. States which were prepared to assume the obligations in the covenant should not be compelled to accept elaborate enforcement machinery.
17. The Joint United Kingdom and United States proposal (E/CN.4/444) was a good beginning. It provided that only States ratifying the covenant might bring charges and that they could do so only against other ratifying States. Thus, Governments would not act irresponsibly and arguments would be presented in an orderly manner. Efforts would be made to confine the charges strictly to matters of human rights. That procedure might promote international understanding and provide valuable experience, upon which the Commission would
be able to build for the future.
18. The United Kingdom and the United States believed that the article on measures of implementation proposed by them should be included in the covenant itself and should be regarded as the initial machinery for implementation. Any Government adhering to the covenant must be prepared to accept that minimum machinery for its implementation.
19. The procedure proposed was designed to avoid disputes between States; it provided that instances of alleged violations of the covenant which were not corrected by a State Party should be brought to the attention of an ad hoc human rights committee. It was to be hoped that complaints filed under that
procedure would be genuine cases in which human rights were in real jeopardy and in which the result of the proceedings would be an improvement in the situation. Persons well known for their wisdom and integrity would serve on the committee and undertake a full study of the facts involved. They would serve in their individual capacity. The results of an investigation would be made public by the Secretary-General.
20. The authors of the proposal believed that in that way the constructive
force of public opinion would be brought to bear in such a manner as to remedy
the situations which had given rise to the complaints and simultaneously improve
the understanding of the principles of human rights on a world-wide scale.
/21. She might
21. She might perhaps wish to go further than the proposal did, but she felt that it was the surest and wisest way to reach the Commission's goal of human freedom everywhere for everyone.
22. Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) fully supported the remarks of the United States representative. As representing one of the authors of the Joint proposal contained in document E/CN.4/444, he wished, however, to make some additional observations, and in doing so would follow the division suggested by the Indian representative at the beginning of the meeting.
23. With regard to the first question, he was convinced of the necessity of setting up international enforcement machinery.
24. It must be acknowledged that the views of the Governments differed on the second question. The Indian Government preferred a separate instrument, whereas the United Kingdom thought that a provision dealing with implementation should be embodied in the covenant itself. That such provisions should be the subject of a separate document would not, in his opinion, be sufficient, for such a procedure might enable States to ratify the covenant without binding themselves to apply the measures of implementation, which meant that they would in fact be able to evade their obligations under the covenant.
25. As regards the third question, the United Kingdom representative
thought that the primary function of the contemplated organ would be to establish
the facts and to attempt conciliation or mediation. That function could be
assumed by an international court -- the International Court of Justice already
in existence or a new international court --by a permanent commission or by a
special committee. The calendar of the International Court of Justice was
not overburdened and an extension of its competence, rather than the establish-ment of a new organ, could therefore be envisaged if the organ were to be a Judicial body. He preferred, however, that, in view of the nature of its functions, the organ concerned should not be a court or Judicial body but a Committee.
26. As for the fourth and fifth questions, the United Kingdom, like the
United States of America, would prefer that the organ in question should not be
permanent. He believed that it would be difficult to constitute a permanent
international committee which would be recognized as impartial if the idea of
constituting a body of a Juridical character were rejected. The ad hoc
committee would be composed of five members, two of whom would represent the
States parties to the dispute, and of three other members agreed upon by the
parties or in default of agreement chosen by the Secretary-General from a list
drawn up by the Member States. /27. The United Kingdom
E/CN.4/SR.l68 Page 9
27. The United Kingdom attached great Importance to the publication of the
conclusions of the Ad Hoc Committee, as it felt that the best means of assuring
respect for human rights was to publicize widely the decisions upon any complaints
which might be filed, whether or not the complaints were well founded. Such
publicity would have a profound effect upon world public opinion and would also
influence the implementation of human rights.
28. Mr. Hoare agreed entirely with the Greek and United States representatives
that it was desirable to proceed cautiously. All the members of the
Commission were aware of the difficulties involved in the drafting of the
articles of the covenant which had already taken up the time of the Commission
during five sessions. The difficulty might perhaps be even greater in respect
of measures of implementation if they were to cover the extremely wide field
which some had suggested. In the excellent study submitted by the Secretariat
on the question of petitions (E/CN.4/419) the difficulties of applying that right
had been clearly indicated. Although the Secretariat was not trying to suggest
a solution it emphasized how delicate the matter was. Too much haste, therefore, on the part of the Commission, would risk endangering all that had been accomplished so far.
29. Mr. SORENSON (Denmark) observed that the discussion of the question of implementation placed the Commission on ground which had been carefully prepared by the preliminary exchanges of views which had taken place during the preceding session, the observations received from the various Governments and the excellent documentation submitted by the Secretariat on the right of petition. The principal task remaining was therefore one of carefully weighing the merits of the various proposals submitted and of taking the necessary decisions of principle.
30. Generally speaking, it might be said that there was no difference of opinion on the necessity of completing the covenant on human rights by measures of implementation. There was, however, less agreement on what those measures should be. In that connexion the Danish Government would let itself be guided by an overriding consideration; the necessity of obtaining the largest measure of agreement possible. If only a small number of States subscribed to the covenant and to the measures of implementation the Commission would
certainly have failed in its task. As a member of the Secretariat had so clearly pointed out, some thought, in that connexion, that it would be preferable not to conclude a covenant than to conclude one of only limited scope. The Commission must undoubtedly decide in due time whether to adopt that opinion and whether it believed itself bound to declare that the time did not appear to be propitious for the drafting of an international convention on human rights the authority of which would not be challenged. For the time being, however, the Danish representative would only act on the assumption that the Commission unanimously recognized the need of a covenant end of measures of implementation. For that reason he wished to offer some general preliminary observations.
31. In the first place, the Danish Government believed that the measures of implementation should be set forth in a separate instrument, for it was to be anticipated that the procedures to be established would have to be revised from time to time in the light of actual experience. It seemed preferable that those revisions should be applicable to an instrument separate from the covenant. That would, on the one hand, facilitate the process Of revision and, on the other, would avoid any temptation to modify the very principles of the covenant.
32. Unlike the United Kingdom, the Danish Government thought that States should be able to adhere to the covenant without being obliged to subscribe simultaneously to the measures of implementation it believed that the Commission would have reason to congratulate itself if the covenant ware ratified by a large number of States, even if not all of those States accepted immediately the obligations regarding implementation. It did not, however, attach primary importance to that question and would gladly accept any solution likely to find favour with the majority. That was also true in respect of the kind of international organ to be set up. Although the Banish Government would prefer an organ of a legal nature, it would support any proposal assured of receiving the largest number of votes.
33. On the other hand, his Government attached great importance of principle
to the decision to be taken on the powers to be given to the international organ.
Judging from their Joint proposal, it seemed that the United Kingdom and the
United-States of America desired to attribute to it merely the functions of a committee of inquiry. The United Kingdom representative had pointed out, however,
/in the statement
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In the statement he had Just made, that the organ concerned should also he
endowed with mediatory powers. It was to be hoped that the Joint proposal,
which contained no such provision, would ultimately be broadened in the light
of the debate, for any organ empowered only to conduct inquiries would merely
play a very small part in the implementation of the covenant. The
Joint United Kingdom -United States proposal appeared to be based
on the premise that the Wight of public opinion would act as an effective
counter-agent in oases of the violation of human rights. There were, however,
numerous historical instances in which the subjects of a country condemned by
public opinion rallied behind their rulers, whose disrepute appeared rather to
strengthen their will to resist than to exercise a positive influence on them,
34. The Danish Government appreciated the concern of the United Kingdom
and the United States of America regarding the need to proceed with caution. The settlement of international disputes by arbitration and conciliation as a preliminary to approaching the International Court of Justice was not, however, a new method, and no question of innovation or unseemliness was therefore involved. The Secretary-General's memorandum on the right of petition gave a detailed account of the procedure successfully followed by the International Labour Organization for ensuring compliance with international conventions concluded under its auspices (E/CN.4/419, paragraph 22). Furthermore, in resolution 277 (X) the Economic and Social Council had recommended a similar procedure in regard to complaints of the violation of trade union rights. It seemed desirable to extend the application of that method and to invest wider functions in the international body charged with the implementation of the covenant than those envisaged by the United Kingdom end the United States of America.
35. The final end, in the opinion of the Danish Government, the most '
Important question at issue was to determine who should have the right to seize the organ in question. It was essential to avoid over-burdening the international organ in the initial stages. If, however, the right to seize the organ was confined to States, all violations of human rights would assume a political character. Weaker States would never lodge complaints against stronger States,
while1 friendly States would abstain from, mutual denunciations. In those circumstances it was doubtful whether, the protection of human rights' would be effectively ensured. In the. opinion of the Danish Government, it would be better to accord the right of petition to individuals, at first, if necessary, in a limited form. It was probable that the right would be abused but means of prevention were available. The expedience of the League of Nations in that field, and the convincing precedents in the work of the United Nations itself would serve-as a guide.
36. In conclusion, be said it was a matter of deep regret to his Government
that the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which had always striven for the recognition of human rights and the fundamental freedoms, should have felt unable to take the initiative in submitting a proposal in keeping with the new conception of the rights of the individual. There was little object in adopting me asures unacceptable to those two countries, which enjoyed a special position in the world, and the Danish delegation would therefore support their Joint proposal, which it regarded as the minimum action to be taken in the matter. It would, however, be glad to support any more liberal proposal which was acceptable to those two countries.
37. Mr. CASSIN (France) proposed that, before proceeding to a discussion
of the substance of the proposals before it, the Commission should hear the Views of the nongovernmental organizations concerned which represented a fair cross-section of public opinion. Those organizations would bring new considerations to the Commission's notice. It was so decided.
38. The CHAIRMAN invited the representative of the International league
for the Rights of Man to submit the views of his organization.
39. Mr. BEER (International League for the Eights of Man) declared that two
essential questions should be settled during the general debate on the implementation of the future covenant on human rights: the nature of the implementation organ end the means of setting that organ in motion.
/40. With regard
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40. With regard to the first point, the International League for the Rights
of Man favored the establishment of a permanent organ, not an ad hoc organ to be brought into action only when a violation of the covenant was reported and constituted ************* of previously established lists.
41. ************************ could fulfil only part of the functions which should
normally be agreed to an implementation machinery. The principal duties of such an organ, recover, were to prevent violations of the covenant; to ensure, by means of constant supervision, that it was applied; to collect information, and to draft and publish periodical repeats. Those functions required a permanent organ. A permanent organ would, moreover, serve a useful purpose in
noting violations of the covenant. The implementations organ should, furthermore, have the right to act on its own authority without deferring such action until a complaint had been filed. It could not do so unless it was permanent. Every argument adduced at San Francisco in favour of a permanent Security Council was equally valid in the case of the implementation organ for the covenant on human rights.
42. The ideal solution would be to establish the organ as a specialized
agency, which would receive the support and. co-operation of all the other United Nations bodies, and would be in a position to refer a case to any one of the latter, according to the nature of the problem. In view of the fact, however, that the number of States Members of those United Nations bodies which would accept them. covenant was not yet known, the permanent implementation organ, should be so constituted as to be in a position to act independently and to maintain direct relations with the International Court of Justice or the Ad Hoc court of human rights.
43. With respect to the second point, namely the setting in motion of the. implementation machinery, he thought that the following should be entitled to. submit complaints; 1. individuals or groups of individuals; 2. non-governmental organizations; 3. the. Contracting States.
/44. The right
44. The right of petition was, in fact, the most elementary human right.
The very thorough study made by the Secretariat (E/CN.4/419) showed that such a right can be exercised. Abuse of that right might of course, give rise to certain disadvantages which, however, could be overcome through careful preliminary examination of petitions and through consultation with Governments. It was feared, on the other hand, that Governments which did not accept the covenant might, for purposes of propaganda, instigate petitions in countries which adhered to it.
45. However, there was no better way to assert the superiority of democratic regimes than to make it possible for their peoples to call upon an international authority in order to obtain redress for whatever wrongs they might have suffered. The right of individuals to file complaints with a ' permanent committee would, therefore, constitute the most effective propaganda for the ideals of democracy. That was why the Commission on Human Eights could not deny them that right.
46. He recalled that the right of petition had already been granted to the
inhabitants of Trust Territories, He mentioned a number of petitions upon which the Trusteeship Council had taken action and said that to deny the inhabitants of administering States a right granted to the inhabitants of Trust Territories under their administration would be to discriminate in reverse.
47. With respect to the right of petition of non-governmental organizations, the International League for the Eights of Man did not regard it as a substitute for the individual right of petition, but as an essential complement to that right whenever individuals and groups were prevented from exercising it.
48. Finally, the right of petition of States was self-evident. It was particularly useful in cases where violations of human rights might result in a threat to international peace and security.
49. The International League for the Eights of Man was, however, irrevocably opposed to any system of implementation of the covenant which would only allow States to report violations of human rights. States would no doubt hesitate to exercise that right in the case of violations committed by friendly or allied States. On the other hand, they would be tempted to abuse their right in the case of States with which they entertained unfriendly relations. Finally, if the right of petition were confined to States, individuals might complain in secret to foreign Governments.
/50. In conclusion,
50. In conclusion, the representative of the International League for the Rights of Man drew the Commission's attention to a general objection which had been raised to the League's claims. It had been alleged that it would be unwise to establish a powerful permanent organ immediately and to grant international right of petition to individuals and groups of individuals. It had also been alleged that to do so would constitute a revolutionary procedure.
51. It. would be nothing of the kind. If there had been a revolution, it had begun at Ban Francisco five years ago, when provisions regarding the universal and effective respect of human rights had been included in the Charter of the United Nations.
52. The logical consequence of that revolution was effective implementation.
53. The CHAIRMAN invited Hiss Sender, representative of the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions, to' present the views of her organization
to the Commission.
54. Miss SENDER (international Confederation of Free Trade Unions) said that in the course of its work the Commission on Human Eights had taken every care to see that the draft covenant would be an instrument capable of practical application. It was important that the same care should be taken with regard to the machinery for implementation which would be the instrument through which the covenant would be applied.
55. It was a pity that fewer Governments than might have been wished had replied to the questionnaire sent out to them. Nevertheless, the comments that, had been received contained useful suggestions, and she hoped that the Commission would adopt the most valuable of them in order to avoid disappointing the hopes, given now vigour by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the peoples, of the world had in the United Nations
56. In her opinion, the joint proposal of the United Kingdom and the United States of America represented the minimum on which agreement in the Commission was possible. Nevertheless, the Commission should not be too cautious, for fear of failing in the task with which it had been entrusted.
E/CN.4/SR.168 Page 16
57. Thus, it ought not to restrict to Governments only the right of lodging complaints with the international organ responsible for implementation. The Danish representative had pointed out the Political consequences which such a decision might have. It could also be said that Governments parties to a dispute might take advantage of, the opportunity to attack each other, to the detriment of peace. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions believed that the right should be open to certain non-governmental organizations, at least, in case it was thought that it should not be granted to individuals. In that case, the Commission would have to determine which organizations should be empowered to appeal to the international organ and it would have to regulate their admission to that organ. She considered that the contracting States themselves should select those non-governmental organizations. She emphasized that the solution which she advocated had a great advantage in that the international non-governmental organizations represented a large number of countries which, even if they did not ratify the covenant, had nevertheless undertaken to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, non-governmental organizations composed exclusively of members which had not ratified the covenant, would be able to appeal against any violation committed by the contracting States. 58. With regard to the machinery for implementation properly so-called, she believed that it was indispensable to set up a permanent international organ, the work of which would be supplemented in each country by a regional commission responsible for determining to what extent the signatory States would safeguard the application of the provisions of the covenant. Any complaint entered by those regional organs would be brought before the permanent International organ. It would also be necessary to provide special organs responsible for conciliation and mediation, and to make provision for the opportunity of recourse to the International Court of Justice or to an international court specially set up for that purpose, in cases where efforts at mediation and conciliation had failed to solve the dispute in question. It was very likely, however, that the Court. would only be able to formulate recommendations as long as the concept of national sovereignty prevailed, It would be for the General Assembly to take steps in respect of countries which did not take into account the Court's recommendations.
/ 59. She recalled
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59. She recalled that the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination.
and the Protection of Minorities had requested that provisions should he made to
grant individuals and non-governmental organizations the right to place petitions
before an international organ. The Sub-Commission had only taken such a stand
after serious consideration, and she invited the Commission on Human Eights to
follow its example and to give deep thought to the suggestions which she had
Just made and to all the other proposals of which it was seized, taking into account the useful and constructive elements which they contained. In conclusion, she hoped that the Commission would not let itself be unduly influenced by the fact that two great Powers had submitted a proposal, and that it would be able to liberalize the terms of that proposal to the greater good of the peoples of the world.
60. The CHAIRMAN asked the members of the Commission whether they wished to hear a statement by the representative of the International Labour Organisation on the procedures followed by that body in the implementation of conventions and recommendations. She pointed out that the Secretary-General's report on the Right of Petition (E/CN.4/419) gave a detailed summary of those procedures.
61. Mr. SORENSON (Denmark). Mr. WHITLAM (Australia) and Mr. ORINE (Uruguay) said that they wished to hear the ILO representative.
62. Mr. LEMOINE (international Labour Organisation) said that he would give a very brief summary of the manner in which the ILO had provided for the imple-mentation of labour conventions and the way in which it dealt with the, claims and complaints submitted to it.
63. Articles 19 and 22 of the ILO Constitution explained the procedure adopted in regard to the implementation of its conventions. Under the terms of paragraph 5 of article 19, when a convention was adopted by the Conference, each member submitted that convention to "the authority or authorities within whose competence the matter lies, for the enactment of legislation or other action."
The. Member, having obtained the approval of the competent authority or authorities
communicated its formal ratification to the Director-General of the ILO and took
whatever measures were necessary to put the provisions of the convention into
effect. When a convention had been ratified, the ILO member must, under the
terms of article 22, submit to the International Labour Office an annual report
on the measures taken to give effect to the provisions of that convention.
64. Under the terms of article 23, the Director-General submitted to the
Conference a summary of the information and reports communicated to him on the implementation of articles 19 and 22.
65. Under the terms of article 19, paragraph 5,sub-paragraph (e) "If the
Member does not obtain the consent of the authority or authorities within whose
competence the matter lies, no further obligation shall*rest upon the Member
except that it shall report to the Director-General of the International Labour
Office at appropriate intervals... the position of its law and practice in regard
to the matters dealt with in the Convention and showing the extent to which
effect has been given, or is proposed to be given, to any of the provisions of
the Convention... ".
66, Mr. Lemoine thought that the procedure followed by the ILO regarding
the representations and complaints was of more immediate interest to the
Commission. That procedure was, in short, as follows:
67. Under the terms of article 24 of the ILO Constitution "in the event
of any representation being made to the International Labour Office by an
industrial organization of employers or workers that any of the Members has
failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its Jurisdiction
of any Convention to which it is a party, the Governing Body may communicate
this representation to the Government against which it is made, and may invite
that Government to make such statement on the subject as it may think fit."
Article 25 explained the procedure which could be followed when the Government
in question did not reply within a reasonable time, or when its reply was not
deemed satisfactory by the Governing Body.
68. Under the terms of article 26' "Any of the Members shall have the right to file a complaint with the International Labour Office if it is not satisfied that any other Member is securing the effective observance of any Convention which both have ratified... ".
/69. The procedures
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69. The procedures provided in articles 2k and 26 differed very slightly, tout in both cases the Governing Body could, if it thought fit, set up a Commission of Enquiry to study the question raised and be file a report on the subject.
70. Article 29 provided that the Director-General of the International Labour Office should communicate the report of the Commission of Enquiry to the Governing Body and to each of the Governments concerned in the complaint; those Governments had to state whether or not they accepted the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry or whether they wished to refer the complaint to the International Court of Justice.
71. He thought that he had given a summary of the basic procedures followed by the ILO in connexion with claims and complaints and the implementation of conventions, but he could be called upon if members of the Commission desired more complete details.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.
4/5 p. m.