General Assembly, 17th session, 3rd Committee : 1169th meeting
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/SR.1169|
|Convention||International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Racial Discrimination, Protection of Minorities, Religious Intolerance|
United Nations THIRD COMMITTEE, 1189th
ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 31 October 1962
Official Records NEW YORK
Agenda item 48:
Manifestations of racial prejudice and national
and religious intolerance (continued)
General debate (continued) . . . . . . . . . . 277
Chairman: Mr. Nemi Chandra KASLIWAL (India).
AGENDA ITEM 48
Manifestations of racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance (A/5129,A/C.3/L.1006/Rev.4,A/C.3/L.1008/ Rev.1, A/C.3/L.1009/Rev.1, A/C.3/L.1010-1012) (continued)
GENERAL DEBATE (continued)
1. The CHAIRMAN suggested that, in accordance with rule 116 of the General Assembly's rules of procedure, the list of speakers should be closed. It was so decided,
2. Mrs. RANA (Nepal) said that manifestations of racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance should be combated by all countries that had undertaken to apply the United Nations Charter, which called for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. At issue were the hateful consequences of colonialism, as was evidenced by the fact that Nepal, a small country which was composed of many different religious and linguistic communities and which had never been and never allowed itself to be dominated by a colonial Power, had never known religious or racial conflicts. Nepal was firmly opposed to colonialism.
3. Some representatives had stated that education played a greater part in the fight against racial discrimination than legal sanctions. She believed on the contrary that education and legislation were indivisible. Even in countries where the level of education was high, there was often an atmosphere of intolerance, which showed that education, was not sufficient in itself to solve the problem.
4. The time had come, in her view, for a complete reappraisal of colonial policies in all their forms and for the establishment of friendly relations between countries in the interests of all mankind. In that spirit her delegation endorsed the revised draft resolution calling for the preparation of a convention on the elimination of racial discrimination (A/ C.3/L.1006/Rev.4) and would vote also for the draft resolution recommended in Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII), together with the amendments thereto submitted by Costa Rica and the
United Kingdom (A/C.3/L.1008/Rev.1) and by the three Powers (A/C.3/L.1009/Rev.1).
5. Miss OROZCO (Mexico) said that discrimination could not be justified in the light of either the principles stated in Article 1, paragraph 3 of the Charter of the United Nations or the most rudimentary human rights. Present-day civilization offered effective means of action, by radio, television and the cinema, to awaken the public conscience; all countries should therefore avail themselves of those means to eliminate discrimination in whatever form it might exist.
6. Racial discrimination was unknown In her own country, where the equality of all was guaranteed by the Constitution. Any alien living in Mexico was protected by the law, and there was absolute freedom of worship. Mexico was nevertheless aware of the scourge which racial discrimination represented in other countries and for that reason her delegation would support any proposal that would help to eliminate manifestations of racial prejudice. She would therefore vote for the draft resolution recommended by the Economic and Social Council, as well as for the two amendments thereto and the revised draft resolution calling for the preparation of a convention.
7. Miss GRINAN (Cuba) observed that the Revolutionary Government of Cuba was opposed to all forms of discrimination. Following in that respect in the footsteps of the socialist Republics, it authorized the existence of religious sects and forbade only one attitude-the anti-revolutionary attitude. Her delegation thus warmly endorsed the Council's draft resolution and would vote also for the amendments thereto.
8. Believing that a draft convention would contribute materially to the elimination of racial discrimination, her delegation would support the revised draft resolution on that matter and wished to be counted among its sponsors.
9. Lastly, she generally endorsed the Czechoslovak working paper (A/C.3/L.1010), on which she would comment in greater detail if necessary.
10. Mr. ILVESSALO (Finland) associated himself with delegations which had condemned manifestations of racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance. He stressed that racial discrimination was alien to the traditions of Finland and of all Scandinavian countries; indeed, Finland welcomed the contribution of various outside ethnic and religious elements, which had enriched the national culture. He wished to emphasize that point, for It was not enough to view the lack of discrimination as the goal; rather. the advantages derived from tolerance and diversity should be emphasized.
11. He considered that a declaration on the elimination of racial and religious discrimination could serve as a guide for countries and usefully supple-
GENERAL ASSEMBLY-SEVENTEENTHM SESION - THIRD COMMITTEE
ment the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal declaration of Human Rights, On the other hand, be greatly doubted the advisability of reportage an International convention on the subject. it was hard to see how such a convention could promote the elimination of discrimination in any particular country. In the matter of discrimination, States had essentially a moral responsibility to their citizen, and that could not be the subject of a contractual obligation among nations.
12. His delegation ***** the draft resolution of the Economic and Social Council and commanded the sponsors of the three-Power amendment for streaming the importance of education, Ha pointed out to the sponsors of the otter amendment to the same draft resolution that the Sub-Commission, which was com-posed of independent experts, was the best equipped to deal with any manifestations of discrimination and intolerance. He therefore hoped that the amendment would not in any way circumscribe or hamper the activities of the Sub -Commission in that field.
13. Miss MARTINEZ BONILLA (Dominican Republic) remarked that racial discrimination was completely unknown in her country and that the Dominican Constitution guaranteed freedom of conscience and worship to both individuals and groups. The absence of discrimination was, moreover, less the result of Government efforts than of a historical process which had its origin in the colonial period. To the three basic elements of the Dominican populationindigenous Indians, white settlers and African slaves had been added Chinese, Arabs, Haitians, Japanese and Europeans, including Jews, so that the Dominican society bad finally become multiracial, with all groups taking an equal part, under the protection of the law, in the country's social, economic, political and cultural life.
14. Unfortunately, there were countries in which racial intolerance found expression In a despotism which was completely incompatible with the spirit of the Charter and with the most rudimentary principles of human coexistence. Discrimination could not, of course, disappear overnight, but would do so only when man regarded his fellows as his equals, not in deference to the law but because his conscience demanded it.
15. In mat spirit, her delegation endorsed without reserve the draft resolution recommended by the Council as well as the amendments thereto, as those enhanced the original text and gave it a more practical character. Her delegation also endorsed, in principle, the revised draft resolution which would effectively aid in the liquidation of discrimination.
16. Mr. EL-AHDAB (Lebanon) said he would not disagree that colonialism constituted a form of racial discrimination, as several speakers had noted; but it should not be forgotten that colonialism was on the way out; the proof was that the membership of the United Nations had more than doubled since 1945. His delegation sincerely hoped that decolonization would proceed without obstructions set up for political motives.
17. There were, however, otter aspects of discrimination which to him appeared more complex. The Economic and Social Council had been well aware of that when, in its resolution 825 B (XXXII), it had called upon Governments to take all necessary steps to rescind discriminatory few and to make sustained efforts to educate PUBLIC opinion, IN that respect congratulations were due to the united State Government, which had employed armed force to Implement its sew policy of racial equality. He found, however, that Council resolution 826 B (XXXII) was weakened by its preamble, which referred Indirectly to the recommendations made by the Commission on Human Rights and the sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities following the anti-Semitio manifestations of 1959, but did not mention the dreadful plight of millions of indigenous persons who were still victims of appalling injustice.
18. His delegation was strongly opposed to all form of discrimination. Lebanon had never practiced discrimination, and all communities in the country enjoyed the same rights. They were protected by a tradition of tolerance and a body of equitable laws. Lebanon was one of the few countries in the Middle East where over ten religious communities lived in perfect harmony.
19. in those circumstances, be endorsed the revised draft resolution and expressed his conviction that the proposed declaration and convention would be very useful.
20. Addressing himself particularly to the Israel representative, be granted the letter's right to express his views and to hark back at length to the iniquities of Nazism; but the Israel representative should by the same token grant other delegations the right to speak of the massacres of Palestine Arabs perpetrated by Israel. It was regrettable and paradoxical that the former victims of Nazism should apply Nasi methods to appropriate a country which did not belong to them, and that, while invoking the United Nations Charter, they should not hesitate to violate it.
21. The CHAIRMAN announced that the delegation of Liberia had submitted an amendment (A/C.3/ L.1012) to the revised draft resolution and should no longer be considered a co-sponsor of the latter.
22. Mrs. ROUSSEAU (Mali) pointed out that operative paragraph 1 of the third revision of the draft resolution calling for a convention (A/C.3/L.1006/Rev.3) had been omitted from the text of the fourth revision (A/C.3/L.1006/Rev.4). Consequently, the paragraphs of the latter version would have to be renumbered.
23. The misdeeds of racial discrimination had been clearly established by history. Despite the resolutions adopted by various international bodies, that scourge of mankind had not yet been wholly conquered; indeed, some went so far as to defend colonialism as the natural domination of the blacks, who were said to be less intelligent, by the whites. The extreme form of discriminatory policy was apartheid, which was as much a crime against humanity as the crimes of the Nazis had been.
24. The extermination of millions of Jews had deeply shocked all the countries of Africa and of the Near and Middle East; those countries were extremely perturbed also at the recent manifestations of anti-Semitism and at the dissemination of neo-fascist publications in Europe and elsewhere. However, the feeling of outrage which anti-Semitism aroused in them did not mean that they approved of the Zionist policy of expansion, in her view, manifestations of anti-Semitism, regrettable as they were, were the work of a tiny minority, and it was for those countries in which they took place to put a speedy end to them.
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But it must be borne in mind that millions of human beings in Africa and elsewhere suffered from the worst kind of discrimination in that they were regarded as Inferiors in their own countries. She felt, therefore, that colonialism should arouse the same indignation as did anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism might be dying out, but colonialism continued its destructive to-activities because of the assistance of certain great powers. She wondered whether Portugal would be able, without such assistance, to retain its bold on Angola, Mozambique and so-called Portuguese Guinea, The game was true of the savage regime in Rhodesia.
25. Unfortunately, the majority of countries, while categorically condemning the policy of apartheid, hesitated to adopt positive measures to put an end to it; but if the United Nations was to keep pace with history. It must take energetic action to extirpate discrimination. The argument of racial supremacy must be demolished once sad for all, and every country must work to build a better world based on dignity and brotherhood. For that reason, the preparation of a convention on the elimination of racial discrimination was absolutely essential. It would not be ratified by some countries, but that would simply prove that they favoured a policy of discrimination. Such an attitude might open the eyes of those States which were helping them directly or indirectly.
26. Mr. VARGAS (Colombia) stated that his country had not experienced any great social problems since the end of the colonial era, and even political differences had been settled in 1958 by a treaty which had reconciled the two political parties. Thus, Colombia could now devote its whole attention to its social and economic development and to smoothing out the few racial difficulties still existing among its people. The Colombian delegation was therefore in fall agreement with both the draft resolutions and the amendments before the Committee, and it would vote for them.
27. Mr. ARY (Niger) said that the theory of racial discrimination was based entirely upon the shameful exploitation of certain peoples, ingeniously codified by colonial barbarism. Nevertheless, Africa, so long the victim of colonialism, was ready to forget its evils and to apply itself only to what might draw men closer together. That was, in fact, one of the reasons why the sponsors of the draft resolution calling for a convention on the elimination of racial discrimination had made so many concessions in order to arrive at a revised text acceptable to all Consequently, his delegation was surprised that some delegations were engaging In last-minute deals to weaken a text whose unanimous adoption would be a landmark in the history of mankind and on an act of faith on the part of all Members of the United Nations.
28. It would be unrealistic, however, to think that the scourge of discrimination would end with the adoption of the draft resolution. The delegation of Niger believed, therefore, that an attack on discrimination should be accompanied by action to instill la the minds of men the virtue of tolerance and belief in equality, so that future generations might not share the shame of the present. His delegation would therefore vote for the three-Power amendment. He hoped that the fact that the United Kingdom delegation was one of the sponsors of the amendment augured the establishment of a more tranquil atmosphere in Southern Rhodesia. It was understandable that the United Kingdom should strive to the utmost to preserve vested Interests in Rhodesia, but St was in its own interest that that country should not go the way of Algeria,
29. His delegation fully supported the draft resolution recommended in Council resolution 826 B (XXXII) and also the amendment submitted thereto by Costa Rica and the United Kingdom.
30. Mr. KIRWAN (Ireland) whole-heartedly supported the aims of Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII), but at the same time deplored the events which had made it necessary to adopt a resolution of that kind. Racial prejudice and national and religious Intolerance were not of recent growth and It would, perhaps, be too much to hope that any measures adopted by the Third Committee would cause a problem of such antiquity to disappear overnight: nevertheless, resolution 826 B (XXXII) marked an Important stage in the struggle against acts which outraged the conscience of all.
31. In connexion with the specific measures called for in the draft resolution, he wished to place particular emphasis on the importance of educating public opinion. Such education must begin as early as possible: the child must not onlyto use the words of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (General Assembly resolution 1386 (XXV))be protected from practices which might foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination: be must also be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance and friendship among peoples. However, such educational work must not be confined to children; too often, the end of school life marked the beginning of a stage where the young adult, under the influence of economic, social and other factors, adopted the reprehensible attitudes of the society in which he lived or surrendered himself to feelings of intolerance. Governments, therefore, and all those who had a part to play in molding public opinion, bad a duty to continue such education among adults. Hence his delegation endorsed operative paragraph 1 of the draft resolution, and it was also In favour of paragraph 2 and of the amendment to paragraph 3 submitted by the three Powers. The amendment greatly improved paragraph 3, since It Indicated clearly where the duty of governments lay and re-moved one of the major defects of the original text, which might have constituted a threat to freedom of Information and opinion. The Irish delegation would also support the amendment of Costa Rica and the United Kingdom.
32. He had studied with Interest the revised draft resolution and agreed fully with its underlying Ideas and with its aims. Although his delegation shared. the doubts expressed by some delegations in regard to the technical difficulties involved In drawing up a convention on the subject, it would support the draft resolution and would give careful consideration to the Czechoslovak working paper. It would also give full consideration to the Liberian amendment.
33. Miss WACHUKU (Nigeria) said that her delegation attached the greatest importance to the item under consideration and was shocked that. In a rapidly changing world, racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance should still be so wide-spread. It was curious that those who engaged in such practices were precisely those who claimed righteousness and superiority of mind and soul, whereas they ought to be concerned to help those who were less fortunate. The reason was simply that they knew that,
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by helping those they called Ignorant and uncivilized to improve their position, they might create formidable competitors for themselves. That was only one of the many types of prejudice being manifested all over the world which must be eliminated.
34. The Nigeria delegation would therefore support with enthusiasm the Economic and Social Councils draft resolution and the amendments thereto; the draft resolution was a farther example of the Council's unceasing efforts to create a better world, for which Nigeria was profoundly grateful to it. Her delegation bad participated with the same enthusiasm in the preparation of the revised draft resolution.
35. Some delegations had expressed doubts con-corning the efficacy of legislation against racial prejudice. She did not see why the persecution sad exploitation of a minorityor of a majority which had not the means to defend itselfshould not be punished by law in the same way as a crime or misdemeanor. Even if the eradication of the prejudices which still existed in the minds of men must be a lengthy process, it must surely be hastened by the existence of legal penalties.
36. While the Nigerian delegation considered it essential to adopt a legal approach to the problem, It attached equal importance to education. The problem could be attacked at its root by giving children the right education. That was why her delegation particularly supported operative paragraph 3 of the Council's draft resolution and the three-Power amendment thereto.
37. Lastly, she said that there was no discrimination of any kind in Nigeria, although one-half of the population was Moslem, while the rest consisted of Christians la the main, together with adherents of some other religions. Religion played no significant part la national life, but the Constitution guaranteed every person the right to worship as he chose.
38. Mrs. TREE (United States of America) stated that her country was proud of its diversity in unity, expressed in its motto E pluribus Unum. Thanks to its bounteous land and the skills of its people, who had come from all parts of the world, the United States had solved a great many of its economic problems, and the present generation was determined to solve its social problems as well, including the problem of discrimination, thus contributing to a noble chapter in the country's history. Considerable progress had been made during the past eighteen months In the field of human rights, particularly in combating discrimination, but much remained to be done.
39. She agreed with many members of the Committee that education and Information were powerful weapons in the fight against prejudice, which poisoned men's minds; but, belonging as she did to a country where the law was respected, she also believed that legislation could make a very effective contribution in changing attitudes. Consequently, her delegation would support the revised draft resolution and believed that a convention and a declaration on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination could be useful. She would also support the draft resolution recommended in the Council's resolution 826 B (XXXII), together with the amendment thereto.
40. Mr. GABR EL DAR (Sudan) said that he was glad to see that the Committee was unanimous and sincere la its wish to eliminate forever the racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance still to be found even m me advanced, liberal and democratic countries. There must be no fear of recognizing that such manifestations were the outcome of that colonialism which, in boom its traditional and its modern forms, was one of the main causes of world tension, as the Prime Minister of the Sudan had said during the sixteenth session of the General Assembly (1036th plenary meeting). Racial discrimination had come into being purely in order to Justify the economic and human exploitation of colonial territories, but colonialism was disappearing and nothing could stop that process.
41. Although there was no discrimination in Sudan, it had to be rooted out wherever it existed, since it was not only a flagrant violation of human rights but also an insult to human dignity, respect for which was basic to peaceful coexistence. He therefore sup-parted the draft resolution presented by the Economic and Social Council and the amendments to it, as well as the revised draft resolution, which his delegation wished to co-sponsor.
42. Mr. BELAUNDE MOREYRA (Peru) said that the position with regard to discrimination, particularly racial discrimination in his country was the same as in the other Latin American countries, whose civic and political systems had been based, since independence, on the equality of everyone before the law.
43. In Peru, which had been Independent since 1821, slavery and the native tax-a typically discriminatory tax inherited from the colonial regimehad been abolished by the revolution, of 1854. Since then, Peru could be regarded as one of the most liberal countries in the world from the racial standpoint, despite its extremely varied population. Its laws guaranteed the equality of all and protected, In some respects, the teas favoured ethnic sectors; In particular they protected the indigenous communities, which enjoyed their own legal status and whose landed property was governed by a special community system of pre-Columbian origin. Because of its legislation, therefore, Peru could support all the proposed International measures against racial discrimination, and the Peruvian delegation would vote for the two draft resolutions before the Committee.
44. However, there was always a gap between legislation, however liberal, and the actual situation within the society which it governed. That was so throughout the world and particularly In Peru, where there remained problems which were not strictly racial but which constituted, rather, the ethnic aspect of the over-all problem of social and economic underdevelopment. Just as it had been fleeting wealth-connected with the discovery of the commercial value of guanowhich had facilitated social reforms In the past, so it would be impossible to resolve the still existing problems completely until there was lasting economic prosperity. Throughout the world, prejudice and racial hatred were the product of past or present frustrations sad of a fear of the future, and they were often of economic origin. The most serious racial problemthe maintenance, in backward living conditions and ignorance, of whole ethnic communities could not be resolved without the assistance of enormous economic resources, and should therefore be examined within the framework of the United Nations Development Decade.
45. Mr. MURAYWID (Syria), whose delegation was a sponsor of the revised draft resolution on the elimination of racial discrimination said that he attached considerable importance to the humanitarian and social
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consequences of that draft resolution and hoped that it would obtain the unanimous support of the Committee.
46. Like all countries which had recently attained independence, Syria and the other Arab countries, in order to free themselves completely, had had to battle against the prejudices and intolerance of the colonial era. For that reason they condemned all manifestations of racial superiority and the policy of oppression which was being maintained by brute force in Angola, Southern Rhodesia and South Africa.
47. For the very reasons that they had condemned the policy and practices of the Nazis, those countries today condemned the Zionist policy of intolerance and discrimination directed against the Arabs of Israela policy which was even more horrible than that of Nazism and of which, moreover, many nonlioaist Jews disapproval. The Zionists cloaked their pursuit of their own interests in idealistic pretensions and thus abused international generosity.
48. The Syrian delegation supported both the draft resolution presented by the Economic and Social Council and the proposed amendments to it.
49. Mr. BEN MEBAREK (Algeria) regarded racial discrimination as one of the most painful and explosive human problems of the present time. Some people skill clung to the horrible pecudo-scientifle theory of the Nazis that there was a superior race. Unfortunately, the destruction of a myth was not enough to change the reality of facts. Although the very existence of the United Nations proved that men of different races could understand each other and work together, some countries still based their legislation on racial discrimination. The basic reasons for segregation were not biological but economic; and the cruelest example was that of South Africa, whose laws constituted defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations, and where two million men ruled as absolute masters over ten million Africans and Indo-Pakistanis. As the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs had told the General Assembly (1151st plenary meeting) the Algerian people was determined to combat that situation is every possible way, as well as the situation existing, likewise for economic and to some extent psychological reasons, in Angola, Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Mozambique. Colonialism was a universal taint, the symptons of which had been brilliantly described by Franz Fanon in his book Lea damnes de la terre, and It was the real origin of racialism.
50. With regard to the problem of Palestine, he re-called that Algeria had been unwilling to transform its fight for independence into a racial war and that the Algerian Jews had taken part in the struggle to liberate the country. In Algeria there were no anti-semitio tendencies. However, Zionism flouted fundamental freedoms and Algeria believed that it was essential to resettle in their own homeland the Arabs of Palestine, who were now living in exile in atrocious conditions which the Algerians, unfortunately, knew from experience.
51. Algeria, which had itself been the victim of racialism, knew that It was useless to base a policy on the phenomenon of race and therefore granted the same rights to and imposed the suns duties on all Algerian citizens, regardless of their origin or religion.
52. The Algerian delegation warmly supported the two draft resolutions before the Committee, since they would undoubtedly contribute towards a practical solution of the problem. It also wished to join the other sponsors of the revised draft resolution.
Mr. Albuquerque Mello (Brazil), Vice-Chairman, took the chair.
53. Miss KUBOTA (Japan) recalled that the Japanese Government had always been against racial dis-crimination. in 1919 She Japanese delegation bad proposed including in the preamble to the Covenant of the League of Nations a clause providing for equality of treatment for the nationals of all Member States, without any racial or other distinction. For Japan, racial discrimination was a scourge that had to be eliminated, since it delayed the progress of humanity and prevented the final establishment of peace.
54. Unfortunately, the evil was so deeply rooted that a whole series of national and International measures was needed la order to eliminate it. The effort must be directed mainly at youth, which was why the Japanese delegation supported the draft resolution put forward by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 826 B (XXXII) and the amendment thereto submitted by Mali, Mauritania and the United Kingdom,
55. The Japanese delegation also approved, in part, the revised draft resolution, as it was convinced that a declaration on the elimination of discrimination would help and guide countries in their fight against that evil. With regard to the preparation of a convention, the Japanese delegation shared the doubts ex-pressed by other delegations Priority should there-fore be given to the declaration. However, it would vote for the draft resolution, since it considered that a convention on the elimination of discrimination, if drafted with great care, could be of some use.
56. Mr. SITA (Congo, Leopoldville) said that the proposed amendments to the draft resolution recommended by Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII) fully satisfied his delegation, which could therefore support it without reservations.
57. He thought that the sponsors of the revised draft resolution on manifestations of racial prejudice should be congratulated on their desire for objectivity and he would be happy to torn them in submitting that resolution, which, unfortunately, still seemed to be causing a certain amount of difficulty for a number of delegations. He would like to point out that, although legal considerations had their doubted importance, the Committee should guard against excessive formalism. In the opinion of eminent jurists, the fact that the principle of non-discrimination had already been sanctioned by the Charter of the United Nations and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in no way barred the preparation of draft conventions relating to particular aspects of that principle. His delegation was prepared to vote for the draft resolution under discussion although it did not mention the need to eliminate religious intolerance; It saw no reason why an international declaration and convention on the elimination of that particular form of intolerance should not be prepared at some future date. The Liberian amendment would, however, make it possible to eliminate all problems in that connexion and he hoped that the Liberian representative and the sponsors of the revised draft resolution would reach agreement about that matter. In any case he saw no reason for voting against that amendment, Since the amendments of Saudi Arabia (A/C.3/L.1011) as their sponsors admitted, would affect only the form of the initial text,
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they could In no way change. the attitude of his delegation,
58. Some speakers had expressed themselves un-favorably with regard to the revised draft resolution by saying that certain countries would mat ratify the convention. But the existence of a convention would remain a positive and important fact, What was more, the sponsors of the draft had shown an admirable spirit of conciliation by also recommending the preparation of a declaration which all could support. Certain delegations had expressed the opinion that a convention would be valueless unless energetic measures of education were taken. It could be pointed out, in reply, that such measures were in no way excluded; in fact, the Congo (Leopoldville) thought that Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII) and the revised draft resolution complemented each other. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the two documents in question would be adopted unanimously.
59. Mr. MAAMOURI (Tunisia) felt that the Committee had been right to place the problem under discussion on its agenda, since it was the Committee's task to help bring about a ***** state of peaceful coexistence and mere could be no coexistence between men who nourished against each other feelings of hatred and racial prejudice. It was unfortunately true that national, racial and religious intolerance had been one of the main traits , the history of peoples, but in the future mankind's evolution should be distinguished by tolerance, which was the best guarantee of universal progress. Manifestations of Intolerance must therefore be eliminated, all activities fostering hatred condemned, and no effort spared to implant understanding and respect for others in the hearts and minds of men. In that connexion, he pointed out that the Constitution of his country proclaimed the dignity of the human person, recognized freedom of conscience and freedom of worship for all, and condemned intolerance in all its forms. Tunisia was proud to state that in its struggle for independence it bad never used hatred as a weapon, and had thus been able to maintain effective co-operation between individuals. He also wished to point out that the Tunisian people, although proud to belong to the Arab race, had never considered itself a pure race, since Tunisia, like many other countries, had been a meeting-place for widely differing races and individuals that had all contributed to the formation of the national personality.
60. Dealing with the texts before the Committee, he stated mat he would unreservedly support the draft resolution recommended in Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII), which satisfactorily complemented General Assembly resolution 1510 (XV). He would also support the three-Power amendment theretofor the' reasons already mentioned, particularly by the French representative (1167th meeting) and the amendment of Costa Rica and the United Kingdom, in regard to the revised draft resolution, proposing the preparation of a declaration on the one hand and a convention on the other, his delegation was prepared to support it, notwithstanding the criticisms advanced against it. It would vote against any amendment calculated to restrict the very general scope of a text whose adoption would be a landmark in the history of mankind and would enhance the prestige of the Third Committee. Perhaps certain States would refuse to ratify the convention proposed; but if they did so, they would give flagrant proof of their spirit of intolerance and their desire for racial discrimination.
61. Mr. HETMAN (Central African Republic) and that, in order to illustrate the importance of the question under discussion he need only mention the atrocities committed against millions of persons during the Second World War and the crimes which peoples were led to commit when they imagined that they belonged to a superior race, nationality or religion. While the manifestations of racial hatred attained their climax under the Nasi regime, it must not be forgotten that discrimination was something very old and had, in fact, always been advocated by certain strata of society. Even today some people still upheld the myth of racial inequality, which was tantamount to a denial of human dignity. South Africa, disregarding the formal provisions of the Charter, persisted in applying a policy based ON segregation and apartheid. His country attached particular importance to the principle of equality for all men, and condemned discrimination in all its forms. Accordingly he could not but support unreservedly the draft resolution recommended by the Economic and Social Council and the revised draft resolution concerning the preparation of a convention on the elimination of racial discrimination.
62. Mrs. NIKOLAEVA (Union of Soviet Socialist Re-publics) insisted, first of all, on the capital importance of the question under study and on the need to mobilize public opinion and take energetic measures to eliminate discrimination. The Soviet State had, from the first days of its existence, put an end to discrimination and proclaimed liberty and equality for everyone in all fields, including the political, economic, social and cultural. At a time when the exploration of space and the discovery of new sources of energy were extending man's horizons in an extraordinary way, when certain countries knew the benefits of socialism an eminently progressive way of lifeand when the former colonial peoples were freeing themselves from their yoke, it was strange that it was still necessary to study the problem of discrimination and prejudice. It was, however, a fact that racialism and Intolerance were continuing to wreak havoc. They were phenomena which were linked with the exploitation of man and which found their extreme expression In colonial servitude. There was no doubt as to their historical origin. The slave-drivers and colonizers who had wished to seize the gold and wealth of Africa, Asia and America had asserted the superiority of the white race and Imposed that claim by force, so that they could rule over the coloured peoples undisturbed. Racialism bad thus been the main weapon of the colonialists and it still existed, since the reasons for its existence had not disappeared. Even today, millions of hard-working people were paid practically nothing for their labour and were not even able to send their children to school. Crises occurred from time to time in the countries where racists tried to maintain their privileges and racialist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nasi party were flourishing.
63. It was essential to fight discrimination and racial prejudice energetically, especially at a time when fascism was raising its headas could be seen in the Federal Republic of Germany, where Nazi groups had been reorganized, where former agents of Hitler, inspired with the spirit of revenge, occupied leading posts in the Press, the cinema, the police and the magistracy, and where the Bundeswehr was led by
1169th meeting 31 October 1962
generals who had been found guilty of crimes against the peoples of the USSR, Czechovakia, Poland and France. The recent wave of swastikas was merely one sign of the recrudescence of fascism, but it showed that it was time to take firm action. In the opinion of her delegation, the time had come to galvanize the efforts of all and to take legislative measures to eliminate discrimination.
64. She therefore supported the draft resolution recommended in Economic and Social Council resolution 826 B (XXXII). She could not, however, support the three-Power amendment, which weakened the original text, since the words in every possible way were very general and left the States completely free in their choice of the means to be adopted. The measures listed in the amendment in question were certainly opportune, but they were already mentioned in operative paragraph 1 of the Council's resolution. Her delegation would therefore be grateful if the sponsors of the amendment did not press It. She was, on the other hand, in favour of the revised draft resolution, as the preparation of a convention on the elimination of racial discrimination would be of great value.
65. In conclusion, she wished to stress the usefulness -of the debate on racialism. She would particularly like the Secretariat to distribute the full text of the speeches made by the Czechoslovak and Mauritanian delegations, as it would help those who would be gives the task of preparing the convention if they could refer to those two statements.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.