General Assembly, 18th session, 3rd Committee : 1215th meeting
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/SR.1215|
|Convention||International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Racial Discrimination, Protection of Minorities, Equality|
United Nations THIRD COMMITTEE, 1215th
ASSEMBLY Monday, 30 September 1963,
at 10.40 a.m. EIGHTEENTH SESSION
Official Records NEW YORK
Page Agenda item 43: Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (continued) 17
Chairman: Mr. Humberto DIAZ CASANUEVA (Chile).
AGENDA ITEM 43
Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (A/5459, A/5503, (chap. X, sect. II); E/3743, (paras. 89-145), A/C.3L.1064-1080) (continued)
1. Mr. SEGOVIA (Uruguay) said that he was sorry to have to criticize the general policy adopted by the Commission on Human Rights and the whole United Nations with regard to the work on racial discrimination. In reading the draft Declaration before the Committee (Economic and Social Council resolution 958 E (XXXVI), annex) he was somewhat disappointed to observe that the long-standing problem of racial discrimination, whose gravity had been demonstrated by recent events, had not been tackled with all the desirable vigour. It was unfortunate that, notwithstanding the provisions of General Assembly resolution 1780 (XVII); the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discimination and Protection of Minorities had confined itself to the preparation of a draft declaration and had postponed the task of preparing a draft convention.
2. He questioned the usefulness of another declaration to be added to all those which were already in existence and which had not succeeded in preventing infringements of human rights. It would have been better to draw up a convention which set forth specific rules accompanied by drastic penalties. The policy adopted was all the more regrettable because the draft submitted to the Committee was lacking in vigor and too narrow in range. It restricted the scope of the general principle of non-discrimination proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That was regrettable, for all forms of discrimination, whether the victims were coloured citizens of certain states of the United States of America, indigenous inhabitants of South Africa, Buddhist monks in Viet-Nam, or political prisoners in Asia, Europe or Latin America, were equally insulting to human dignity and must be fought with the same energy.
3. Uruguay, for its part, had from the time of its first constitution, which dated from 1630. asserted the principle of the equality of all before the law and the right of everyone to equal protection of the law, and had categorically condemned all forms of discrimination. That attitude was not merely theoretical; it received practical endorsement in the daily life of the people. Thus the small coloured community living in Uruguay was perfectly integrated and made a modest but effective contribution to the general progress of the country.
4. He could not support the United Kingdom amendments (A/C.3/L.1064), which weakened the text. He was, however, ready to support the amendments of the sewn Latin American Powers (A/C.3/L.1073), which did not substantially improve the text but made it clearer. He would vote also in favour of the USSR amendment (A/C.3/L.1067) because the article proposed was a logical and useful addition to article 9, but he would suggest that the words "neo-fascist" should be eliminated, since racialism included all fascist or Nazi activities. The United States amendment (A/C.3/L.1079) expressed an idea which was close to that embodied in the amendment of Chile, Nigeria. Ukrainian SSR and Yugoslavia (A/C.3/L.1078) and his delegation was prepared to support it.
5. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that neither the Com-mission on Human Rights nor the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities had given priority to the preparation of the draft Declaration. It was the General Assembly itself which, in resolution 1780 (XVII), had requested that a draft Declaration should be prepared for consideration at its eighteenth session and a draft convention, if possible, for its nineteenth session and, in any case, not later than the twentieth session.
6. Mr. GOODHART (United Kingdom) stressed the importance of the subject under study and the need for avoiding all excessive haste in drafting the declaration. Thanks largely to the efforts of the Sub-Commission, the draft before the Committee represented a fair reconciliation of the many conflicting points of view, particularly on points of drafting. The first of the amendments submitted by the United Kingdom could be described as a mere drafting amendment: it was designed to bring the text of the draft Declaration into line with the Charter of the United Nations and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He could not share the view of the many delegations which had considered that the United Kingdom amendments weakened the text, but in order to speed up the Committee's work he would withdraw them.
7. His delegation strongly agreed that it was of the utmost urgency to take all practical steps to remove the vile scourge of racial discrimination. He would point out, however, that the General Assembly which had taken only three years to draw up and adopt the Universal Declaration, would take much longer to complete the draft International Covenants on Human Rights. That being so. the draft Declaration under consideration was far from being useless: it represented a first step and a stimulus to Governments and
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3ll responsible persons to take more positive action in the struggle against racial discrimination. It was not an end in it3elf and the General Assembly had been right to request the preparation of a convention It would, however, take time for a compulsory instrument to be adopted by the General Assembly rind ratified by Member States. Meanwhile, the draft Declaration under consideration would be of great value. His delegation supported the Australian amendment (A/C.3/1.1066) and the amendment of Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru (A/C.3/L.1065). It would make known its position on the other amendments when it had studied them more thoroughly.
8. Mr. RAZGALLAH (Tunisia) stressed the importance of the document under study, which was in no way less significant than the Universal Declaration or General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV). All men had the right to a decent life, to the free development of their personality and to dignity. The United Nations was in duty bound to put an end to racial discrimination in all forms. especially at the present time, when 15 million human beings in South Africa were the victims of a policy which elevated race supremacy to the rank of a political principle. It was, however, encouraging to note that the proclamation of the Universal Declaration, the emancipation of colonial peoples, the adoption of resolution 1514 (XV) and the recognition, in most constitutions, of racial equality and of the right of all men to dignity, were all developments which testified to the strengthening of the anti-racialist movement. In accordance with its old Arab and Islamic traditions, Tunisia was free of discrimination and its present constitution was explicit on that subject.
9. The text under consideration must preserve its general character while at the same time being as specific as possible. His delegation was therefore glad that the United Kingdom amendments had been withdrawn. It supported the amendment of Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru, for dignity was essential to the human person, the Australian amendment, which clarified the text, and the amendment of Algeria, Guinea, Maurrania and Senegal (A/C.3/L.1068), which rightly drew attention to the fact that colonialism was one sourceand no! the leastof racial discrimination. His delegation proposed that the words "throughout the world" should be added in the tenth paragraph of the preamble, in order to strengthen the Universal character of the draft Declaration.
10. Mr. ELUCHANS (Chile) pointed out that the only Philosophy whose major preoccupation was the dignity of man and his harmonicas development was humanism. which was based essentially on the principles of equality and fraternity. it was those principles and not the mastery of techniques which created the superiority of man in the universe, and discrimination, which was the very negation of humanism, was not only an injustice but also an affront to the dignity of human nature. Chile had from its very birth enshrined in its constitution and its laws the principle of equality, which it applied strictly in everyday life. He could not. therefore, fail to give his enthusiastic support to the draft under consideration, for it was essential that all countries should be urged to give effective recognition, without distinction and in conditions of equality, to the political, civil, and economic rights of their people: moreover, it would only be possible to eliminate the social scourge of racial discrimination once and for all if the idea of
equality were instilled progressively into the collective conscience of mankind. No human being could claim to be superior to others on political, religious or racial grounds without prejudicing the freedom of his fellow men, which was one of the fundamental values of the human person.
11. The United Nations must vigorously oppose all racial discrimination and offer to the peoples of the world a solution to that problem which was of such great urgency. The Chilean delegation was of the opinion that States should be recommended to adopt legal measures for the elimination of racial discrimination, that racial degradation should be forbidden and that effective step should be taken, to stress with all desirable solemnity the principle of non-discrimination. Such steps would prepare the way for the formulation of an effective convention.
12. Mr. CUEVAS CANCINO (Mexico) said that, when the United Nations thought the time had come to adopt a declaration on a particular aspect of human rights, it should endeavour to establish a link between its efforts and contemporary world opinion. The United Nations should in fact be careful to avoid becoming a group of initiates working on the fringe of the world and producing one resolution after another without concerning itself unduly about the reception they would be given. In a question like that of racial discrimination, it was important that the position taken by the United Nations should be known to the man in the street. No doubt the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the Commission on Human Rights had not had time to consider that problem, but the Third Committee must bear it in mind and act in such a way that every individual should understand the meaning of the declaration under discussion and should find in it the expression of his aspirations.
13. Such were the considerations which had prompted many of the amendments submitted by the seven Latin American Powers. The sole object of those amendments was to strengthen the text of the draft and to make it accessible to all men throughout the world. Some of them, in particular the first and second, were purely drafting amendments and were designed to simplify the terminology as much as possible. The third would replace the word "disturbed", which seemed too weak, by a stronger word. The fourth and the fifth were designed to give more force to the original draft. The last amendment was certainly not intended to weaken the ideas expounded in the original text but, on the contrary, was designed to present them in a more striking form: moreover, the sponsors of the amendments thought it advisable to announce in a separate paragraph the administrative and other measures mentioned in articles 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the draft. Finally, they proposed to add the words "Proclaims the following Declaration" in order to stress the solemnity of the instrument.
14. Mr. SHERVANI (India) recalled that India had taken an active part in preparing the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The struggle of the people of India against racism covered a period of over half a century. Long before India had become independent, Mahatma Gandhi had denounced the policy of racial discrimination practiced in South Africa and had taken the lead in the non-violent movement whose aim was to secure the recognition of human equality and dignity. At the seventh session of the General Assembly India, together with twelve other States
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Members of the United Nations, had raised the question of the policy of apartheid practiced by the South African Government. Indian racial policy was characterized by liberality and the Constitution of India prohibited all discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex.
15. At the present time racial discrimination was recognized as being one of the great problems of mankind: it was encouraging, in particular, to note the efforts made by the Government, of the United States of America to eliminate that hateful phenomenon.
16. By giving priority to the examination of the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination, the Third Committee had indeed given proof of its conviction that it was imperative that the draft Declaration should be adopted and published as soon as possible. The members of the Committee should not lose sight of that consideration or forget that, even if the final text did not give them entire satisfaction, the declaration would nevertheless represent an important date in the history of mankind. As long as racial discrimination existed, peace would not be possible; any instrument designed to eliminate it would thus contribute to the promotion of co-operation between peoples and the progress of mankind.
17. It was natural that, by its very nature, the draft Declaration submitted to the Committee should have some defects. It should he borne in mind, however, that it was the result of long deliberations and that it represented a compromise text which the Commission on Human Rights had drawn up after much work. He therefore appealed to the members of the Committer to bear in mind the necessity of adopting the text as soon as possible, s0 that it could be submitted to the General Assembly for examination at the present session.
18. The Indian delegation supported the amendments in documents (A/C.3/L.1065 and A/C.3/L.1066 and had no objection to the amendments in documents A/C.3/L.1071 (the first Tunisian amendment) and A/C.3/L.1073. He would comment on other amendments at a later stage.
19. Mr. IVANOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) noted that the Third Committee was opening its debate shortly after the partial test ban treaty had been signed. He hoped that that happy outcome of lengthy negotiations would be a good omen for the Committee's work.
20. The delegation of the Soviet Union was happy to see that the United Nations bodies were at last giving due importance to the question of racial discrimination. Unlike the Austrian delegation, which appeared to doubt the usefulness of a declaration on the subject, the USSR delegation was convinced of the necessity for an instrument which would reflect the obligation to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms laid upon all Member States by the Charter.
21. The principle of non-discrimination was laid down in article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Nights. The General Assembly had taken various steps to apply that article: it had appealed to the Administering Authorities to rescind the discriminatory laws applied in the Territories under their administration; it had repeatedly requested the South African Government to abandon its policy of apartheid: lastly, it had
adopted the Declaration on the granting of Independence to colonial countries and peoples.
22. Nevertheless, racism and racial discrimination had not disappeared. There were still laws in some countries which deprived the indigenous inhabitants of their fundamental rights and prevented them from taking their proper part in the political, economic and social life of their country. The Soviet delegation and the whole Soviet people strongly denounced those discriminatory practices, which found their most inhuman expression in the policy of apartheid and in genocide. They were indignant at the attempts to enslave and exterminate peoples in the name of racial superiority. They wished to remind all those who defended fascism and racism, in Spain, in Portugal in South Africa and elsewhere, that world opinion condemned their ideology and that the nazi criminals had been punished by the Nurnberg Tribunal. He stressed that an end should be put to those hideous fascist and racist regimes.
23. Tor all those reasons, the Soviet Union delegation endorsed the motives which had prompted Algeria, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal, to submit an amendment condemning colonialism and it would support that text when it was put to the vote.
24. He thanked the delegation which had supported the amendment submitted by the USSR and said that he would consider the suggestion made by Uruguay. The Soviet amendment was prompted by a desire to eradicate racism which was particularly dangerous when it took an organized form, once and for all. The Soviet Union was concerned to note the reappearance of groups and parties with fascist tendencies, particularly in the Federal Republic of Germany, where former Nazism were occupying important posts in all spheres of activity. It should not be forgotten that the nazi atrocities had been perpetrated in the name of the need to preserve the purity of the Aryan race. Until all racist organizations were prohibited, it would be impossible to vanquish racial discrimination. In addition, it was essential that propaganda for and incitation to racial hatred should be severely punished by law. In that spirit the Soviet Union delegation supported the amendment submitted by the Czechoslovak delegation (A/C.3/L.1069).
25. The USSR delegation also supported the second paragraph of the second Tunisian amendment (A/C.3/ L.1072) and the amendments in documents A/C.3/ L.1071 and A/C.3/L.1073. Regarding the United States amendment, he felt that it had its uses but that it duplicated to some extent the text in the amendment of Chile, Nigeria, Ukrainian SSR and Yugoslavia, which had the advantage of being precise and clear. The sponsors of those two amendments could perhaps agree on a compromise text. He would speak later about other amendments which he had not yet been able to study In detail.
26. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination would be prepared as soon as possible. That instrument, which would complement the declaration. would be a valuable contribution to the struggle against an anachronism which was a disgrace to mankind.
27. Mr. MORENO SALCEDO (Philippines! said that that Philippine delegation was strongly in favour of the adoption of any kind of declaration on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination: racial
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discrimination was no problem in the Philippines. In the Commission on Human Rights, the Philippine representative had expressed the view that the new declaration should be as forthright, clear and solemn as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: that it should enumerate United Nations actions in that sphere in the past; that it should contain a statement of principles but lay down no obligations; lastly, that it should be short, not too detailed and, as far as possible, non-political. The draft before the Committee met all those requirements and his delegation was therefore ready to support it, as also any amendment that would strengthen and clarify the text.
28. Referring to the first paragraph of article 2 of the draft Declaration, he suggested that the words "shall make any discrimination" might be improved.
29. Mr. YAPOU (Israel) said that his delegation felt deeply moved and encouraged by the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination. It was hardly necessary to recall that for centuries the Jewish people had been the victim of a loathsome persecution which had culminated in the horror of the nazi concentration camps, in which six million Jews, including more than a million children, and millions from the Slavic population in Eastern Europe, had lost their lives. It was not surprising, in the circumstances, that the revival of anti-Semitic and neo-nazi movements in recent years had deeply disturbed public opinion and the United Nations, which had taken up the serious question of racial discrimination after the incidents in 1959-1960.
30. The Israel delegation did not condemn anti-Semitism only; it shared the revulsion which all men worthy of the name must feel in the face of any racial or colour prejudice. It totally rejected all doctrines of racial superiority, whatever the country concerned, and it particularly condemned the practices grouped together under the heading of apartheid.
31. In that connexion, the Israel delegation considered it artificial that the Committee had not grouped all its agenda items relating to discrimination (items 43. 44 and 42 of the agenda of the General Assembly), under a single item. From a practical point of view, it might be more expedient to consider racial discrimination and religious intolerance separately, but it should be borne in mind that the religious and ethnic aspects of discrimination were often closely interrelated. The draft Declaration did recognize that fact to a certain extent, for instance in the first three paragraphs of the preamble, but It was still too restrictive. In support of his argument, he point out that at the present day, in a great country, the Jewish minority was being denied freedom to practice its faith and to remain faithful to its cultural and linguistic traditions; it was deprived of essential contacts between local communities within that country and with similar communities abroad; its houses of worship were closed; In short, that country had made it a matter of official policy to stamp out the beliefs of an ethnic group. In such a case it was difficult to say where racial discrimination ended and religious discrimination began.
32. The close interrelationship between the two form of discrimination should be brought out clearly In the draft Declaration In order to avoid undue narrowness rind rigidity. In particular, the draft Declaration should contain a provision guaranteeing the rights not only of individuals. Hut of ethnic. religious and
linguistic minorities, the wording of which might be based on that of article 25 of the draft Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the Committee (A/5000, annex),
33. Mrs. SUMARI (Indonesia) was gratified that the Committee had decided to give priority to consideration of the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The philosophy of her country was the Pantja Sila. the Five Principles of Belief in God, Humanity, Nationalism, Democracy and Social Justice. Those principles were embodied in, even formed the basis of, Indonesia's constitution, and guided and inspired the conduct of her State and her people. Those precepts, and above all, the inherent principle of tolerance those precepts presupposed, in essence rejected any kind of discrimination, whether based on race, religion or sex. In fact, the very structure of her nation, consisting as it did of a wide diversity of ethnic groups, with different customs, dialects and creeds, presenting nevertheless a living reality of harmonious unity, refuted the very existence of any discrimination.
34. With regard to the draft Declaration, the Com-mission on Human Rights was to be commended for having produced what was on the whole an acceptable draft. However, she felt that the fourth preambular paragraph was not worded sufficiently strongly, and she therefore supported the amendments of Algeria, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal. She further regretted to note that none of the articles bore any reference to the declaration on decolonization which had been taken into consideration in the preambular paragraph. In her opinion that was a shortcoming which deserved the Committee's special and careful attention. Her delegation was also prepared to support the amendment contained in document A/C.3/L.1065. She had to objection to the insertion of the new article proposed by the USSR and amended verbally by Senegal (1214th meeting) and would not oppose the adoption of the Australian amendment (A/C.3/L.1066). The amendment issued in document A/C.3/L.1078 was fully acceptable to her delegation.
35. She reserved the right to comment on the amendments contained in document.- A/C.3/L.1069, A/C.3/ L.1070. A/C.3/L.1071, A/C.3/L.1075 and A/C.3/ L.1076 at a later stage.
36. Miss ASHOUR (Libya) said that racial discrimination not only offended human dignity but also constituted an anachronism. It was deplorable to witness the current violation of the fundamental principles of the United Nations by one of the founding Members of the Organization. Libya had persistently condemned racial discrimination at previous sessions and in all the African conferences, and since all efforts to make the south African Government set reason, as well as the sanctions recommended by the General Assembly at Its seventeenth session, had proved of no avail, the Prime Minister of Libya, speaking at the eighteenth session (1211th plenary meeting), had requested that Article 6 of the Charter should be applied to South Africa.
37. The draft Declaration before the Committee, al-though satisfactory as a whole, was open to Improvement, and her delegation would therefore support the amendments to the first and fourth preambular paragraphs proposed respectively by the delegations of Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru, ana by those of Algeria, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal, In view of the limited time available for the Committee to decide on the
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very carefully worded text prepared by the Commission on Human Rights, she considered that it would be advisable to set a time-limit for the submission of amendments.
38. Mr. KHALIL (United Arab Republic) welcomed the decision of the Third Committee to place the question of the draft Declaration first on its agenda; in so doing the Committee had again shown itself to be responsive to world public opinion, which strongly condemned racial discrimination.
39. Discrimination, in all its forms, was alien to the United Arab Republic, whose national charter, in specifically safeguarding the rights of all citizens without distinction, had merely codified an established order of things. It was therefore only natural that his country's delegation to the Summit Conference of Independent African States should have Joined with other representatives in condemning racial discrimination in all its forms.
40. Although the draft Declaration before the Committee represented the fruitful outcome of very careful work, it appeared that most members of the Committee desired to strengthen and clarify it. It was in that spirit that he would support the amendment of Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru, the amendments of Australia and Tunisia (A/C.3/L.1071) and also the amendment proposed by Algeria, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal, which aimed to bring the fourth preambular paragraph into closer harmony with the spirit of the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. He reserved the right to make known at a later stage his delegation's views on the other amendments which had been proposed.
41. Mrs. DADDAH (Mauritania) welcomed the Committee's decision to deal with the elimination of racial discrimination at the outset of its work, as that practice was the shame of the twentieth century. As long as it was not stamped out, mankind would not be entitled to pride itself on its scientific, technical and artistic progress: similarly, the young African countries could not devote themselves freely to the task of national development as long as the dignity of some of their brethren continued to be flouted.
42. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, whose constitution guaranteed the equality of all citizens before the law, afforded an example of a multiracial society, all the members of which were working together harmoniously on the task of building the country and promoting African unity. Her delegation had noted the valiant efforts of Mr. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, to eliminate racial discrimination in that country and earnestly hoped that they would prove successful: on the other hand, it strongly condemned policies such as apartheid which were based on systematic racial discrimination.
43. With regard to the draft Declaration, she supported the amendment of Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru; the idea of adding to the somewhat cold juridical concept of equality the metaphysical and moral concept of dignity was a happy one. She welcomed the United Kingdom delegation's decision to withdraw its amendment since, important though the problems of women might be, the Committee was at present considering the question of racial discrimination and priority should be given to the elimination of that practice. She hoped that the amendment sponsored by her own delegation as well as by the delegations of Algeria, Guinea and Senegal would be adopted unanimously, since colonialist greed was unfortunately still a factor to be reckoned with, and the words "that an end must be put" were therefore not sufficiently emphatic. She would also support the amendments submitted by Tunisia (A/C.3/L.1071-1072) and by Australia, which made the text more specific, as well as the USSR amendment, which had the merit of proposing something practical. She reserved the right to comment on the other amendments at a later stage.
44. Mrs. VILLGRATTNER (Austria) wished to explain for the benefit of the Soviet representative that the reservations expressed by her delegation did not relate to the usefulness of a declaration per se. On the contrary, her delegation strongly favoured the adoption of a declaration which would help to put into effect principles that had already been stated In other instruments adopted by the United Nations. On the other hand, she wished to avoid any risk of the scope of the principles proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 being restricted by a text which was in some respects less comprehensive and less specific than that of the Universal Declaration. It was with the object of avoiding any such eventuality that she had submitted a certain number of amendments. particular!" those contained in documents A/C.3/L.1074 (also sponsored by Nigeria) and A/C.3/ L.1077.
45. Mr. BEAUFORT (Netherlands) said that he was sure not a single delegation would dispute the importance of the issue before the Committee, for racial discrimination was one of the most hideous phenomena to be observed in human relations. It was engendered by a feeling of superiority which some people arrogantly and foolishly manifested towards others because they were of a particular race. Such a state of mind was shocking and, when it manifested itself in discriminatory acts, was an offence against human dignity. Therefore, the United Nations, and the Third Committee in particular, were in duty bound to combat discrimination wherever it might occur, in accordance with the principles of the Charter.
46. Reviewing the background of the draft, he recalled that, a few years before, the world had witnessed a wave of racial manifestations directed against a specific group which had been the victim of Nazism persecution on in unprecedented scale during the Second World War. The United Nations, alarmed and indignant, had then decided to draft one or more instruments in order to provide States with morally and legally binding directives for combating racial discrimination. The draft before the Third Committee was the result of the work accomplished by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and by the Commission on Human Rights; since the Netherlands delegation had taken part in the work of the latter body, he did not propose to explain his country's position at length.
47. However, he wished to recall that the draft before the Committee was a compromise text to which much effort and' energy had already been devoted. Indeed, although Working Group had succeeded, after lengthy discussion, in combining the three drafts submitted into a single draft, the Commission on Human Rights had still found it difficult to agree unanimously on the text which was before the Third Committee. That text was not perfect, but the Netherlands delegation was somewhat alarmed over the number of amendments to it that had been submitted, tt
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wished to point out that the question of racial discrimination was not the only one on the agenda and, while not denying the right of any delegation to submit amendments, it was somewhat concerned over the number of further meetings that the Committee would have to devote to the draft in order to complete its consideration of it.
48. Mrs. DEMBINSKA (Poland) emphasized the importance of the question before the Committee and recalled that her country had taken an active part in the drafting of all instruments which aimed at eradicating racism and, in particular, in the preparation of the draft under consideration, both in the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection, of Minorities and in the Commission on Human Rights. The text before the Third Committee was a compromise between the various drafts which had been submitted to the Commission on Human Rights and, while her delegation found it acceptable in principle, it nevertheless hoped that the Committee would be able to strengthen the draft and rectify certain shortcomings. That was precisely the object of the amendment submitted by Czechoslovakia, which was designed to improve the wording of article 9 and of the new article proposed by the USSR, for which there seemed to be an obvious need. During the Second World War, the Polish people had suffered greatly from the effects of the doctrine of racial superiority, in the name of which the Nazism had expressly and openly vowed its extermination. Six million Poles had been massacred: that was a history lesson which could not be forgotten for, in spite of the crushing of Nazism, no one could be sure that what had happened would not take place again.
49. The new article proposed by the delegations of Chile. Nigeria, the Ukrainian SSR and Yugoslavia had the merit of providing for the implementation of the declaration, and the text submitted by the United States had the same purpose, although its wording was not as strong. She hoped that the sponsors of those two amendments would find it possible to submit a joint text.
50. The Polish delegation also supported the amendments submitted by Algeria, Guinea, Mauritania and Senegal, by Nigeria, Paraguay and Peru, by Tunisia (A/C.3/L.1071-1072 and A/C.3/L.1080) and by seven Latin American delegationswith the exception, however, of the text proposed in the second part of amendment 6 (contained in the last-mentioned) documentas well as the amendment submitted by Austria and Nigeria. On the other hand, the Austrian amendment to article 9 (A/C.3/L.1076) seemed to weaken the text somewhat and the Australian amendment and that of Austria (A/C.3/L.1075), which dealt, respectively, with the second preambular paragraph and article 6, appeared to be superfluous, since the text was perfectly clear in its present form.
51. The Polish delegation wished to propose that the word "concern" in the sixth preambular paragraph should be replaced by the word "tensions", which was more in keeping with the spirit of the declaration, and it intended to submit, together with other delegations, an amendment to the eighth preambular paragraph, which would change the order of the last part of that paragraph so as to place the emphasis upon international peace and security, which were the decisive factors in relations between peoples.
52. Mr. DELGADO (Senegal) said that his delegation withdrew the sub-amendment to the new article proposed by the Soviet Union which it had proposed orally (1214th meeting).
53. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) expressed concern over the large number of amendments before the Committee, which was likely to increase still further. He hoped that some of them would be withdrawn, but nevertheless requested that the Secretariat should prepare, with a view to facilitating the voting, a document that would indicate how each of the amendments would be incorporated in the original text.
54. He also wished to caution the sponsors of amendments against the danger of introducing into the text of the draft Declaration references to instruments that had already been adopted, without reproducing exactly the wording of those instruments. As an example, he quoted the fourth preambular paragraph in which it was stated that the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples "affirms that an end must be put to colonialism and ...; according to the proposed amendment, the same Declaration "condemns colonialism ..."; whereas in fact, the Declaration adopted by the General Assembly at its fifteenth session in resolution 1514 (XV) read: "Solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism .. .*. Care should be taken not to let oneself be carried away by one's feelings, or otherwise the final text arrived at would be. not a legal declaration, but a mere manifesto.
55. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the time limit for submission of all amendments should be set at 12 neon on the following day. 1 October.
It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m.