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General Assembly Places Resolution on Religious Persecution on Agenda

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The U.N. General Assembly yesterday agreed unanimously to place on its agenda an Arab-sponsored resolution on racial and religious persecution after Egypt denied intentions of using it to raise the Palestine issue indirectly. The resolution, which simply calls on member states to carry out the terms of the U.N. Charter in eliminating persecution of minorities, will come directly before the Assembly for discussion.

The Soviet delegation which had objected to the resolution when it was introduced earlier in the week withdrew its objections when Egypt modified the text to exclude reference to persecution in Central Europe.

Referring to the charge that the Arabs were indirectly trying to bring up the Palestine issue, Egyptian delegate Bahgat Badaoui Bey declared “we would not be accused of bringing in by the backdoor something which should properly be brought in by the front door.” Neither he nor Saudi Arabian delegate Abdul-Monim Bey Riad mentioned Jews by name.

Oscar Lange of Poland declared his intention of bringing up the existence of fascist elements in Central and Eastern Europe who are responsible for persecuting minorities. He mentioned that Poland has been accused of being a police state because it puts into jail those who commit excesses against Jews in Poland.

Philip Noel-Baker of the United Kingdom, agreeing with Poland that fascist remnants are operating in Europe, declared that Britain supports the strongest measures taken against people who persecute the Jewish race.

Earlier, a resolution on genocide was placed on the agenda without objection and referred to the legal committee. Under the resolution, the Assembly would call on the Assembly would call on the Economic and Social Council to study the problem and prepare a report on the possibilities of declaring the extermination of large blocs of persons an international crime and assuring international cooperation for its prevention and punishment.

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