U.N. Commission on Human Rights Meets; Will Establish Body for Protection of Minorities

The Commission on Human Rights of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, composed of representatives of 18 nations, opened its first meeting today with a discussion of its terms of reference. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt was elected chairman, and Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, rapporteur.

Addressing the session, Henri Laugier, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that the Commission would have to establish a sub-commission for the protection of national minorities, and another group for the prevention of racial and religious discrimination. Pointing out that it would also have to “determine the drafting” of an International Bill of Rights, he said; “The struggle for human rights is the very struggle of the United Nations in their efforts towards a better future.”

Mrs. Roosevelt, on taking the chair, emphasized the importance of the Cammission on Human Rights. She revealed that she had received “a considerable number” of appeals from people and groups concerning human rights. The Commission, she said, was faced with a formidable task since its mombers did not really know how they could enforce its measures. “The members have a mandate to write a Bill of Human Rights, but they do not have any way to enforce their decisions,” she declared.

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