World Jewish Congress Submits Memorandum on Human Rights to United Nations Commission

The World Jewish Congress today submitted to the Drafting Committee of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights a memorandum containing several proposals which it urged be incorporated in a resolution to be submitted to the General Assembly as a first step towards an International Bill of Rights.

The proposals, which the Congress emphasized are not a substitute for a Bill of Rights, suggest that the General Assembly take the following steps:

1. Affirm the obligation of all member states of the United Nations to ensure equality before the law for all their inhabitants “without distination as to race, sex, language or religion.”

2. Request all member states to enact without delay, and in accordance with their own constitutional processes, such legislation as may be necessary to implement this resolution.

3. Call on them, not merely to prevent infractions of this legislation, but to take positive and continuous action to ensure that it is fully and effectively applied by appropriate action through specially designated state organs.

The Congress also suggested that the resolution to be submitted to the General Assembly empower the Commission on Human Rights to receive petitions from individuals or groups whose rights have been abridged or denied and to take up the matter of the petitions with the government or governments concerned.

At a press conference following submission of the memorandum, Dr. Maurice L. Perlzweig, head of the political department of the Congress, charged that anti-Semitism is still a powerful factor in Europea life and that only the presence of U.S. troops in Germany prevents a recrudescence of “the most violent forms of persecution.” He also asserted that Jews are the victims of discrimination or persecution in some Middle East countries.

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