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U.N. Legal Committee Tables Consideration of Draft Convention to Outlaw Genocide

The United Nations Legal Committee has tabled action on a draft convention outlawing genocide after members pointed out that the U.N. did not yet have any agency to enforce its decisions. The committee voted to refer the draft convention to a sub-committee for further study and a decision on future procedure.

With the exception of the Panamanian and Venezuelan delegates who pleaded for adoption of the convention, the members of the committee supported British representative Sir Hartley Shawcross, chief British prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, who asserted that the draft proposal was “utterly unrealistic” at this time. When the draft was circulated among member nations for comment, very few governments bothered to offer suggestions or make any official statement.