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Jewish Groups Join Fight on Draft Covenant Approved by U.N. Human Rights Commission

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The Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations and the World Jewish Congress revealed during the week-end that they are supporting the International League for the Rights of Man in its fight on the 45-article International Covenant on Human Rights drawn up by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and forwarded to the Economic and Social Council.

The League branded the covenant as it now stands “wholly inadequate” and a “serious setback to the United Nations” work on human rights and said it would appeal to the Economic and Social Council to modify the document or return it to the Human Rights Commission for “repairs.” Twenty of the 90 world non-governmental organizations with U.N. consultative status have discussed the draft covenant on human rights and unanimously depored it, a League spokesman said.

The draft covenant spells out fifteen rights which ratifying nations would guarantee within their borders without discrimination. Included would be freedoms of thought, religion, information, assembly, association and movement and the right to fair trial. The covenant would come into effect when states ratify, including non-members of the U.N. invited by the General Assembly.

Acting Secretary of State James E. Webb, speaking in Washington called forwarding of the draft Covenant on Human Rights to the U.N. Economic and Social Council “a significant step.” It is “vitally important that the United Nations carry forward vigorously its program for promoting and encouraging respect for human rights,” he said.

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