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Five-nation Proposal on Human Rights Report Adopted by U.N. Economic and Social Council

The U.N. Economic and Social Council last night adopted by 11 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions, a resolution on the report of the Commission on Human Rights. The resolution, jointly proposed yesterday by Belgium, India, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the United States, is in three parts.

The first part notes that lack of time has prevented the Commission on Human Rights from completing, as instructed, the “revision of the first 18 articles” of the draft Covenant on Human Rights. The second part transmits the Commission’s report to the General Assembly together with records of discussion in the Council.

The third part, drawing attention to “difficulties which may flow from embodying in one covenant different kinds of rights and obligations” while at the same time recognizing the importance of formulating economic, social and cultural rights “in a manner most likely to assure their effective implementation,” invites the General Assembly to reconsider its decision “to include in one covenant articles on economic, social and cultural rights together with articles on civil and political rights.”

Before voting on the resolution, the Council rejected by 9 votes to 6, with 3 abstentions, a draft resolution proposed by Czechoslovakia which would have simply referred the draft covenant back to the Commission on Human Rights for completion.