U.N. Council Starts Discussion on Report of Human Rights Commission

The United Nations Social and Economic Council today began discussion of the report of the Commission on Human Rights which contains four draft resolutions.

The report recommends that the Council instruct the Commission on Human Rights to complete its work on the two covenants–one on civil and political rights, and the other on economic, social and cultural rights–at its next session in 1953 and to submit them simultaneously to the Council.

Appearing as the first speaker, Miss Toni Sender, representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, said the Commission was confronted with a situation whereby “one group of nations” advocated “far-reaching rights and obligations,” while at the same time refusing any supervision or control of their implementation within their own frontiers. While the I.C.F.T.U. would have preferred to have both categories of rights–the civil, and the economic and social–in one document, she said, her organization was ready at this stage to accept the division into two covenants, as long as both were presented for ratification at the same time.

Miss Sender deplored a certain tendency of states to accept only such articles as are compatible with the present status of the laws in their own country. She appreciated that not all rights could be incorporated in these first covenants, but she urged that the Commission make a renewed attempt to have the right to asylum confirmed. She then pointed out that the most important task still before the Commission was to find satisfactory ways of implementation and she stressed the necessity of constantly informing public opinion of the progress of the Commission’s work.

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