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U.N. Adopts Final Draft of Convention on Reduction of Statelessness

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After more than two years of work, topped by a two-week conference here attended by representatives of 29 nations, the United Nations today adopted a draft convention here for the reduction of statelessness. Israel, which played a leading role in the work, being represented on a committee which drew the convention, was among the 21 members who voted for the final draft.

The new international instrument, entitled Convention on Reduction of Statelessness will be opened for signature at ceremonies here Wednesday afternoon. It was emphasized that the convention will affect only future statelessness, not those who may have been declared stateless until now in their countries of residence. Members of the U.N. Secretariat said that there is no way to estimate how many persons may be affected, but said there are “many.”

The first conference on elimination and reduction of future statelessness was held in Geneva two years ago, but failed to agree on a draft when many delegations were dissatisfied with one clause dealing with deprivation of citizenship. The draft adopted today included an amendment proposed by Britain, found satisfactory to the majority of delegations, including Israelis. It restricts somewhat a country’s rights to deprive a person of citizenship.

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