WASHINGTON (Feb. 7)
A delegation of American Jewish leaders called on the Administration here today to press for immediate ratification by the United States Senate of the United Nations Genocide Convention.
The eight-member contingent, representing six Jewish organizations, told State Department officials that “the United States can no longer remain one of the uncommitted nations of the world on the issue of genocide.” The six Jewish organizations represented were the American Jewish Congress, the Jewish Community Council of Washington, D. C., the Jewish Labor Committee, the Jewish War Veterans of America, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
The Genocide Convention, which has been ratified by 65 countries since it was unanimously adopted by the United Nations in 1948, condemns the mass murder of racial, religious, national and ethnic groups as an international crime. It was actively promoted by the U. S. mission to the UN in 1948 and reported out favorably by a Senate Foreign Relations Committee subcommittee in 1950. Since that time, however, the Genocide Convention has not been acted upon by the Senate Committee.
Louis E. Shecter of the American Jewish Congress, who served as spokesman for the group, said that Department officials were told that Administration support for the measure would undoubtedly meet with speedy and positive reaction by the Senate. He noted that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. W. Fulbright (D. -Ark.) had said in a recent statement that his Committee might act to ratify the convention if such a move received “the full weight and support of the Administration.”
“What is needed now,” Mr. Shecter emphasized, “is a simple declaration by the Executive Branch that this country is prepared to consider affirmatively participation in appropriate international undertakings in the field of human rights and that to begin with it will recommend ratification of the Genocide Convention.”