U.N. Body Delays Action on Soviet Discriminations; Ignores Israel Plea
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U.N. Body Delays Action on Soviet Discriminations; Ignores Israel Plea

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A resolution drawing the attention of the United Nations General Assembly to a decision of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to give priority, at its 20th session, to preparing a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, was adopted here today by the Social Committee of the U.N. Economic and Social Council now in session here.

The resolution was adopted unanimously, despite a plea voiced earlier at the meeting of the Social Committee by Moshe Bartur, Israel’s representative, who cited the discrimination against Jews in the Soviet Union and requested “urgent and precise steps” to combat religious discrimination, and that delay would be “incomprehensible and unacceptable.” The 20th session of the U.N. General Assembly starts two years from next September.

Voting for the resolution was also the Soviet delegate. The Soviet delegation has been blocking any immediate action by the United Nations on the issue of religious discrimination which affects primarily Jews in the Soviet Union. The American delegate, John Means, supported the decision of the Human Rights Commission to give priority to a U.N. declaration on religious intolerance, but voted for the resolution to have the draft of such declaration submitted to the 20th session of the Assembly in 1965.


The United Nations Secretariat has proposed that in 1964 there should be no session of the Human Rights Commission which deals with the issue of religious intolerance. At today’s session of the Social Committee, the Indian delegate urged that the next session of this important commission should not be omitted in view of the amount of work to be done by that body. The U.N. Secretariat, in recommending the omission of the session said that this must be done because of technical difficulties.

In a memorandum to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the World Jewish Congress asked that, if the 1964 session of the Human Rights Commission is omitted, the Council transmit directly to the General Assembly the draft principles on religious intolerance adopted by a sub-commission of the Human Rights Commission.

The Social Committee of the ECOSOC today also adopted two other draft resolutions recommended by the Human Rights Commission at its session last April. One resolution, adopted unanimously, submits to the General Assembly at its forthcoming session this September, the text of a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. The declaration, comprising a preamble and 10 articles, would call attention to continued evidence of racial discrimination, and have the Assembly solemnly affirm the need for “the speedy elimination of racial discrimination in all its forms and manifestations. “

The second resolution urges the governments of member states and United Nations technical assistance authorities to promote respect for human rights, and to promote progress in implementing these rights.

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