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Israel Among First to Sign United Nations Covenants on Human Rights

The Government of Israel was among the first to sign the two covenants on human rights adopted unanimously Friday by the General Assembly. One document covers civil and political rights and the other social, economic and cultural rights.

Ambassador Michael S. Comay, Israel’s permanent representative here, signed the covenant at a formal ceremony today, in the presence of Secretary-General U Thant. Ambassador Comay stated: “These covenants are a historic step forward, but the real test lies ahead in the process of ratification by states and their acceptance of binding commitments. The Jewish people has a special and tragic interest in the freedom and dignity of all human beings and groups.”

The General Assembly, meeting in a plenary session today on its final day of the year, decided to postpone until next year consideration of proposals for the creation of a new post to be known as High Commissioner for Human Rights. The delay had been proposed by the Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, which reported today that it had not had the time at this year’s meetings to give full consideration to the proposal.

In another decision, adopted by a vote of 108 in favor, with none against and two abstentions, the Assembly approved plans for devoting the year 1968 to a program celebrating the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under the measure, 1968 is to be known here as International Human Rights Year.

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