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U.N. Body Opens Session on Discrimination; Israeli Elected Rapporteur

The question of religious and cultural discrimination — such as practiced against Jews in the Soviet Union — will be widely discussed here at a three-week session of the United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, which opened today.

Justice Zeev Zeltner, president of the District Court of Tel Aviv, was unanimously elected this morning rapporteur of the Subcommission. Wojciech Ketrzynski, of Poland, was elected chairman. The Subcommission is composed of 18 experts from various countries named on a personal basis and not representing their countries.

Among the items to be discussed by the Subcommission is the question of “discrimination in the matter of religious rights and practices” and manifestation of racial and religious intolerance. Also on the agenda is the question of “elimination of all forms of religious intolerance” and “discrimination in respect to the right of everyone to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

Marc Schreiber, director of the Division of Human Rights, welcomed the members of the Subcommission on behalf of the Secretary-General, and said that the United Nations attached great importance to the field of human rights and, particularly, to the problems of discrimination. He noted that the Subcommission had made successful and important contributions to that field.

Czechoslovakia, meanwhile, today became the fourth state to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The instrument of ratification was received by the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs. The Convention has also been ratified by Bulgaria, Ghana and Pakistan and acceded to by Ecuador. The Convention will enter into force 30 days after the 27th instrument of ratification or accession has been deposited with the Secretary-General. Forty-eight nations have signed the Convention.

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