Menu JTA Search

Ambassador Goldberg Endorses U.N. Pact Against Religious Intolerance

Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, chief United States delegate to the United Nations, warmly endorsed on behalf of his Government today the draft International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance, adopted in Geneva last week by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. He also voiced the Washington Administration’s “commitment” to ratification of the U.N. Genocide Convention, which was adopted in 1948 but has not yet been ratified by the U.S.A.

The religious-freedoms instrument, Mr. Goldberg said, “is the first attempt to extend the sanction of international agreements to the individual’s freedom of conscience–his freedom to believe or not to believe, to change his belief, to manifest it in acts of worship, to teach it to his children — without suffering any civil disobedience. “

Ambassador Goldberg made his statement, dealing with all human rights, at the annual meeting of the Conference of United Nations Representatives of the United Nations Association-U.S.A., attended by more than 100 representatives of non-governmental organizations accredited to the United Nations. At its meeting, the conference reelected Dr. William H. Korey to a second one-year term as chairman. Dr. Korey is the U.N. representative for the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations, comprised of B’nai B’rith and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

In speaking of the Human Rights Commission’s action on religious freedoms, Ambassador Goldberg lauded Morris B. Abram, the U.S. representatives on that Commission who, in a private capacity, is president of the American Jewish Committee. Paying tribute to Mr. Abram as “one of the principal authors” of the religious-freedoms document, Mr. Goldberg said: “His skill and persuasiveness had much to do with the unanimous adoption of the Convention in the 32-member Human Rights Commission, That unanimity is a good augury for its final adoption by the General Assembly.”

The religious-freedoms instrument is scheduled to be fleshed out with articles of implementation by the next session of the Assembly. The instrument, Mr. Goldberg said, “pledges the signatories to take positive educational measures to combat religious prejudice, specifically including anti-Semitism. And it provides that acts of violence against adherents of any religion, or incitement to such violence, or incitement to hatred likely to lead to such violence, shall be punishable by law.”

NEXT STORY