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World Congress Units Urged to Press for U.S. Ratification of Anti-genocide Treaty

All constituents of the American section of the World Jewish Congress were urged today to use their influence to secure U.S. Senate ratification of various human rights documents adopted by the United Nations, especially the anti-genocide convention adopted by the U.N. in 1948 and never approved by the U.S.A.

A statement issued by Jacob Katzman, acting chairman of the WJC’s American section, and Max Melamet, the organization’s executive director, urged all WJC groups to help observe International Year for Human Rights, set by the United Nations for the entire year 1968. The “Year” marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the U.N., in 1948, of the convention against genocide and of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Both those documents had been adopted by the General Assembly, in Paris, without dissenting votes.

Noting “with satisfaction” the progress made in the field of human rights in the last two decades, “particularly in securing wide support for the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration,” the Katzman-Melamet statement called attention, however, to the fact that a number of the U.N. documents relating to human rights remain unratified by the U.S.A. “Foremost” among these, the statement noted, is the convention against genocide.

Ratification of several human rights documents adopted by the U.N., including the one banning genocide, had been urged before the U.S. Senate by Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Johnson. The WJC section urged not only ratification of the anti-genocide convention but also the more recently adopted U.N. conventions on the elimination of racial discrimination and on international covenants on civic, political, economic and cultural rights.

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