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Poland, Yugoslavia Sign UN Convention to Bar Statute of Limitations on War Crimes

Poland and Yugoslavia signed the United Nations convention barring application of the statute of limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity when the convention was opened for signature Monday. The convention, adopted by the General Assembly on Nov. 26, defines war crimes and crimes against humanity and requires its signatories to take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure that statutory or other limitations shall not apply to the prosecution and punishment of these crimes.

The preamble to the convention describes war crimes and crimes against humanity as “among the gravest crimes in international law. Their effective punishment is an important element in preventing such crimes and in protecting human rights, encouraging confidence, furthering cooperation among peoples and promoting international peace and security.”