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USSR is 2nd Nation to Ratify UN Pact Against Statutes of Limitations

The Soviet Union has become the second nation to ratify the United Nations convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations on war crimes and crimes against humanity which the General Assembly adopted last Nov. 26. Poland, the first country, ratified the convention last Feb. 14. It will enter into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the 10th ratification.

The convention was open for signature on Dec. 16, 1968 and so far has been signed by nine countries, including the two which have deposited their instruments of ratification. The convention defines war crimes and crimes against humanity and sets forth the obligations of the ratifying parties. These include undertakings that no statutory or other limitations shall apply to the crimes cited and that such limitations shall be abolished wherever they exist. The preamble of the convention states that war crimes and crimes against humanity are among the gravest crimes in international law; and that 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.