U.N. Parley Ingeneva Adopts Proposals on Religion Opposed by Russia
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U.N. Parley Ingeneva Adopts Proposals on Religion Opposed by Russia

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Against objections by the representatives of the Soviet Union and Poland, portions of a draft United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance, which would permit Soviet Jews to make pilgrimages to Israel, has been adopted here by the Subcommission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

The Subcommission, which has been meeting here at the UN’s European Headquarters since January 11, adopted yesterday eight articles of the proposed religious freedoms Convention. One of those clauses would make it mandatory upon member states of the United Nations ratifying the document to give full freedom of the practice of religion “alone or in community” to all individuals or groups in the states, and the right to make religious pilgrimages. Both of those rights are now denied in whole or in part in the Soviet Union. Neither the USSR nor Israel was named in the document.

The draft convention now being considered is a fusion of three separate drafts previously presented before the Subcommission by the United States representative, Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee; Peter Calvocorossi, of Great Britain; and Sir Arcot Krishnaswami, of India. When the article permitting pilgrimages was put to a vote, E.N. Nasihovsky, the USSR representative, voted against it, while Wojcieh Ketrzybski, of Poland, abstained.

Altogether, eight articles of the proposed religious freedoms Convention have been adopted thus far. The group will continue debating the draft document tomorrow. Among other provisions of the draft thus far adopted by the Subcommission, the international Convention would: guarantee the banning of all discriminations on the grounds of religion or belief and make it mandatory upon subscribing states “to respect and protect freedom of religion or belief.”

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