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called consensus rule and they had a vote and they voted up or down, and they voted in favor of three articles on the Declaration on Religious Intolerance, the first time it had ever been done. I think to us who have watched that issue for years before you and I were even on the scene looking at it, it was a significant breakthrough.
Mr. BONKER. That was adopted, this Declaration on Religious Tolerance?
Mr. MEZVINSKY. Three articles of the declaration. There are more articles than three.
Mr. BONKER. On Religious Tolerance?
Mr. MEZVINSKY. Yes.
Mr. BONKER. Could you submit to the subcommittee for our record the Declaration on Religious Tolerance 1 and the various items that are included therein, and the votes that occurred; also the one on the Torture Convention.2
Mr. MEZVINSKY. Right. We will be glad to supply it for the record. Mr. BONKER. It seems to me that you are proceeding on several tracks: One to move in more of a policy area, that is, Declaration on Religious Tolerance, something that is more definitive and has broad application, a guideline for future guidance, and also, through the confidential procedures, you are looking to individual countries and their violations and taking appropriate action on some of the violators. So you are looking at both policy and individual countries?
Mr. MEZVINSKY. We are looking at the international instruments, as such, the policy questions and then the implementation of national machinery. We have also tried to do--one step was to establish guidelines so that within each country there would be some national machinery. We have our Civil Rights Commission, we have our courts, we have our Congress. Within certain countries, there are no such mechanisms at all.
That process has started and I think those guidelines that have come out are, shall we say, positive? But I think the question we continually face as we espouse human rights in our countries, is that we have to realize that we have certain commitments we have to make here at home and one of the problems that we draft policy that-I hope you can tell one, and hopefully we can at least ratify a genocide treaty, especially your colleagues, my former colleagues, whatever-that the defensive posture that we are put on regarding ratification is very difficult in view of the fact that we have gone through the holocaust, and all of the attention that has come out of that.
Mr. BONKER. You spoke with some feeling about the double standard issue and how our lack of ratification of some of these international accords is maybe a little embarrassing, as well as our treatment of Indians, and I imagine that raises an issue, but I really do not think that in recent years the Federal Government has defaulted on our commitment in that area. I probably represent more Indian tribes and reservations than any other area in the country. It is a difficult situation in terms of our financial commitment, through a whole variety of programs; the resources that they have to develop.
1 See appendix 1, p. 27. 2 See appendix 4, p. 44.
It is more of a cultural, perhaps, identity crisis than one in which the Government is consciously discriminating against a segment of the population.
There was a time, of course, when that was the case, but I think in contemporary life that the Government has been very sympathetic and supportive and has fulfilled its commitment in a whole variety of ways through Federal programs to help that segment of a population. So I do not think we should be vulnerable on that charge. Of course, there are many others.
Mr. MEZVINSKY. When I had that testimony given, I cited the congressional act and the others. That is the reason why the Helsinki Commission, of which Congressman Fascell is the chairman, is going through and reviewing domestic implementation, which I think will be helpful, the same way that the Ford Foundation has funded a private effort specifically, not just in the case of the American Indians, but in the case of our complying with the Helsinki accords as well.
Mr. BONKER. I want to thank both of you for your appearance here today. You have been most helpful in our understanding of the Human Rights Commission's role, and I really think that next year, when we convene the 36th session, the chairman of this subcommittee and my colleagues will be able to attend and know firsthand the activities to support your efforts in the future.
Thank you very much.
The record will stay open for 5 additional days to receive further comment. The subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:45 p.m. the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
WORKING PAPER PREPARED BY THE U.N. SECRETARIAT, ENTITLED "DRAFT DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE," WHICH CONTAINS THE BASIC WORKING TEXTS BEING USED BY THE COMMISSION'S SESSIONAL WORKING GROUP
1. The General Assembly, at its twenty-eighth session, adopted, on 30 November 1973, resolution 3069 (XXVIII), in which the Assembly,
"Considering that the draft articles prepared by the Working Group set up by the Commission on Human Rights at its twentieth session, and suggestions, comments and amendments thereto presented by Member States, constituted a suitable orientation for the preparation of a draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance,
"1. Invites the Economic and Social Council to request the Commission on Human Rights at its next session to consider with priority the elaboration of a draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance taking into account observations presented by Governments as well as the opinions expressed, the suggestions put forward and the amendments submitted in the course of the discussion of this question at the twenty-eighth session of the General Assembly, and to submit, if possible, a single draft Declaration to the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council;
"2. Invites Governments to transmit to the Secretary-General their additional comments and suggestions on the said articles and amendments in time for consideration at the next session of the Commission on Human Rights;
"3. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit all the documentation on the subject that was before the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session to the Commission on Human Rights;
"4. Decides to inscribe this item on the agenda of the twenty-ninth session with a view to consider, complete and adopt, if possible, a Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance."
2. The present document was prepared in compliance with paragraph 3 of the resolution and in order to indicate clearly the present state of consideration of the texts which the General Assembly took as a basis for discussion of the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance.
3. In this connection, it may be useful to recall that the following action was previously taken by United Nations organs on the matter:
(a) In resolution 1781 (XVII) of 7 December 1962, the General Assembly requested the Economic and Social Council to ask the Commission on Human Rights, bearing in mind the views of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities, the debates at the seventeenth session of the General Assembly, any proposals on the matter that might be submitted by Governments and any international instruments already adopted in this field by the specialized agencies, to prepare: (i) a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, to be submitted to the Assembly for consideration at its eighteenth session; and (ii) a draft international convention on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, to be submitted to the Assembly if possible at its nineteenth session and, in any case, not later than at its twentieth session. The Assembly invited Member States to submit their comments and proposals concerning the draft convention by 15 January 1964;
(b) At its resumed thirty-fourth session, the Economic and Social Council, on 19 December 1962 (1238th meeting), decided to transmit the resolution of the General Assembly to the Commission on Human Rights and to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities;
(c) At its nineteenth session, in 1963, the Commission held a preliminary debate on resolution 1781 (XVII) and decided to give priority at its twentieth session to the preparation of a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance. The Commission requested the Sub-Commission to prepare and submit to the Commission at its twentieth session a preliminary draft of such a declaration, taking into account the views expressed during the debate on the subject at the nineteenth session of the Commission, and requested the SecretaryGeneral to invite the Governments of Member States to submit any proposals which they might wish to make as to the provisions which such a declaration should contain in time for consideration by the Commission at its twentieth session;
(d) The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities at its sixteenth session, in 1964, prepared and submitted to the Commission a preliminary draft of a United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance, together with other relevant documentation; (e) The Commission, at its twentieth session in 1964, set up a working group to prepare, on the basis of the preliminary draft of the Sub-Commission and all other relevant documentation, a draft declaration of the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance. The working group, however, was able to consider only the first six articles of the text submitted by the Sub-Commission, in relation to which it prepared a provisional text consisting of six articles. It also submitted to the Commission certain alternative texts and proposals. Owing to lack of time, the Commission was unable to adopt a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance. In resolution 2 (XX), the Commission requested the Secretary-General to transmit to Member Governments for comments the report of the working group and the preliminary draft of a Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance submitted by the Sub-Commission, and to submit to the Economic and Social Council at its thirty-seventh session the comments of Governments as well as the working group's report and the Sub-Commission's draft of a Declaration. The Commission recommended to the Council: "To give such further consideration as it may deem practicable to the drafting of a Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance, in the light of the comments of Governments, and that it transmit the appropriate documents to the General Assembly for consideration at its nineteenth session."
(f) The Council, in resolution 1015 C (XXXVII) of 30 July 1964, decided to refer to the General Assembly resolution 2 (XX) of the Commission, together with the documents mentioned therein, as well as the records of the debate held on the subject at the Council's thirty-ninth session," and suggested to the Assembly that it take a decision on the further course to be followed in the matter. The General Assembly was unable to consider the draft Declaration at its nineteenth session;
(g) The General Assembly, in resolution 2020 (XX) of 1 November 1965, requested the Council to invite the Commission on Human Rights to make every effort to complete, at its twenty-second session, the preparation of the draft Declaration and the draft Convention, in order that they might be submitted to the Assembly at its twenty-first session. The Commission on Human Rights, however, has not considered the preparation of a draft Declaration since its twentieth session;
(h) The General Assembly did not consider the question of the preparation of a draft Declaration from its twenty-first to twenty-sixth sessions, but at its twenty-seventh session, the Assembly adopted resolution 3027 (XXVII) of 18 December 1972 in which it decided to accord priority to the completion of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance before resuming consideration of the draft International Convention on this subject; requested the Secretary-General to transmit to States Members of the United
1 Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Thirty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 8 (E/3873), chap. X, resolution 10 (XIX). 2 E/CN.4/873, para. 142.
3 See Official Record of the Economic and Social Council, Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 8 (E/3873), chap. III.
Ibid., para. 296.
Ibid., para. 294.
Documents E/SR.1314 and 1338, and E/AC.7/SR.490-496. See also the report of the Economic and Social Council to the General Assembly. Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Supplement No. 3 (A/5803), chap. IX, sect. II.