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[The consideration of this article was postponed until the 1953 Session of the Commission on Human Rights. The United States, together with Australia and India, submitted the following proposal for this article:
1. A federal State may at the time of signature or ratification of, or accession to, this Covenant make a Declaration stating that it is a federal State to which this Article is applicable. In the event that such a Declaration is made, paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article shall apply to it. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform the other States Parties to this Covenant of such Declaration.
2. This Covenant shall not operate so as to bring within the jurisdiction of the federal authority of a federal State making such Declaration, any of the matters referred to in this Covenant which independently of the Covenant, would not be within the jurisdiction of the federal authority.
3. Subject to paragraph 2 of this Article, the obligations of such federal State shall be:
(a) In respect of any provisions of the Covenant, the implementation of which is, under the constitution of the federation, wholly or in part within federal jurisdiction, the obligations of the federal government shall, to that extent, be the same as those of Parties which have not made a declaration under this Article.
(b) In respect of any provisions of the Covenant, the implementation of which is, under the constitution of the federation, wholly or in part within the jurisdiction of the constituent units (whether described as states, provinces, cantons, autonomous regions, or by any other name), and which are not, to this extent, under the constitutional system bound to take legislative action, the federal government shall bring such provisions with favorable recommendations to the notice of the appropriate authorities of the constituent units, and shall also request such authorities to inform the federal government as to the law of the constituent units in relation to those provisions of the Covenant. The federal government shall transmit such information received from constituent units to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.]
[Former Articles 70 and 73 were revised by the Commission on Human Rights at its 1950 Session and were not considered at its 1951 or 1952 Session because of the lack of sufficient time to do so.]
[Ratification and Accession]
1. This Covenant shall be open for signature and ratification or accession on behalf of any State Member of the United Nations or of any non-member State to which an invitation has been extended by the General Assembly.
2. Ratification of or accession to this Covenant shall be effected by
the deposit of an instrument of ratification or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and as soon as twenty States have deposited such instruments, the Covenant shall come into force among them. As regards any State which ratified or accedes thereafter the Covenant shall come into force on the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all Members of the United Nations, and other States which have signed or acceded, of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
1. Any State Party to the Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties to the Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that at least one-third of the States favour such a conference the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of States present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
2. Such amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When such amendments come into force they shall be binding on those parties which have accepted them, other Parties being still bound by the provisions of the Covenant and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
15. MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AT GENEVA, APRIL 7, 1953 1
I am asking Mrs. Oswald B. Lord, the new representative of the United States on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, to express to the Commission my deep personal interest in its work. In these days of international tension and strain, it is encouraging to know that the members of the Commission on Human Rights are working to develop effective programs to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people and all nations throughout the world.
The U.N. Charter states the human-rights goals which the United States and the other members of the United Nations have pledged themselves to achieve in cooperation with the United Nations-the promotion of universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
1 Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 20, 1953, p. 580.
For the people of the United States, as well as for people everywhere, the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights' is a significant beacon in the steady march toward achieving human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
People everywhere are seeking freedom-freedom to live, freedom from arbitrary restraint, freedom to think and speak as they wish, freedom to seek and find the truth. We must press ahead to broaden the areas of freedom. The United States is convinced that freedom is an indispensable condition to the achievement of a stable peace.
Unfortunately, in too many areas of the world today there is subjugation of peoples by totalitarian governments which have no respect for the dignity of the human person. This denial of the freedom of peoples, the continued disregard of human rights, is a basic cause of instability and discontent in the world today.
For these reasons, the work of the Commission on Human Rights assumes greater importance and meaning. For these reasons also, there is need for a new approach to the development of a human-rights conscience in all areas of the world. I have accordingly asked Mrs. Lord to present positive U.N. action programs to the Commission which we feel will contribute to that recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms which people are seeking throughout the world.
16. STATEMENT BY THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 2 BEFORE THE NINTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GENEVA, APRIL 8, 1953 3
As this is the first occasion in which I have had the privilege of serving in the Commission on Human Rights, I hope you will permit me to make a few general remarks about the agenda. I am happy to be a member of this Commission and to join with you in the vital task of helping to advance the cause of freedom. I accepted this appointment from the President of the United States because I personally am convinced of the importance of promoting respect for human rights through international cooperation.
At the very outset of our work, I wish to assure you that the U.S. Government continues to support wholeheartedly the promotion of respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles have spoken to me personally about their deep concern that the United Nations move steadily forward toward the goals laid down in the Charter.
In order to assure steady progress toward those goals, the Government of the United States is suggesting a new and urgent approach to the promotion of human rights, to take account of changed condi
1 A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 1156-1159.
2 Mrs. Oswald B. Lord.
3 Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 20, 1953, pp. 581-582. For a report on the Ninth Session, see "New U.S. Action Program for Human Rights,” ibid., Aug. 17, 1953, pp. 215-222.
tions in the world. Today, disregard of the basic principles of human rights is widespread and fundamental freedoms are denied peoples in many areas.
Under these circumstances, the world does not yet appear ready for a treaty of such comprehensive scope as the proposed covenants on human rights. We need to work together immediately to develop a higher moral sense of human-rights values in all areas of the world. For that reason, the United States is urging that this Commission give immediate consideration to the development of human-rights action programs.
The Commission on Human Rights already has made an outstanding contribution to the constructive achievements of the United Nations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stands as a major landmark of progress in this difficult field. It is with understandable pride that I participate in this Commission, where our two past chairmen, Mrs. Roosevelt and Mr. Malik, and their colleagues have brought intelligence and skill to bear upon some of the most challenging problems of our times.
The agenda of the Commission clearly falls into two distinct parts: the completion of the draft covenants and the consideration of a wide range of other matters.
The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council have asked that the Commission complete the drafting of the covenants. This task will necessarily occupy a considerable portion of our time; but perhaps, if we could set May 1 as a target date for completing the remaining portions of the two covenants, we need not devote more than half of our session to this task.
Since the completion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the Commission has been entirely engrossed in the drafting of the proposed covenants on human rights. As discussions have proceeded on the covenants, it begins to appear that they are not receiving the acceptance which had been initially anticipated and that they will not be ratified as widely as had been hoped. The climate of world opinion does not yet seem favorable to the conclusion of the covenants in the United Nations. The covenants will not have the expected effectiveness in the field of human rights. For these reasons, my Government has concluded that in the present stage of international relations it would not ratify the covenants.
Inasmuch as the United States is a loyal member of the United Nations, its delegation will continue to collaborate in the drafting of these covenants and to make suggestions for improving them. The covenants will be looked upon as a more precise and definitive statement of the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, irrespective of their ratification or nonratification. My Government hopes that there will be a time when human rights will be sufficiently respected in fact and when a human-rights conscience will be sufficiently developed throughout the world so that a codification of the then prevailing principles will be worthwhile. When and if such a time comes the United States may give consideration to the ratification of a covenant on human rights, and for that
reason we are concerned with the drafting of the covenants now so that they will be in the most acceptable form and will require the least possible change if they are used as a model for future treaties.
It seems increasingly important, therefore, that alternative and more effective and acceptable ways be devised by the Commission to achieve the goals of the Charter for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The remaining part of our agenda contains a large number of items. not related to the draft covenants. The U.S. delegation endorses the listing on the provisional agenda and the order of that listing. At the appropriate time, however, I shall suggest that some of these items be given priority. A number of these items are of the utmost significance and deserve our most earnest consideration. It is for this reason that I hope that perhaps the last half of our session might be devoted to programs of practical action.
It is the view of the U.S. Government that the guiding principle for the work of the Commission should be to find the surest and speediest methods of raising the level of practice around the world in the observance of human rights. This would require that we initiate a number of action programs. I shall be prepared to make detailed proposals about such action programs in connection with specific agenda items. For the present I should like merely to outline the three principal proposals which my Government wishes me to submit to the Commission.
First, we will propose that the Commission institute a study of various aspects of human rights throughout the world. The Commission could undertake this with the assistance of a rapporteur. The rapporteur would consult with nongovernmental organizations as well as governments and the specialized agencies for relevant data to submit to the Commission. The report of the rapporteur would be considered in the Commission, which might then make general recommendations concerning the subject under discussion. Two subjects that might well be considered first are freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial.
Second, we will propose that annual reports on developments in the field of human rights be prepared by each member government with the assistance of a national advisory committee. These reports would be considered in the Commission at the same time as the study of the proposed rapporteur would be submitted.
Third, we will propose that the United Nations establish advisory services on specific aspects of human rights along the lines of the advisory services now being provided in the economic, social, and public-administration fields. These services would be in the form of experts going to countries requesting the services, scholarships and fellowships being provided for training abroad, and arrangements for seminars.
These are action programs that the Commission can undertake now. There is no need for the Commission to limit itself to the drafting of covenants on human rights, which in any event will have limited applicability. The Commission should give more of its attention to