UNCIO 25 APRIL - 26 JUNE 1945

1945 United Nations Conference on International Organisation UNCIO held in San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June.

Contents

0. Introduction

1. UNCIO Conference

2. UDHR Article 2

3. General Assembly Resolution 217 ABCDE of 3rd session, 10 December 1948

4. UN Formation Conferences  1944  1945

5. Dr Colin Aikman on Human Rights in the UN Charter

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0. Introduction

The conception of human rights, as we know them in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, came with the signing of the United Nations Charter at the San Franscisco, United Nations Conference on International Organisation, on 26 June 1945. It came into force on 24 October 1945.

Human rights and their promotion were now pledged by nations to fully respect. Article 56 is a promise to uphold human rights mentioned in Article 55(c).

The seven places where human rights are mentioned in  the United Nations Charter are in 1. below.

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights was made on 10 December 1948 with reference to the Charter in the preamble. It's General Assembly Resolution  III  217 A, with its publicity in D. 

 

1. UNCIO and Human Rights

At UNCIO, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Peter Fraser and Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Francis Forde proposed respect for the Dumbarton Oaks intention that human rights be contained in the United Nations Charter.

Human rights were presented at the 21 August to 7 October 1944 Dumbarton Oaks Conference to formulate and negotiate the United Nations Charter, but wasn't in its final draft for UNCIO discusion. 

These proposals are coloured green in Dr Colin Aikman's description below.

It was an ANZAC Peace Proposal. The conference's 1945 starting date of 25 April is ANZAC Day in New Zealand and Australia.

Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANZAC_Day

The birth of  United Nations human rights came with the Charter mentioning human rights in seven places. Preamble paragraphs are unofficially marked from A to I  for identification,

Click http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/ 

(1) Preamble point B

(2) Chapter I          1(3) 

(3) Chapter IV       13(1) (b) 

(4) Chapter IX        55(c) 

(5) Chapter X         62(2) 

(6) Chapter X         68 

(7) Chapter XII      76(c) 

2. UDHR Article 2 in Two Parts

The Bonzer Bloom's Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Article 2,  two separated sentences are unofficially labelled (a) and (b) for accurate reference.

Sometimes the two Article 2 sentences are run together without a gap. They are separated in the  10 December 1948 General Assembly Resolution 217 A .

This is the way they are to be printed or displayed on the internet.

Click http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm

Above:- Article 2 in two separated parts, with no subsection 1 and 2, as elswhere in the Declaration.

Unofficially, the Bonzer Bloom distinctly labels the two parts a and b for easier reference.

Unlike the UN Charter, the Declaration only has numbers for subsections.

3. UN General Assembly Resolution 217 Of 10 December 1948

 Click  http://www.un.org/documents/resga.htm     See   3rd - 1948, in pink chart and click.

Go to 217 III, 10 December 1948  International Bill Of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR is contained in part A of the United Nations General Assembly's Third Session's

Resolution 217 (III).  International Bill Of Human Rights

A  UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

RIGHT OF PETITION

  FATE OF MINORITIES

D   PUBLICITY TO BE GIVEN TO THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

  PREPARATION OF A DRAFT COVENANT ON HUMAN RIGHTS

     AND DRAFT MEASURES OF IMPLEMENTATION

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D On Publicity To Be Given To The UDHR 

 

  The UDHR is symbolised by the centre purple triangle with a dot.

 

UDHR Introduction from G. A. Res. 217 D.1 of 10 December 1948  

In all United Nations printed publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and sometimes on the internet, the introduction below is only partly from United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217 (III) D.1.

The first quotation marks in printed versions are in the wrong place as shown below, compared to the red star where they should be. 

Click >>>  http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html   UN website's presentation of the Declaration

Click >>>  http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-environment/resources-2   New Zealand Human Rights Commission presentation of the Declaration.

Click >>>  http://www.hrc.co.nz/hrc_new/hrc/cms/files/documents/19-Nov-2008_17-46-40_UDHR_booklet_60_Anniversary.pdf    Please see page 5 with Eleanor Roosevelt's photo and an example of the first quotation marks in the wrong place that sidelines the vital words, to publicize the text of the Declaration and. 

Introduction

This is how it usually appears, in a much weaker fashion than in the original resolution. Why? This needs international corrective action. 

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries*to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

It should be presented as follows, with the original words included within the quotation marks:-  

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. The Assembly recommended that Governments of Member States "show their adherence to article 56 of the Charter by using every means within their power solemnly to publicise the text of the Declaration and to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

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The full text from 217 (III) D.1 of the part quotation above.

Click http://www.un-documents.net/a3r217d.htm

"1.Recommends Governments of Member States to show their adherence to article 56 of the Charter by using every means within their power solemnly*to publicise the text of the Declaration and to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

Above:- From UN Website via, "other documents".

An improved introduction below, with nineteen words not in the introduction between the red and blue stars, of twenty eight quoted between the red stars, from D.1.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. The Assembly recommended that*Governments of Member States "show their adherance to article 56 of the Charter by using every means within their power solemnly*to publicise the text of the Declaration and* to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

Why isn't more of D.1 given in UN publications? It suggests that possibly this text is thought too strong for general readership. Yet the 1948 General Assembly in Resolution 217 III D

"1. Recommends Governments of Member States to show their adherance to article 56 of the Charter by using every means within their power solemnly to publicise the text of the Declaration,......"

What could be so dangerous about these extra words that they couldn't mostly be used in the introduction? 

Why isn't the introduction referred to as from D.1 for reference in printed publications of the Declaration which is A? 

Why isn't A - E stated as the G.A. Res. 217  III  International Bill of Human Rights?

After all, human rights respect is a UN Charter signing nation's promise to promote in the Article 56 Charter pledge. Human rights details must be easily seen by all for the pledge to be upheld and followed.

Why have any secrecy here?  

4. UN Formation Conferences

The two main conferences that gave rise to the United Nations

              (1)  Dumbarton Oaks          Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbarton_Oaks_Conference             

                   (2) UNCIO                  Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Conference_on_International_Organization   

5. Dr Colin Aikman On Human Rights proposed for the UN Charter

Part of an article published in the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review  

 Click  http://www.austlii.edu.au/nz/journals/VUWLRev/1999/4.html

UN CONFERENCE AT SAN FRANCISCO

The Conference at San Francisco worked on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals for the Establishment of a General International Organisation prepared by the four Great Powers.

The Chapters setting out the Purposes and Principles of the proposed organisation made no reference to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The New Zealand Delegation, led by Prime Minister Peter Fraser, went to the San Francisco Conference with a proposal for a new paragraph in the Principles Chapter.[1] It read:

All members of the Organisation undertake to preserve, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the rights of freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

This amendment, as such, was not accepted, but there are references to human rights in the Preamble and also in article 1 which sets out the Purposes of the United Nations. Under article 1 it is a UN purpose:

To achieve international co-operation in solving problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion;

This text introduced the element of non-discrimination, but omitted the undertaking on the part of member states which was an important element of the New Zealand amendment.

The Dumbarton Oaks proposal did, in the Chapter dealing with "Arrangements for International Economic and Social Co-operation", make it one of the responsibilities of the proposed Economic and Social Council to "promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms". New Zealand actively supported two Australian amendments:

1 The Organisation should promote "observance of" as well as "respect for" human rights and fundamental freedoms.


2 Members "should pledge themselves to take action, both national and international, for the purposes of securing for all peoples, including their own" economic and social objectives.

The purport of these amendments was eventually incorporated in articles 55 and 56 of the Charter. Under article 55 the United Nations is to promote:

(c) Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

And in article 56:

All members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.

These two articles were to provide the starting point for the wide-ranging UN involvement in the development of human rights law and practice.

It is important to place them alongside article 2(7) of the Charter which reads in part:

Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State ....

Member states, including New Zealand, jealous of their sovereignty, attached a great deal of importance to the protection provided by this provision. As a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade publication has since conceded: "New Zealand was to agonise over the apparent contradiction" between this provision and articles 55 and 56. New Zealand was eventually to resolve its dilemma in 1958 when it voted in favour of a UN resolution criticising South African racial policies.

 COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

The Economic and Social Council set up the Commission on Human Rights with Eleanor Roosevelt as Chairperson. The first task was to define the human rights and fundamental freedoms which were to be respected and observed. It was decided that there should be an International Bill of Rights comprising three parts:

A Declaration of Human Rights, to be adopted by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.

An International Covenant of Human Rights, under which states would accept legal obligations to observe the rights set out in the Covenant.

Measures for the implementation of the Declaration and the Covenant.

The Commission on Human Rights began work on the Declaration of Human Rights and, in 1947, a draft Declaration was sent to UN member governments for comment. The Peter Fraser Government referred the Commission's proposals to a special Human Rights Committee comprising the Solicitor-General (Mr H E Evans), the Director of Education (Dr C E Beeby), the Director of the New Zealand Council of Educational Research (Mr A E Campbell) and Professor R O McGechan, Professor F L W Wood, Dr J C Beaglehole and Mr J O Shearer of Victoria University College (as it then was). The Committee's findings, with minor departmental modifications, were sent as the Government's views to the Commission. New Zealand was one of the few governments to make such a submission.

"I had been studying in London and, in May 1948, I was sent to New York to observe and report on the Third Session of the Commission on Human Rights. The Session spent most of its time on the draft Declaration and I reported back to Wellington on its work. The Commission sent its draft on to an Economic and Social Council meeting in Geneva. The ECOSOC meeting referred the draft on to the session of the United Nations General Assembly that was to meet in Paris in September 1948."

 PARIS ASSEMBLY 1948

The New Zealand Delegation at Paris, again led by Peter Fraser, included Mrs Ann Newlands, a Labour Party stalwart and former Mayor of Timaru. I was to act as her adviser.

Mrs Newlands presented the New Zealand case before the General Assembly's Third Committee which examined the draft Declaration at 83 lengthy meetings over a period of 3 months. We were well briefed, armed as we were with the Government's submission to the Commission and further comments from the Human Rights Committee in Wellington. I think it is fair to say that we were prominent and effective participants in the debate.[2]

At an early stage, Mrs Newlands expressed the New Zealand view that the Declaration should not be adopted at the Paris Assembly. It would, she said, be preferable if the International Bill of Rights, that is, the Declaration, Covenant and measures of implementation, were to be adopted as a whole. Our position was that the Covenant, which would create legal obligations, was the more important document. The adoption of a Declaration that was intended to be a statement of principles, with moral effect only, would prejudice the preparation of the Covenant.

New Zealand eventually went along with the majority view that a need for a definitive UN position on human rights called for immediate Assembly action. We did, however, successfully sponsor a resolution calling on the Commission on Human Rights to continue to give priority to its work on the Covenant and measures of implementation.

Subsequent experience was to suggest the Assembly made the correct decision to proceed with the immediate adoption of the Declaration. One writer has described that adoption as a quickstep compared with the 18-year trudge to the adoption of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is likely that, if there had been delay, it would not have been possible to have arrived at a declaration that had the same unanimous support.