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a risk which is worth running. I think in the long run I would rather have the treaties than be concerned about the risk of too much politics involved in them.

Senator ZORINSKY. Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for taking the time from your busy schedule to appear here today. I know it is very hectic and these are trying times. You certainly have your work cut out for you.

I want to thank you for being here at these hearings.

Ambassador McHenry. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and particularly I thank you for taking me at such short notice.

Senator ZORINSKY. You are quite welcome.

God be with you. It is going to take the wisdom of Solomon to resolve some of the issues confronting us today.

I wish to thank our witness panel for its indulgence. I will resume the panel's testimony by calling now upon Mr. Liskofsky for his presentation. STATEMENT OF SIDNEY LISKOFSKY, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMIT. TEE ON BEHALF OF NATIONAL JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS ADVISORY COUNCIL, NEW YORK, N.Y.

Mr. LISKOFSKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am here on behalf of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council which comprises some 107 constituent local community relations councils and 11 national agencies. I would mention just some of these national agencies. They include the American Jewish Committee; the American Jewish Congress; the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League. I believe the director of the B'nai B'rith Washington office, Mr. Warren Eisenberg, is here in the audience. They include also the Hadassah; the Jewish Labor Committee; the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.; the National Council of Jewish Women; and several other organizations.

Mr. Chairman, the Jewish communities of the world have been concerned with the field of international human rights for a long time. Their interest in developing international norms reaches back as far as the Congress of Vienna, when they tried to get provisions for safeguarding the rights of religious groups into the Treaty of Vienna.

American Jewish organizations were very active in seeking the minority rights treaties after First World War I and sought actively to obtain effective provisions for the promotion and protection of human rights in the United Nations Chapter.

Presently, they strongly support U.S. ratification of the treaties which are the subject of these hearings.

We believe that U.S. ratification of these four treaties would serve two broad purposes that are integral to our historic tradition in acting as a beacon for advancement of human rights.

First, ratification will enable our Government more effectively to protest serious human rights violations in other countries. Such protest would be especially appropriate with respect to those governments which have ratified the treaties but pay no heed to their provisions. Criticism or public denunciation of noncompliance and of flagrant violations inevitably lack credibility if the United States itself has failed to ratify these basic human rights treaties. It is an anachronism that they should be ratified in large numbers by governments which flout them while the United States stands aside.

Second, ratification will permit our country to participate in the implementing organs of the first two treaties, the Committee on Racial Discrimination under the Racial Convention and the Human Rights Committee under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

While these treaties have very limited compliance functions, they nevertheless, we believe, can serve useful purposes. They also constitute the embryo of more meaningful international human rights structures.

Active U.S. participation in them would enable us to participate at a still early stage in the evolving international jurisprudence of human rights.

We regret that in submitting these treaties to the Senate the President did not at the same time submit the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Protocol enables individual victims of human rights violations, after exhausting all available domestic remedies, to appeal in their individual capacities to the Human Rights Committee established by article 28 of the covenant.

In view of the understandable reluctance of governments to complain against other governments lest they elicit resentful, retaliatory complaints, the right of individual petition is generally accepted to be a more hopeful form of implementation than the right of state-tostate complaint. In building the right of individual petition into the body of the American Convention on Human Rights on a mandatory basis, while denoting as optional the right of state-to-state complaint; states parties to that convention have agreed to a more meaningful system of implementation than that provided in the other conventions,

We hope the Senate will approve the voluntary declaration envisaged in article 14 of the Convention on Racial Discrimination, recognizing the competence of its implementing committee to consider communications from individual petitioners.

Finally, we hope the Senate will seriously consider approving the voluntary declaration referred to in article 62 of the American Convention, by which it would accept the jurisdiction of the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights.

Mr. Chairman, in recommending ratification of these four important treaties, we are mindful of the Senate's experience with the earlier, and equally important, human rights treaty, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

To recall the history of the Genocide Convention in the U.S. Senate is not encouraging, to understate that melancholy record. That convention, largely drafted and promoted at the United Nations by the American delegation, was first submitted to the Senate by President Truman 30 years ago, After hearings in February 1950, a subcommittee of the Senate

, Foreign Relations Committee recommended ratification, yet nothing happened. That treaty was shelved, together with every proposed human rights treaty, following an unfortunate pledge by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in April 1953 that the administration would in the future no longer support the use of the treaty method for promoting human rights.

It was not until 20 years later that this policy, as applied to the Genocide Convention, was formally reversed. In 1970, President Nixon

again urged the Senate to provide consent to ratification of the Genocide Treaty. Once again, hearings were held in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with support coming from virtually every responsible civic organization.

The Foreign Relations Committee in May 1971, recommended ratification by an overwhelming vote. That was 8 years ago. Again, nothing happened.

This long and dismal record scarcely can evoke pride in our legislative institutions and in our commitment to human rights. The United States remains the only democratic state in the world that has failed to ratify the Genocide Convention. The failure, as has been pointed out, has acutely embarrassed our representatives at the United Nations and at other international fora. The failure profoundly challenges and undermines the image of the United States as a champion of human rights and the moral leader of the free world.

In consequence, while these hearings are centered on the four treaties, ratification being endorsed by us, we strongly urge this committee to give priority to prodding the Senate leadership and the Senate as a whole to move speedily toward early ratification of the Genocide Convention.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, .
[Mr. Liskoľsky's prepared statement follows:)

PREPARED STATEMENT OF SIDNEY LISKOFSKY
On behalf of the 107 constituent community relations councils and
eleven national agencies within the National Jewish Community

Relations Advisory Council. Human rights has been affirmed at the highest level of our Government as the soul of our foreign policy.” Essential to the promotion and protection of human rights is the vigorous support of international standards and international law which define and codify rights and freedoms.

The United States has appropriately championed the standards incorporated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Helsinki Final Act. But it has been dilatory, far too dilatory, in undergirding these standards, whose force is principally moral and political, through ratification of legally-binding international instruments.

Four international instruments are the subject of these hearings and merit our special interest-the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Covenant Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the American Convention on Human Rights. All four of the conventions are in force, having received the required number of ratifications. If the U.S. Government has displayed its commitment to the purposes of these instruments by affixing its signature to them, it is time to transform that commitment into treaty obligations by ratification. We strongly recommend this course of action.

The Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which the United States signed in January 1966, constitutes a comprehensive series of undertakings designed to remove discrimination on racial grounds in every area of public life.

The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights codifies principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights especially those which define what governments must not do to their people and what they must do to guarantee minimum standards of freedom. As pointed out in the State Department's Letter of Transmittal of December 17, 1977, “the rights guaranteed are those civil and political rights with which the United States and the western liberal democratic tradition have always been associated.”

The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights basically codifies various goals toward which governments should and must strive, but which are to be achieved progressively rather than through immediate implementation. Both Covenants were signed by President Carter in October 1977 with the suggestion that they “created a momentum towards the realization of the hopes that they offered.”

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The American Convention on Human Rights was adopted in 1969 by members of the Organization of American States with the active participation of the U.S. and signed by the United States on June 1, 1977. Like the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it provides for extensive protection of personal liberty and other rights and freedoms that are crucial to the American liberal and democratic tradition.

The State Department's transmittal letter of December 17, 1977 to the President states that the treaties contain some differences with the U.S. Constitution and laws, inevitable in view of the large number of states concerned. The most serious are those in Article 4 (a) and (b) of the Convention on Racial Discrimination and in Article 20 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which conflict with the constitutionally protected rights of free speech and associaton. We agree with the general aim of the relevant reservations recommended by the State Department, as well as with the explanatory "statement” recommended with regard to Article 5(1) of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is said to raise the free speech problem indirectly.

However, we think it sufficient to limit the reservations to the rights protected by the United States Constitution, without encompassing every restriction contained in all the “laws and practices” of the United States. In other words, a general reservation of the kind suggested by Ambassador Arthur Goldberg when the United States signed the Convention on Racial Discrimination, restricting the U.S. commitment to the extent that the rights provided in the treaties are consistent with the Constitution (and not more), is preferable. For with the inclusive reservation recommended, the Covenant would be viewed correctly—as have analogous clauses proposed by the Soviet Union-as a pseudo-commitment. This is especially the case when taken together with the recommended non-self-executing and federal state provisions.

United States ratification of the four treaties would serve two broad purposes that are integral to our historic tradition in acting as a beacon for advancing human rights. First, ratification will enable our Government to more effectively protest serious human rights violations in other countries of the rights and freedoms incorporated in these treaties. Such protest would be especially appropriate with respect to those Governments which have ratified the treaties but observe their provisions in the breach. Criticism or public denunciation of non-compliance and of flagrant violations inevitably lack credibility if the United States itself has failed to ratify these basic human rights treaties. It is an anachronism that they should be ratified in large numbers by governments which flout them while the United States stands aside.

Secondly, ratification will permit the United States to participate in the implementing organs of the first two treaties, the Committee on Racial Discrimination and the Human Rights Committee, respectively. (The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides for no such organ. It provides only for review of governmental compliance reports by the U.N. Economic and Social Council.) While these committees have but very limited compliance functions, they nonetheless constitute the embryo of meaningful international human rights structures.

To help assure that these institutions are not aborted or distorted in fulfilling their specified aims, and to aid their constructive growth, active U.S. participation in them could serve a salutory purpose. It would enable us to participate at a still early stage in the evolving international jurisprudence of human rights.

In addition, ratification by the United States of these and other human rights treaties is an important step in advancing universal observance of human rights. It can act as a stimulus to hasten ratification by those who have thus far been hesitant or indifferent. When accompanied by a growing sensitivity to gross and consistent patterns of human rights violations, universalization will facilitate the twin basic purposes of promotion and protection of human rights.

We regret that in submitting these treaties to the Senate, the President did not at the same time submit the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Protocol enables individual victims of human rights violations, after exhausting all available domestic remedies, to appeal in their individual capacities to the implementing Human Rights Committee established by Article 28 of the Covenant. In view of the understandable reluctance of governments to complain against other governments lest they elicit vindictive retaliatory complaints, the right of individual petition is generally accepted to be a more hopeful form of implementation than the right of state-to-state complaint. In building the right of individual petition into the body of the American Convention on a mandatory basis (while denoting as optional the right of state-to-state complaint), the drafters projected and the States Parties have agreed to a more meaningful system of implementation than that provided in the other conventions.

On the same reasoning, we hope the Senate will approve the voluntary declaration envisaged in Article 14 of the Convention on Racial Discrimination recognizing the competence of its implementing committee to consider communications from individual victims. Finally, we hope the Senate will seriously consider approving the voluntary declaration referred to in Article 62 of the American Convention, by which it would accept the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. (We also support Senate approval of the declaration referred to in Article 41 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, recognizing the competence of the latter's implementing Committee to receive and consider stateto-state complaints.)

In recommending to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ratification of these four treaties, we are mindful that such recommendation may well prove to be an exercise in futility. While these are very important treaties, the Senate's experience with the earlier and equally important human rights treaty—the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide-is, by no means, encouraging.

To recall the history of the Genocide Convention in the United States Senate is to sound the alarm for distress and discouragement. The Convention, which was largely drafted and promoted at the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 by the American delegation, was first submitted to the Senate by President Harry Truman thirty years ago-on June 16, 1949.

After holding hearings on the Genocide Convention in February 1950, a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended ratification, along with several reservations and one understanding. Yet nothing happened and that treaty was shelved, together with every proposed human rights treaty, following an unfortunate pledge made by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in April 1953 that the Administration would in the future no longer support the use of the treaty form as a means of promoting human rights. In essence, this meant that human rights treaties would not be submitted to the Senate for ratification.

Not until almost twenty years later was this policy, as it applied to the Genocide Convention, formally reversed. In 1970, President Richard Nixon once again urged the Senate to provide consent to ratification of the Genocide treaty. Once again hearings were held in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Support came from virtually every responsible civic organization. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in May 1971, by a large majority of 10 to 4, recommended ratification “by an overwhelming vote.” That was eight years ago and, again, nothing happened.

This prolonged and sad episode can scarcely evoke pride in our legislative institutions and in our commitment to human rights. Indeed, it is a national disgrace. The United States remains the only democratic state in the world that has failed to ratify the Genocide Convention. The failure has acutely embarrassed our representative at the United Nations and in other international forums when the subject of genocide has arisen. The failure profoundly challenges and undermines the image of the United States as a champion of human rights and the moral leader of the free world.

In consequence, to assure that this Committee's deliberations in the area of human rights be perceived as meaningful and consequential, we strongly urge that it give priority to prodding the Senate leadership and the Senate as a whole to move speedily toward early ratification of the Genocide Convention.

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NATIONAL JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS ADVISORY COUNCIL CONSTITUENT

ORGANIZATIONS

NATIONAL AGENCIES
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
B'nai B'rith-Anti-Defamation League
Hadassah
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.
National Council of Jewish Women
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Synagogue of America
Women's American ORT

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