Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: June 8-14

June 14, 1952

“NEW YORK, Friday—We passed a resolution in the Human Rights Commission yesterday asking the Economic and Social Council to grant us time during the coming year to finish the two covenants and measures of implementation. This should mean that there will be no discussion of the unfinished work either in the Economic and Social Council or in the General Assembly this year, but that we will proceed to complete the work in the Human Rights Commission and bring it in its final form before our parent bodies in 1953.

If this is the way it actually works out we will save a great deal of time. If our work is discussed in its unfinished condition in both the Economic and Social Council and in Committee 3 of the General Assembly, only recommendations can be made. Those recommendations were made last year, so it would be a waste of time to do it all again before the final work of the Human Rights Commission is over.

It also was suggested that we ask for a divided period in our next year’s meeting in order that we might be sure to finish the other items on our agenda, which year by year have been postponed. We did not reach the discussion of any new articles for the convenants, and there are several new articles that must go in before the covenants are really complete.

We had an absurdly long argument about whether the articles as they now are should be temporarily rearranged and renumbered, with the understanding that this was not a final order or sequence and that if new articles were introduced we were not prejudging their positions in the covenant. But the mere numbering of new articles seems to frighten the Soviet delegate and he argued for a long time that they just go in with a description of what they contained over each article.

Finally, we are finished, except for the reading of the report, which will take place today.”

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