Volume #15 - 214.|
ISSUES BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS
CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF THE TRAFFIC IN PERSONS
AND OF THE EXPLOITATION OF THE PROSTITUTION OF OTHERS
Permanent Delegation to United Nations|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
November 30th, 1949|
SIGNATURE BY CANADA OF THE GENOCIDE CONVENTION|
2. The discussions that took place on this matter may be conveniently dealt with under the following headings:
First Debate in the Third Committee;
First Debate in the Third Committee
3. The most important point discussed in the first phase of the debate was the question as to whether the offences defined in the Convention should be further qualified by the words "committed for purposes of gain". The Pakistani Delegation proposed the deletion of these words and, in accordance with our instructions, we opposed this amendment. It was carried, however, and we felt that after having marked our opposition, we could support the article as amended.
4. The Third Committee also decided to ask the Sixth Committee for advice on Articles 8, 9, 10, 12, 25-26-28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 of the Draft Convention. A special resolution was also adopted by the Committee requesting the Sixth Committee to inform it of the legal effects of deleting or retaining the clause "subject to the requirements of domestic law" which appears in various articles of the Draft Convention. The following is a detailed account of the votes taken in the Committee showing in each case how Canada voted.
Pakistan proposal to delete the remainder of the Article commencing with the words "provided these offences are committed for purposes of gain".
Vote: For 22, against 15 (including Canada), abstentions 5.
Chairman's proposal to add "or rents" after "lets" in sub-paragraph (b).
Vote: For 17, against 1, abstentions 27 (including Canada).
Consideration of the Legal Aspects of the Draft Convention by Committee Six 5. The report of the Legal Committee (A/C.6/L.102) will already have reached you. A separate report outlining the Canadian position on the Committee's recommendations is being prepared by Mr. Pick.
Second Debate in the Third Committee 6. On November 28 the Third Committee convened to study the report of the Legal Committee- Generally speaking, the recommendations of the Legal Committee were adopted without much discussion but it may be of interest to outline the salient points of the debates. (a) Definition of prostitution-The Sixth Committee at the instigation of the Swedish representative had included in its report a remark to the effect that a number of States would be unable to accept the Convention if incitement to prostitution and similar acts were not further qualified by the words "committed for gainful purposes". The Pakistani representative in the Third Committee took exception to this part of the report on the ground that this was not a legal but a social matter, and that the Sixth Committee had therefore exceeded its competence. He argued furthermore the procedural point that Article 1 had already been adopted and that it could only be reconsidered with a favourable two-third majority vote. A vote was taken on this point, Canada voting in favour of the reconsideration of Article I (in accordance with the spirit of the instructions contained in paragraph 2 of your despatch No. 61 of October 26),† but the motion was defeated.
The Committee voted also against the inclusion of a general definition of the term "prostitution" for the purposes of the Convention, as suggested by Committee Six. We voted against this proposal on the ground that such a definition does not appear in the international instruments referred to in the preamble of the Draft Convention.
(b) The non-self executing clause (Article 30). It had been expected that the U.S. Delegation would try to introduce an amendment to the effect that Article 30 recognizes a reasonable time in which to adopt implementing legislation, but they did not do so and the Egyptian text as proposed by the Sixth Committee was adopted without any opposition.
(c) The Federal clause. Although the Sixth Committee had approved the principle that a federal clause should be included in the Draft Convention, it was unable to agree on the nature of such a clause. The French representative requested a vote on the question as to whether this matter should be reconsidered by Committee Three. We voted affirmatively in view of our preference for the inclusion of a federal clause in the Convention, but the French proposal was defeated by a large majority. The Convention as finally adopted does not therefore contain a federal clause.
7. When the vote was finally taken on the amended text of the draft Convention, it was adopted by 34 votes in favour, including Canada, with no opposition and 8 abstentions including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
8. I am attaching herewith a list of the votes taken in Committee Three indicating how Canada voted in each case.† I am enclosing also copy of a statement made by the United Kingdom representative explaining why he had to abstain from voting on the draft convention as a whole†
I have, etc.