HC Deb 11 December 1972 vol 848 c5
3. Mr. Leonard

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will press for the appointment of a United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Julian Amery)

We shall again support the appointment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights when the matter is discussed by the General Assembly next autumn. Progress on this important proposal has so far been obstructed by the Soviet Union and its supporters.

Mr. Leonard

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am delighted to hear that the Government intend to press this proposal? As a large number of members of the United Nations on both sides of the Iron Curtain continue flagrantly to break the principles of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, despite the fact that they are signatories to it, may I suggest that if one person of standing were given the responsibility of monitoring progress throughout the world in this respect it might make a small but helpful contribution to a solution of the problem?

Mr. Amery

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. The appointment of a High Commissioner is rather a stop-gap measure until the Human Rights Committee proposed under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights comes into being.

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