§ Mr. Whitaker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) when he expects Great Britain will be able to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the elimination of racial discrimination;
(2) which United Nations, International Labour Organisation and Council of Europe Conventions he expects Her Majesty's Government to ratify during Human Rights Year.
§ Mr. Goronwy Roberts
Of the 21 principal human rights instruments the United Kingdom is a party to 14. We intend to accede in the near future to the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and, as soon as the necessary domestic legislation can be enacted, to the Genocide Convention. We signed the Convention on Racial Discrimination on 11 th October, 1966. Our position on this 23W instrument, the two International Covenants on Human Rights and the Convention on Consent to Marriage is under active study and we hope to announce our decisions during Human Rights Year. The principal obstacle to ratification of the International Labour Organisation Conventions on Equal Remuneration and Discrimination in Employment and Occupation is the position regarding equal pay for equal work, which is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour.