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Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons: Summary Record of the Seventeenth Meeting

Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons: Summary Record of the Seventeenth Meeting

23 November 1951
President :Mr. LARSEN
AustraliaMr. SHAW
AustriaMr. FRITZER
BelgiumMr. HERMENT
CanadaMr. CHANCE
DenmarkMr. HOEG
Federal Republic of GermanyMr. von TRÜTZSCHLER
The Holy SeeArchbishop BERNARDINI
LuxembourgMr. STURM
NetherlandsBaron van BOETZELAER
NorwayMr. ARFF
SwedenMr. PETREN
Switzerland (and Liechtenstein)Mr. SCHÜRCH
TurkeyMr. MIRAS
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandMr. HOARE
United States of AmericaMr. WARREN
VenezuelaMr. MONTOYA
YugoslaviaMr. BOZOVIC
High Commissioner for RefugeesMr. van HEUVEN GOEDHART
Representatives of specialized agencies and of other inter-governmental organizations:
International Labour OrganizationMr. WOLF
International Refugee OrganizationMr. SCHNITZER
Council of EuropeMr. TALIANI de MARCHIO
Representatives of non-governmental organizations :
Category B and Register
Caritas InternationalisMr. BRAUN
Catholic International Union for Social ServiceMiss de ROMER
Commission of the Churches on International AffairsMr. REES
Consultative Council of Jewish OrganizationsMr. MEYROWITZ
Co-ordinating Board of Jewish OrganizationsMr. WARBURG
International Council of WomenMrs. FIECHTER
International Federation of Friends of Young WomenMrs. FIECHTER
International League for the Rights of ManMr. de MADAY
International Union of Catholic Women's LeaguesMiss de ROMER
Pax RomanaMr. BUENSOD
Standing Conference of Voluntary AgenciesMr. REES
World Jewish CongressMr. RIEGNER
Secretariat :
Mr. HumphreyExecutive Secretary
Miss KitchenDeputy Executive Secretary

CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT CONVENTION OF THE STATUS OF REFUGEES (item 5(a) of the agenda) (A/CONF.2/1 and Corr.1, A/CONF.2/5) (continued)

Article 23 and Schedule - Travel documents (A/CONF.2/31, A/CONF.2/56, A/CONF.2/59, A/CONF.2/61, A/CONF.2/64, A/CONF.2/66, A/CONF.2/67) (resumed from the twelfth meeting)

The PRESIDENT requested the Conferences to resume its discussion of article 23 and the Schedule relating thereto (Annex to the draft Convention, A/CONF.2/1), touching on the latter for the time being only in so far as was necessary for due consideration of the general principles laid down in article 23 itself.

Mr. BOZOVIC (Yugoslavia) explained that the Yugoslav delegation had submitted an amendment (A/CONF.2/31) to paragraph 1 of article 23 intended to cover cases where a State should not be under an obligation to issue a travel document to a refugee. As the Belgian amendment (A/CONF.2/61) took care of that point, he would withdraw the Yugoslav amendment in its favour.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) thanked the Yugoslav representative for his gesture. It seemed to him that the intention behind the amendment submitted jointly by the Australian and Canadian delegations (A/CONF.2/66) was identical with that of his own, and he therefore wondered whether the Australian and Canadian delegations would also be prepared to withdraw their proposal.

Mr. CHANCE (Canada) observed that the intention of the Australian and Canadian delegations in submitting their joint amendment had been to take care of the position of those countries that had no statutory regulations governing the issue of passports. He would agree to that amendment being withdrawn in favour of the Belgian amendment, although the again introduced the somewhat troublesome concept of public order.

Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) also withdraw the Italian amendment (A/CONF.2/56) to paragraph 23, in favour of the Belgian amendment. In doing so, however, he wished to draw attention to the fact, which he believed deserved further consideration, that the Italian amendment provided only for the withholding of a travel document, whereas the Belgian amendment would appear to permit Contracting States to refuse to issue such a document.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) explained that the limiting clause in the Belgian amendment did not mean that the issue of travel documents to refugees would be categorically refused. It was merely intended to allow for the temporary discontinuance of the issue of such documents. That action would no longer be necessary once the considerations of national security or public order which had led States to suspend the issue of travel documents had ceased to hold.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) agreed that there would be circumstances in which it would be desirable to allow States a certain amount of latitude. The joint Australian/Canadian amendment, however, was preferable to the Belgian amendment, since it would afford fuller protection to refugees, inasmuch as it provided for the application to the issue of travel documents to refugees of the same criteria as were applied in the issue of passports.

Mr. HOEG (Denmark) endorsed the United Kingdom representative's remarks, and supported the joint amendment.

Mr. ARFF (Norway) said that the Norwegian delegation would support the joint amendment, since it would make it possible to bring the Norwegian regulations relating to the issue of travel documents into line with the provisions of the draft Convention. At the moment, the competent Norwegian authorities could withhold the issue of travel documents to Norwegian nationals for reasons of insolvency, failure to pay taxes and so on, and it was naturally desirable that the facilities afforded to nationals in the matter of travel documents should not be less favourable than those extended to refugees.

The Norwegian delegation could support the omission from paragraph 1 of the original text of the phrase "who is not in possession of such a document", for there would obviously be no need to issue a document if the refugee already had one; again, if the document he possessed was not valid, paragraph 6 of the Schedule would cover the position.

Mr. PETREN (Sweden) said that the Swedish delegation could support either the Belgian or the joint amendment, but preferred the former since it was more in line with existing Swedish legislation.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) supported the Swedish representative's statement. French legislation could not give effect to the limiting clause in the joint amendment, and, if the French delegation accepted that clause, it would simply be tying the hands of the French Government so far as the issue of travel documents was concerned. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that some countries were extremely wary of issuing entry visas even to the nationals of friendly countries, and it was therefore perfectly reasonable that France should take similar precautions when issuing travel documents to refugees who were recent arrivals and still comparatively little known. The Belgian amendment was, therefore, the only one which the French delegation could support.

Turning to the amendment submitted by his own delegation (A/CONF.2/59), he stated that its purpose was to secure the deletion of the words "without a visa from the authorities of that country", which appeared in paragraph 13 of the Schedule. In practice, the French Government granted the rights referred to in sub-paragraph 1 of paragraph 13 of the Schedule to aliens covered by the 1933 Convention, since they were persons who had long been settled in France and were well known to the French Government. On the other hand, it reserved the right to impose controls on the movement of other refugees, although it would have recourse to such controls only when it judged it absolutely necessary to do so.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) regretted that he was unable to satisfy the United Kingdom representative by withdrawing the Belgian amendment. The Belgian delegation was in fact convinced that its amendment was more in the interests of refugees than was the joint amendment. The Norwegian representative had mentioned the case of a government refusing to issue passports to persons who had not paid their taxes. Such a case was one of the "circumstances" in which a State withheld the issue of passports to its own nationals and, if the joint amendment was adopted, it would be possible to invoke a similar reason for denying the issue of travel documents to a refugee. In the same way, if the national of a State had not done his military service, his application for a passport was usually refused. Logically, therefore, such an application should also be refused if made by a refugee in the same position. Hence it was clear that the text of the joint amendment submitted by the delegations of Australia and Canada allowed of a very wide interpretation. The Belgian delegation therefore preferred its own text.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) urged that there should be no illusions as to the scope of article 23. Travel documents were valueless unless accompanied by an entry Visa for another country. The refugees to whom the French Government would feel obliged to refuse a travel document were precisely those to whom none of the countries represented at the Conference would grant an entry Visa. What counted, therefore, was not the travel document, but the Visa, and it was from that angle that the matter should be viewed.

Mr. SCHÜRCH (Switzerland) thought that the objections raised by the United Kingdom representative were fundamentally concerned with the idea of "public order" mentioned in the Belgian amendment. The Belgian proposal could therefore be made acceptable to all delegations by deleting the words "or public order".

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) was sorry that he could not accept the Swiss suggestion. The Belgian intention had been to cover the case of a refugee who was being prosecuted for an offence under civil law. He would then be refused a passport, not for reasons of national security, but for reasons of public order.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) wholeheartedly supported the views of the Belgian representative.

Mr. SHAW (Australia) said that the aim of the joint Australian/Canadian amendment was to reduce exceptions to a minimum. In Australia, the withholding of a passport was a very exceptional measure, and the practice could never be regarded as capable of seriously affecting the position of refugees in the matter of issue of travel documents. The Australian delegation preferred the broader formula of the joint amendment, but agreed that the point was covered, although in a more restrictive manner, by the Belgian amendment.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) stated that, even if a refugee was considered undesirable in France for reasons of public order, the French Government would certainly not refuse him a travel document if he were certain of obtaining an entry visa into such a country as Australia or Canada.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) appreciated the motives underlying the restrictive proposals submitted by the Australian, Canadian, Belgian and Yugoslav delegations, but was somewhat alarmed by the extent to which they implied a departure from the standing arrangements whereby refugees were provided with documents enabling them to travel. The widely supported London Agreement of 15 October 1946 contained no such limitation, and although conditions had since changed, and some modification of that Agreement was justified, the deviation from the existing arrangements should be made as slight as possible. Under the terms of the Belgian amendment there would be a risk of lowering the status of the refugee vis-à-vis national authorities. He could not understand why the French representative laid greater emphasis on the visa aspect of the question than on the issue of the travel document itself, for, as he (Mr. Hoare) saw it, if the refugee was not in possession of a travel document there could be little point in his seeking a visa for entry into another country. The foreign Consul concerned would ask him if he had a travel document. As his reply would necessarily be in the negative, the application would be refused without any further motive. The refugee would therefore find himself the victim of a vicious circle.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) stated that what the French delegation had endeavoured to make plain was that a travel document was a kind of open cheque which was of value only if it was accompanied by an entry visa and that it could only be accompanied by such a visa if it bestowed a right of return. The cases in which the French Government would be obliged to refuse to issue a travel document would be identical with those in which countries represented at the Conference would refuse to grant a visa.

Mr. HOEG (Denmark) observed that travel documents were used not only for immigration purposes, but also to allow a person to travel on business or on holiday. It might well be that, if in possession of a travel document, a refugee suspected of having committed a crime in a particular country would be able to obtain a visa from the Consul of another country without the Consul being aware of the facts of the case. It would consequently be undesirable to issue a travel document to each a person before the alleged offence had been fully investigated. Such cases were admittedly covered by the Belgian amendment, but the latter appeared to go much further than was necessary in actual practice.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) explained to the Danish representative that the fact that a French citizen professed extremist views did not preclude him from holding a passport. It might, however, be necessary in certain cases to treat refugees differently.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) felt that the French representative's remarks illustrated the wide latitude that Contracting States would enjoy if the issue of travel documents was made subject to the requirements of national security or public order. He considered that States should not be enabled to for such action would be tantamount to discrimination on the grounds of political opinion.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) cited the recent case of an alien, a French citizen, who had been returned be a certain country, not because he had been considered in any way suspect, but because he had not been regarded as having adequate means of subsistence. The man in question had been in possession of a French passport and an entry visa into the country in question. That incident brought out the difference between insular countries and continental countries, which refugees could enter clandestinely, without having been subjected to preliminary screening. Refugees professing extremist political opinions would certainly not be able to obtain an entry visa into any of the countries represented at the present Conference. It was obvious, therefore, that if a travel document was issued to them by the French Government, it could only be of service to them if they were proceeding to countries other than those represented at the Conference, and it was precisely that situation which the French Government was anxious to be able to avoid.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) had no knowledge of the particular case to which the French representative had referred, but imagined that the circumstances as the person in question had explained them to the responsible officer when applying for a visa had not been borne out by the facts as ascertained on his arrival.

He (Mr. Hoare) was concerned mainly with the question of principle. If the holding of extremist views was accepted as a valid ground for not issuing travel documents, certain States might take advantage of that facility in order to put obstacles in the way of legitimate travel on the part of a refugee, and that would be a marked deterioration of the status of refugee from the position obtaining under the London Agreement of 1946.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) pointed out that States could refuse an entry visa for many reasons besides the political views held by the applicant. The French delegation saw no reason, therefore, why the French Government should have to undertake to grant travel documents to refugees under an international instrument which would bind it to States that would in no circumstances assume the obligation to grant entry visas. That was a practical problem which had to be solved realistically. French Government, which, moreover, had not signed the London Agreement, was obliged to deal with a series of problems of so complex a character that it could not accept the proposal put forward jointly by the Australian and Canadian delegations, which would deprive it of all freedom of action in the matter.

The PRESIDENT observed that for the past twenty years arrangements had existed for the issue of travel documents to refugees. He was sure that all States had delivered such documents, and also that, when the exceptional case had turned up the competent authorities had known what action to take. He would be reluctant to see the Conference give world public opinion the impression that it was seeking to deprive refugees of facilities that had been accorded by all previous agreements, and consequently wondered whether any amendment of paragraph 1 of article 23 was necessary.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) wished to make it clear that the United Kingdom delegation fully appreciated the French representative's difficulties, and the need for doing something to meet his point. In order, however, to avoid any abuse of the formula finally adopted, he would suggest that the phrase "Subject to the requirements of national security or public order" in the Belgian amendment (A/CONF.2/61) should be replaced by the words "Except where imperative reasons of national security or public order otherwise require".

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) accepted the United Kingdom representative's suggestion.

Mr. SHAW (Australia) and Mr. CHANCE (Canada) said that they agreed with the United Kingdom suggestion, and would accordingly withdraw their joint amendment (A/CONF.2/66) in favour of the Belgian amendment as thus modified.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) also accepted the United Kingdom amendment; he pointed out that he could not vote on paragraph 1 of Article 23, which referred to the Schedule, without knowing what was to happen to the amendment to paragraph 13 of the Schedule proposed by the French delegation. For that reason, he would abstain from voting.

After some further discussion on the drafting of paragraph 1, the PRESIDENT put to the vote paragraph 1 of Article 23, as amended by the revised Belgian amendment (A/CONF.2/61). The text read as follows:

"The Contracting States shall issue to refugees lawfully resident in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory except where imperative reasons of national security or public order otherwise require, and the provisions of the Schedule to this Convention shall apply with respect to such documents. The Contracting States may issue such a travel document to any other refugee in their territory and shall give sympathetic consideration to refugees in their territory who are unable to obtain a travel document from the country of their lawful residence."

Paragraph 1 of Article 23 adopted in the above form by 22 votes to none, with abstentions.

The PRESIDENT drew attention to the Yugoslav amendment (A/CONF.2/31, page 2) to paragraph 2 Article 23.

Mr. BOZOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that before commenting on his amendment he would ask for some elucidation of the original text of paragraph 2. Did it imply that a State which was not a party to previous international agreements would be obliged to recognize travel documents issued under those agreements? He would recall that the Yugoslav Government was not a party to any of them.

His delegation had submitted its amendment in the belief that once the present Convention had come into force, all travel documents should be delivered in accordance with it, and not under previous international agreements.

The PRESIDENT drew attention to paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 32, in which provision was made for the situation which would arise once the Convention had come into force. In the case of two Contracting States who were also parties to previous agreements, the latter would be replaced by the Convention. As between two States parties to the previous agreements, one of which was not party to the present Convention, the previous agreements would remain in force, Thus, the old travel documents would become null and void for parties to the Convention once their validity had expired.

The Yugoslav Government, which was not a party to the previous agreements, had no obligation vis-à-vis other States with regard to travel documents. If and when it singed and ratified the present Convention, it would assume the obligations laid down in article 23. That meant in effect that the Yugoslav Government would have to recognize the validity of travel documents issued by, say, the Danish Government under the previous international agreements.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) thought that the points raised by the Yugoslav representative might be met by inserting in paragraph 2 of article 23 the word "previously" after the words "travel documents". That would make it clear that a Contracting State would not continue to supply refugees with travel documents based on previous agreements. It should, nevertheless, be noted that it ought, in any case, to be possible for refugees to continue to use such travel documents, in order to avoid practical difficulties. A refugee might, for example, apply for a travel document in order to enter various States, only some of which were parties to the Convention. In such a case, the refugee would either have to have two different travel documents, or continue to use travel documents issued under agreements prior to present Convention.

The PRESIDENT agreed that it was essential to take into account the possibility that documents might have to continue to be issued under the previous agreements. Assuming that a refugee was domiciled in country X, and wished to travel to countries A, B and C, countries X and A alone being parties to the Convention, he would have to use the old travel documents in order to enter countries B and C.

MOSTAFA Bey (Egypt) considered that paragraph 2 of article 23 raised a series of legal problems, such as that of the relative value of previous treaties. Members of the Conference were, in fact, being asked to sign a blank cheque, and his delegation, for its part, could not vote for paragraph 2, as the Egyptian Government was unable to recognize travel documents issued under agreements to which it was not a party.

Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) did not share the Egyptian representative's misgivings, and maintained that the documents issued under previous agreements were well-known and easily identifiable.

The meaning of paragraph 2 was surely perfectly clear. It stated that parties to the Convention undertook to recognize all travel documents issued under previous agreements by the parties to those agreements.

The PRESIDENT recalled that the Ad hoc Committee had included paragraph 2 with a view to avoiding the administrative work which a renewal of all existing travel documents, regardless of their period validity, would involve. Although the members of the Committee had not attached very great importance to the point, it would on the whole be more convenient not to be too rigid in administrative matters and to permit the use of old travel documents.

Mr. WARREN (United States of America) drew the attention of the Yugoslav representative to paragraph 5 of the Schedule annexed to the draft Convention, in which it was laid down that a travel document should have validity for a limited period of time. It was reasonable to assume that a State party to the Convention would issue a new travel document of the type prescribed in the Schedule once the validity of an old one had expired. Thus the Yugoslav representative's point would undoubtedly be met in practice.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that paragraph 2 of article 23 was indeed based on practical considerations, it had been inserted in order that refugees should not all be obliged to renew their passports. The renewal of all refugees' passports would entail a great many useless formalities; moreover, it could only be done gradually. Referring to the essential point raised by the Yugoslav representative, he would take as a concrete example, to illustrate the effect of the application of paragraph 2, the relations existing between a State X and Yugoslavia. Two cases might arise. If State X had not signed the Convention, Yugoslavia's only obligation towards that State would be under previous agreements to which Yugoslavia was a party. If State X had signed the Convention it would, when it issued travel documents under article 23, be continuing to do what it had already done under previous agreements. The result would therefore be the same in practice. In the one case, travel documents previously issued to refugees would be considered as valid until they expired, in order to avoid obliging the refugees concerned to renew them; in the other, refugees would receive new travel documents which would only differ from the old ones in the way in which they were set out and printed.

Mr. BOZOVIC (Yugoslavia) accepted the explanation provided by the French representative, and said that he wan now prepared to withdraw his amendment and to vote for paragraph 2, provided the amendment proposed by the Belgian representatives was adopted.

The PRESIDENT drew attention to the fact that all refugees covered by previous international agreements would also be covered by the present Convention if article 1 was adopted. The new travel document would be to all intents and purposed the same as that used under the Nansen Conventions, the London Agreement of 1946, and other instruments, so that, if one only looked at the realities of the problem, there would seem to be no need to impose upon States the obligation to issue a new document. What mattered from the point of view of governments was that, at least for some time to come, certain States parties to the previous agreements would not be parties to the present Convention, and that it was always preferable for an individual to hold only one travel document, and not several; for, if he held several, that might enable him to slip through the hands of the police. He was ready to admit that from the strictly juridical point of view it document in which reference was made to an international instrument to which the State of entry was not a party. But he believed that on the whole the advantages of paragraph 2 outweighed its slight legal disadvantages.

He ruled that the discussion on paragraph 2 was closed.

Paragraph 2 was adopted by 23 votes to 1

Mr. WOLF (International Labour Organisation) recalled that after the statement made by a representative of the International Labour Organisation at the twelfth meeting of the Conference, a text covering the situation of refugees who were bona fide seafarers had been suggested, in connection with the Conference's examination of article 23 (A/CONF.2/67). The suggestion had been submitted in pursuance of a decision taken by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office and its aim was to draw the Conference's attention to the problem with a view to the Conference possibly including the suggested text in article 23 or, alternatively, adopting, on the conclusion of its work, a recommendation to the effect that refugees who were bona fide seafarers might, as far as possible, be allowed to reckon periods spent as crew members on board a ship flying the flag of a Contracting State as residence in the territory of that State.

The PRESIDENT stated that the Conference could take no decision on the suggestion unless it was sponsored by a delegation. In his view, the issue it raised was wider than that dealt with in article 23, and should perhaps form the subject of special general article.

Speaking as representative of Denmark, he added that the Danish Government already applied such a provision.

Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) thought that the question raised by the representative of the International Labour Organisation was much too general to fit happily into article 23. In his opinion, the text suggested by the Organisation should be inserted in article 6, which dealt with continuity of residence, or drafted as a new article, to be inserted immediately after article 6.

Mr. WOLF (International Labour Organisation) said that that would be perfectly satisfactory.

The RESIDENT ruled that discussion of article 23 was closed.

Article 23 was adopted as a whole and as amended by 21 votes to none, with 3 abstentions.

The PRESIDENT asked representatives to turn to the Schedule, which dealt with the travel document referred to in article 23 (A/CONF.2/1, pages 21-23).

It would be best for the Schedule to be examined paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraph 1 was adopted without discussion by 23 votes to none, with 1 abstention.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) thought that the Italian amendment to the text of the travel document shown in the annex (A/CONF.2/64) should be reproduced in paragraph 2 of that annex, as the two provisions were related.

Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) agreed, The object of the Italian amendment was to reserve the right of Contracting States to authorize adults, in exceptional cases, to have children who were not their own, but who were accompanying them, entered on their passports. The age limit to be laid down in that connexion was 16 years in Italy; but the words "subject to the regulations obtaining in the country of issue" in paragraph 2 would leave Contracting States a certain amount of latitude in the matter.

Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) felt that it would be better to lay down a definite age limit. If the law of the issuing country fixed that limit at 16 years and the law of the receiving country at less than 16, the refugees concerned might be refused a visa.

Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) proposed that paragraph 2 be worded as follows:

"Subject to the regulations obtaining in the country of issue, the children of a refugee may be included in the document of an adult refugee provided they are under 16 years of age".

Mr. HOEG (Denmark) considered that it would be wise for the Conference to take a liberal attitude in the matter. The families of refugees were often scattered, and it might well be that a child would have to travel in the company of a grandparent or relative. As to age, the Danish authorities issued individual travel documents to children over 15.

Mr. SHAW (Australia) supported the Danish representative.

Mr. CHANCE (Canada) also felt that it would be unfair to draft the regulation too stringently. He would therefore suggest that paragraph 2 be amended to read as follows:

"Subject to the regulations obtaining in the country of issue, children may be included in the document of a parent or, exceptional circumstances, of another adult refugee."

Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) supported the Canadian amendment and added that it did not matter whether the point was included in paragraph 2 of the Schedule or in the travel document itself.

The Canadian amendment to paragraph 2 was adopted unanimously.

Paragraph 2 was adopted unanimously, as amended.

The PRESIDENT pointed out that paragraph 3 was subject to a consequential drafting change, since paragraph 3 of article 24, to which reference was made, had been deleted.

Paragraph 3 was unanimously adopted, subject to the drafting change mentioned by the President.

The PRESIDENT informed the Conference that he would at the present stage be glad to hear the views of members on the official and authentic texts of the Convention. Under article 40 of the draft Convention, the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish official texts would be equally authentic. Such a provision raised certain questions. The texts in some of the official languages could not be authenticated, as there were no delegations from countries using those languages. Furthermore, the preparation of authentic texts in five languages would entail considerable expense for the United Nations, and might delay the signature of the instruments prepared.

The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.